funfunfun's Favourite Albums Of 2007 (15-11)
This year's list has been so much harder to compile than last year's. Its probably because i've listened to double the amount of albums than in '06 and so i've had twice the amount of songs to go through. Its also because the quality of music released since last January has been pretty exceptional. This list has been through so many reshuffles and rejigs in the past few weeks, constantly morphing every time i relisten to the albums i've shortlisted and so finally, here's the start of my 15 favourite albums of the year.
Kat Flint - Dirty Birds
Not officially released until next year, funfunfun got hold of a copy of Dirty Birds by being one of the generous donators, who helped Kat with her Album Rescue Plan and i'm glad i did. From the first seconds, Dirty Birds feels like a labour of love. Its warm and comfortable, glowing from its rich and odd instrumentation and Kat's full and sultry vocals. Scissor snips create rhythms, kazooes add melodies and guitars, piano and trumpets flow to create lush canvases for Kat to paint with her wonderful lyrics and gorgeous voice. For a home-made effort with so much experimentation, the production on Dirty Birds is incredible. Listening to Lazy Bones or Dirty Birds would make you think that tonnes of money was thrown at this recording, its sharp and round and beautiful. It might even make it into next year's list.
Favourite tracks - Go Faster Stripes, Anticlimax, Dirty Birds
Video - Go Faster Stripes (I'm in this!!!!)
Download - Dirty Birds
Matthew Dear - Asa Breed
This album took its time to get to me. Its slow, laid-back, repetitive beats worked their way over the space of a few months into every crevice of the brain. The final take-over moment came as i was walking to the shops in the rain, with my headphones on and Don And Sherri popped up. Its plodding, rhythm match my walking and when the synth entered the frame and kept switching between my left and right ear, scanning my brain on each sweep, i was hooked. Maybe i'd been brain-washed but i couldn't stop listening to Asa Breed for weeks after that. Its moody and dark but with enough bounce and beats to keep it from being depressing.
Favourite Tracks - Fleece On Brain, Don And Sherri, Good To Be Alive
Video - Don And Sherri
Download - Don And Sherri (Hot Chip Version)
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Trying to follow up one of the most talked about and celebrated debuts of the new millenia must be quite daunting. All that anticpation and expectation on your shoulders to create another masterpiece must be overwhelming. But it seems like Arcade Fire were more than up to the challenge when they released Neon Bible to the waiting public in March. It may have not been the sonic behemoth that fans and critics were expecting but it was brooding and relentless and brilliant. The organ intro on Intervention, the subtlety of the title track, the fire of Antichrist Television Blues and the unstoppable No Cars Go, all create a foot-stomping, fist-pumping, impassioned second LP and for any other band that would have been enough for most bands. Their festival performances have also been highlights of my year, especially No Cars Go at Glastonbury.
Favourite Tracks - Intervention, Antichrist Television Blues, Keep The Car Running, No Cars Go
Video - No Cars Go (Glastonbury '07), Neon Bible (Take Away Show)
Download - No Cars Go
Justice -† (Cross)
Another album that grew on me as the year went on, although the sounds on † are rather immediate. Starting with that initial, ear-opening WHOOSH, it smacks at your ear drums with a variety of piercing screeches and walloping bass notes. It may have been too much for me the first time i listened to it but after numerous listens, you catch the melodies and the pace of the tracks and although its uncompromising, it allows you room to breathe and think. Also with tracks as catchy as D.A.N.C.E and The Party, its going to filling dancefloors across the world til the end of '08 i'm sure.
Favourite Tracks - D.A.N.C.E, Genesis, DVNO
Video - D.A.N.C.E
Download - Genesis
Eugene McGunness - The Early Learnings Of...
Not technically an album, this mini-album burst out of the new London folk scene, which features such artists as Lightspeed Champion, Noah & The Whale, Emmy The Great and Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit. All these artists are firm favourites of funfunfun but Mr McGuinness' release was the one that really caught my attention. Its full of underlying tension, awkwardness and tales of modern living. Its production is great, featuring computer game noises and TV samples and it showcases Eugene's incredible vocal talents and songwriting abilities. If the rest of the scene can produce a debut that is so confident, beautiful and brimming with ideas then I could pretty much take over the world, but in the meantime we'll have The Early Learnings Of... to keep us going.
Favourite Tracks - Monsters Under The Bed, Bold Street, A Girl Whom My Eyes Shine For But My Shoes Run From
Video - Monsters Under The Bed, Bold Street (Black Cab Session)
Download - A Girl Whom My Eyes Shine For But My Shoes Run From
Check back tomorrow, or maybe the day after for albums 10-6