Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ambient Signal's Top 10 of 2007

It's taken me a while to compile this list..first I was on vacation and just didn't feel like it, and then I went back and tried to rethink and rediscover some of the contender albums. I still feel like there are a couple I forgot or maybe should have been pushed up further, but alas. At the beginning of the year I thought this was going to be an unbeatable year for music, but then the awesome releases started to wane a bit (I had listened to 7 out of 10 on this list before May). Still..check out the list and feel free to argue

Runners up: Mum, Efterklang, Art in Manila

10. Radical Face - Ghost
The organic and quirky compositions of this album made it really stand out to me.
Key Track: Welcome Home

9. Amiina - Kurr
This Icelandic quartet's debut EP is one of my favorite albums ever, and although some of this album was disappointing, I found myself coming back to a few of the songs.
Key Track: Sexfaldur

8. Le Loup - The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millenium General Assembly
Every band needs just a little more banjo. Combine that with odd electronics and repeating thematic elements thoughout the album and you might just have my 8th best album of the year.
Key Track: We are gods! We are Wolves!

7. Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover
Sunset Rubdown made #9 on my list last year, and they returned with a pretty good effort this time around. Strong melodies and just plain weird singing.
Key Track: The taming of the hands that came back to life

6. DNTEL - Dumb Luck
The work that must have gone into this album must have been immense. Every second has a different little knob twiddle or sonic nugget to be discovered. The guest singers are all pretty great too..nice variety.
Key Track: Roll On (Featuring Jenny Lewis)

5. Battles - Mirrored
I had been waiting for a full length from Battles since I saw them in 2004. This album, while not the same Battles I fell in love with, delivered many great tracks featuring really amazing musicians and compositions. The album has a bit of a lull in the middle, but the beginning and end are very strong.
Key Track: Race: In

4. Radiohead - In Rainbows
Radiohead definitely surprised me with this release, in terms of not knowing at all that they were planning on releasing another album. This album was more subdued than their others, but Bodysnatchers made up for that all by itself. Some really great pieces on this one.
Key Track: Reckoner

3. Bright Eyes - Cassadaga
At first I wasn't sure about this album, but as usual for Bright Eyes, it grew on me. The second half for me is definitely stronger than the first, starting with Middleman. Lime Tree is definitely my favorite of the album, with a beautiful but extremely weird string arrangement. Not as strong as previous albums, but definitely one of their tops in my opinion.
Key Track - Lime Tree

2. Feist - The Reminder
This is pretty much a flawless album. Great songs, amazing singing, great instrumentation. Great range of styles and moods...almost anyone could get into this album. I knew this was going to be in my top 3 when I first heard it way back there in March, and I still listen to it all the way through from time to time.
Key Track: 1,2,3,4 (the song title..not track numbers doof)

1. Menomena - Friend and Foe
I allllmost didn't even listen to this album when it came in, but luckily someone stopped me. I still listen to this album all the time, I'm listening to it right now and it came out in January. Some songs still sound new to me and I'm finding new bits all the time. Each song is like 3 songs crammed in with eachother. The use of 3 different singers is pretty cool, even though I'm sure theyre not the first to do that. The instrumentation and weird compositions are phenomenal. Good music for most any occasion.
Key Track: Hell..just listen to all of them
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So thats it..I also had some big letdowns this year..albums that I thought were going to be awesome, but sort of fell flat..but maybe I'll change my mind eventually. Those albums were:
Stars - In our bedroom after the war
Mum - Go Go smear the poison ivy
Animal Collective - Strawberry jam (2 really amazing songs..the rest is eh)

Best songs that I'll be listening to for years (no order):
Fireworks by Animal Collective
Rotten Hell by Menomena
Tourist Trap by Bright Eyes
Feist- My Moon My Man
Radiohead- Reckoner
DNTEL- Roll On
Sunset Rubdown- The taming of the hands that came back to life

Most anticipated releases of 2008:
Neva Dinova (announced, on Saddle Creek now)
Margot and the Nuclear So and So's (announced, called The Animal)
The Album Leaf (nothing announced, but it'll be about time)
Sigur Ros (Hvarf Heif was sort of eh, although Heima was great..I'd like to see a real full length again sometime though)
Why - Alopecia (the Hollows EP was amazing..I've heard the album is really great)
Maybe more Camera Obscura, Menomena (hell that album came out last january..they could have something by the end of the year) The Velvet Teen, Talk Demonic and many artists I've never heard of (my last 2 years my #1's have been artists I'd never heard of before that year)

Hope you enjoyed my list..and I will be on the air soon!
--Blar


1 comment:

Tim Sounds Like Swim said...

Glad the list is up, hah.

I've been listening to more of that Menomena album. "Muscle'N Flo" is slowly becoming one of my favorite songs. Thanks for introducing me to them!