SF Weekly Best Albums of 2007: Michael Leaverton Weighs In

Categories: Music

A confession: The following is not a true account of my top ten albums of 2007. To read that, you'll have to subscribe to the bi-yearly Canadian newsletter "Bitchin’ Choral Music." (Mail-order only.) But as the audience for tight, bangin’ choral is small (and in Canada), I have assembled something more in line with other hastily assembled, comment-baiting, retail-friendly top-ten lists. You can’t even tell the difference!

Arcade Fire
Neon Bible
Three songs into this, and despite waiting eagerly for it, I suddenly found the whole thing -- the violins, the scarves, the looking for God, the Springsteen, the crescendos, the weepy earnestness of it all -- insufferable. It makes the list because I'm always wrong about this kind of stuff. Tracks heard: 3.2

Warp Records
Number nine on this list, but number one on "Things I Suspect Might Be Brilliant But Don't Have the Patience for Right Now, Thanks." Beats out Guitar Hero, anything with zombies, Internet radio, table service, RSS, and making a Google Map. Tracks heard: 0.3

Hoo-ah! Everybody finally gets to say they love Nick Cave without using the sniveling qualifier "early," that insecure, bet-hedging adjective wielded by people who think you give a fuck. Surely the most virile record of the year. And you finally get to stop trying to enjoy The Birthday Party. Tracks heard: All

Devendra Banhart
Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
Banhart has his drawings hanging in the SFMOMA right now, in an exhibition with Paul Klee. He's like Dylan (early Dylan). On a side note: What the fuck is going on at the SFMOMA? Tracks heard: .03

Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew
Spirit If ...
Arts & Crafts
BSS's fifth and most crazily titled release, a kinda-sorta solo album by the ringleader but not really, shows they are still descending the mountain after reaching the pinnacle of group-think indie rock with You Forgot It in People in 2002. Fortunately they've dropped only a few hundred meters. Consider this Camp Lhotse. Still a long way down. Tracks heard: All

The Fiery Furnaces
Widow City
Thrill Jockey
See BSSPKD comments, but swap You Forgot It in People with Blueberry Boat and lower the length of descent to Camp III, where Eleanor is serenading a frozen Mr. Bungle. Once again we're left to wonder when Matt is going to expand one of his brilliant peekaboo hooks into a whole song and blow up the world. Tracks heard: All

In Rainbows
I guess they released this thing on the Web somewhere, but Radiohead is still not on iTunes, because Radiohead wants you to listen to their albums as a whole -- ideally in a prison of your own making, sitting on stool, naked and bleeding. Fuck Ticketmaster! Tracks heard: 1.2 (Though I did read Web Editor David Downs explain what each one sounded like)
Update: Whaa?

Daft Punk
Alive 2007
They had me at the pyramid. Tracks heard: 0

The Go! Team
Proof of Youth
Sub Pop
Not only did the band basically redo its brilliant first album (you want them to bring in a choir or something?) but they let Honda use "Huddle Formation" for a commercial. Now watch your friends suddenly decide they suck. It stops being about the music once a car gets sold. Tracks heard: All


Ed Banger/Because/Vice
They had me at the cross. Tracks heard: .5

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