ZME Music Top 50 Albums of 2007


30.jpgArtist: Dinosaur Jr.
Album: Beyond
Gender: Alternative Rock
Label: Fat Possum Records
Release date: May 1, 2007
Buy: Amazon

It’s been 20 years since Dinosaur Jr proved it was possible to reconcile punk’s embrace of noise with the grandeur and sweep of stadium rock – and in the process laid the foundations for the Pixies and Nirvana. Sadly they got into a a messy divorce, before they had the chance to make it to the upper rock stratosphere, now in 2007 the band’s members reconciled and recorded together their comeback in the form of Beyond. Beyond doesn’t break any new ground, but as the sound of a group of guys enjoying playing together again after two decades of enmity, and as a testament to the power of good old fashioned rock ’n’ roll, it’s one of the most refreshing records of the year.

29.pngArtist: Carrie Underwood
Album: Carnival Ride
Gender: Country/Pop
Label: Arista Nashville
Release date: October 23, 2007
Buy: Amazon

She has evolved in reverse in a way; while most country stars go forward and reach for mainstream pop records she went just the other way. She learned some things and she proved that she is not just a pretty face but that she has attitude. You could find here rock, blues, and pop as well as country which makes it versatile and you are not going to get bored listening to this.

28.jpgArtist: Band of Horses
Album: Cease to Begin
Gender: Indie
Label: Sub Pop Records
Release date: October 9, 2007
Buy: Amazon

Unlike last year’s terrific debut, Everything All the Time, you’re not going to find much variety in the musical flavor here. That’s not necessarily a bad thing either. Cease to Begin is a ten-piece set of tuneful, outrageously well-crafted indie-pop songs that are about as well-written and slickly produced as anything out there.Sure, Band of Horses could stand to shake it up a bit, but for now Bridwell (frontman) seems content just to enjoy the view.

27.jpgArtist: Neil Young
Album: Chrome Dreams II
Gender: Folk/Country Rock/Hard Rock
Label: Reprise Records
Release date: October 23, 2007
Buy: Amazon

The musical genius of Neil Young has not faded but in fact it appears to be as vibrant as ever. This work is going to blow you away as it is not just a good Neil Young album; the thing with the 20 minutes track is just epic and it writes a yet another chapter to his legacy. Listen to it and the music is going to do the rest; you shall be hooked!

26.jpgArtist: Robert Plant & Alisson Krauss
Album: Raising Sands
Gender: Folk Rock
Label: Rounder Records
Release date: October 23, 2007
Buy: Amazon

News that Robert Plant and Alison Krauss were collaborating was an eyebrow-raiser, generating a wellspring of questions about where the rock icon and modern bluegrass luminary would find common ground. While they may seem like a unlikely pair, their two high-pitched, emotive voices fit together well to create a distinctively satisfying album of rootsy American music.

25.jpgArtist: M.I.A.
Album: Kala
Gender: Hip-Hop
Label: XL Recordings
Release date: August 8, 2007
Buy: Amazon

Maya Arulpragasam (M.I.A.) soon became one of the most respected and promising new wave hip-hop artist, grats to her stunning debut Arular in 2005. Faced with the sophomore slump, many predicted she’d fall in, M.I.A. Not only managed to produce a worthy follow up, but surpassed it as well. The colossal beats are more clean-cut, Maya’s voice is now the centre of the songs and the album seems more like a production rather than a random collection of beats and raps.

24.jpgArtist: Within Temptation
Album: The Heart of Everything
Gender: Symphonic Metal
Label: Roadrunner Records
Release date: July 24, 2007
Buy: Amazon

Another great record from Within Temptation. The thing is that they went for a bit more mainstream touch which made old fans *cough* me *cough* a bit dissapointed. Sure tracks from the previous releases could not have appealed to everybody and these ones can yet they could have taken some chances. Everything is just played safe here in the way that they know they can sound this way easy and they did not want to go further. This release is not their best and Sharon’s voice has not improved greatly. Those who claim this have no idea whatsoever about this fantastic band.

23.jpgArtist: Kings of Leon
Album: Because of the Times
Gender: Garage Rock
Label: Hand Me Down
Release date: April 3, 2007
Buy: Amazon

Kings of Leon, or the Southern Strokes as they’ve come to be known, due to their garage rock revivalism, have successfully managed to produce another truly rock album with Because of The Times. Hardcore fans may be a bit disappointed, as they’ve developed a new sound, a lot different from their last effort Aha Shake Heartbreak , but still retaining their characteristic southern vibe and unlike their more popular garage rock brethren Because Of The Times isn’t catchy at all, requiring many listens to sink in. And what a treat it is, when it does. As it stands, ‘Because Of The Times’ cements Kings Of Leon as one of the great American bands of our times. It’s good to have them back.

22.jpgArtist: Mark Knopfler
Album: Kill to Get Crimson
Gender: Rock
Label: Warner Bros. Records
Release date: September 17, 2007
Buy: Amazon

Unfortunately not everyday you are faced with such a record that you could just listen to from one end to the other without losing interest. Mark Knopfler fans, and Rock fans alike will be pleased with this one. Some have claimed that this album is nowhere near his Dire Straits days; they are right. Because he is in fact singing something else and the association is useless. Just listen to the music because it is going to bring you pleasure the Mark Knopfler way.

21.jpgArtist: Sunset Rubdown
Album: Random Spirit Lover
Gender: Rock
Label: Jagjaguwar
Release date: October 9, 2007
Buy: Amazon

The overall tone of the album may be too a bit too”prog” for some listeners, but, as ever, Krug is writing songs. For a songwriter who splits his attention between multiple bands (Swan Lake and Wolf Parade, among them), his imagination is intimidating. Like the seance medium the album’s title conjures, he seems to have some supernatural gift for pulling songs out of thin air. I seems that, like King Midas, whatever Spencer Krug touches turns into gold<

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