This was going to be a Best Albums of 2007 review, but I usually change my favorites about 3 times a day depending on what kind of mood I am in or who I am talking to. Instead I thought it would be easier (and more honest, see Lily Allen) to list the albums that were new to me in 2007, that I played the most. So without further ado, my most listened to in order of guessed # of spins.
Gorillaz Demon Days
Came out some time in 2006 but I didn’t really start listening to it until 2007. I probably played it for the entire month of March. I just kept finding more and more I liked about it. Plus front man Damon Albarn (better known as the dude from Blur) collaborates with so many people that it kept me coming back all year to listen again and learn more about who he worked with on some other track. The album influenced most of the music that I listened to for the rest of the year. Most listened to song: Intro + Are We the Last Living Soles.
DangerDoom The Mouse and the Mask
Released in late 2005, but I didn’t find it until early 2007 after trying to figure out what else Danger Mouse had been working on. It is a collaboration between Danger Mouse and rapper MF Doom. It’s nice to hear a rapper who has a better understanding of the language than I do, though I some times get lost in his rhymes. MF Doom wears a crazy supervillian mask at all times, and raps as a fictional character. The album is strangely centered on their love and previous work on Adult Swim’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force and features the characters in the show. Most listened to song: Sofa King. MF Doom is supposedly working on an album with Ghostface Killah for 2008.
Common Market Common Market
I think this album was released in early 2006, but I listened to the shit out of it in 2007. The Seattle group is MC’ed by RA Scion and produced by Sabzi (who also represents half of the Blue Scholars). Sabzi went to UW, which is pretty cool too. The lyrics are highly political and spiritual:
Devout by choice, but providentially Baha’I* by chance
I make the most of an unusual circumstance
For a Cause I discovered in another land
I don’t expect y’all to fully understand
from most listened to song: G’dang Diggy . It is intelligent hip-hop and it is really good. They are releasing “Tobacco Road” in 2008.
*his strange religion
Radiohead In Rainbows
Even though In Rainbows didn’t come out until late in 2007, I will still add it to this list because I listened to a lot of Thom Yorke’s solo album Eraser last year as well. If you combined those two albums, it would definitely crack the top of my plays. The album dips into the electronic sound of Kid A/Amnesiac but stays fairly remiscent of Hail to the Theif through most. I suppose the way they leaked their album on their website, while accepting donations, will end up making more history than the music, but still, it’s pretty good. Most listened to song: 15 steps
Lily Allen Alright, Still
I don’t know what to tell you about this one besides that I listened to it about 1000 times back around April, mostly because I’ve never really listened to much like it. She somehow makes her songs sound like radiofriendly pop songs, but they are all mostly about the dirty side of London or drugs or confrontation. She seems rather angry in several songs. She is probably the only other female artist I have besides Lady Sovereign. Most listened to song: LDN
The Good the Bad and the Queen (self titled)
Another Damon Albarn and Danger Mouse production, but it sounds nothing like the Gorillaz. The music is a lot simpler than some of their other stuff and not much of it is electronic. The first song is my most listened to song: The History Song. Just listen to it and you will know what the album is about. The album is a story put together about everyday life. It’s a good listen all the way through, with most the songs having a great building until they break down into the chorus (ie song 11 “Green Fields”).
El-P I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead
A New York hip hop artist who goes by El Producto. The album features the Mars Volta, Trent Reznor, Aesop Rock and others. This one actually took me a couple plays through before I really got into it. I like it because seems like something more than just hip-hop, instead he might be actually doing something with it, taking it somewhere if you will. He described it himself as old school hip-hop on acid (basically it has a psychedelic rock influence to it). Most listened to song: The Overly Dramatic Truth.
Pre-view 2008: The albums I am most looking forward to being released
The Mars Volta – The Bedlam in Goliath (Jan 29)
Common Market – Tobacco Road (early 2008)
The Streets – not yet titled (mid-late 2008)