Um, I guess I should do a year-end best-of list. I've never done one before, except in my head, because, like, who gives a shit? But now that I'm on the Internets I know that my inner thoughts and consumer preferences are public information and that you do care about them, you care deeply. Whom am I to withhold this vital content? Anyway, here's my seven favorite records of 2007:
Animal Collective--Strawberry Jam
I was a little disappointed at first. But then I realized that I shouldn't expect them to make music that sounds like rain and snow and confetti falling simultaneously inside my body anymore. Now they make pop songs, incredibly rich, beautiful, heartbreaking pop songs. I guess that's cool.
Marissa Nadler--Songs III: Bird on the Water
So lush and romantic, so indulgently gothic, so much gaudy emotion. Its almost embarrassing. But not.
LCD Soundsystem--Sound of Silver
This music comes from that part of the party when you tell everyone how amazing they are. Also, every single sound, from the perfectly grainy treble of the guitars to the warm electronic percussion, sounds completely perfect.
Yellow Swans--At All Ends
Each of the pieces on At All Ends begin with a simple melody or texture that grows in intensity, usually morphing into something pretty beautiful and dense. Yellow Swans have transcended many of the cliches of both metal and noise and created some patient, sonically complex and incredibly heavy music.
A lot like early Sonic Youth except without the affected post-mod poses. Magik Markers make some seriously fierce, dark, seemingly un-self conscious music. Elisa Ambrogio's performances are pretty heroic and raw.
Growing adheres to that same uncompromising sonic rigor as Black Dice, but to much different effect. While Black Dice is thoroughly of the East Coast noise tradition, Growing draws on Earth's droning, Pacific Northwest metal and its wide-eyed, beatific sense of wonder that probably originates in being surrounded by very tall trees.
Panda Bear--Person Pitch
I know Pitchfork already chose this as their record of the year, but what can I say, it is totally gorgeous. It was my favorite too, certainly because it is formally innovative, with its blending of sampled and manipulated sound, reverb drenched acoustic guitars and Brian Wilson harmonies--but more because Person Pitch seems to render moot all of those formal distinctions. It just sounds like colors and sunlight.
Tinariwen's Aman Iman: Water is Life, Kemalliaset Ystavat's self titled record and No Age's Weirdo Rippers were also awesome. Also, James Blackshaw's The Cloud of Unknowing. FYI.
And nine serious jams from other records:
Lupe Fiasco--"Dumb It Down"
My friend says that Lupe Fiasco is too smart for rap. I like this song.
Tegan and Sara--"Back in Your Head"
Dan Deacon--"Wham City"
By far, the most positive song of the year.
Soulja Boy--"Crank Dat Soulja Boy"
Public Enemy--"Harder Than You Think"
This one is about just doing your thing and staying positive no matter what the media tells you. Or something. I don't know. It makes me so happy.