kenji's top 20 of 2007
20. Sixtoo - Jackals and Vipers in Envy of Man
i thought i was kind of over the prefuse 73 school of turntablism/IDM. but this record proved me totally wrong.
19. Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
finally someone exercises some editorial control over ryan adams and convinces him to do a record with a reasonable number of songs.
18. Kanye West - Graduation
i've never managed to get through a single kanye album before, start to finish. but you gotta hand it to him, he knows how to pick his samples.
17. Bracken - We Know About the Need
newish anticon signing, and an interesting direction for the label. the middle eastern modes reminds me very positively of chronomad.
16. MIA - Kala
mia took over more of the production duties on this record, and it's like her world travels literally showed up in the beats and rhythms.
15. José González - In Our Nature
captivating in much the same way seu jorge was last year, but with an almost andrew bird-esque command of the english language. the kind of record that will never sound dated. oh and a killer massive attack cover.
14. Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover
the sort of experimental record you wouldn't expect to be good, much less re-listenable. but it's a great side project, as was the johnny and the moon self-titled record.
13. The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
of course it couldn't touch funeral, but this record was great in its own right. less bowie, more springsteen.
12. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
fact: every spoon record is great. i thought this one was better than the last, though. you got yr cherry bomb was probably my favorite song of the year.
11. 4 bonjour's parties - Pigments Drift Down To the Brook
sure, i'm biased; i toured with these guys. but this is a seriously great record; sort of like a japanese broken social scene.
phew. let's take a breather.
ok, top 10:
10. Saul Williams - The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust
i think i enjoyed this more than the new NIN record. plus they get credit for doing the internet release thing even better than radiohead did.
09. John Vanderslice - Emerald City
master of the analog studio, creator of brilliant neutral milk hotel style distortions and melodies. and brilliant at the internet - check out his website for entire albums full of free remixes and live tracks.
08. Menomena - Friend and Foe
i think i picked this record up in 2006, but apparently it was a 2007 release. i listened to it so much, and took it for granted so much that i almost didn't include it in the list. but man is this a good one. their secret weapon is the baritone sax player that also handles moog pedal bass.
07. The Octopus Project - Hello, Avalanche
a largely instrumental record that is just brimming with good ideas and instrument choices. makes me happy.
06. The Bad Plus - Prog
it's not that no one is making good jazz anymore, it's just that everyone else is rehashing the same old standards and living in a sort of 50s bebop neverworld. the bad plus know about that stuff, sure, but they're not afraid to make a lot of noise.
05. Black Moth Super Rainbow - Dandelion Gum
weird, brilliant rock/electro/lo-fi music that defies classification yet somehow sounds exactly what the band name suggests. i know, that doesn't make sense. but listen to it. you'll see.
04. Blonde Redhead - 23
no one's comparing them to early sonic youth anymore, huh? they've finally arrived at what seems to be their sound. two vocalists just means that the record sounds that much more fresh and varied throughout. they're probably the band i've spent the most time with this year.
03. Radiohead - In Rainbows
if radiohead didn't just make great albums all the time, this might even be higher on my list.
02. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
this is where it got really tough. of the top two, i think this one was more original and more lyrically interesting. it was just barely edged out by:
01. Low - Drums and Guns
the first low record i picked up at release. breathtaking, emotional, and full of awesome sounds and textures. definitely the record with songs that were constantly stuck in my head all year.
anyone else out there make a list? leave me a message if you did.