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Your Morning Rock In Review – Three….Two…ONE Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Posted by Jerkwheat in jerkwheat, Your Morning Rock.

Merry day after Christmas! Hope you got all the toys from Santa that you wanted and that your holiday season was great! Now, it’s time to get back to business. Last week we began the countdown of YMR’s favorite albums from 2007. Today, we reach the disappointing climax. Huzzah! So, let’s wait no longer and get to the jump!

Coming in at Number Three…

Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha

I’m going to guess that this is the first real shocker of the list for most of you? Right? Wrong? Either way, few albums this year have proven themselves to be as reliably fun and fresh to listen to as Armchair Apocrypha. As always, Bird provides smart lyrics and unique sounds and leaves you with an album far different from the rest of the crowd. From the opening track, “Fiery Crash”, Bird crafts music that makes no attempt to break into the mainstream, but still manages to create hummable melodies and songs that can stick in your head. It’s one of the true standouts from the past year and was one of the first albums that popped to mind when I started making this list.

The Runner Up in the Inaugural Your Morning Rock In Review Best Of The Year Recap…

Radiohead – In Rainbows

You knew it was showing up somewhere in the top 3, but where? Ah yes, the number two spot fits it perfectly. Quite frankly, this album could have been an absolute stinker and it would still would have been the most talked about album of the year for it’s innovative (for a major band…) release structure. How much did you pay for it? I paid roughly $6.50, which apparently was more than the norm. But what about the music? Turns out it was one of Radiohead’s best works in years. The guitars were back in the forefront enough to please those who had faded since Kid A. The weird sound textures will still present enough to keep those who loved the more electronic sound Radiohead had adopted since the turn of the century, even if “15 Step” was the only thing that really sounded electronic. It moves a little slowly, but the pacing allows you to soak in the new-old sound. It’s a gratifying quasi-return-to-form. Radiohead no longer needs to push the envelope and make something that sounds different than anything you’ve ever heard to grab your attention. They can just make a fabulous album now and let the music speak for itself.

And it’s come to this…YMR’s Number One release of 2007

LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver

Remember when rock and roll was supposed to make you shake your ass and get on the floor? Before the only thing considered cool was navel gazing and waxing about girls who liked only jocks and not you? Yeah, me neither – but apparently James Murphy does. There isn’t a song that demands to be skipped on the whole album, from “Get Innocuous!” to “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down”. Somewhere in the middle, you’ll find two of the best singles of 2007 in “North American Scum” and “All My Friends”.  The former is a crank it up and scream along dance-rock masterpiece, the latter is an outstanding meditation on getting older that somehow doesn’t seem overly morose or mopey. Hell even Pitchfork called Sound of Silver “an absolute joy to listen to” – and as we all know, they hate everything fun and listenable.  For creating a fun album without a single stinker of a track, LCD Soundsystem are the inaugural YMR Best Album award winner. Mr. Murphy, your award is in the mail. Not really, but in theory.

So, uh, there’s clearly an album missing here, right? Where is the most important album of all time? A release that lead to a collective blogosphere orgasm…WHERE THE HELL IS ARCADE FIRE? Not even in the Top 10? Not in the honorable mentions? Well, truth be told – it wasn’t a Top 10 album of the year for me – and I couldn’t give away that bit of drama in the honorable mentions now could I? Neon Bible, removed from the hype, stands as a really good album. As good as the hype? No, but how could it have been? Following up a near perfect album like Funeral was a difficult task and Win Butler and crew did a great job in crafting Neon Bible. “Keep The Car Running” is one of my Top 10 tracks of the year, but as a whole, it just wasn’t a disc that I kept coming back to over the past 10 months or so since it’s release. That’s something the rest of our choices did manage to pull off.

Although we waded through a lot of crap this year (see some of the old New Music Tuesday posts for proof) we had some really excellent albums come our way this past year. Let’s hope 2008 brings more of the same. And 2008 will get off to a great release, since In Rainbows is getting it’s official retail release on January 1st.

See you in the New Year!



1. DougOLis - Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Andrew Bird is a bit of a surprise. I suppose this is another one that I didn’t really pay attention to on its release so I’m going to have to take your word for it.

Radiohead – See below.
(was Jonny shaking a lemon at the piano during that video?

I personally don’t care that much for LCD Soundsystem. I hated their self titled debut so I probably didn’t give Sound of Silver as much of a chance as it deserved.

Your Top 3 wasn’t at all what I expected it to be for you. I assumed that Neon Bible and The Reminder would have made it. I originally thought it might have been Icky Thump but then after your comments last week I threw that out so I was then thinking Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. We never really got your review of In Rainbows which led me to believe you either disliked it, never got it to work, or didn’t have strong feelings. Guess I was way off.

I don’t have high hopes for music in 2008 just because 2007 was so good. I’m not even sure who has albums coming out in 2008.

2. DougOLis - Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My top 3 were ridiculously easy for me. The rest of my list took awhile and I still wasn’t real sure at the end but these 3 were set immediately.

3) Wilco – Sky Blue Sky: I’ve said what I’ve need to say either last week or earlier in the year and I don’t feel like going over it again.

2) Feist – The Reminder: I would like to thank our beloved author for turning me on to Feist. I’d heard Mushaboom before and a friend had played Let it Die for me on a long roadtrip but I listened to a lot of new music for me that weekend so nothing really stuck. So when Jerkwheat posted the video for “1 2 3 4” I was initially a bit confused but soon became entranced. Then The Reminder came out a week later and I fell in love. It’s been my “go to” album all year and I’m pretty sure I’ve listened to it more than anything else. She covers a broad spectrum of emotions and tone but it doesn’t come out sounding disjointed or cheesy. Beautiful awesome record and my seductress of the year.

1) Radiohead – In Rainbows: I’m a bit of a Radiohead homer so this might not come as a huge surprise, but In Rainbows definitely earned its spot and was Radiohead’s best album in awhile (yes, I know that Hail to the Thief came out 4 years ago which makes it awhile by default but fuck you). It’s not over the top technically (like Amnesiac or Hail to the Thief) but it’s still experimental and technically sound; Radiohead found a nice blend that hasn’t really been present since OK Computer or Kid A. It’s easy to listen to, but at the same time it’s not if you don’t want it to be. Like most of their albums the lyrics are deep and often dark; the music is not really haunting for the most part but is still somehow dark and challenges your soul. That’s not to say it’s a depressing album though; it’s complex but it’s not. There is not a bad song on the album and I really can’t pick out a favorite. It is awesome and without a doubt DougOLis’ Album of the Year.

3. DougOLis - Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Oh yeah, re: Pitchfork – I feel like they actually did a decent job this year. They’re still smug bastards but I agreed on quite a few of their reviews. Either I’m becoming jaded or they’re coming around.

4. Jerkwheat - Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I had so much trouble getting the In Rainbows download to work that by the time I finally got it on my iPod, there really wasn’t much left to be said about it. Like most, I thought it was excellent.

As for The Reminder, well it probably could have landed in the Top 10. It’s pretty damn solid, even if the non-stop advertising has taken away some of the pleasure of hearing “1 2 3 4” . There was just a lot of good music that came out and I think it’s place in the pecking order sorta got lost for me.

And Icky Thump just kinda faded away from my playlist within a month or so – it probably would have landed in a Top 25 or so though. Same with Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace – although it probably could have warranted a Top 10 spot depending on the day. “The Pretender” is possibly the best mainstream rock song I’ve heard in a couple of years. Another difficult omission for certain.

I think it really speaks for how good a year we just had when those excellent albums were left off of not just my list, but a lot of lists across the intrawebs.

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