antiMusic's Best of 2007 List
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Album of the year goes to Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy: It kind of says something about where music is at right now that I selected an album that I've only heard half of from leaked demos, but to be honest this is the absolutely best album I heard in 2007, and believe me I've heard a lot. But I always come back to this one. I'm on the road most of the time and this gets played daily, sometimes many times a day. I'm sure the part of my iPod harddrive that holds the leaked songs is about give out. Can't wait for the real deal to come out in 2047!
CONCERT OF THE YEAR: Heaven and Hell with Alice Cooper: I didn't see many concerts this past year but this one was clearly the best. (Sent this in before Van Halen so who knows?). I'll be honest I've seen Ozzy with Sabbath at Ozzfest a couple times and it looked like they were going through the motions but the Dio fronted Sabbath was energetic, exciting and amazing musically. And Alice Cooper still has it too. Was never a big fan but ran out and bought a few CDs after this show. Glad I did. The song "Poison" may suck but he's had some great albums!
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: I'd go with the new Bad Religion - New Maps of Hell for my album of the year. It looked grim for BR for a while there during the Atlantic years, but the glimmer of hope offered with the return of Brett Gurewitz and the return to Epitaph in 2002 is fully realized on New Maps of Hell. Maybe the best record the group has put together since Suffer... probably in fact.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: My picks for the year are Otep's The Ascension. The reality of the lyrics are hard, eerie and morbid. Defining the infection caused by exploitation into a hard core metal theme full which is energy in music.
CONCERT OF THE YEAR: Heaven & Hell Ronnie- James Dio and the crew from Black Sabbath created nostalgia for many and the opportunity to those who never seen Black Sabbath revitalized as Heaven & Hell lives. The magic of the early 80's lives and is truly in the soul I really wanted to say Iron Maiden, but I saw them in October 06.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Will Hoge's 'Draw The Curtains' is a collection of ten stunningly crafted songs that are as multifaceted as the relationships he sings about. This album stirs your soul and yields a genuine truth so rarely found in today's music with each song essential to the underlying theme. Hoge has shaped an emotionally severe and intuitive masterpiece that is not just timeless but the best album of 2007. This is an album deeply embedded in reactionary tales that permeate into you more and more with every listen.
CONCERT OF THE YEAR: When Paul McCartney took over Amoeba Records in LA, it was ninety-minutes full of jubilation, tears and staggering intensity. There is an aura surrounding McCartney that cannot be touched by any other entertainer in the world. When you see him in concert, we sit in awe because this is someone who truly changed the world for the better. While watching him deliver his best at Amoeba, I became a sentimental fool on the hill. He would have turned a cynic into a believer. The concert found a fine balance between the nostalgic hits of yesterday and the invigorating new songs from the tremendous 'Memory Almost Full'. Paul McCartney proved to us that he and his music is classic, timeless, immediate and will always be forever young.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: The National - Boxer: I can't ever remember buying an album myself, yet somehow feeling like I was unwrapping a wonderful gift. The day this arrived in the mail I was that excited, and I still am. This is one of the few bands I would buy without even hearing a note off the album. Boxer is further proof that The National gets it musically and lyrically, and their magic is so intrinsic it would take a greater effort for them to produce bad music than it does for them to produce brilliance.
CONCERT OF THE YEAR: The Hold Steady with Illinois: This show is the fish that got away. I never caught it, but you only need one listen to Boys and Girls in America and What the Hell Do I Know? to realize that those who did witness that brief tour were truly blessed.
ALBUMS OF THE YEAR: Cy Curnin - The Returning Sun - The lead singer of The Fixx steps out for an AWESOME solo record. This is a passionate record that talks about love, past and present, lost and found, and is buoyed by a host of terrific melodies. This one gets better every time you play it.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: My pick for album of the year ended up being Neurosonic's - Drama Queen. After thinking back to all the albums I've listened too this year, Drama Queen got more replays than any other. It's not some kind of musical masterpiece or the elusive new sound ever sought after. It's a power rock type album that gets your blood pumping and head nodding with each track being friendly to the ears.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: My pick for 2007 would have to be Blonde Redhead's, 23. With each album since their debut, Blonde Redhead has evolved from their chaotic and often inconsistent roots. The tone bending dream pop and bittersweet melodies of their recent installment, 23 seems to be just where the trio wants to be.
ALBUMS OF THE YEAR: I'm going to call it a tie, between Sevendust's Alpha and Nine Inch Nails' Year Zero, mostly based on how many times I listened to each of them. Alpha marks a combination returning to roots as well as progression for the band, the first with their new guitarist. Year Zero is great as a concept album, and the effects and feel of the music go along great with the story. Nevermind the alternate reality game to go along with it, or him giving away the CD master tracks for fans to remix and providing a central community, or his open pro-consumer, anti-label stance...
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: I'm going to go with Donnie Vie's Extra Strength. I loved the original but it does sound a bit dated now. What Donnie accomplished with this version is to really showcase him songwriting talent and singing ability and at the same time made some of these songs timeless. Like Classic Rock said in their review, it's interesting that some of the hardest songs from the original translated the best into this stripped down format. In the end this is a brilliant look at a brilliant album from an artist that never really got his due.
CONCERT OF THE YEAR: This changed right before Christmas when I saw Van Halen. While Dave doesn't have his old school jumps etc, the band seemed energized and appeared to love every minute up there. It was great to see a band of this caliber back in action again. I was never a huge Van Halen fan but this was a tour I couldn't miss and they indeed won me over.
ALBUMS OF THE YEAR: Apparat "Walls": The unique display of engineering and electronics throughout this album just kept me listening and listening. I have never heard anything quite like it before, and since.
Sleeping People "Growing": This is an instrumental band out of San Diego that can really lay the smack down! The band just smashes the bass and guitar riffs, but it's the superb percussion of Brandon Relf that kept me listening to these guys. Superb rock!
They Might Be Giants "The Else": What can I say? I have bee a long time fan of TMBG ever since Lincoln came out in the mid to late 80's. John and John have not lost an ounce of what made them so great back then, and with their latest effort The Else, they have taken the best of then with their child-like and quirky sound of now, and have produced a very fine album indeed.
65daysofstatic "The Destruction of Small Ideals": I really got turned on to these guys with their 2004 album The Fall of Math, and something about their sound just keeps my attention and makes me yearn for more.
Electronics mixed with raw guitar and percussion makes for great listening. Plus, Robert Smith likes them enough to invite them on tour in 2008. What other recommendation do you need, really?
You Say Party! We Say Die! "Lose All Time": I'm a sucker for short and sweet electro punk. Add to that a brassy and in-your-face female vocalist and you have exactly what the doctor ordered.
Super Extra Bonus Party "Super Extra Bonus Party": This came out of nowhere for me. I am simply blown away by the mix of electronics, dub, rap, hip-hop, punk, pop and rock in this cool little album that I just can't stop listening to. This just may be a favorite of 2008 as well!
Concert of the Year: This just has to go to Morrissey. I saw him twice this year and yes, he's getting up there in age, but he was in prime form and sound both nights. He belted out more Smith's songs than I've ever heard before. That mixed with the brilliance which was his last two albums and the alternative icon he's been for decades now, this really was a pretty easy choice for 2007.
ALBUMS OF THE YEAR: What a year!!! 2007 has been loaded with some of the best albums from the best bands all at once. Over the course of the last year, I've seen a multitude of band redefine styles, invent new ones, or go off into the sunset with their best work blazing for all to see. With this in mind, I've chosen the 10 albums that struck a chord with me most over the course of last year; all of them are masterpieces, and here's hoping that 2008 is even better!
1.) Reverend Bizarre's III: So Long Suckers---Finnish traditional doom masters Reverend Bizarre are calling this album their last and it shows---comprised of two discs and over two hours of exquisite doom, few bands have gone out quite like this. This is the one that doom metal fanatics worth their salt will be talking about for the next decade. www.myspace.com/reverendbizarre
2.) Watain's Sworn to the Dark---A close second. This bombshell comes straight out of Sweden and is the most ripping, chaotic, and fiendishly catchy black metal since Dissection penned the Somberlain. If you like your music raw, uncompromising, grim, and evil this is the one for you. www.myspace.com/watainofficial
3.) Wolves in the Throne Room's Two Hunters---A stunning and epic journey through melancholy melodies and blistering black metal. This is the most primal, inspiring collection of songs penned this year. www.myspace.com/wolvesinthethroneroom
4.) Pig Destroyer's Phantom Limb---The gods of Grind themselves return with a nihilistic, slamming screwdriver to the throat. An utterly perfect blitzkrieg of ferocious sound and fury. www.myspace.com/therealpigdestroyer
5.) Symphony X's Paradise Lost---Few bands can tackle John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost and turn it into compelling music. Even fewer bands can do so with fist-pumping progressive metal that is both inspiring and legitimately kickass. Symphony X is that band. www.myspace.com/officialsymphonyx
6.) Dillinger Escape Plan's Ire Works---The best perversion of pop music since Faith No More. Mind-numbingly technical in parts, freakishly catchy in others. There is something for everyone here. www.myspace.com/dillingerescapeplan
7.) Sigh's Hangman's Hymn---A gloriously malicious cross between blazing power metal melodies, early Slayer thrash, and Bohemian orchestras. Every bit as grandiose as it is brutal. www.myspace.com/sighjapan
8.) Deathspell Omega's Fas---Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum---A transforming black metal album that is equally pious, blasphemous, and mind-boggling. This is the most intellectually stimulating album of 2007. www.myspace.com/deathspellomega
9.) Bergraven's Dodsvisioner---A hypnotic and surreal journey through death. It causes a wide range of beautiful emotions and is surprisingly wicked at the same time. I expect great things from this relatively new band. www.myspace.com/bergraven
10.) Akercocke's Antichrist---A refreshingly eclectic take on brutal death metal. This last slot was a hard choice, but these British innovators deserve it. www.myspace.com/akercocke
11.) BEST OF THE REST (ALL THESE ARE WORTH CHECKING OUT TOO!!!)---Municipal Waste's The Art of Partying, Om's Pilgrimage, Down's III: Over the Under, The Hidden Hand's The Resurrection of Whiskey Foote, Vreid's I Krig, Neurosis' Given to the Rising, The Absence's Riders of the Plague, Dethklok's Dethalbum, Drudkh's Estrangement, Swallow the Sun's Hope, Coheed & Cambria's No World for Tomorrow, Electric Wizard's Witchcult Today, The Lord Weird Slough Feg's Hardworlder, Shadows Falls' Threads of Life, Himsa's Summoned in Thunder, Widow's Nightlife, Middian's Age Eternal, November Doom's The Novella Reservoir, Aborted's Slaughter and Apparatus: A Methodical Overture, Weedeater's God Luck and Good Speed, Mithras' Behind the Shadows Lie Madness, Skeletonwitch's Beneath the Permafrost, Furze's UTD, As I Lay Dying's An Ocean Between Us, Sunn-O)))'s Oracle, Bloody Panda's Pheromone, Earth's Hibernaculum, Baroness' The Red Album, Behemoth's The Apostasy, The Ocean's Precambrian, and Primordial's To the Blessed Dead.
ALBUMS OF THE YEAR:: Pathosray Pathosray
2. Iced Earth Framing Armageddon
3. Vital Remains Icons of Evil
4. Symphony X Paradise Lost
5. The Absence Riders of The Plague
6. Obituary Xecutioner's Return
7. Immolation Shadow In The Light
8. Moonspell Under Satanae
9. Gamma Ray Land of The Free II
10. Rob Rock Garden of Chaos