I am a sports and music fanatic from Farmington, CT, currently attending Saint Joseph's University in Connecticut. I am mainly interested in College Basketball, CIAC High School Basketball, and Major League Baseball, though I follow just about all sports closely.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Top 10 Albums of 2007: According to Pat

Well, in my opinion 2007 was an incredible year in music, not only independent music, but also it consisted of a resurgence of solid mainstream pop with solid albums from Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Timbaland, Foo Fighters, and the start of DAUGHTRY. Here is my list of the top albums of 2007.
10- The White Stripes- Icky Thump
The White Stripes' sixth album brought a solid mix of hard garage rock, irish bagpiping, and spanish mariachi playing. Although the album has it's moments of filler, the uniqueness and intensity of the duo keeps you into it the entire time. Check out, "You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told)" and there strange, but brilliant cover of Patti Page's "Conquest" to get a great taste of the album.

9- Common- Finding Forever
Although recieving less than stellar reviews compared to what Common is used to, Common's Finding Forever is still a very, very good showcase of what the alternative rapper can do. The great Lily Allen chips in on a stellar single, "Drivin' Me Wild", and R&B singer Dwele provides backup vocals on the Grammy nominated "The People". No other rapper can rap with the same calmness as Common, yet he still gets his very strong point across. No matter how much you may dislike hip hop, you really should appreciate Common's work
8. M.I.A.- Kala
It really took me awhile to get used to M.I.A. Her music is extremely unique and at first listen, it may not be very appealing. But after I actually bought the hard copy of this C.D. and listened to it for a little while I finally realized why so many people loved this album. The beats are amazing, and the uniqueness of every track will have you wondering what's coming next. I really love her collaberation with preteen Austraillian rappers The Willcannia Mob in "Mango Pickle Down River" and "Paper Planes" may be the best track of the year.

7. Arcade Fire- Neon Bible
The Arcade Fire's sophomore release definately did not fall under the famous sophomore slump that many critically acclaimed debuts do. Win Butler's intensity in his voice matches only with the greats like Bruce Springsteen and Ed Kowalcyk, and the uniqueness of the rest of the band makes the album even better. "Intervention" is absolutely stunning, while "Keep the Car Running" is also an amazing track.

6. Kanye West- Graduation
What Kanye is doing in music today absolutely blows my mind. He is really one of the only artists in the past 25 years who have been able to be not only extremely popular with underground music fans, but also mainstream fans. This album may even be his best yet, doing a perfect job sampling famous songs, and also creating his own beats. My favorite off the album are "Can't Tell Me Nothing" and "Homecoming" which features Coldplay's Chris Martin.

5. Okkervil River- The Stage Names
Okkervil River continues to create their own folk-based rock sound, with even some punk influence with their fourth studio album. The Stage Names is sort of a strange album because although have two depressing songs about suicide, it also contains many upbeat and happy songs. "John Allyn Smith Sails, which samples the Beach Boys "Sloop John B", and "Unless it's Kicks", two stellar track, sample this contrast.

4. The New Pornographers- Challengers
Now for most of this album don't expect the same "power-pop" New Pornographers that we all heard on Twin Cinema, but rather a more folky sound lead by stellar female vocalist Neko Case. "Challengers" and "Adventures in Solitude" both exhibit amazing vocal performances from Case and male vocalist and songwriter A.C. Newman. Goofy band member Dan Bejar does bring some fun into the album though, as his "Myriad Harbour" is one of the funniest, and best, tracks this year.

3. Wilco- Sky Blue Sky
Alternative Country pioneers, Wilco, really suprised me with the strength of their sixth studio album, Sky Blue Sky. The extremely mixed reviews this album got led me to believe that it may not have been as strong as their earier albums. But the "roots" rock that dominated the album made me fall in love with it right when I got it. It really sounds like a modernized Dylan album, and tracks like "You Are My Face" and the upbeat piano song "Walken", show the strength of this album.
2. The National- Boxer
I actually haven't even heard every song on this album yet, but from what I have heard, it's absolutely amazing. Singer Matt Bernenger's voice is so simple and calm, but yet it also has an amazing amount of intensity and beauty that only really compares to a darker Arcade Fire. Every song on this album is simple yet complex, and polished yet raw, and these contrasts lead to an incredible listening experience. The beautiful ballad "Start a War" has plummeted to the #1 song played in my library, and "Mistaken for Strangers" shows a more fast paced, yet still dark, side of the band.

1. Radiohead- In Rainbows
Radiohead is one band who throughout their time in music has been able to take risks, yet stay consistently amazing to their fans and all music lover. In my opinion, In Rainbows was the band's best release since their famous O.K. Computer was released in 1997. This album was the best mix I think the band has ever had of typical rock instruments like Guitar and Piano, with more unique electronic sounds that the profiled more of in their past 3 albums, making an incredible release. The emotional ballad "Nude" may be their best song ever, while Thom Yorke's vocals shine on "Weird Fished/Arpeggi".

Bright Eyes- Cassadaga
Bruce Springsteen- Magic
The Shins- Wincing the Night Away
Artic Monkeys- Favourite Worst Nightmare
Spoon- Ga Ga Ga Ga Gaa
Iron and Wine- The Shepherd's Dog
Jose Gonzalez- In Our Nature
The Hives- The Black and White Album
Feist- The Reminder
Bloc Party- A Weekend in the City
Busdriver- RoadKillOvercoat
Brandi Carlile- The Story
The Bravery- The Sun and the Moon
Black Lips- Good Bad Not Evil

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