Best of 2007 so far
Jul 30, 2007 at 9:16 AM Post #136 of 159

sweetwilly

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Error /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The Lord Weird Slough Feg - "Hardworlder" I'm calling it early. THIS is definitely my album of the year. When I try to conjure up in my mind what exactly the archetype of metal would sound like I invariably imagine something that sounds like one of Slough Feg's songs. I feel like I've stepped into the wayback machine and reentered the golden age of metal. Slough Feg has captured the catchiness of bands like Iron Maiden or Judas Priest along with guitar riffs of Tommi Iommi-like proportions. There is no shortage of standout tracks on this one: Tiger! Tiger!, Frankfurt-Hahn Airport Blues, Dearg Doom (an amazing cover of the already amazing song by Horslips), and Poisoned Treasures are all absolute killers. I know there are a few fans of Hammers of Misfortune on this board, so I urge you to check this album out. As far as I'm concerned Mike Scalzi (the lead singer / guitarist of both bands) has once again proved himself to be one of the most talented and interesting songwriters on the scene right now.


Most definitely! I heard he had dropped out of HoM though? Metal Archives lists him as an ex-member, too. Shame.
 
Jul 30, 2007 at 3:16 PM Post #137 of 159

iamsmrt

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I'm a huge fan of Iron & Wine and his soon to be released album (commerically at least
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) is surprisingly, in my opinion, his best yet!
 
Jul 30, 2007 at 11:16 PM Post #138 of 159

The Boatman

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Feist - 'The Reminder' (like everyone else, but it really is that good)
Ulrich Schnauss - 'Goodbye'
Grinderman - s/t
Klima - s/t
Piana - 'Eternal Castle'
Maia Hirasawa - 'Though, I'm just me'
Basia Bulat - 'Oh, My Darling'
Amina - 'Kurr'
Windmill - 'Puddle City Racing Lights'
 
Jul 31, 2007 at 12:41 AM Post #139 of 159

en480c4

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My mid-year report card:
I know... Nothing here is below a B-, meaning I'm easy to please or I've just been lucky so far. But I guess it makes sense, in this day and age when you can try out almost anything before you buy it, that most purchases will be worth it. And the stuff I've tried out that I didn't like didn't get enough attention for me to really give it a grade.
Anyway, my report card, alphabetically per grade, descending...
  1. A | Catherine Anne Davies - The Piano EP
    Another haunting collection of songs from Ms. Davies. Nothing groundbreaking here, but the simple and straight-forward songs and her voice create a haunting atmosphere that's difficult to describe but not easily forgotten.
  2. A | Joanna Newsom - Joanna Newsom and the Ys Street Band EP
    I love "Colleen," and her touring bands contributions to the reworks of "Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie" and "Cosmia" are welcome additions to her catalog. After listening to the bootleg "Live at Bottletree" so much, I've really grown to love what her band brings to the table.
  3. A | The New Pornographers - Challengers
    I'm admittedly a late-comer to TNP, and only checked them out because I knew Neko Case (who can do no wrong in my eyes) contributes vocals on a number of tracks. And while "Challengers" and "Go Places," the two tracks she sings on are my favorites, the rest of the album is pretty spectacular from start to finish.* I'm not familiar with their discography enough to rank it, but from what I've heard, it's another near-flawless release.
  4. A | Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero
    I can understand the issues people have taken with this album... Short on hooks, high on repetition. But to me it's probably strikes the best balance of angst and accessibility of all of the NIN albums. I find it very listenable, with a number of memorable songs. The mood and tone are just right, and as always, the layering of textures and sounds always keeps things interesting.
  5. A | Rasputina - Oh Perilous World
    I'm a huge fan of Melora Crager's Neo-Victorian Chamber Rock, and have loved pretty much everything she's put together. But losing Zoe Keating and the prospect of a concept album had me a little worried. And I have to admit, after the first listen, I was less than impressed. But a few more listens has revealed an album that while less accessible, is just as enjoyable as the rest of their albums.
  6. A- | Feist - The Reminder
    I was a little late to the game on this album. After reading so much praise in so many places, I was hesitant to buy in. But I'm sure glad I did, because this is a great collections of songs. I've since picked up Let It Die, and this has been one of my favorite finds of '07 thus far.
  7. A- | Norah Jones - Not Too Late
    I'm glad she decided to take a chance and contribute more to songwriting. The mood is definitely darker here, and the album is better for it. Not as immediately accessible as her first two albums, but I think it's the strongest of the three.
  8. A- | Moonsorrow - V-Havitetty
    A full-length album with 2 tracks usually screams of pretentious, self-absorbed musicians whose ambition exceeds their abilities. This is not the case on this album... Not at all. The 2 tracks actually feel like 4, and the balance of folk metal, viking metal and black metal make for an amazing musical journey. I think I still prefer Verisakeet, if only for "Jotunheim," but V-Havitetty is stunning.
  9. A- | Tristania - Illumination
    To my ears, this is their best album since Widow's Weeds. I know World of Glass is often referred to as their best, but it never did much for me. Illumination is pretty straight forward, but they have the best post-Morten male vocals and it's probably the best Vibke has ever sounded... Which will only make me miss her more.
  10. A- | Virgin Black - Requiem - Mezzo Forte
    While I've enjoyed parts of their previous albums, this is their first release that really works for me as a whole. The male vocals are much improved, the addition of classical female vocals really fleshes out the sound, and the guitar sound is still to die for. I'm really looking forward to the other two parts of the Requiem project.
  11. B+ | Tori Amos - American Doll Posse
    I really wanted to give this a higher grade. There are some songs on here that are the most enjoyable she's written in ages. But it's a little too uneven to move it up, and after listening to A Piano a lot recently, I realize that just because it's the best she's done in a while doesn't mean it's among the best she's done. Still an enjoyable album, and it gives me hope for what's to come.
  12. B+ | Emilie Autumn - Laced/Unlaced
    While she is a classically-trained violinist, her music has strayed away from that more and more. This double album is an interesting work... The first disc, Laced is a collection of recordings of straight forward violin pieces. Some are your standards you'd expect someone to record, while others are original compositions. Unlaced, however, is the collision of her classical training and the "Victoriandustrial" direction she's exploring. Electric violin, noise, distortion and no vocals makes the 2nd disc a lot to swallow, but there are some very enjoyable moments to be found here.
  13. B+ | Kelly Clarkson - My December
    Yeah, I know... It looks a little out of place on this list. But I'm a big fan of her voice and the stand she took wanting to release songs she co-wrote instead of just continuing to record songs from hit factories. While nothing is as catchy as "Since U Been Gone," and there's definitely nothing that would be considered complex or groundbreaking, it's definitely a well put together album that I've really enjoyed.
  14. B+ | Dean & Britta - Back Numbers
    I don't know how else to describe this album other than just striking me as cool, hip and fun. The lush arrangements and Britta Phillips and Dean Wareham's detached vocals really work well to create an atmosphere I enjoy.
  15. B+ | Lumsk - Det Vilde Kor
    After discovering this band last year, I was really looking forward to hearing what they came up with next. This album sounds little like their first two releases, with no metal influences at all. But what's left is a beautiful folk sound with stunning female vocals.
  16. B+ | Swallow The Sun - Hope
    The balance of the heavy and melodic reminds me a lot of Opeth, as do the clean vocals. However the sound is a bit different, with deeper growls and a sound that's more doom than death metal. The songwriting is great, production is strong and everything sounds just as it should.
  17. B | Callisto - Noir
    What should sound like a pale imitation of Isis really holds its own with a better sense of atmosphere than any of the Isis releases and some interesting choices in instrumentation and song structure keeps you on your toes.
  18. B | Patty Griffin - Children Running Through
    To be honest, this probably deserves a higher grade. I've just been listening to other stuff, and this just hasn't grabbed me like her previous releases. If anything, she's just the victim of her own consistancy, where everything she puts out is great. I'm hoping to spend more time with this soon.
  19. B | Sleepytime Gorilla Musuem - In Glorious Times
    This sounds to me like a pretty big step forward. I enjoyed Grand Opening and Closing, but it's a pretty challenging listen and wasn't something I reached for often. This is much more accessible, and an album I've really been enjoying.
  20. B | Maria Taylor - Lynn Teeter Flower
    This is another album that doesn't have any real flaws, but just hasn't connected with me. I still love her voice, and there are some great tracks on here. But it's another one that's just not the kind of stuff I've been listening to lately.
  21. B- | Charlotte Gainsbourg - 5:55
    I really like this album when it's on... Her voice is beautiful, the songs are pleasant enough and there's nothing wrong with it. It's just that other than the chorus of the title track, I've found it kind of forgettable. It strikes me as background music... Excellent background music, but background music none the less. So the B- might be a little tough, but until something from this album really clicks with me, here is where it stays.
  22. INC | Blonde Redhead - 23
    I really like what I've heard so far, but I'm new to the band and just don't have a good enough feel for what I think of them.
  23. INC Epica | - The Divine Conspiracy
    My first Epica experience, and I have to admit, I'm really liking what I'm hearing. I'm looking forward to hearing more, and after only a few weeks, I'm thinking in the B+/B range.
  24. INC | Pelican - City of Echoes
    I'd like to think of myself as a pretty big fan of Australasia and The Fire In Our Throats..., but I haven't listened to this much since picking it up. Knowing how much I've enjoyed their other stuff, I'm looking forward to giving it some more spins. I just haven't been in the mood to listen to it much.
  25. INC | Within Temptation - The Heart of Everything
    This is another album that I'm really, really enjoying. I just haven't had enough time with it to know exactly where it belongs. So far I'd guess it too belongs somewhere in the B+/B range.
 
Jul 31, 2007 at 4:35 AM Post #140 of 159

falang

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Top Notches so far:

1) Electrelane - No Shouts, No calls - Look "To the East" for a starter and you will understand
2) Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha - The "Scythian Empire" strikes back! (as do the rest)
3) The National - Boxer - Walk away from this album, and you'll "Start a War"
4) Fujiya & Miyagi - Transparent Things (2006 in Europe, 2007 in N.A. I think) - check out this groovy album in its entirety and upon first listen you will be shaking from your "Collarbone" to your "Ankle Injuries"
5) Blonde Redhead - 23 - "23" - horrible movie, amazing vocals, and you will not be able to "Silently" praise this album!

Biggest Disappointments:

1) Wilco- Sky Blue Sky - Where to begin...."Impossible Germany" & "Either way" are solid, the rest is well, extremely lacking Wilco's patented hooks
2) Modest Mouse - We were dead... - Huge MM fan, even liked Good News, this is lyrically dumb (surprisingly considering Isaac's past insightful wit) and musically unrewarding after multiple listens
3. White Stripes - Icky Thump - so far the worst recorded album I have ever heard - though, the bagpipes do make me smile
4 Feist - The Reminder - immediately catchy, however, lacking longevity, poor recording quality, and oh-so Starbucks music like the first album
5. The Shins - Wincing the Night Away - "Sleeping Lessons" - oh so good, the rest - oh so bad! and lacking any semblance of longevity like previous two killer albums
 
Jul 31, 2007 at 11:23 AM Post #141 of 159

AlterAnthony

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My favourites at this time:

John Zorn - Six Litanies for Heliogabalus
Deathspell Omega - Fas - Ite, Maledicti, In Ignem
Akercocke - Antichrist
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - In Glorious Times
Sigh - Hangman's Hymn
Grinderman - Grinderman
The New Pornographers - Challengers
 
Jul 31, 2007 at 11:57 AM Post #142 of 159

krmathis

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My current favorites from 2007:
Christel Alsos - Closing The Distance
Linkin Park - Minutes to Midnight
 
Jul 31, 2007 at 4:43 PM Post #143 of 159

Davey

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Quote:

Originally Posted by falang /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Top Notches so far:

1) Electrelane - No Shouts, No calls - Look "To the East" for a starter and you will understand
2) Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha - The "Scythian Empire" strikes back! (as do the rest)
3) The National - Boxer - Walk away from this album, and you'll "Start a War"
4) Fujiya & Miyagi - Transparent Things (2006 in Europe, 2007 in N.A. I think) - check out this groovy album in its entirety and upon first listen you will be shaking from your "Collarbone" to your "Ankle Injuries"
5) Blonde Redhead - 23 - "23" - horrible movie, amazing vocals, and you will not be able to "Silently" praise this album!



Wow, that's identical to the top 5 that I posted a few days ago! Well, except I snuck in the great (but technically 2006) Shearwater Palo Santo that got the 2007 deluxe reissue package, instead of your Fujiya & Miyagi. Scary
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Jul 31, 2007 at 9:39 PM Post #144 of 159

blipmusic

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No BT? Well then, if I may...

BT - This Binary Universe

There.

Actually, at one time I had it mysteriously downloaded, then iTunes bought, and finally the CD/DVD release simultanously... Now I've settled for "only" the CD/DVD release only. Yeah, I know. :p

I so wanted Air's Pocket Symphony to be *the* return to their roots (Premiere Symptomes/Moon Safari) but although it's warmer sounding and more "classic" Air it doesn't really do it for me for some reason...
 
Jul 31, 2007 at 9:58 PM Post #145 of 159

meme

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I've spent most of this year listening mostly to old stuff, these are a few i have enjoyed --

A.M. -- "Orla" (Ikuisuus CD)
Ashtray Navigations -- "Throw Up in The Sky / With Fine Clinking Magnets" (Qbico LP)
Steve Roach -- "Immersion : Three" (Projekt CD)
Keith Rowe -- "The Room" (Erstwhile CD)
Zaimph -- "Mirage of the Other" (Gipsy Sphinx LP)

Really, not a lot has made a big impression on me this year...
 
Jul 31, 2007 at 11:37 PM Post #146 of 159

paulb09

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I've only grabbed two albums this year, and been extremely pleased with both of them:

Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero
Maroon 5 - It Won't Be Soon Before Long
 
Aug 1, 2007 at 2:23 AM Post #147 of 159

papomaster

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Biggest disapointment so far : Minutes to midnight - Linkin Park.

Seems like they drank so much beer they couldn't take it anymore, then made an album. So slow and clumsy, they don't seem to know where they are going.
 
Aug 1, 2007 at 2:40 AM Post #148 of 159

s m @

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Quote:

Originally Posted by falang /img/forum/go_quote.gif
5. The Shins - Wincing the Night Away - "Sleeping Lessons" - oh so good, the rest - oh so bad! and lacking any semblance of longevity like previous two killer albums


I think you should listen to this album some more.
 
Aug 1, 2007 at 7:23 PM Post #150 of 159

falang

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Quote:

Originally Posted by s m @ /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I think you should listen to this album some more.


I did. Just not my thing I guess. It is good by most standards but not nearly as good as their past albums imo.
 

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