Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Snobfest 2007: Albums

So here are my favorite albums of 2007. I will follow this up with movies and then finally songs. For your viewing pleasure, I've embedded videos from the albums selected. Enjoy. A little warning: the Okkervil River and Afghan Whigs videos are slightly risque.

Blitzen Trapper - Wild Mountain Nation + Cool Love #1 EP

Rarely do kitchen sinks album work, and work as well as Wild Mountain Nation. It's a mix of psychedelic, alt country, power pop, and even a little dash of The Dead. There's the swinging freak-out of the opener Devil's a Go-Go. The Dead like countrified jam of the title track. The Beckish pop of Sci-fi Kid that's hit a few TV shows. The most amazing things is that with all this mixture of different styles it actually holds together. There's a great exuberance and joy to the music. Then you add the EP which you should pick up simply for the title track, Cool Love #1. I just wish it included A Lover Loves too. Pick up these two records and dance the freak-out it will do you some good.

Dinosaur Jr. - Beyond

I hate to repeat myself, but rarely do reunion albums work. Actually, they never work. I can't think of one. At least I can't think of one that is close to being as good as this album. 19 years since the original trio put out Bug, they got back together and put out this album. And you know what nothing has changed. Maybe I am feeding my love for this album with a little nostalgia, but I don't care. It's a great rock and roll record.

Once Sountrack

This will be the only time I will ever put a soundtrack on Snobfest let alone a soundtrack to what is basically a musical. If you still haven't seen this movie, I don't know what you are waiting for. It recently came out on DVD. Borrow it from a friend. Netflix the damn thing. If you did see it and didn't like it, you know what? You have no soul. That's right only the souless could not like this movie.

Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala

Damn those Swedes and their ability to make irresistible pop music. Jens has once again created joyful melancholy music. I have always admitted a love for sweet pop songs with string and horns creating the catchy as hell melodies. On top of these melodies Jens recites his witty lyrics in a wonderful deadpan delivery that makes you smile to his relatable tales. This is perfect for those long weekend drives when you aren't in a rush to get where you are going.

Okkervil River - The Stage Names

With this album and their last album and appendix, Okkervil River has been given my "first day purchase" seal of approval. I will buy their next album the day it is released without thinking. With Stage Names it seems Okkervil River have taken everything and compressed it all into a dense nine song album. The opening and closing tracks are the two standouts of a great album. I will take Okkervil over Mr. Bright Eyes' whiny naive preaching any day.

Lucky Soul - The Great Unwanted

This could probably be a nice companion album to Lekman's previously mentioned one. There's a little Motown, Beach Boys, and 60's girls group wrapped up into a wonderful pop album.

The National - The Boxer

Another artist that has received the "first day purchase" seal of approval. Once again The National have created a genius album that you can't really appreciate with a few passing listens while you clean your apartment. There are no "rockers" like "Lit Up" or "Mr. November" on Alligator. These songs still pack a punch. I hate assigning numbers my Snobfest selections, but if forced this is the best album of the year.

The Afghan Whigs - Unbreakable

What? Don't look at me like that. I know it's a compilation album, but come on. I finally get to put an Afghan Whigs album in Snobfest. I had to do it.


Ben said...

Okay, can I get this off my chest? I don't get your obsession with the Afghan Whigs.

Jiff Divingboard said...

I know it's because I live in a sonic hole, but I never hear these band names apart from them coming from you.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Jiff

However, this is what I like about you (ok, so there are several things I like...but) you listen to bands I have never heard of. The only one I know is 'the national' which I love! Of course I listened to Afghan whigs too...but that was only because you mentioned it first.

bobby said...

You'd think living two doors down from Brad, I'd be more in the know musically. I don't know if I'm late or early or way off on this one, but Brad I'm really digging "Electric Feel" by MGMT. Is that cool? I just want to be cool too! (The album's hit or miss for me, but that song is in my bones for the moment.)

Bradford said...

I fully support a song like "Electric Feel" that joyfully cribs from Prince.

CMO said...

Brad, nice list. I've been listening to tracks from most of these bands since summer. The National's Boxer was a 1st day of release purchase for me. I listened to "Fake Empire" in a van one day while traveling thru Kenya this summer. Powerful.