Friday, December 14, 2007

Best Albums From 2007 (That Were Really From 2006)

It's my annual kicking off point for the year-end lists. Here I highlight the best albums seeing their U.S. debut in 2007 that were released elsewhere prior to that. It's a good way to both narrow down my real 2007 list while still highlighting more at the same time. You might call it having your cake and eat it too.

Playlist: Best Albums From 2007 (That Were Really From 2006)

1. Lily Allen - Alright, Still

It's weird for me to see this on so many year-end lists for 2007, when it was two years ago that tracks started leaking for it -- even my son, who's not even 3, thinks this is old news. Anyway, it was everywhere from the end of last year until Amy Winehouse invaded and our quota overflowed for spunky Britchicks who give an updated twist to soul music. It was #19 for last year's 'have your cake' list, and #1 for this year's 'eat it too'.
(Kinda Review, 07/06/06)
Song: "Knock 'Em Out"

2. Loney Dear - Sologne

Another one that made my best album list from last year (#24). Amazingly Sub Pop decided to release the inferior follow up album Loney, Noir first instead, burying this treasure for a late September release. Swedish multi-instrumentalist Emil Svanangen made his mark first with this album, and it's easily the favorite thing I brought back with me from Europe last summer. (On signing to Sub Pop, 09/14/06)
Song: "The City, The Airport" [mp3 - SXSW]

3. The Long Blondes - Someone To Drive You Home

Art Brut-like post-punk love spearheaded by Kate Jackson's driving sexuality and moral ambivalence: when she's a)cheating on you. b)stealing you're boyfriend. c)stealing your girlfriend(?) At least she'll leave a twisted smile on your face after she's done. (Review, 06/05/07)
Song: "Only Lovers Left Alive"

4. Fujiya & Miyagi - Transparent Things

This is really a compilation of EP's, so it's not on my 'have your cake' list for two reasons (not from 2007 and it's compilation of previously released material). Song "Collarbone" was one of my (and my son's) faves from last year. Actually, this list is remarkable in that nearly every album has a song that's on my son's 2006 top 10 singles list. (Review, 07/19/07)
Song: "Collarbone"

5. Cornelius - Sensuous

Cornelius (Keigo Oyamada) recently performed a counting song ("5 or 6") on an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba, which made my son jump up and down like the little freak he is. Appropriate, though, since Cornelius makes what is essentially children’s music for adults, which Sensous demonstrates with his rubbery synth lines anchoring the ping-pong of mayhem surrounding it.
Song: "Fit Song"

6. Sloan - Never Hear the End of It

The title is a joke on the the length of this album (30 songs, 80 Minutes,) but even putting it on repeat for a whole week won't make you want the end come any sooner. Since nearly all the songs run together ala Abbey Road, it's improper of me to pull one song from the album. But I'm nothing if not improper. (Review 1/12/07)
Song: "Who Taught You To Live Like That?"

7. Peter, Bjorn & John - Writer's Block

An uneven album bouyed by the great song "Young Folks," which in 2007 has been the most whistled song on tv since the The Andy Griffith Show Reunion: Back to Mayberry. (Gossip Girl, 09/19/07 / Nip/Tuck, 11/20/07)
Song: "Young Folks"

8. Junior Senior - Hey Hey My My Yo Yo

This album actually was originally released in 2005, taking two years to get here -- as if brought stateside by 17th century explorers searching for the new world. They come of as just a novelty act, but there's some great songwriting underneath the shiny veneer.
(Review 8/14/07)
Song: "Can I Get Get Get"

9. The Pipettes - We Are The Pipettes

Like Lily before them, another Brit import that the toddlers seem to like (well, mine anyway). Didn't make the same splash as her or Winehouse, but they could have more legs (and they literally do, quite nice ones at that). (Review - single on 06/07/07, album 10/02/07)
Song: "Your Kisses Are Wasted on Me"

10. Charlotte Gainsbourg - 5:55

Actress, singer, spawn of a legend: Charlotte is all of the above -- and she's got some famous friends to help her out on this great introduction to US audiences. With music by Air, and lyrics by Jarvis Cocker and the Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon, Gainsbourg floats gently over the delicate and introspective proceedings.
Song: "Tel Que Tu Es"

11. The Phoenix Foundation - Horsepower

This one is actually from 2004! Let's hope we don't have to wait too much longer for 2005's Pegasus and this year's Happy Ending, which chart some amazing growth as artists and musicians. While Horsepower can seem like a star gazing Grandaddy at times, it's the work of a great band figuring out their sound, and that can be an exciting thing.
Song: "Going Fishing"


Anonymous said...

This is such a creative post. I wish I thought of it first. Shit. Great job.

~~~hechter said...

What about...
>Bishop Allen's 'The Broken String' (2007)- has some songs from the their 2006 EP project.

>Pela's 'Anytown Graffiti' (2008)- contains a bunch of songs from their 2006 Touring CD.

drake leLane said...

This is albums that were released in 2006, not songs. The Broken String would make my best compilation list, which I've done in the past and may have to resurrect yet again.

~~~hechter said...

Ah yeah, got it now. Nice list!

Hard to believe Junior Senior's Hey Hey My My Yo Yo was born in 2005 - such a fun album.