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2007 music top ten

December 21, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

Top ten lists are fun, right? Here’s my favorite music of 2007:

10. Alcest – Souvenirs D’un Autre Monde

I think I mentioned this album in a post a couple months ago. I can’t actually think of much to say about it. It’s just a solid album that really clicked with me. Shoegaze black metal, apparently. If dark and depressing metal sounds good to you, check it out. Best song: “Printemps Emeraude.”

9. Minsk – Ritual Fires of Abandonment

Another one of those “bands that sound like Isis and Neurosis.” I find that to be a better description than post-hardcore. Minsk excels at creating a darker atmosphere than bands like Isis or Pelican, but with the same bone-crushing sound. That’s right, I said bone-crushing. Sue me. Best song: The “Orphans of Piety.”

8. Riverside – Rapid Eye Movement

Riverside has turned into one of my favorite bands. Their first album was an excellent mix of progressive hard rock and metal. They followed up with an album of pure progressive metal, which wears out its welcome after a lot of listens. This latest one is more varied, but still firmly progressive metal. Best song: “Ultimate Trip.”

7. Radiohead – In Rainbows

I don’t think I have to introduce this one. Radiohead is another one of my favorite bands and while this one isn’t their best, it’s still an enjoyable album. Nothing surprising, just solid and enjoyable. Granted, it’s Radiohead, so it’s a little disappointing that it’s not surprising, but you can’t have everything. Best song: “Reckoner.”

6. Dark Tranquillity – Fiction

Swedish Melodic Death Metal. My favorite type of metal and unlike certain other Swedish bands of this style, DT is still making enjoyable music. And Stanne decided to sing again on this one, so that’s a plus. Best song: “The Mundane and the Magic.”

5. Do Make Say Think – You, You’re a History in Rust

I think this one may have set a record for most consecutive listens in my car’s stereo. It’s post-rock, but not in the style of bands like GY!BE and their lengthy songs. For whatever reason, I really like the drumming on this album, but everything about it is great. Best Song: “Bound To Be That Way.”

4. *Shels – Sea of the Dying Dhow

Despite the apparent pretentiousness of putting an asterisk in the name of your band, this is a fantastic band. Another “band that sounds like Isis” gracing this list, *Shels throws in a bit more variety in instrumentation and makes it all work together very well. The first song is probably the best song out of this genre I’ve ever heard. Best song: “The Conference of the Birds.”

3. Pelican – City of Echoes

I think I’m become predictable. Guess what style of music this band plays? Anyway, I’ve always liked Pelican, but their previous albums never quite clicked for me. This one did. It’s not all that different from the previous ones, it’s just really good. Brilliant review, eh? Best song: “Bliss in Concrete.”

2. Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha

Excellent and unique pop rock from an impressive musician. The number of instruments this guy playss amazes me. I think you could say his previous album is better, but this one is right up there with it. Best song: “Imitosis.”

1. Porcupine Tree – Fear of a Blank Planet

PT are my favorite band, so this is no surprise. Deadwing, their previous album, was a little hit or miss. There were excellent songs and there were not so good ones. It wasn’t all that great as an album. This one is the complete opposite. It is an album, first and foremost; 50 minutes of dark and heavy progressive rock. It’s less about standout songs than standout moments, though the 17 minute Anesthetize counts as a standout. You can hear a lot of Deadwing on here (especially in the title track), but there’s also a bit of The Sky Moves Sideways. There’s very little of albums like Lightbulb Sun and Stupid Dream. Part of me wants to see a return to that and a move away from some of metal aspects of their current sound, but this album is certainly very very good. Best song: “Anesthetize.”

Honorable Mention:

Novembre – The Blue

A solid album that doesn’t quite have enough interesting songs to pull it into the top 10. Best song: “Bluecracy.”

The Snake The Cross The Crown – Cotton Teeth

I was so close to putting this in the top 10. Still, it’s an enjoyable album that deserves a wider audience. Best song: “Hey Jim.”

Blackfield – Blackfield II

This is a good rock album, but it’s not quite special enough to rise above that. Still, if you can get me to sing along with the line “and we still believe there is God,” you’re definitely writing catchy music. Best song: “End of the World.”

Disappointment:

Pain of Salvation – Scarsick

Luckily, I didn’t go into this with high expectations. I love The Perfect Element I and Remedy Lane, but Be wasn’t that great. This one just isn’t good. I’m at a loss to explain it. The trite “America,” the annoying “Scarsick,” the inexplicable “Disco Queen” (though that song is pretty amusing)…it’s just not good. Best song: “Kingdom of Loss.”

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  1. Lina
    December 22, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    I usually go with “soul-crushing,” but bone-crushing is lovely too. And is it odd that I feel fairly confident I could defend a dissertation on the distinction between them?

  2. S4R
    December 23, 2007 at 6:18 am

    Difficult to pick, but I reckon (in no particular order)…

    Ulver – Shadows of the Sun
    Clint Mansell – The Fountain (OST)
    Eluvium – Copia
    Alcest – Souvenirs D’un Autre Monde
    Novembre – The Blue
    James Blackshaw – The Cloud of Unknowing
    Martin Grech – March of the Lonely
    Shels – Sea of the Dying Dhow
    Circle – Katapult
    Primordial – To The Nameless Dead

  3. December 23, 2007 at 7:59 pm

    Shadows of the Sun is pretty good and I love The Fountain soundtrack. Kinda forgot about that one, actually.

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