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My Albums of 2007

December 27, 2007

My Albums of 2007

I’ve been meaning to do something like this for years. I listen to a shedload of music, but always find it tough to rank or rate things. Not for nothing do I have about 50 top-ten all-time personal number one favourite albums of all time at any given moment.

But this year, through a highly-scientific and cunning algorithm of glancing at my last.fm most-listened-to tracks and my Squeezebox “Albums released in 2007” list, ignoring them, and just picking whatever the sod I want, I can hammer the following together:

My undisputed album of 2007

Mark Ronson: Version

I’d been looking forward to this album ever since Popjustice previewed it in December 2006. The sampler appeared on Mark Ronson’s MySpace page in late January, and on OiNK not long after.

And it was BLUDDY GRATE!

Chock-full of quality covers, multi-layered brass and drums and love, and a cover of the best song Radiohead have ever done (FACT!), the only disappointment was the weak, insipid, boring cover of throbbing driving indie madchester classic “The Only One I Know” by Robbie sodding Williams, who apparently found the, let’s face it, simplistic lyrics of Tim Burgess too complex to apply anything approaching passion or, y’know, emotions to.

I still haven’t gotten bored of it almost a year later, which is a pretty good sign.

Indietastic Obscure Acts Which I Liked Before You Therefore I Win!

Rasputina: Oh Perilous World

I discovered Rasputina when they support Belle & Sebastian at The Boston Orpheum in 2005, and rather fell in love with their two-girls-with-cellos-and- a-bloke-on-drums musical stylings. Their latest album is loaded with Melora Creager’s bizarre world-view, on top of unadulteratedly gorgeous cello-goth-rawk.

Helen Love: It’s My Club and I’ll Play What I Want To

Helen Love has been one of my favourite bands for over ten years now, and every time I’ve suspected they’ve given up the ghost, they reappear with newer better material. What could so easily be a one-trick-pony (Welsh girl who idolizes The Ramones) has turned into something special: Bedroom punk-pop, painting tableaus of bored teenage girls, wannabe popstars in small towns, and early love, all the time dancing at the altar of shiny, happy, POP music! Absolutely fucking brilliant from start to finish.

The incredibly comprehensive mix-tape

Fred Deakin presents: The Triptych

Fred Deakin of bubbly indie-electronicists Lemon Jelly compiled a three-CD, 90 track mix-tape which spins madly from genre to genre covering everything from Leo Kottke to Roni Size, accompanied by detailed sleeve notes explaining each choice. Huge kudos for including “Shangri-La” by The Rutles, even if it was admittedly because they couldn’t afford to clear a Beatles track.

The albums from last year that are still in heavy rotation on my digital devices

Arctic Monkeys: Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not

I prefer the Arctic’s debut to this year’s Favourite Worst Nightmare, only emphasized after seeing them live in Providence this year—To some degree, not giving a fuck about the audience, but just getting on with the business of rawking out. The final track, “A Certain Romance”, is near perfect in its combination of witty picture-painting lyrics (“There’s only music so that there’s new ringtones”) and playful guitar riffing. Amazing!

Franz Ferdinand: You Could Have It So Much Better

Lovely jagged punk-pop art-rock, which has barely been far away from my ears. Another album that exits with a belter of a final track, Outsiders, which is made all the better after seeing the live version on Later with Jools Holland, which features every drummer in the studio for the climax.

Girls Aloud: The Sound of Girls Aloud

When Girls Aloud first appeared, pulled together on a UK TV pop show, I ignored them. Bar a few snide references to “pramfaces” in Popbitch, they barely registered. Then a year ago, I read the review of “Something Kinda Ooooh” on Popjustice, listened to the sample, and was viciously earwormed. I bought the “best-of”, and will gladly admit: Girls Aloud are the best goddamned pop act on the planet today. Yes, it’s 95% the work of the songwriters and producers (hat tip to the fantastic Xenomania), but the girls are nice to look at too (the ginger one excepted, natch).

The album that isn’t actually out yet (Thank you, The Internet)

Juno Soundtrack

Downloaded this off of STMusic (See, IFPI—You may have killed OiNK, but music trading LIVES ON!) last week, because it had an interesting looking tracklisting (The Kinks and Belle & Sebastian – Together at last!), and am now desperately hunting down the recorded output of Kimya Dawson who features heavily on the soundtrack and is, from all presented evidence, FUCKING ACE! Hooray for sharp witty female-fronted indie-pop making me smile and rocking my soul.

Bubbling under

Honorable mentions for albums I quite liked, but got bored of quickly and haven’t listened to much recently: Amy Winehouse: Back to Black, Lily Allen: Alright, Still, Kate Nash: Made of Bricks


So there you go… a brief glimpse into what’s been floating my sonic boat over the last twelve months. Hunt them down at your local indie record store, or your preferred BitTorrent site, and enjoy.

Happy new year, popchums!

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On Friday, December 28, 2007, Mike commented:

Had the same thoughts on the Juno soundtrack -- very well done, and I just downloaded "Anyone Else But You". Surprised I haven't heard more B&S on soundtracks, and liked the Cat Power cover of Sea of Love.

About This Site

This is an archive of groovmother.com, the old blog run by Rod Begbie — A Scottish geek who lives in San Francisco, CA.

I'm the co-founder of Sōsh, your handy-dandy guide for things to do in San Francisco this weekend.