Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
12. Darren Hayes - This Delicate Thing We’ve Made
An epic record in every way, this is by far the longest work on my countdown. Albums like this can easily sink because of their long playing times, but other than one or two missteps, Hayes managed to release a stunning long playing pop album. One of two concept records about time travel on my countdown this year, the record is at its best when dealing with issues of time and memory and hits some amazing emotional chords. It is Hayes’ most accomplished solo work and in any other year it would have easily made the top ten, but 2007 was one hell of a year for music.
Darren Hayes - The Future Holds A Lion’s Heart
11. Mika - Life In Cartoon Motion
Last December I predicted that Mika would conquer the world and indeed he has. The only reason he’s not higher on the countdown is that he has perhaps conquered parts of the world too much and thus been overplayed to the point where I just don’t listen to this record as often as I used to. However, it’s still easy to see its merits. It is, in fact, pretty perfect as far as pop albums go. There really isn’t anything I’d remove from it and his b-sides have been equally impressive. I’m looking forward to a follow up because it’s clear this guy will be around for awhile.
Mika - Billy Brown
30. Hellogoodbye - Here (In Your Arms)
The rare occurrence when an emo-ish song is actually fun and good, I knew that this track would conquer the world if given a chance. I’m glad it found its footing in 2007.
29. To My Boy - Model
A kooky pop song about god knows what with an oompa beat that’s bound to get you moving. What more could you want?
28. Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
My favorite Winehouse track that she’s released. Incredibly dark, yet that chorus is so fantastic complimented with Winehouse’s uncanny vocals.
27. Sahara Hotnights - Cheek To Cheek
Rarely do changes in style work as well as this song did in 2007. You could tell it was Sahara Hotnights’ best single even after the first listen.
26. The Ark - The Worrying Kind
The group’s biggest hit yet and the song that launched them around Europe, I still think its low placing in Eurovision was one of 2007’s biggest travesties.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
14. Dragonette - Galore
Though it took seemingly forever to actually come out, this pop record sound tracked much of my Summer. In a way 2007 could be looked upon as the return to a classic pop sound, with this record (and a few others coming up on my countdown) leading the way. Navigating through genre after genre and nailing each one, the album is an incredible kaleidoscope of moods and melodies, always keeping a catchy chorus in the foreground. It’s a great introductory record and a hint at the exciting music that’ll hopefully be coming down the line from these guys.
Dragonette - True Believer
13. Bodies Without Organs - Fabricator
Bodies Without Organs can always be counted on to deliver fun, if not breathtaking, pop music. Their third release is no exception. In fact, I’d say it almost ties their debut as their best album to date. I like that the band went back to their roots a bit with this one. The unadventurous singles don’t necessarily point to this fact, but there are some fantastic album tracks (such as the one posted below) that make up for them. All in all it’s probably their most consistent album and also includes some interesting and effective experiments, such as the glam stomp of Concrete Jungle.
Bodies Without Organs - We Should Be Dancing
35. Rufus Wainwright - Going To A Town
A sorrowful, quiet protest track that grows more powerful each time you listen to it, this is probably my favorite Rufus single ever.
34. Sebastian - Words And Violence
I frankly didn’t know that Sebastian had it in him to record a song this amazing. It’s one of those examples where a voice and a song come perfectly together to create one standout single.
33. Rihanna - Umbrella
The song, for better or worse, that she will forever be associated with, this was the monster hit of the year. And (surprise!) it was actually good!!
32. The Ark - Little Dysfunk You
Only the first Ark song on the list, this Depeche Mode homage had a darker sound than most of the band’s tracks, but still retained that ultra-catchy chorus.
31. Moto Boy - Blue Motorbike
The perfect ballad for the summer, this track introduced us to Moto Boy’s flawless voice and remained irresistible well throughout the autumn.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
16. Chromeo - Fancy Footwork
I had always thought these guys were a bit of a joke act, but then I listened to Fancy Footwork and all that changed. Sure, some of the stuff is pretty funny, but the songs are definitely there too. From start to finish the album is a non stop funkfest of the best kind. I feel like in some ways this is the sound that producers like Timbaland are going for (and Blake Lewis’ recently released debut also owes these guys), and I can’t help but think that they’d be big in the States with the right song. The way this country’s going, though, that song may never come along. This album, however, is a step in the right direction.
Chromeo - Momma’s Boy
15. Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position
I always wanted to like Patrick Wolf. He looked like a character from some strange fairy tale, and I figured the music must be good as well. Luckily this year I was introduced to his music with his most colorful album, the stunningly moody Magic Position. While it may not be the standard top 40 fare, the record is entrancing in a way that only Wolf could achieve. It doesn’t hurt that he’s got one of the most wickedly smooth voices in pop music, either. Consider me officially introduced. I can’t wait to see what he does next.
Patrick Wolf - Augustine
40. Darren Hayes - On The Verge Of Something Wonderful
The best solo single that Hayes has released thus far, this throwback to the Savage Garden days was much appreciated at the tail end of summer. Cool video too.
39. Gwen Stefani - Early Winter
Is it too late for Stefani to redeem herself? Because, this gorgeous 80’s ballad just may do it. It just reminds me how much I want No Doubt back as a whole.
38. Moneybrother - Guess Who’s Gonna Get Some Tonight
A good old fashioned horny rock song and the instant standout of Moneybrother’s most recent offering. The piano is my favorite part.
37. Laleh - November
For some reason this gentle ballad stuck with me through the year. I think it’s the chorus, which I find utterly beautiful. A perfect compliment to Laleh’s voice.
36. My Chemical Romance - Teenagers
Screaming out for a single release since I first heard it last year, this glam anthem finally did it and sounded just as great on radio as I knew it would.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
18. Sahara Hotnights - What If Leaving Was A Loving Thing
Ok, so I gave this album a C+ back in April and, unlike 99% of the time, I was wrong. The album grew on me immensely through the Spring and Summer and here we are at the end of the year and it’s on my countdown. The months it took to convince me of its merit can probably be attributed to the fact that it’s one of those albums that doesn’t hit you over the head immediately. You’ve got to live with it for awhile, and that’s not a bad thing at all. That just means that you don’t get sick of it as easily. Every song on here is a winner and I’ve officially decided that I like the group’s new sound.
Sahara Hotnights - Neon Lights
17. The Attic - Remember Tomorrow
The strange thing about this album is that the original version of it sucked. The group’s first debut (The One) was so boring that I couldn’t even be bothered to listen to it more than a few times. Luckily for us, the guys decided to pluck the best songs from that record and add a lot of surprises beside them to create a nearly flawless dance album. I really didn’t expect to like this one as much as I did the first time I listened to it, but it ended up being one of those great records that sounds like a fantastic pop radio station all the way through. Different sounds and styles combine with uber-catchy melodies. What more could you ask for?
The Attic - Don’t You Know Me (ft. Therese)
45. Manic Street Preachers - Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
I was never a fan of the Preachers, never knew much about them at all, actually. But, this song was instantly memorable. A good old fashioned catchy rock duet.
44. Ola Svensson - Natalie
Reveling in its own campiness, this power-pop track was unstoppable in Sweden this year. Even the most alternative of listeners has got to admit that this is majorly catchy.
43. Vincent Black Shadow - Metro
This was the No Doubt single that No Doubt didn’t release. It’s a shame it didn’t catch on in the States, but I bet it would have been massive in the late nineties.
42. The Killers - For Reasons Unknown
The best single off of Sam’s Town (other than the epic lead track, When We Were Young), this song single-handedly reminded me why I love this band.
41. The Enemy - Had Enough
It’s all in those opening drums. Luckily, though, the rest of the song is amazing as well, with an energy of protest that is absolutely adrenaline pumping.