Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Top Records of 2007 Part 1

It's the end of the year, and you know what that means. People make lists. People then read the lists. The lists are discussed and compiled. The compiled lists are arranged in order from "worst" to "best" and the magazine companies create a new magazine called "Magazines" that chronicles the best of the reprinted word. "Magazine" runs an end of year "Best List of 2007" list, and in the Midwest my house is leveled by the Tornado of Supreme Opinion.

For some years, I have decried Pitchfork's top 100 list, as they tend to embrace the sudden, the moment, the obvious misanthropy that involves knighting a hyped up band that deserves and asks not for the accolade. Unless of course you're Deerhunter and you'd suck anyone's cock for a google hit.

Random barbs aside, Person Pitch, an album that is actually listenable(!) has been voted as the best album of the year. Far superior to his band's own release (which is hilarious as Animal Collective's sonic template was obviously drawn from Panda Bear's own record), Panda Bear made a fucking great slice of sound, a break from the same-old-strums, the dull depressing indie thump. One could argue that people have been copping Phil Spector, Jack Nitzsche and Brian Wilson for about 50 fucking years, as Mercury Rev, R.E.M, Flaming Lips, and a litany of others can attest to. No one, however, has used such an accute attention to detail. The woodblocks sound like they're being played in an airport hangar. The voices actually shimmer. It's so good that I feel guilty trying to describe it, so I won't, not any further at least. Just listen to the damn thing.

I know what hasn't been said: 2007 had a pretty dull reading on the Great Albums of Our Era Ricter Scale. I'd say maybe a 0.5. A slight rumble but nothing extraordinary. Which is as much as one can say about the past 3 or 4 years of modern music. Outside of record producers rising in prominence (Dave Fridmann, Nigel Godrich, T-Pain, Lil John, Just Blaze, Kanye West) artistically, bands are kind of banging their heads against a wall.

Oh yeah, before I go, what's this years favorite break up album? According to Pitchfork, it's Of Montreal's pile of crap "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer." Nothing like tooting one's own horn, as Pitchfork gave it a 9 out of 10 (or something, whatever, it's not even the point, the rating was too fucking high). The record is terrible, a glossy amateur take on white boy Canadien disco that falls flat on its over-compressed face. Who gives a shit about your divorce? I might've if you hadn't masked the message in such a terrible shit-pile of samples.

How many ways has modern music portrayed the break up? Hmm, let's see...

1. Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks
2. Joni Mitchell - Blue
3. Beck - Sea Changes
4. Guided by Voices - Isolation Drills
5. The Wrens - Meadowlands
6. Marvin Gaye - Here, My Dear
7. Weezer - Pinkerton
8. The Microphones - The Glow Pt. 2
9. Richard and Linda Thompson - Shoot Out the Lights
10. Phil Collins - Face Value

You get the picture, a shit ton of popular musicians have experienced heartbreak and loss. And we get to hear about it. Boy howdy, it's sad and powerful. Even Phil Fucking Collins made a better record.

A terrible album to trumpet, just terrible.


EVAN said...

"Far superior to his band's own release (which is hilarious as Animal Collective's sonic template was obviously drawn up by Panda Bear's own record)...."

Drawn up? What mean you?

Evan said...

For some reason I see it now that you meant that Panda Bear made a record that sounded like Animal Collective. AhHaaaaaa. This isn't so surprising, though, since his first solo outing had a sound to it that brought "Campfire Songs" to mind. Also his compositional style stuck out more on "Strawberry Jam" than on other Collective records, with there being a definitive split between Avey's and Panda's songs. Felt like a less cohesive record than those past.... Still great, though.

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