Here we are: halfway through our oooh, pictures top 25 of 2007 – we’ll be running through the full 50 come Friday, but breaking our very favourites into fives makes for a neatly week-shaped series of articles, don’t it? Yep, yep.
So far we’ve had comments of considered agreement and absolute despair directed our way as the result of a couple of inclusions; now we’re getting towards the business end of the affair I’m hoping to see a succession of YES! and NOOO… posts appear below.
Of course, if you don’t agree with our editorial ordering you can vote for your personal favourite albums of 2007, from our original shortlist of 50, by clicking here. We’ll be running the reader-voted top ten on Friday, December 14, the day before our DiScover Christmas Party at London’s Notting Hill Arts Club (details).
Ready? Steady? 15 to 11…
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Some Loud Thunder (Wichita)
After the deranged disquiet that met CYHSY’s self-released debut venture in 2005, few would have thought that the Brooklyn quintet could further divide opinions with their return. But, as lynchpin Alec Ounsworth wrapped his tongue round further mannered absurdism, Some Loud Thunder managed to do just this; away from the shimmering disjointed pop of the act’s eponymous entrance and towards something a whole lot more broad, as its Eno-isms got buried under an uncomforting rust-ridden production, sounding something like a record recovered from an abandoned asylum in the Connecticut countryside. Though Ounsworth’s delirious nasal rasp continues to divide, away from the initial fanfare Some Loud Thunder is beguilingly brilliant.
Samuel Strang; review here
None Shall Pass (Def Jux)
While the include El-P or Aesop Rock decision didn’t quite come down to a coin toss, picking one over the other for our shortlisted 50 was tough – even now this writer is fraught with worry that he didn’t fight for both quite as strongly as he should’ve. Still, in hindsight None Shall Pass is the more consistent of Def Jux’s best releases of 2007: while El-P’s sci-fi rhymes occasionally tripped over each other and quality control levels dipped towards the end of I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead, Aesop Rock’s latest – and first since leaving his native New York – is perfectly balanced, mixing adrenaline-rush lyricism with perfectly laconic strolls down lanes of graphic imagery and alleyways echoing some of the finest beats and scratch work of the year.
Mike Diver; review here
Les Savy Fav
Let's Stay Friends (Wichita)
Four albums into their Wizard of Oz-like life, Les Savy Fav are threatening to destroy their reputation as an unheard of but fervently worshipped concern. Or, at least, the former. This rocketing of profile is largely down to Let's Stay Friends, a record that is their most joyous and welcoming yet. From the art school U2 stylings of opener 'Pots & Pans' through to the abrasive experimentation of 'Scotchguard The Credit Card' it is a case of, as DiS pointed out when reviewing the album’s lead single 'What Would Wolves Do', “Unfamiliar audiences: brace yourselves”. A breathless, boisterous, beautiful listen.
Gareth Dobson; review here
Boxer (Beggars Banquet)
Probably the album of the year for lovers of red wine and literature, Boxer was a second consecutive tour-de-force from downbeat indie troupers The National, a record that oozed class from every pore and proved that ‘everyman’ need not be synonymous with blandly mediocre songwriting. The horns that shine sudden and unexpected light on ‘Fake Empire’ and the beautiful strings on ‘Squalor Victoria’ are just a couple of highlights on a record that was at once smartly written, beautifully arranged and performed with the kind of restraint that puts their more attention-hogging contemporaries to shame.
Alex Denney; review here
Aaron Dessner, The National
We’re always fired if someone is gonna vote for it, for album of the year, and we’ve been surprised and flattered to realise that we’ll be hot placing, hopefully, in some of these polls. I think that certainly it wasn’t an easy album to make - so if that’s any consideration - it didn’t come easily. You know, if you vote for Boxer you are rewarding hard work.
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Atlanta’s Deerhunter are one of a handful of acts to see their profile enjoy a slow yet steady growth during 2007; see also: Grizzly Bear, HEALTH, Black Lips and No Age. Their second album is entirely in tune with such a rise to prominence, too, as it’s not the sort that explodes out of its proverbial blocks, all guns blazing. Cryptograms takes its sweet and sour time to sink under the skin, gradually letting its absorbing rhythms and enveloping drones infect the listener’s senses. While live showings in 2007 were met with mixed responses, there’s no doubt that in the studio Deerhunter know their craft brilliantly. Look out for frontman Bradford Cox’s Atlas Sound project making similar waves in 2008 as Deerhunter take a much-needed break from touring and promotional commitments.
Mike Diver; review here
Josh Fauver, Deerhunter
Oh wow, thanks. The album didn’t take a long time to make, but there was this long period between its recording and its release. So we thought it was kinda dead in the water, so far as it going anywhere was concerned. I don’t think for us the success feels overnight – it’s been a slow and steady movement upwards. I’ve noticed the same thing happening with No Age right now – that slow building of profile. But that’s nice, I like the UK, so that’s cool.
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