In Which Our Top Albums of the Year Countdown Rolls On Like A Phoenix of Indie Love

The Top 20 Albums of 2007

Part Two: Better Than Burial

by Danish Aziz, Alex Carnevale, and Will Hubbard

Catch yourself up on Part One here.

15. Simple Kid, 2

The Kid on his resemblance to Beck:

“I kind of just ignore them really. The Beck [comparison] is too prevalent, really, for me… I think on the next album I’m not going to use any banjos or beats because I don’t think my actual songs sound anything like his, it’s just the way they’re dressed up.”

A holdover from 2006, 2 got its US release in 2007. The classic single “Serotonin” shows why Simple Kid may be the biggest young talent in music. Lyrically gifted, Simple Kid should probably produce all of Fiona Apple’s albums from now on. I would love to see those two get it on.


Buy it here.

– A.C.

Simple Kid website

“The Twentysomething” – Simple Kid (mp3)

“Lil King Kong” – Simple Kid (mp3)

“You” – Simple Kid (mp3)

“Serotonin” – Simple Kid (mp3)

14. LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver

LCD Soundsystem website.

Sound of Silver

Murphy takes his multi-tasking very seriously. “I have my accounting online; I totally watch every penny,” he admits, claiming his business head comes straight from his father, an accountant. “There were days when I first moved to New York, when I was eighteen, when I’d come home and report everything I’d spent, like ‘Today I bought a muffin.’ And as a kid, I built a studio in my bedroom: Every inch of floor and wall was covered, but it was totally organized.”

In keeping with his obsessive work ethic, Murphy’s conversation is packed with grand judgments: “John Lennon was an idiot!”, “Jimi Hendrix was a gigantic barrel of charisma!”, “Coldplay — what the fuck are they doing?” It’s a drama that stems from his earlier days as a Tri-state-area punk rocker. “This one band I was in, we would only release 7-inch vinyl,” says Murphy, cracking up, “and never on the same label twice. We’d never be photographed, and we’d never use overdubs — because that was ‘false.'”

“Get Innocuous” – LCD Soundsystem (mp3)

His hardcore stance began to crumble, however, when in 1999, working as a self-taught engineer after college, he ended up co-producing a project with Goldsworthy. The London trip-hop talent and the American indie-head surprisingly found common ground through bands like Can, the Ramones and the Smiths. “It was like, ‘You’re chocolate, and I’m peanut butter!'” Murphy says with a laugh. “We’d go out dancing and do ecstasy.” The experience drew the former punk deeper into a world he’d always considered taboo: dance music. And when Murphy read Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton’s book on disco, Last Night a DJ Saved My Life, the pieces started to come together: There was a link between punk and disco cultures. “There were these people who deejayed fourteen hours a day, seven days a week,” he explains. “Their whole life was devoted to the people they played for. And that’s incredible.”

Punk rockin’ accountant’s son finds disco – sounds about right. Sound of Silver wears its influences on the record sleeve, but still sounds fresh. “Someone Great” is the second best song of the year (word to Rich Boy), “Get Innocuous” is the second best dance song of the year, “North American Scum” is the song most likely to make a blog rocker pogo with pleasure, and “All My Friends” is guaranteed to touch the soul of any yuppie commune. All that adds up to number 14 on our list, what could lay ahead?

– D.A.


Grammy nominees, if you were wondering. You probably weren’t:

Best Electronic/Dance Album
(For vocal or instrumental albums. Albums only.)

  • We Are The Night
    The Chemical Brothers

  • Justice
    [Downtown/Vice/Ed Banger]
  • Sound Of Silver
    LCD Soundsystem
    [Capitol Records/DFA]
  • We Are Pilots
    Shiny Toy Guns
    [Universal Motown]
  • Elements Of Life
    [Ultra Records]

13. Animal Collective, Strawberry Jam

Noah Lennox received overwhelming and much deserved attention this year for Person Pitch, his second solo record under the moniker Panda Bear. But in 2007 Lennox also had his hands in Animal Collective’s excellent Strawberry Jam, which combines much of the smooth pop of the band’s well-received 2005 release, Feels, with equal parts of the punchy, manic transcendence they mastered on 2003’s Sung Tongs.

“Chores” – Animal Collective (mp3)

“For Reverend Green” – Animal Collective (mp3)

Most welcomed on Strawberry Jam is the strong lyric and vocal performance by lead singer Ave Tare—on the stand-out track “For Reverend Green”, his idiosyncratic sing-scream shifts build toward a triumphant, unhinged chant that would make any hardcore fan smile.

– W.H.

“Cuckoo Cuckoo” – Animal Collective (mp3)

Top songs of 2007.

Panda Toes, Year End Wrap Up

12. UGK, Underground Kingz

RIP Pimp C. On December 4, 2007 half of UGK was found dead in the Mondrian Hotel in Hollywood. He was 33. The so-called Tupac of the south was a true special voice behind the mic. It’s really sad that after 6 albums there is no more UGK as we once knew it.

“Like That (remix)” – UGK (mp3)

The best misogynist jam since R. Kelly and Biggie’s “Fucking You Tonight.”

“Real Women” – UGK feat. Talib Kweli (mp3)

And they then go and write a song like this, and totally redeem themselves, to women, I mean. (“Never gonna give you black and blues” pretty much is the greatest thing since Joe Torre’s Safe at Home foundation.)

I’ll get Danish to put together a UGK retrospective with pictures of himself dressed like Pimp C. It’s one more way we can honor the legacy of one of the realest MCs in the game.


11. Chromatics, Night Drive

I like Burial as much as the next guy, but if transcendent mood music is what you’re looking for, Untrue is an off-kilter arrow and Night Drive is the target. It’s hard to believe these guys are from Portland when their music elicits the feeling of the 1970s New York City depicted in some bleak disco movie, but what can’t Portland do these days (besides have a real economy)?

– D.A.

Pitchfork review

Chromatics myspace

“Running Up That Hill” – Chromatics (mp3)

“In the City” – Chromatics (mp3)

Italians Do It Better website.

Watch out for the next five this weekend, surely that will be an enjoyable thing we can all look forward to.

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording. Danish Aziz is the senior contributor to This Recording, and the pioneering creator of No Frontin’ Just Music. Will Hubbard is the senior contributor to This Recording.


Our top ten singles of 2007.

Arson is one of Jeff’s favorite felonies.

The theater calls us from beyond the grave.

Molly versus Charles Schulz.

angelina jolie, brad pitt, some other people

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