How awesome is that? Yeah, I know, pretty fucking awesome, in fact, the awesomest!!!
NOTE: There will be alot of exclamation points in this ridiculously huge post, get over it now…
What follows are the 16 of the crème de la crème albums from one amazing year (a good chunk of them surprising, and sometimes mind-bogglingly underrated in the list-making community). Why 16, you ask? Well… that’s how many artists fit on the mixtape, of course, and as we all know, the music is more important than the lists it creates. Can I get an “amen”???
Okay, let’s get to it, shall we???
*insert fanfare & forced applause here*
T S U R U R A D I O
In association with Starbucks Coffee
The Most Awesomest Tsururific Albums of 2007 with Accompanying Mixtape!!!
(has a ring to it, don’t cha think? Mixtape after the list)
*insert even more fanfare, more applause, women screaming, showing their boobies, and fainting*
First on our list, at #16, it’s the one, the only, Sharon Jones, the reigning queen of soul, there is no denying. And yeah, my heart still belongs to 2005’s Naturally, this album saw her stepping away from the funk a smidge and deeper into soul. A wonderful collection of tracks, but don’t forget Ms. Jones, you are the sexy funk queen too!
Speaking of progressions, Iron & Wine’s growth to a larger sound was perfect. A bit of this, a bit of that, it almost, well, it almost rocks! But not really… Can’t wait so see what’s next in Mr. Beam’s mind.
It’s hard for me to listen to this and not think about other bands (in particular, Morphine). It’s not fair, because this is a great album that got stuck in my ipod many days (and was the soundtrack for a few nights as well)…
Nearly impossible to follow up Set Yourself on Fire, these lovely Canucks gave it an amazing go, one song, “My Favourite Book” even ended up on our wedding mixtape! It’s melodramatic, hearts-on-sleeve-wearing over the top pop. Mmm…
I think I hate these little write ups already… Didn’t I write about this album once? (uh oh, c’mon Tsuru, be “in it” to “win it”!) What else can I say? Just rocking good times that reward you over and over on subsequent listens, not just musically, but lyrically as well (a lost art in this commodity music world we are becoming). Yeah, this album is fucking brilliant.
(Okay, I’m pretty tired. Heading to bed more in the morning while everyone sleeps)
Good morning! Time for number eleven! Another over the top one… this time it’s a bit proggy, bit jazzy, a bit classical, and tied together with a rock/pop twisty tie! Perfect.
Look, it’s on a million lists, it’s on a million apple commercials, it’s even on a million times on VH-fucking-1! Do I really need to say anything? It’s a great album, not as good as Let It Die, but that would’ve been a near impossible feat now, wouldn’t it? If, when you first listened to “1, 2, 3, 4”, you didn’t smile & want to dance, well, you might just be a little dead inside.
Oof. Wow, our first vinyl rip, I listen to this album all the time. Near-perfection. I still get goose-bumps when that bass kicks in on “Saturday Waits”… And that voice, man it will haunt you.
I always liked Bird fine, but it wasn’t until I heard the song “Armchairs” that I nearly built a man-crush over this geeky violinist. This is one of those albums that’s stayed in our stereo since we got it and we just push play and enjoy our evening…
FINALLY! A proper live album by REM. And I’ll tell you, much to the dismay of the “they suck without Berry” fans, they did not take the easy route with the old standard songs (they even excluded “It’s The End Of The World”!), nope, not Stipey, instead they put up the less-loved (and sorely underrated (man, I’m going to use that word alot, aren’t I? I hate myself already)) newer songs. And why not? The band has evolved, as it always have (thank god), but they have always sounded like REM. There are two types of music fans, as someone once wrote, U2 fans & REM fans…. I, my friends, am a REM fan.
No, they couldn’t possibly follow up Funeral and live up to the expectations of the indie-blah-blah-blah wah-wah-wah world. Whatever, no matter. So what did they do? They took it over the top, bombastic, and played a really really loud pipe-organ in a church and knocked me off my ass! Also, it’s the reason this humble slice o’ internet of mine got started, as a way to share the leaks with a board that banned all links to music… ha! And here we are, a year later.
Warning, this album is CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED! (I’m cringing everytime I use that word, but what other word is there?) No, it ain’t Oh, Inverted World, (get over it). There was a subtle shift, into this dream pop world they created, that is all their own, where their incoherent lyrics and beautiful harmonies fit perfectly with their underwater melodies, resulting in this wonderful album that is probably the most-played album in the Tsuru household (well, this and Wainwright’s Poses & Sexsmith’s Blue Boy), and the first in our top 5.
To call this a stripped down Broken Social Scene would be a bit misleading. A stripped down Broken Social Scene still sounds larger than most bands on the circuit today! This is one hell of a big album and took me a good number of days to absorb it all. Once I did, it lodged itself in the best of the year and never looked back.
No album has ever captured that tired 3am “the party’s over just me, my baby, and the fluorescent lights” aesthetic/mood quite as perfectly as this album. Either you think this album is completely lifeless, droning steady, leaving you bored, or you’ve been there, felt this, and have been waiting for someone to capture it. Handsome Furs did.
What can I say about our #2 spot? It was nearly number one! Without a doubt, this is the most played album of the year; in my car, in the gym, in my daily life, and even with the Mrs. (why isn’t it #1, well, you’ll see in a sec). Challengers saw The New Pornographers make that final leap to becoming a 100% certified real band, in my eyes (we saw glimpses in Twin Cinema, see “The Bleeding Heart Show“). Where before, their music was incredible, but it was mostly sugar, so sweet, and nearly all empty calories. Challengers brought the meat course, with a side of baked potatoes (but sweet potatoes, they ARE The New Pornographers, afterall), the songs are slower, stronger, longer lasting, more filling, and well… you get the analogy by now, right? I could never do a proper post on them, as the Web Sheriff was all over this one (too bad, I think it hurt them a bit, PR-wise, though the “Executive Edition” thing Matador did was gold!). I only hope that the powers that be let me keep the selected song in the mixtape in (it’s one of our favorite songs) and let the love of this band finally be shared!!!
Alright, kiddos, the time has come for number one and who, you ask, has TSURURADIO’s top album of the year??
Which album fills every musical orifice of mine with happiness and pleasure?
Which album is like a long walk on a beach followed by a candle-light dinner?
Which album is like a second set of footprints in the sand?
Well, it’s none other than…..
Yep! Shall we talk about underrated again? This gem isn’t showing up on nary a list! Meh, they are all missing out. Random Spirit Lover is the perfect balance of pop, rock, and “indie-prog” (trademarked 2007 Tsururadio.com). I think it threw a lot of casual Sunset Rubdown fans off because Spencer Krug took his little side project and expanded it in every single direction he could, there are layers upon layers, twist and turns, and every song belongs attached to the song before and after it, as one giant piece of work! Every single time I listen to it (which is a ridiculous amount given how complex it is) I hear something new, I get a little deeper, and just when I think I got it all, there’s more! The last time I heard something this overwhelming would have to be In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. Yep, you heard me. “Sacrilege” you say? More like “Sac-delish”, yummy! (Oh snaps!) This is not experimental bleeps & bloops, nor is this cool pop or rock music, nor is this some “reunited 90’s band”, no, this is music for music-geeks. We will never be cool listening to this album and guess what… we don’t give a shit.
Congratulations Mr. Krug! I heart you! Your trophies in the mail!
NOTE: Looking at #3 and #1, one may think I’m a huge Wolf Parade fan. Actually, I’m not. I like Wolf Parade fine, but each man, on his own kicked my ass. Though, after this year, I’m very excited to see what the new Wolf Parade will sound like. Will they successfully merge their two sounds or will they shoot for a progression of Apologies To The Queen Mary? Either way, I’m pretty anxious to find out…
Oh man, wasn’t that fun? I’d like to thank god and mom and my wife (we did it baby!) and my girls, so many people, I hope I don’t forget…. ha!
Alright, alright, as you and I both know, I’m not one just to throw out a list and call it a day. No, no, my fellow pervy-ninjas, we at tsururadio always go at least one step further, something you’ve come to expect I hope. So, we took a song from each of the above albums and made a bad-ass mixtape! And, I gotta say, I’m really happy with the way it came out.
*Pats self on back*
Now, some of you who peaked ahead (shame on you!) may have noticed there are two Sunset Rubdown songs, and you are right, how observant. Let me explain myself… Random Spirit Lover, to me, is not a collection of songs, it’s truly an “album”, in fact, like I wrote above, it’s like one giant song! It was painful to separate just one, so I went with a duet (I almost went for a lovely trinity, the holiest of song cycles (see “Ghost / Untitled / Two-Headed Boy Pt. II” from Neutral Milk Hotel’s masterpiece In The Aeroplane Over The Sea) but I thought that might be overkill. Also, well, I couldn’t let the number one NOT have the greatest amount of airtime on the mix, could I? Yeah, no. So, it’s on, baby, as…
TSURURADIO Presents… The Most Awesomest Tsururific Albums Of 2007 Mixtape!!!
1. Handsome Furs “What We Had”
2. The Shins “Sea Legs”
3. Sunset Rubdown (Part I) “Up On Your Leopard, Upon The End Of Your Feral Days”
4. Sunset Rubdown (Part II) “The Courtesan Has Sung”
5. Arcade Fire “Ocean Of Noise”
6. R.E.M. “Leaving New York”
7. Andrew Bird “Fiery Crash”
8. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings “Let Them Knock”
9. Loney, Dear “Saturday Waits”
10. Okkervil River “A Hand To Take A Hold Of The Scene”
11. Iron & Wine “Pagan Angel And A Borrowed Car”
12. The New Pornographers “Go Places”
13. Stars “Personal”
14. Broken Social Scene Presents… Kevin Drew “Lucky Ones”
15. Sexy-Ass Feist “I Feel It All”
16. The National “Slow Show”
17. The Most Serene Republic “Battle Hymn Of The Republic”
That’s it! Push play & hit “repeat all”.
Thank you to all the amazing artists that made (and didn’t make) the list! What an amazing year for music!!! Let’s hope that 2008 is at least half as good as 2007, even with that, I’ll be one happy mammer-jammer. If not, well… there’s always vinyl rips & mixtapes!
Peace, love, and LPs,
P.S. Have you joined the Vinyl Preservation Society yet??? No? Well, why the hell not? Just add me as a friend and let’s start talking about vinyl today!!!