What Brian Does When He Has To Study: Best Albums of 2007!

It’s almost the end of the semester, which means it’s time for the “Almost End of the Year” best albums of the year list. A lot happened this year. Kevin Drew confused everyone with his ‘solo album,’ Jay-Z confused everyone by not making the soundtrack to American Gangster starring Denzel Washington, and Spoon released the best worst-titled album of the year. Radiohead made another brilliant record, and Wilco proved they are too old to keep making music. Here are my 25 favorite of the year. Honorary mentions include St. Vincent’s Marry Me (mainly for the title being an Arrested Development reference) and last year’s number one artist, Beirut, for the great but predictable The Flying Cup Club. Here they are!
25. Icky Thump by The White Stripes
24. Ugly Magic by Everything, Now!
23. Neon Bible by Arcade Fire
22. Wild Mountain Nation by Blitzen Trapper
21. In Our Bedroom, After the War by Stars
20. In Our Nature by Jose Gonzales
19. Armchair Apocrypha by Andrew Bird
18. Tears of the Valedictorian by Frog Eyes
17. Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? by Of
16. † by Justice
15. Love is Simple by Akron/Family
14. Random Spirit Love by Sunset Rubdown
13. Strawberry Jam by Animal Collective
12. Graduation by Kanye West
11. Person Pitch by Panda Bear
10. The Stage Names by Okkervil River
9. The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse by The
Besnard Lakes
8. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga by Spoon
7. The Reminder by Feist
6. Kala by M.I.A.
5. American Gangster by Jay-Z — A concept album with ridiculous replay value, American Gangster is hard to stop listening to. Lush production, soulful samples, and of course, rhymes and flow from one of the best. It almost makes you forget about Kingdom Come.
4. Fill up the Room by Saturday Looks Good to Me — The second best lyrical album of the year, SLGTM’s Fred Thomas is a brilliant songwriter. Moving out of the ’50s inspired pop aesthetic, the band takes their wall of sound and pushes it to a modern realization.
3. Night Falls Over Kortedala by Jens Lekman — I want Jens Lekman to produce Jay-Z’s next album. Listen to this, your face will fall off.
2. In Rainbows by Radiohead — Radiohead doesn’t make bad albums. Their “bad” albums end up on year-end lists. The always-evolving group turned to an almost-minimal sound and succeeded immensely. It’s like one of those albums you listened to as a 14-year-old and can’t decide which one is your favorite track.
1. Boxer by The National — The best album in all regards. It has the literary prowess that Okkervil River strived for, the dramatic instrumentation that The Arcade Fire exaggerated to silliness, the pop sensibility that eluded Animal Collective. Why aren’t these guys more popular?

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