28 October 2009

The Decade List: Albums/Singles (2007)

I falsely assumed that the closer I got to the present, the bigger the music posts would get... and while 2007 has 120 individual songs singled out, I couldn't find much more than ten, or eleven, albums worth listing as my favorite. Naturally, PJ Harvey's finest offering this decade, the piano-based, moody, stripped-down White Chalk, topped the list. It's perfect timing, seeing as it's been close to two years and a month since White Chalk was released, and I can think of no better autumn album (though the weather here has been more nasty than mild this year).

By limiting his second full-length album to close to half the self-titled's songs, a single disc and a lot less "Daft Punk Is Coming to My House" obnoxiousness, LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy crafted an amazing, layered electronica album in Sound of Silver. The sole pop album, Kylie Minogue's X, felt disappointing upon its release, but, at least for me, has managed to hold up two years later, certainly better than M.I.A.'s Kala, a step up from her debut (aside from the grudgingly overplayed "Paper Planes") but an album whose delights reveal themselves too quickly. No Age's Weirdo Rippers filled in at the eleventh spot as it technically isn't an album as much as it is a compilation of their previous EPs. The rest of the albums below are listed in vague order of preference.

PJ Harvey - White Chalk
LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
Blonde Redhead - 23
Beirut - The Flying Club Cup
Benjamin Biolay - Trash yéyé
Justice - (Cross)
Studio - Yearbook 1
Kylie Minogue - X
Montag - Going Places
M.I.A. - Kala
No Age - Weirdo Rippers*

Assorted Jams for the Year 2007

Again, I've singled out the best songs, in my not-so-humble, extremely-biased opinion. Below you'll find the Top 35, an arbitrary round-ish number, in descending order of preference. Below that you'll find 85 more songs, not organized in any way. Strangely, I have little to say this year.

I will, however, point you to some of the more impressive music videos (some of which weren't released until 2008 with the actual single). Naturally, Feist's lovely "1234" [d. Patrick Daughters], Kanye West's "Flashing Lights" [d. Spike Jonze], Justice's "D.A.N.C.E." [d. Jonas & François] (which was nominated for MTV's Video Music Award for Best Video, only to lose to Rihanna's "Umbrella." Similar to the year the Academy nominated David Lynch for Mulholland Drive, MTV should have just not nominated the video if they weren't going to give it to them), Björk's "Dull Flame of Desire" featuring Antony Hegarty [d. Christoph Jantos, Masahiro Mogari, Marçal Cuberta Juncà] (a collaborative video combining three fan-submitted ideas that works rather seamlessly) and M.I.A.'s "Jimmy" [d. Nezar Khammal].

Special mention for two live-recorded Beirut videos, for "Nantes" and "Cliquout" (with Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear lending his vocals instead of Zach). And for the person who got Beyoncé and Shakira to look like the same damn person!

The Top 35

PJ Harvey - "Dear Darkness" [White Chalk]
LCD Soundsystem - "All My Friends" [Sound of Silver]
Beirut - "Nantes" [The Flying Club Cup]
Björk featuring Antony Hegarty - "Dull Flame of Desire" [Volta]
of Montreal - "The Past Is a Grotesque Animal" [Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?] (note that the link is not the full 12-minute track]
Blonde Redhead - "23" [23]
Architecture in Helsinki - "Heart It Races" [Places Like This]
Jens Lekman - "A Postcard to Nina" [Night Falls Over Kortedala]
Yelle - "Ce jeu" [Pop up]
Dizzee Rascal - "Pussyole (Oldskool)" [Maths + English]
Róisín Murphy - "Overpowered" [Overpowered]
Kanye West - "Flashing Lights" [Graduation]
Feist - "I Feel It All" [The Reminder]
Studio - "No Comply" [Yearbook 1]
Animal Collective - "Fireworks" [Strawberry Jam]
PJ Harvey - "The Mountain" [White Chalk]
Beirut - "Cliquot" [The Flying Club Cup]
Shellac - "End of Radio" [Excellent Italian Greyhound]
Justice - "Genesis" []
M.I.A. - "Bamboo Banga" [Kala]
Electrelane - "To the East" [No Shouts No Calls]
No Age - "Every Artist Needs a Tragedy" [Weirdo Rippers]
Benjamin Biolay - "Dans la Merco Benz" [Trash yéyé]
Kylie Minogue - "Stars" [X]
!!! - "Heart of Hearts" [Myth Takes]
Chromatic - "In the City" [After Dark, compilation] (the video is an abridged version)
Escort - "All Through the Night" [All Through the Night EP]
Montag - ">(Plus grand que)" [Going Places]
Simian Mobile Disco - "I Believe" [Attack Decay Sustain Release]
Kevin Drew - "TBTF" [Spirit If...]
Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse (though not in the video) - "Valerie" [Version]
Aesop Rock - "None Shall Pass" [None Shall Pass]
Timbaland featuring Nelly Furtado & Justin Timberlake - "Give It to Me" [Shock Value]
Air Formation - "Adrift" [Daylight Storms]
Rihanna featuring Jay-Z - "Umbrella" [Good Girl Gone Bad] (also worth listening to: the Umbrella/Cinderella Remix featuring Jay-Z, Chris Brown, Young Platinum & Lil' Mama; I don't know from where it originates, likely an online mash-up of the various remixes)

Les autres 85

Dr. Dog - "Heart It Races" [Architecture in Helsinki - Heart It Races single]
PJ Harvey - "Liverpool Tide" [The Devil single]
Spoon - "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb" [Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga]
LCD Soundsystem - "Get Innocuous!" [Sound of Silver]
Feist - "1234" [The Reminder]
Rekid - "Next Stop Chicago" [Next Stop Chicago]
King Khan & The Shrines - "Le fils de Jacques Dutronc" [What Is?!]
Jens Lekman - "The Opposite of Hallelujah" [Night Falls Over Kortedala]
Beyoncé & Shakira - "Beautiful Liar" [Beautiful Liar single]
Timbaland featuring Keri Hilson & D.O.E. - "The Way I Are" [Shock Value]
Le loup - "We Are Gods! We Are Wolves!" [The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly]

Kylie Minogue - "Wow" [X]
Pieter Nooten - "Head Circles About the Body" [Ourspace]
Deerhunter - "Wash Off" [Fluorescent Grey EP]
Lil' Mama - "Lip Gloss" [Lip Gloss single]
Radiohead - "Reckoner" [In Rainbows]
Blonde Redhead - "Spring and by Summer Fall" [23]
Montag - "No One Else" [Going Places]
No Age - "Neck Escaper" [Weirdo Rippers]
Efterklang - "Mirador" [Parades]
Rich Boy featuring Polow Da Don - "Throw Some D's" [Rich Boy]
PJ Harvey - "Silence" [White Chalk]

Ra Ra Riot - "Dying Is Fine" [Ra Ra Riot EP]
Justice - "D.A.N.C.E." []
Deerhunter - "Cryptograms" [Cryptograms]
Matthew Dear - "Deserter" [Asa Breed]
Carla Bruni - "Those Dancing Days Are Gone" [No Promises]
Caribou - "Melody Day" [Andorra]
Rihanna - "Please Don't Stop the Music" [Good Girl Gone Bad]
Benjamin Biolay - "Dans ta bouche" [Trash yéyé]
Beirut - "Cherbourg" [The Flying Club Cup]
Mark Ronson featuring Daniel Merriweather - "Stop Me" [Version]
The National - "Fake Empire" [Boxer]

BARR - "The Song Is the Single" [Summary]
Kylie Minogue - "2 Hearts" [X]
Apostle of Hustle - "My Sword Hand's Anger" [National Anthem of Nowhere]
The Clientele - "Bookshop Casanova" [God Save The Clientele]
Étienne Daho - "L'invitation" [L'invitation]
Eve featuring Sean Paul - "Give It to You" [Give It to You single]
Yeasayer - "Wait for Summer" [All Hour Symbols]
Tracey Thorn - "It's All True" [Out of the Woods]
Tegan and Sara - "Back in Your Head" [The Con]
The Honeydrips - "Fall from a Height" [Here Comes the Future]

Yoko Ono - "Walking on Thin Ice (Pet Shop Boys Electro Remix)" [on both Ono's Open Your Box and Pet Shop Boys' Disco Four]
José González - "How Low" [In Our Nature]
Studio - "West Side" [from Yearbook 1]
Jay-Z featuring Beanie Sigel - "Ignorant Shit" [American Gangster]
Interpol - "The Scale" [Our Love to Admire]
The Shins - "Sleeping Lessons" [Wincing the Night Away] (I hate the lyrics to this song, but it's undeniably pretty hard to resist otherwise)
Glass Candy - "Beatific" [B/E/A/T/B/O/X]
Arcade Fire - "Black Mirror" [Neon Bible]
Queens of the Stone Age - "Sick, Sick, Sick" [Era Vulgaris]
M.I.A. - "20 Dollar" [Kala]

Vera November - "Our Last Night Together" [Four Songs by Arthur Russell compilation]
Mark Ronson featuring Tiggers & Ol' Dirty Bastard - "Toxic" [Version]
Yeasayer - "Sunrise" [All Hour Symbols]
Kylie Minogue - "Like a Drug" [X]
Jens Lekman - "A Little Lost" [Four Songs by Arthur Russell compilation]
Bon Iver - "Flume" [For Emma, Forever Ago]
Pieter Nooten - "Stop Time" [Ourspace]
Mika - "Grace Kelly" [Life in Cartoon Motion]
Kanye West - "Stronger" [Graduation]
Montag - "Softness, I Forgot Your Name" [Going Places]

Sophie Ellis-Bextor - "Me and My Imagination" [Trip the Light Fantastic]
Benjamin Biolay - "Bien avant" [Trash yéyé]
Kevin Drew - "Back Out on the..." [Spirit If...]
Pinback - "Kylie" [Autumn of the Seraphs, bonus track]
Electrelane - "The Greater Times" [No Shouts No Calls]
José González - "Teardrop" [In Our Nature]
Alicia Keys - "No One" [As I Am]
Björk - "Wanderlust" [Volta]
LCD Soundsystem - "Someone Great" [Sound of Silver]
Justin Currie - "Still in Love" [What Is Love]
Yelle - "Je veux te voir" [Pop up]

Pantha du Prince - "Saturn Strobe" [This Bliss]
Shannon Wright - "Everybody's Got Their Own Part to Play" [Let in the Light]
The Field - "A Paw in My Face" [From Here We Go Sublime]
Hilary Duff - "With Love" [Dignity] (Obviously I have none)
Ted Leo and The Pharmacists - "La Costa Brava" [Living with the Living]
Band of Horses - "Is There a Ghost" [Cease to Begin]
Burial - "Archangel" [Untrue]
Dirty Projectors - "Rise Above" [Rise Above]
Kylie Minogue - "Sensitized" [X]
Glass Candy - "Candy Castle" [B/E/A/T/B/O/X]
Soulja Boy Tell 'Em featuring Arab - "Yahh!" [souljaboytellem.com] (Super fucking annoying)

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