ZME Music Top 50 Albums of 2007


40.jpgArtist: Kamelot
Album: Ghost Opera
Gender: Power Metal/Symphonic Metal
Label: SPV
Release date: June 5, 2007
Buy: Amazon

Kamelot are starting to be recognized as one of the finest symphonic metal bands going and they are probably worthy of this. But they still leave the impression that they could do better than this. This release continues their fine run of form as they have not succumbed to the dreaded radio or record label pressures; instead they are keeping it wise and avoiding the trap of over-familiarity.

39.jpgArtist: Feist
Album: The Reminder
Gender: Indie/Pop
Label: Interscope
Release date: April 23, 2007
Buy: Amazon

Mostly written on the road, the new LP gets its inspiration from the disconnections of non-stop, intercontinental hotel-jumping. How the subtle charms of The Reminder unobtrusively unfold are part of this album’s appeal. One is advised to experience The Reminder in solitude first, then perhaps listen with another person or two, and then again in solitude. By the third listen, the lyrics, always something of a puzzle where Feist is concerned, are less cryptic and the melodies take hold like the warm.

38.jpgArtist: Ozzy Osbourne
Album: Black Rain
Gender: Heavy Metal
Label: Epic Records
Release date: May 22, 2007
Buy: Amazon

Accordind to the artist this release is the first he has recorded sober. That could sound discouraging but wait just a bit because fortunately a sober Ozzy is also a pissed off Ozzy. This Ozzy is not the washed out reality TV dad; this Ozzy is the one who gets you moving. Nothing as good as Crazy train here but an unexpected recovery of the man.

37.jpgArtist: Dream Theater
Album: Systematic Chaos
Gender: Progressive Metal
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release date: June 5, 2007
Buy: Amazon

There is no middle way here; you either are a loyal fan or you can not stand them. It is as easy as that. But either way you have to acknowledge that their music is very high quality. So those who can not stand them are not going to listen to this anyway and those who do probably have listened to this so they know what it is about. Only thing worth sayin is that it is better than 2005’s Octavarium, and is one of the best Dream Theater releases in quite a while.

36.jpgArtist: Sigur Rós
Album: Hvarf-Heim
Gender: Post-Rock
Label: XL Recordings
Release date: November 5, 2007
Buy: Amazon

Hvarf/Heim is one of the most artistic and warm records of the year, fact that can be sensed from the title alone, that is if you speak hopelandinc; Heaven/Home (Hvarf/Heim). The whole record seems like a soundtrack compilation for a really emotive and passionate movie and considering they’ve made more soundtracks, then any of their contemporaries, that isn’t to hard to believe. Much like the rest of their music, Hvarf/Heim, is meant to be felt, not listened; it’s no wonder they went around making their own language for their music.

35.jpgArtist: Burial
Album: Untrue
Gender: Dubstep
Label: Hyperdub
Release date: November 5, 2007
Buy: Amazon

I’ve always been fascinated by the man behind the moniker of Burial, that decides to evade from the mainstream, protected by a shroud of anonymity, and evade into the underground circles of dubstep. Untrue is a worthy follow up to an instant genre classic; an album that despite various flaws, has plenty of variety, fresh ideas and the ingenuity that many of Burial’s peers lack.

34.jpgArtist: Mika
Album: Life in Cartoon Motion
Gender: Pop
Label: Universal Records
Release date: March 27, 2007
Buy: Amazon

The former boy soprano is now a singer-songwriter and he has made his statement very clearly; British music needs an injection of high-camp glitz: not an unreasonable conclusion, given British music is so glamour-starved. Beyond from that and trends and everything nonmusic related he is a good at what he does. Listen to him or not but you have to give the man credit; he makes good music.

33.jpgArtist: Ryan Admas
Album: Easy Tiger
Gender: Country/Rock
Label: Lost Highway Records
Release date: June 25, 2007
Buy: Amazon

With a new found sobriety Ryan Adams has managed to make a solid and consistent effort, in the form of his country masterpiece Easy Tiger, with concise songwriting and performances, that make remarkably tight and easy to digest record. After years of tilting at raging rock and whispered balladry, Adams has an integrated hybrid that beats with the trembling rhythms of his own seeking, at times broken, hear

32.jpgArtist: Lake of Tears
Album: Moons and Mushrooms
Gender: Progressive Metal
Label: Black Mark
Release date: April 27, 2007
Buy: Amazon

Lake Of Tears is about very tight riffs, laid back vocals, a dark undercurrent full of melancholy and a beautiful guitar solo. Just about every tune here has a magnificent guitar solo. The thing is that they somehow manage to blend compelling rock with a gloomy edge making this a bit psychedelic. They have added another top album to their repertory with ‘Moons And Mushrooms’.

31.jpgArtist: Therion
Album: Gothic Kabblah
Gender: Symphonic Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast
Release date: February 6, 2007
Buy: Amazon

Gothic Kabbalah is about as perplexing as its sacrilegious name implies. Unexpected even for them the album gives a cryptic, confusing and ambitious set of songs which are technically impressive and balanced by alternating between several male and female singers. A bit uninspired at some moments but magnificent at others. This probably is not going to rock your world but it is definitely worth listening to carefully.

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