Saturday, 22 December 2007

What, you haven't seen an albums of the year list before? Fuck you. Fuck you all.

1. of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?

Proof that moving to Norway, going mental and abandoning your wife and child is a great career move. It's worth it just for the lyrics (check out this slightly unwarrented acoustic version of TPIAGA -, but the music's incredible, kind of like all of Bowie and Prince's good albums mashed together and shot through with unreasonably erudite bitterness. And it would be worth it for The Past Is A Grotesque Animal alone, which is one of the greatest songs everr written. Also the Icons, Abstract Thee companion EP was very good, I hasten to add.

2. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible

I suppose if there's anything really wrong with it is that it fundamentally lacks charm, which Funeral had lots of. But I think that was fairly deliberate... it's a bombastic spirituality, and if the music was less good or Win Butler sounded insincere then it'd be horribly pretentious, but I think we need music like this; most people I've met with a problem with this record don't tend to like emotive music, I've noticed. Basically the best bit is where the military choir kicks in (on No Cars Go), and that's almost certainly the only album you can say that about.

3. Radiohead - In Rainbows

It's very good, the digital thingy didn't stop people realising that, good for them, I don't think the world needs a white, middle-class journalist saying anything further.

4. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank

Despite topping the US charts etc I kind of think this album's been a bit underrated; it does an amazing job of reconciling mental early MM with the shinyness of Good News... Spitting Venom and Parting Of The Sensory are as progressive and exciting as anything they've ever done, elsewhere it's big, wonky tunes. I do wonder if Johnny Marr's presence has skewed the record in people's minds a bit, but those people are fools, I say.

5. Holy Fuck - LP

Experimental but impeccably dancable seectro violently thumped out by a bunch of thugs - visceral as you like and makes spectacle-wearing men standing behind laptops look foolish. Foolish-er.

6. Kevin Drew - Spirit If...

Again I think maybe a bit of an underrated album - it got good reviews, but I think the fact it's not BSS has maybe caused it to not be taken as seriously as it might. It never actually hits the highs of BSS at their best, but it's not as indulgent, way more focussed, and has a total punch the air (in an anti-phallogocentric stylee) anthem in Backed Out On The...

7. Marnie Stern - In Advance Of The Broken Arm

Finds the perfect balance between noise and a sense of fun. Patterns Of A Diamond Ceiling is
the best piece of avant garde music ever to also sound like Bon Jovi

8. Marissa Nadler - Songs III: Bird On The Water

Fucking dreadful title, but amazing music, lush, spine-tingling American gothic folk songs about, er, well mostly they seem to be about women dying, but hey ho. They die very poetically, and that's what's important.

9. PJ Harvey - White Chalk

Some of the songs are so short that I don't really know that they stand up on their own, but it's her first properly coherent record since Is This Desire?, and the title track is as good a tune as she's ever done. So yeah, she kind of sort of wasted the last ten years, but hey ho, that Spice Girls dress was pretty cool.

10. M.I.A. - Kala

In a weird way I think you could describe this as the hip hop yin to Hissing Fauna's yang, in that both share a sort of day glo, everything but the kitchen sink approach that makes something dense but exotic, tuneful and lush rather than horribly messy. Or you might just say that I know so little about hip hop I'm making lame indie comparisons because I fundamentally lack reference points. Both are good.

The Greatest by Cat Power scoops the award for the 2006 album that I foolishly didn't really get into until 2007 but probably would have made last year' top 10 otherwise. I suspect LCD Soundsystem's Sound Of Silver will do the same for next year. That is all.

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