The Upstate Life
The Upstate Life

Friday, January 04, 2008
TUL Presents His (Incredibly Overdue) Top 10 Albums of 2007, Because You Really Care

10) Pinback - Autumn of the Seraphs: Pinback is great because they possess this instantly recognizable sound that separates them from the rest of the indie rock pack yet are able to constantly churn out well-crafted pop songs. Autumn of the Seraphs is no exception and continues Rob Crown and Zack Smith's streak of superb records.

9) Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala: Unfortunately I didn't hear Mr. Lekman's album until a day after he played the Black Cat last year (of which I regrettably missed), but Night Falls Over Kortedala won me over after one listen. He's like a young Morrissey accompanied either by a Disney orchestra or Sinatra's backing band. And yet, somehow, it works flawlessly.

8) Kanye West - Graduation: Undoubtedly Kanye's best effort, Graduation goes against the grain of other hip-hop records with truly unique beats, solid production, and even makes Chris Martin's voice somewhat tolerable.

7) The National - Boxer: In some ways I like Alligator better, but it's still a Top 10 of the year in my book.

6) Art Brut - It's a Bit Complicated: With all the praise Bang Bang Rock & Roll garnered back in '05 it's a shame that Art Brut's follow-up didn't receive just as much admiration. Their sophomore release solidified the band as one that can actually pen songs without the self-referential tactics found in their debut. It's a Bit Complicated is an album with more depth than people realize.

5) Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?: How I have yet to see these guys live is beyond explanation. I don't even need the ridiculous YouTube clips to tell me that, after listening to this album, how great it would be to see these wacky, poppy songs about doom and gloom in person.

4) The Thrills - Teenager: An incredibly underrated, overlooked album, I personally feel that this is the band's finest release yet. The group leaves behind its Beach Boys influences and instead invites the listener to a world full of pop bliss and excellent writing. Even though Teenager is about adolescence and all, I'm almost astonished that, at 26, how incredibly easy it is to relate to the lyrics found in nearly every song.

3) MIA - Kala: I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical about Kala after finding out that Diplo wasn't entirely behind the controls. Turns out that didn't matter - this album is eons better than her debut and established Maya Arulpragasam as a true international star. "Paper Planes" is one of the best songs of the year and I'm still livid that the DJ at New Years wouldn't play it since "she's from the UK". What a douche.

2) LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver: Just like Kala, Sound of Silver trumps it predecessor in a tremendous fashion. Who knew James Murphy could not only sing, but sing somewhat well? The writing, production, and mixing are all top-notch. "All My Friends" is great and all but "Us vs. Them" is by far my favorite track on this excellent record. It summarizes how far LCD Soundsystem has come since "Losing My Edge" was released back in'02.

1) Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga: What is there not to love about the group's sixth album? Every single track hits it out of the park, but "Finer Feelings" and "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb" are the ones with the most replay value (according to my iTunes statistics, at least). At any rate, I think it's safe to say this is the best record Spoon has released to date.

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