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Top 100 Albums of 2007 (26-49)
photo by Julius Metoyer
26. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
Anyone who's anyone listened to this record in 2007. And if you didn't, then you're wronging yourself. James Murphy brought electro back like never before and it couldn't have come at a better time. Sound of Silver will forever remain a cult classic of sorts, and rightfully so.LCD Soundsystem - "Someone Great"
27. Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position
He's got one hell of a backdrop, but boy can he sing. Patrick Wolf has branded a sort of electro-pop tone that has become commonplace for some. Local LA musicians like Bobby Birdman almost imitate Wolf's distinctive vocal bravado. The Magic Position pushes the experimental bar a step further. I'm anxiously awaiting the day he puts out a record that is far too weird for my liking. Something tells me it just won't happen.Patrick Wolf - "Overture"
28. Papercuts - Can't Go Back
I've been a big fan of their second release Can't Go Back ever since Grizzly Bear toured with them. Their lo-fi murmurs are reminiscent of the mid 60s. Front man Jason Quever's voice is so saccharine I almost can't bear it. My favorite song "John Brown" sounds like it belongs in San Francisco circa fall of '68. Their music contains simple, ghostly qualities that bring to mind Simon and Garfunkel.Papercuts - "John Brown"
29. The Go Find - Stars On The Wall
Their sparse instrumentation, merely bass and drums, recalls a pithiness comparable to The Whitest Boy Alive. The singer's voice reminds me of far less shrew, lower-pitched version of Jonas Bjerre from the band Mew combined with Erlend Øye from the band Kings of Convenience. A shy yet intent style of vocals that the Western Europeans have patented (I'm pretty sure).The Go Find - "Ice Cold Ice"
30. The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse
Montreal at its best. With barren soundscapes and moving melodies, the Besnard Lakes disprove their album title. They're hardly the dark horse.The Besnard Lakes - "For Agent 13"
31. Sir Richard Bishop - Polytheistic Fragments
This is a wacky instrumental album. I put it on whenever I'm in the mood for nylon strings and Spanish-themed instrumentals. Sir Richard Bishop has put out yet another surprisingly eclectic album, substantiating the rather royal and wild stage name.Sir Richard Bishop - "Elysium Number Five"
32. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
Emma, Forever Ago is, without a doubt, the most barefaced, poignant exercise that I've heard all year. Bon Iver has masked their intricately designed songs with simplicity and that, in itself, is brilliant. Vernon's voice draws you near and compels you to empathize. You have no choice, but to listen to the man's quandaries. Unless, of course, you're completely impassible.
33. Dirty Projectors - Rise Above
The premise of this album blows my mind. I almost don't even understand it, but perhaps that makes this album that much better. If you ever go through all your old stuff lying around your parents attic and happen to find an old tape that you really dug, then don't try and remake it. The Dirty Projectors have that covered.Dirty Projectors - "No More"
34. Miracle Fortress - Five Roses
Montreal ravaged me in 2007. Miracle Fortress happens to be one of the major reasons why. At times they sound exactly like the Beach Boys. Hell, they even stole some vocal melodies. For some reason, their ethereal music made tidal waves in the corners of the indie sphere.Miracle Fortress - "Maybe Lately"
35. White Rabbits - Fort Nightly
In that post-Cold War Kids battle, White Rabbits reigns supreme. No other debut this year came across as lucidly. The NY-based indie rockers act like they really know what they've gotten themselves into.White Rabbits - "Navy Wives"
36. Little Dragon - S/T
She may be known as José González's girlfriend, but she should be regarded as the little engine that could. The Gothenburg-based group known as Little Dragon is a striking soul and nu-jazz-infusion.Little Dragon - "After The Rain"
37. Pop Levi - The Return To Form Black Magick Party
This heavily psychedelic record sounds as though it belongs in London circa the 70s. With Beatles-y harmonies and Rickenbackers aplenty, "(A Style Called) Cryin' Chic" proves that Pop Levi knows how to create one hell of a retro tune. Surprisingly enough, this Liverpool-based musician got his first big break when he got offered the opportunity to play bass for Ladytron.Pop Levi - "(A Style Called) Cryin' Chic"
38. HEALTH - S/T
In a year where noise and gregorian chant took us by storm, HEALTH towered above the rest. Their self-titled album scared the living shit out of me. I mean how can these individuals conjure something so massive and destructive sounding? Consider HEALTH as the progenitors of LA noise.HEALTH - "Crimewave"
39. Muscles - Guns Babes Lemonade
He is a peculiar Aussie with nonsensical, excessively layered techno jams. The juxtaposition of mellifluous and abrasive elements within his songs is extremely polarizing, but I find the man behind Muscles irrefutably endearing.
via LAistMuscles - "Jerk"
40. Yeasayer - All Hour Cymbals
Brooklyn's own Yeasayer is some sort of mystifying force from the future. They've garnered an incredible amount of buzz across the blogosphere and they downright deserve it. All Hour Cymals could be largely attributed to the influence of Peter Gabriel, but it's clear that they're is much more going on in this prodigious effort.Yeasayer - "2080"
41. Joanna Newsom - Joanna Newsom & The YS Street Band
Joanna Newsom is another extremely polarizing act that I happen to enjoy. Her voice requires some open-mindedness and some people are willing to afford her that. Regardless, her latest EP was jaw-dropping. Anyone that can effectively incorporate an outdated instrument that is as complicated as the harp is worthwhile.Joanna Newsom - "Colleen"
42. Bodies Of Water - Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink
Bodies Of Water is yet another LA band that deserves attention. Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink is like that Jehovah's Witness that insists on knocking at your door every other day. You're sick of the proselytizing tone, but the adamant persistence intrigues you. With songs drawing largely from the New Pornographers and Polyphonic Spree, this disc seized me and effortlessly proceeded to convert.Bodies Of Water - "There Are The Eyes"
43. The Deadly Syndrome - The Ortolan
I give props to Kevin Bronson over at the LA Times for reppin' these guys. They are entirely underrated and it comes as a huge surprise to me that they haven't struck it big yet (with all that paper-backed hype). The Deadly Syndrome may sound exactly like Wolf Parade, but they're our Wolf Parade.The Deadly Syndrome - "Wolves In The Garden"
44. Foreign Born - On The Wing Now
I consider Foreign Born to be one of the more mature acts within the LA scene. On the Wing Now is an impeccable expression of sprawling wisdom. Lead singer Matt Popielu possesses a fervent voice that is unmistakable and unforgettable. Songs like "Union Hall," "Into Your Dream" and "Trial Wall" constitute visions of the grandeur—a quality which I generally associate with LA.Foreign Born - "Into Your Dream"
45. Field Music - Tones Of Town
There's nothing I love more than disjointed yet harmonious indie-pop opuses and that happens to be Field Music's forte. The driving force behind this UK-based trio is an eccentric pair of brothers, David and Peter Brewis. Their 2005 eponymous debut was fastidiously crafted, but this time around they've really outdone themselves. Each and every song unearths mad hatter-esque volumes from the band's wildly prolific imagination. Moreover, Tones Of Town is about as predictable as your romantic counterpart; it's susceptible to frequent change.Field Music - "In Context"
46. The Avett Brothers - Emotionalism
Think of a bluegrass-y Beatles and you've pretty much got the gist of The Avett Brothers. Seth and Scott Avett are a powerful duo that combine classic pop-rock sensibilities with contemporary bluegrass twang. The fact that they're attempting to combine such contrasting genres is riveting, but add to that an occasional scream and I'm sold. Emotionalism is testament to the tremendous breadth of their musical experience. The Avett Brothers' impeccable songwriting has surely paved the way for a new generation of unorthodox melody-makers. The Avett Brothers - "Will You Return?"
47. The Octopus Project - Hello, Avalanche
Although I had not-so-nice things to say about one particular member of this electronic quartet at CMJ late last year, The Octopus Project's third album to date, Hello, Avalanche, is undeniably endearing; it has the makings of a typical synth-pop instrumental album, but it steers clear of that convention by way of symphonic meanderings. The caliber of experimentation is downright mesmerizing. Furthermore, Hello, Avalanche is exactly like driving amidst snowfall: you become transfixed by the trajectory of each and every intricate flake.The Octopus Project - "Truck"
48. No Age - Weirdo Rippers
It's a little tedious to serve up some explanation as to why No Age is so important to us Angelenos; perhaps its their avant-garde foundation which spurs renegade concerts in the circuitous cement heart of LA. I can't substantiate the organic connection with anything remotely tangible. Alas, Weirdo Rippers plays out like some sort of relentless sonic nightmare, gradually lulling you into acceptance by mere perseverance. It brings you back to the days when you and your friends would coop yourselves up in your parents' steaming garage and make noise endlessly just despite them. Wait, you didn't do that?No Age - "Everybody's Down"
49. UGK - UGK (Underground Kingz)
UGK owns. Staying true to their name, Pimp C (R.I.P.) and Bun B churn out self-aggrandizing hip hop hits that embody southern hospitality. With guest appearances from Too $hort, Outkast, Dizzee Rascal, Talib Kweli and many, many more, UGK ensures a proper star-studded listen. Like anecdotes culled from the underground Texan hip-hop culture, each song traces far back to an expansive history of influential phrasing and slick production. I couldn't possibly fathom a more eclectic yet consistent 26-some-odd track endeavor. In light of Pimp C's recent death, this disc encompasses UGK's last days in the studio together, but what a great note to go out on.UGK - "Int'l Players Anthem (I Choose You) (feat. Outkast and C-Side)"