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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

2007 Mid-Year Report:
The 10 Albums You Must Own!

Now that Summer's approaching (and I'm going away for six days to Hultsfred - you'll hear about that next week), it's time to look back at the releases of the past six months. It's been a good year for music so far, and these albums stand out as the cream of the crop. Here they are, ranked in groups and with complimentary sampler tracks for your listening pleasure.

Top Tier




The Ark - Prayer For The Weekend
The Swedish glam-pop heroes continue their ascent to legendary status. Four albums in, and they’re still as vital as ever. (Sweden)
Laakso - Mother, Am I Good Looking?
The big surprise of the year. It just gets better and better with each time you hear it. An album to launch a career with. (Sweden)

Next Tier



Lil’ Chris - Lil’ Chris
I wonder if the new wave gods know that they gave all their best songs this year to a snotty 16 year old? An unexpected masterpiece. (UK)
Alphabeat - Alphabeat
The sound of a party bottled up and burned onto a cd. It’s a Scandinavian party, of course, so it’s that much cooler. (Denmark)
King Midas - Sorry
Proves the real funky glam rock lies in Norway. Mix a bit of Bowie, a heap of Roxy Music, and electronic pop, and you’ve got a perfect summer album, even if it was released in February. (Norway)

Next Tier


Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position
Bizarrely mainstream folktronica with a major (key) pop edge. Eccentric and unforgettable. (UK)
The Attic - Remember Tomorrow
The best dance album of the year sounds like the best radio play list in the world. Funny, because the original version of this album was rubbish. (Sweden)
Mika - Life In Cartoon Motion
Candy coated debut just shy of being saccharine. Feels like a greatest hits, and the guy’s only just started. (UK)

Next Tier



Dover - Follow The City Lights
Hyper synthpop from Barcelona, Spain. That alone should earn it points, but they go one further by not skimping on the perfect pop songs. (Spain)
Rufus Wainwright - Release The Stars
Wainwright’s most accessible and instantly pleasing album. Going To A Town alone guarantees it a spot. (USA)

And the tracks:

1. King Midas - Music From A Window
Ultra smooth synth assisted rock that’ll have even the cool kids dancing.
2. Laakso - Norrköping
Irresistible tribute to growing up and moving on. Suitably anthematic.
3. Alphabeat - What Is Happening?
Subdued moment for the jolly poppers. The missing link between Bananarama and The Zutons.
4. Patrick Wolf - Get Lost
Jaunty synthpop by a guy who sounds a bit uncomfortable being this happy.
5. The Ark - Death To The Martyrs
Glamorous, epic, and laced with profanity. If this doesn’t convert you, I don’t know what will.
6. Lil’ Chris - I Never Noticed
He got the best electro ballad of the year as well? Unbelievable.
7. Rufus Wainwright - Between My Legs
Rufus rocks out and proves that he should really use electric guitars more often.
8. Dover - Madrid
Swirling, hectic synthpop that grabs your heart and doesn’t let go.
9. Mika - Stuck In The Middle
Piano pounding vamp where Mika unfurls the cartoon candy wrappers and gets down to business.
10. The Attic - Sail Away
The best hands-swaying-in-the-air soft rock epic of the year. On a dance record, no less.

Download each individually, or if you want the perfect soundtrack to kick off your summer, download the whole CD in a rar file!

I'll be back in a week with all the news from Hultsfred!!

7 Comments:

Anonymous TorontoViewer said...

Brilliant.
I totally agree with your first two choices especially. Mind you I hadn't even heard of them (am in Canada) until I read you blog. I really feel like your site is 'expanding my mental-musical horizons'.
But no Van She? Dignity of Labour? Stefy?

4:37 PM  
Blogger Poster Girl said...

I'm still waiting for my copy of the Laakso album, but I'm incredibly excited about it...and shocked so few other places are writing about it (I think)!

7:16 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

have a great time - can't wait to hear all about it! I only have Mika and The Ark albums so clearly i have some catching up to do while you're away :)

10:24 PM  
Blogger Foxbase Alpha said...

I very much agree with all that. I think Rufus is being overrated quite a little everywhere, but i have enjoyed most of the other acts, specially Alphabeat wich is brilliant!

Happily surprised to see Dover there! Btw, they aren´t from Barcelona but from Madrid:)

8:36 AM  
Blogger Grifit said...

I loved this selection, I burned a CD but I need a cover, that was something you forgot

3:39 PM  
Blogger Adem IAR said...

I am so happy you've mentioned Lil' Chris' "I Never Noticed," totally floored me the first time I heard it. Great reviews btw...

Torontoviewer... Van She? Nice! The album they've been making for what feels like 100 years should be on its way by the end of '07...

7:17 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

Huh, I didn't even know Van She's album was out yet. How did that escape me?
I'm glad so many of you enjoyed the selection. It's really been a great year for music with some outstanding releases.
Grifit, you've probably noticed that there hasn't been covers for awhile now. That's because the program I use for making them is installed on my computer at home in the States, not my laptop that I'm using over here in the UK. It sucks.
Adem, I'm glad there's another I Never Noticed fan! I truly think that song could have been massive.

7:42 AM  

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