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Your Morning Rock In Review – Five….Four…. Friday, December 21, 2007

Posted by Jerkwheat in jerkwheat, Your Morning Rock.

I hope that the countdown has been as entertaining for you to read as it has been for me to write thus far. Today, we hit the last two entries before we crack the Top 3 next Wednesday. Numbers Five and Four for 2007 are both pretty downbeat entries, but they’ve stuck with me throughout the year.

Let’s hit the jump to see what the day holds…

Coming in at Number Five

Wilco – Sky Blue Sky

Ah, where do we begin. I think has got to be the most polarizing album release of the year. There was very little in between when it came to people’s initial reaction – it was either love at first listen or visceral hate and accusations of Eagles-dom. However, in this “Year of the Grower”, Sky Blue Sky eventually found its way into the hearts of many of the original doubters. There is still a strong contingency of folks who think this soundtrack to VW ads is boring and uninteresting, but if nothing else, Wilco has kept itself in the conversation by releasing one of the more talked about albums of the year. I just happen to love it. “Impossible Germany”, “What Light”, “Walken”, and even the album opener “Either Way” drilled their way into my head over the past several months and I’m not complaining about it at all. Now I think I’ll go buy a Touareg. Continue your hate in the comments. Or admit that you’ve come around. Either Way.

And Number Four for 2007

Iron and Wine – The Shepard’s Dog

When I first starting making my list for the year, I admit that this wasn’t one of the first albums that jumped to my mind. However, it had quietly been building momentum in my play list since it’s late September release and when I reflected back on what music had really moved me and affected me, the true value of The Shepard’s Dog revealed itself to me. It’s a perfect Sunday afternoon album. Put it on, relax, read a book, get lost in the gentle rhythm and be lulled by Sam Beam’s gentle voice. An absolutely gorgeous album from the opener “Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car” to the end of “Flightless Bird, American Mouth”, Beam has crafted his finest work to date. “White Tooth Man” has an intensity that is not often seen in Beam’s songs and “Lovesong of the Buzzard” is possibly the finest Iron and Wine song to date.

Have a great Christmas/Whatever Holiday You Choose everyone – we’ll see you again on Wednesday as we wrap up 2007.



1. mingusmonk - Friday, December 21, 2007

The focus of the top 5 has finally brought our reviews into line. So far, I was batting .000, even when including your pre-ten. I’ve got both of these on my tops of 07 though.

2. Camp Tiger Claw - Friday, December 21, 2007

“Continue your hate in the comments. Or admit that you’ve come around.”

Almost anywhere you see the words Sky Blue Sky on the internet you’ll see me arguing with someone that doesn’t like the record. My fingers are too tired.

Now I just tell people that claim they used to like Wilco until this record to go home and listen to Side With the Seeds, and to turn it up. Then I tell them to fucking get over themselves.

3. Jerkwheat - Friday, December 21, 2007


4. DougOLis - Friday, December 21, 2007

However, in this “Year of the Grower”, Sky Blue Sky eventually found its way into the hearts of many of the original doubters.
That was exactly what I was going to say, except far more eloquently. Those who gave it a chance, even those who disliked it originally, were definitely rewarded over time. Even I, who liked it and thought it was cool, didn’t really appreciate the sound, innovation, and unity of the album until later. I’m a bit of a Nels Cline homer, but I found his addition to be perfect. They were moving a bit in that direction on A Ghost is Born but his avant-garde background really helped to bring the sound together and progress. This was another one of my top shows this year. Sky Blue Sky translates amazingly live and I think you have to see Nels (and his solos) in person to really appreciate him.

I kind of commented on The Shepherd’s Dog late, late last night, but I still haven’t given it a full chance yet. I like his new sound and it was good to move away from lo-fi but I still haven’t completely accepted it yet.

5. DougOLis - Friday, December 21, 2007

5) The Shins – Wincing the Night Away: It’s a bit more depressing than their other albums but it’s still good poppy indie music. I’ve enjoyed it all year in lots of different moods and have yet to grow sick of it. When I can’t decide what I want to listen to I’ll listen to Wincing the Night Away (or one other album in my Top 3).

6) Sigur Ros – Hvarf/Heim: Yes, I know it’s not really a new full album but it’s my list and I’m a sucker for anything Sigur Ros so fuck you. Yeah, maybe I should have dropped it a little further for that but the only albums I enjoy more are higher up. The new songs on Hvarf are incredible; “I Gaer” was used beautifully on the Heima trailer and “Hljomalind” is a hell of a standout rock track and sounds like something off of Agaetis Byrjun. They were able to retool “Von” and make it not only palpable but hauntingly beautiful. Heim is filled with some of my favorite Sigur Ros tracks that have been done live acoustically (not an easy thing for their music). But they didn’t come out sounding like pussified acoustic songs; they stayed true to the originals but still brought something new that is ethereal and beautiful. Yes, I realize I’ve used beautiful 3 times in describing Hvarf/Heim but that’s how I feel about them; it’s just beautiful music and there’s no other way to describe it.

6. DougOLis - Friday, December 21, 2007

That 6 for Sigur Ros should be a 4. Apparently I can only count up.

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