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Friday, December 28, 2007

4. Lil’ Chris - Lil’ Chris

I didn’t expect to like this album so much, then I kept listening to it… and listening to it, and now a year later I’m still listening to it. I’ve become convinced that it’s simply one of the best power pop albums of all time, no kidding. It may not be the most original work ever, but it takes everything that’s great about rock and pop, bottles it into too young to care about making any “serious artistic statement” and kicks everything up to eleven. I have yet to find a person who hasn’t enjoyed this record, despite it’s sounding like it was recorded by a twelve year old. I only hope the public gives Chris a chance to show what comes next.

Lil’ Chris - Is She Ready?

3. The Ark - Prayer For The Weekend

It’s got to be one hell of a year for The Ark to wind up all the way down at number three on any countdown of mine. The fact of the matter is, though the album still rates a definite A+, it is not as consistent as their last work and functions oftentimes better as a collection of singles than a proper album. That being said, The Ark is still the best band in the world and that can be heard all over this record. It includes some of their biggest and best tracks yet and I’ve probably listened to it at least fifty times this year.

The Ark - New Pollution

10. Pacific! - Hot Lips

This song didn’t win me over instantly, but like some of the best singles it stuck with me until one day I realized just how perfect it was.

9. Juvelen - Hanna

You’ve given us one of the best songs of 2007, now where is the freaking album?!?

8. Melody Club - Fever Fever

How can you resist a song that takes the best parts of disco, mixes it with power pop, and serves it up in such a refreshing way? One of the best choruses this year.

7. Delays - Love Made Visible

The guys returned late this year with a sound even more epic than they had created before. Deceptively simple, yet fresh even after the hundredth listen.

6. Pikko - Kill With A Dance

This song is so good that the first time I listened to it I swore it was a cover of some huge 80’s track. Turns out it isn’t, which is just jaw-dropping.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

6. To My Boy - Messages

This was one of the biggest surprises of the year for me. I went to pick up To My Boy’s album kind of on a whim after hearing them compared to Sparks, one of my favorite groups ever. I was ecstatic to find a record brimming with quirky energy and punchy, fun songs. To My Boy are unlike anybody else out there and their strangeness will probably guarantee that they never find any real mainstream success, but that’s okay. They’re not a mainstream band. The album, though, is flawless. Every song is a winner, especially if you’re a fan of the eighties like me.

To My Boy - Talk

5. Private - My Secret Lover

Top five. We’ve entered the big leagues now, and Private is completely deserving. I’ve been a fan of Thomas Troelsen’s work (Junior Senior, Superheroes) for awhile now, but I never dreamed he’d be able to craft something this amazing. It’s like he took everything amazing about the 80’s, modernized it, and grafted it onto perfectly written songs. It’s a blast from start to finish, just like good pop music should be. It’s the comeback cd that Michael Jackson should have released as few years ago, and that’s saying a lot.

Private - Let’s Make Love (Underneath The Apple Tree)

15. Laakso - Västerbron

A gut-wrenchingly haunting story song that wears its heart on its sleeve. The searing vocals alone are worth handfuls of awards.

14. Gender - If I Was A Girl

Clever, catchy and refreshingly weird, this was the breakout pop single that never really broke out. If these guys have more like this yet to come, we’re in for a real treat.

13. Tiny Dancers - I Will Wait For You

Never underestimate the power of a good melody, and this track had got that in spades. One of my favorite songs to sing along to this year.

12. Superfamily - Warszawa

A majestic, stately pop song that would have been at home in the eighties, yet found itself released twenty years lately. The word “soaring” was created just to describe this track.

11. Robyn - With Every Heartbeat

If someone would have told me that this song would have broken Robyn around the world I wouldn’t have believed it. I simply thought it was too good for radio.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

8. Silverchair - Young Modern

I passed on this album when it was first released and shame on me for doing so because I could have been enjoying it a lot sooner. When I finally got around to listening to it, I was addicted to what I was hearing. I love the progressive glam influences in some of the songs here. It sounds like nothing Silverchair has done before, and that’s a great thing because they’re a much more interesting band now than they were before. I hope they’re able to release some more singles in the States after their modest success with Straight Lines.

Silverchair - Insomnia

7. Pikko - Electric Body Design

The most “indie” release on my countdown in the sense that it wasn’t even available in shops, I first fell in love with Pikko at the Hultsfred music festival in Sweden. I wish I could have bottled her performance and shown it on my blog, because it was that good. Luckily, her fabulously oddball debut captures that performance energy into an album. I hope that this will eventually be available to more people worldwide, but Pikko’s been pretty generous in posting a bunch of the songs for free download on her myspace page. Still, there’s nothing like listening to the album straight through from beginning to end.

Pikko - Murder In My Heart

20. Unklejam - What Am I Fighting For?

A quality slice of space-age funk, this was one of my favorite songs of the spring. It’s a shame they weren’t able to match its success with follow-ups, but this was a deserved hit.

19. Ola Svensson - SOS

It surprises the hell out of me that this guy scored two places on my countdown, but with a song as huge as SOS, you can’t really argue. So dumb, yet so gloriously delicious.

18. Magnus Carlson - Live Forever

And to follow up Ola I’ve got another insanely corny yet undeniably catchy track. It was the Take On Me of 2007, and we didn’t even know how much we needed that.

17. The View - Same Jeans

This could end up being the biggest hit The View will ever have because it’s hard to imagine them topping it. This got stuck in my head more than 95% of the music this year.

16. Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position

This is one of those timeless pop songs that could have been recorded almost any time in the last twenty years. The word “jaunty” comes to mind whenever I think of it.

Monday, December 24, 2007

10. King Midas - Sorry

The funkiest album of the year, Sorry is one of those kinds of records that flows together so well that it hardly even works as individual pieces. It is by far King Midas’ best work today, and also their most propulsive. Mixing elements of vintage Bowie, Roxy Music and a touch of new wave, it was an early year highlight for me, and one that I kept coming back to as the year went on. The songs themselves possess that rare quality of being instantly catchy and fresh each time you listen to them. In other words, you never get sick of this album.

King Midas - As I Lay Dying

9. Alphabeat - Alphabeat

Another group that I had great hopes for in 2007 didn’t disappoint with their debut. In fact, Alphabeat’s release is probably the happiest record of the year. That could get extremely annoying if the music wasn’t so good. It’s got a bit of an “up with people” vibe to it, for sure, and I realize that that isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. But, if you can silence your inner critic you’ll find a lot to enjoy here. I sure did, especially on the tracks that utilize both of the group’s singers to full effect.

Alphabeat - Ocean Blue

25. Private - My Secret Lover

The best Junior Senior song that Junior Senior never released, this was Private’s introduction, and what a carefree, danceable introduction it was.

24. The Enemy - You’re Not Alone

The indie rock anthem of the year, this song jumped out to me the very first time I heard it. It’s a good old-fashioned powerful rock song, just the way they’re supposed to be.

23. Chromeo - Bonafied Lovin’

This song got me into Chromeo’s sound where their previous singles failed to do so. I credit the amazing guitar riff and the simple, catchy melody.

22. Ghosts - Stay The Night

This is as good as UK guitar pop gets. A surefire singalong with some monstrous brass after the choruses. It never fails to give me chills.

21. Frankmusik - 3 Little Words

Probably the most futuristic sounding pop song on my list, this is pretty much the perfect introduction for a new artist and heralds Frankmusik as a force to be reckoned with.