2007 in music seems to be all about making up for neglected artists in previous columns, a lot of love and appreciation, and one hell of a dance party. Let’s do this.
Ruby – Kaiser Chiefs
I used to confuse Kaiser Chiefs with Kasabian, which is a bit silly, since they don’t really sound alike. Sure, they’re both from England and have released albums around the same time and both begin with the letter K, but Kaiser Chiefs are a lighter version of Aughts British Rock. I dig this single from Your Truly, Angry Mob, though I will admit that they’ve never grabbed ahold of me in the same way Kasabian does. Still, worth a listen.
Missed The Boat – Modest Mouse
Although I’ve never been super into Modest Mouse – they’re fine, I enjoy them, but haven’t fallen in love – you’re damn right I am going to talk about the album where Johnny Marr was a full-fledged member of the band, We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank. Listen to that lovely guitar! Listen to his background vocals! I will love everything he ever does.
However, I am wondering why this song requires two drum kits.
One Man Revolution – The Nightwatchman
G’wan, Tom Morello, you do your thing. I do love his low, Leonard Cohen-esque voice. I’ve always meant to buy this album because I’ve loved everything I’ve heard from it. He’s great.
Please Read The Letter – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
Here’s another album I’ve always meant to own. When it first came out, I thought, If my dad were still alive, I’d have bought this for him for Christmas, if he didn’t have it already. Though as a fan of both Robert Plant in all his incarnations and Alison Krauss, he probably would have bought it immediately upon its release.
“Please Read The Letter” is a lovely slow-burn of a song, originally written by Jimmy Page and Plant for their 1998 album together. It’s full of quiet longing and I really must listen to more of this album, Raising Sand.
I Feel It All – Feist
Remember how Feist was everywhere for awhile? A friend of mine mentioned enjoying her shortly before her songs became ubiquitous, and I promptly forgot about her suggestion until “1, 2, 3, 4″ was all over the place. I felt like including a different single from the same album because I like the title “I Feel It All” and it is indeed a great tune. Feist is another I should really play more often.
Ever Present Past – Paul McCartney
Since I only started this column with the year 1983, there have not been a ton of chances to include Paul McCartney, mostly due to my not paying attention to much of his solo stuff. But in 2007, I was watching a lot of TV, and he was all over the talk shows promoting the album Memory Almost Full. I found that I really did like the first single, “Ever Present Past,” although there is something quite funny about him doing a choreographed video. Converse trainers and all.
Icky Thump – The White Stripes
Taken from the album of the same name, here are The White Stripes performing on Jools Holland. I love that they take their focused sound and color scheme and translate it to a TV appearance, right down to the floor they stand upon. I love how massive they can make a song with so few instruments.
When Under Ether – PJ Harvey
Polly Jean, I love you, and I love this piano-based tune. It’s beautiful and haunting and thought-provoking, like all the best PJ Harvey songs.
None Shall Pass – Aesop Rock
This one’s for the mister, who counts Aesop Rock among his favorites. Not to be confused with A$AP Rocky, this MC came first. I do enjoy the beat in this song, and the video is quite visually interesting. If you’re a fan of indie hip-hop and aren’t already familiar with Aesop Rock, do check him out.
Bleed It Out – Linkin Park
Minutes to Midnight is an excellent album, and I will indeed fight you if you try to slag off Linkin Park in general. Yes, I know they came about the musical world around the same time as crappier rock-rap bands, but these guys know what they are doing. They have grown into a musically complex band with an art school undercurrent.
I love the claps, the whole steady beat to “Bleed It Out.” It might very well be impossible not to bob your head along with this song, and I imagine it is quite something live. (Ed. note – It’s AMAZING live! -Hillary)
Bodysnatchers – Radiohead
Oh, I do love when Radiohead use their crunchy guitar. It’s taken me all the way until my near-30s to properly appreciate Radiohead, but better late than never. In Rainbows was the band’s foray into download-only, name-your-price album release, an experiment that worked out well for them. I’m not really familiar with the album, but I thought its more unusual release was worth noting in this week’s column.
Again, Again, and Again – Blaqk Audio
Though the mister loves AFI, I could never quite get him into Davey Havok and Jade Puget’s side project, Blaqk Audio. It was a little too dance party for him, but no matter – our son and I have certainly appreciated it. The boy was born in 2007, and he’d been dancing inside me from the moment his little almost-born brain could hear sounds in the womb, so it’s no surprise he digs electronic, upbeat music.
“Again, Again, and Again” is the most “club kid”-sounding on the album, Cexcells. Davey’s voice is lovely and low here, and no, it’s not for every AFI fan, but it works for me. (Do forgive that the above embedded video plays the song twice. Though, don’t you want to listen to it twice? Why not!)
Paper Planes – M.I.A.
I really debated over which song from Kala to feature – “Paper Planes” or “Jimmy.” In the end, I couldn’t resist her massive single, though do click through for “Jimmy” and have yourself a dancey good time. I don’t know if “Paper Planes” is the first hit song to have gunshots as a sample, but it is likely the first to also pair it with an old cash register ding!
The One (Freemasons Vocal Club Remix) – Kylie Minogue
We’ve neglected the pop pixie Kylie in this column, so let me rectify that now with one of her singles released after her recovery from breast cancer, “The One.” She’s my favorite Doctor Who Christmas special companion, and her songs are a lot of fun.
Spice Up Your Life – Spice Girls
Apart from my 1996 Nostalgia piece, I have not given the Spice Girls enough attention. So since their Greatest Hits album was released in 2007, let us enjoy them now. Team Posh Spice 4Eva.
Now let’s dance!
When we’re done, tell me your favorite songs from 2007.