Tuesday, December 25, 2007

time we give something new a try

Top 10 Albums of 2007

Merry Christmas, everyone...!

7. Interpol - Our Love To Admire (ST)

Interpol are one of my favourite bands, and when I say that I don't think "Our Love to Admire" is as good as their two previous albums, that's not to say that this is a bad album by any means... only that the benchmark has been set so impossibly high. Interpol fail to match their back catalogue ("Turn On The Bright Lights" remains one of my favourite albums of all time), but in doing so they have stretched the boundaries of their sound. They've also been doomy, introspective and blessed / cursed by a singer with a voice like an undertaker reading from a legal textbook.

With this album they've widened the scope of their ambition and have gone for something more widescreen. I don't think it's a triumph, but it's a brave failure, and one that augers well for the future of a band that might easily have otherwise been pigeonholed. Banks still needs to work a bit on his lyrics, which can sometimes seem a little leaden ("But there are days in this life when you see the teeth marks of time" - is that atrocious or poetry? I can't quite decide), but this is a band that look like they have the ability to stay the distance. With a band this good, who needs a poor imitation like Editors. I'm not sure about Carlos D's western look though. I think he looked better as an outcast from Sparks.

Favourite Song: No I In Threesome (albeit it's very unpromising song title)

7. Sigur Ros - Hvarf-Heim (LB)

I am a late convert to the Icelandic's sweeping melodic sound despite my love for 2005's "Hoppipolla". I wandered into my lounge one day a couple of months ago to hear my wife playing the beautiful "Staralfur" and since then I have been completely converted.

Hvarf-Heim is a two CD album of oddities and rareties. Hvarf is a collection of studio versions of previously unreleased songs and reworkings whereas Heim contains acoustic studio versions of songs already released.

Both are fantastic and showcase the Scandinavians' amazingly lush and widescreen sound perfectly. It's difficult to pick out a standout track from either CD, such is the beauty and the quality of both. From the spellbinding opening "Salka" through single "Hjomalind" to the previously mentioned brilliance of "Staralfur" this is simply beautiful stuff.

Favourite Song: Salka (Hvarf), Staralfur (Heim)

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