Saturday, January 19, 2008

Dallas' 10 Favorite Albums of 2007's the beginning of a new year, and for music geeks, like myself, this means it's time to argue with other music geeks about the best albums of the year. Feedback is more than welcome; tell me i'm a genius, or tell me i'm full of shit...I don't care. btw, regardless of rank, BUY THESE ALBUMS!

This was a really good year for music, and they are all absolutely amazing.Here goes...

10) Queens of the Stone Age "Era Vulgaris"QOTSA have consistently released great albums since the late 90's, and "Era Vulgaris" is no exception. The great thing about QOTSA is that they're extremely talented and make quality music, but they don't take themselves too seriously, which refreshing when every other "hard rock" band seems to think they're fucking Pink Floyd or U2 or some shit (My Chemical Romance, Linkin Park, etc.). Another difference between QOTSA and other bands these days is well...QOTSA are actually good. They're basically the only quality hard rock band left. No really...the only one left.

Download: "3's and 7's" "Make It Wit Chu"

9) El-P "I'll Sleep When You're Dead"For anyone looking for some quality underground hip hop, El-P is a great place to start. A staple of the underground scene for a while now, El-P outdid himself with "I'll Sleep When You're Dead", an epic record with some of the best production on any record this year. The album also has some pretty interesting guest artists, including Aesop Rock, Trent Reznor, The Mars Volta and Cat Power.

Download: "Flyentology" "The League of Extraordinary Nobodies"

8) Nine Inch Nails "Year Zero"Trent Reznor never puts out anything bad really, but he'd definitely been slipping with his last two releases. "Year Zero" is crazy though, with production reminicent of old school Public Enemy, and a really dark, and depressing apocolyptic concept attached to the album as well. Definitely underrated.

Download: "Me, I'm Not" "Violent Heart"

7) Mark Ronson "Version"The dj/producer behind songs from Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, and Christina Aguilera released a covers album this year, enlisting different vocalists for every song. It's a pretty star-studded lineup, including Winehouse, Allen, Daniel Merriweather, and Robbie Williams. But the music is the real star here; Ronson is an incredible producer, with a sound reminicent of 60's soul songs, but very modern at the same time(think Gnarls Barkley and the Gorillaz).

Download: "Valerie" "Stop Me"

6) Jay-Z "American Gangster"By now, we've all seen American Gangster(legally or illegally), and it was defintely a great movie. But if you ask me, Jay-Z's new album, inspired by the film, is better. The production is entrenched in a 70's soul sound, and Jay's lyrics are some of his best since The Black Album. This is truly a great album, and stands up with his best work(so whaddya say we all just forget about that "Kingdom Come" shit, ok?).

Download: "No Hook" "Party Life"

5) Arcade Fire "Neon Bible"Easily one of the best albums to come out of the recent "indie revolution" or whatever, the Arcade Fire's "Neon Bible" is the perfect picture of post-9/11 life; paranoia, frustration, and disillusionment with government policies are the main topics here, and they do it better than anyone else has since 9/11. The music is beautiful, the sound of the record is huge, and the artwork is pretty fuckin sweet too. So go get it!

Download: "Black Mirror" "No Cars Go"

4) Kanye West "Graduation"No, I do not think Kanye West's "Graduation" is the best album of 2007. Sorry. But I do think it's the 4th best album of 2007. The album is brilliant; no annoying skits, better lyrics than last time, and great songs like "stronger" and "can't tell me nothing". Do I think it's better than "Late Registration"...not really. I prefer the epic, beautiful sound of Registration songs like "We Major" and "Roses". That's just not what Kanye was going for with this album, and that's fine. It's still brilliant, and Kanye is still currently the best producer in music, period.

Download: "Stonger" "I Wonder"

3) M.I.A. "Kala"If you like music that makes you dance, and have never heard the name M.I.A., you're seriously missing out. M.I.A. is without a doubt the coolest, most interesting album of the year. She basically does it all by herself; the beats, the overtly political subject mater, everything. It's refreshing to find an artist that puts out music that is concieved and written by them and them alone. And most importantly, it sounds really, really good.

Download: "Bamboo Banga" "Bird Flu" "Paper Planes"

2) Radiohead "In Rainbows"Ok, so Radiohead never releases bad music. Never. I cannot think of one Radiohead album or song that isn't atleast great. What makes "In Ranbows" so incredible is that it actually stands out amongst all of their other masterpieces. The sound is gentle and absolutely gorgeous and the lyrics are far more personal than those on their other records. I didn't expect it at all, but "In Rainbows" actually stacks up with their best work...and that's saying a hell of a lot.

Download: "Nude" "All I Need" "Reckoner"

1) Amy Winehouse "Back To Black"I love Radiohead, but anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with Amy Winehouse. She has it all; incredible songwriting ability, brutally-honest and deeply personal lyrical content, and one of the best voices to come along in pop music in a very long time. No female artist has made an album like this since Lauryn Hill; both beautiful and tuneful, but at the same time dark and full of sorrow. The high point: The title track, "Back to Black"; incredible production from Mark Ronson and a chorus that rips your heart out: "We only said goodbye with words. I died a hundred times. You go back to her, and I go back to Black." Winehouse is truly a special artist, and Back to Black is truly a special album; hopefully she'll be around to make another one.

Download: "Back to Black" "Love is a Losing Game" "Me and Mr. Jones"

That's it bitches. You can start complaining now...