Aaron Brummet | Music

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Since so many "Best Of’s" come across as highly abritrary, I’ve decided to keep this as honest as possible. I make no claims that these are the best to be released in 2007, or that the list is undebatable/all-inclusive/anything more than personal preference (for example, I didn’t get the chance to see the critical darling Once this year, so as great as it likely is, it wouldn’t be fair to include it.) In fact, I’ve even foregone an outright numbering system, as I don’t feel it’s quite fair to rank a biographical art film against a star-studded Hollywood comedy. The "2007" tag is based on the work’s nationwide U.S. release date. Additionally, in the interest of brevity, I’ve kept each exposition to a sentence or two. With that in mind, here are the top ten rock albums I heard in 2007.

My Favorite (More or Less) Rock Albums of 2007

1. Of Montreal | Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? (Polyvinyl)
The band seems intent on perfecting their psychedelic disco sound, and appears to have done so with the glorious epic "The Past Is a Grotesque Animal." Easily their masterpiece… for now.

2. Linkin Park | Minutes to Midnight (Warner Bros.)
This bold reinvention pays off in spades, as the band shows improvement in every area. Solid lyrics, musicianship and diversity combine to form a thematically fluid and surprisingly moving album.

3. Jimmy Eat World | Chase This Light (Interscope)
Though I’d have to favor both Futures and Bleed American over this, a middle-of-the-road Jimmy Eat World release is still better than most bands’ best. "Gotta Be Somebody’s Blues" alone is worth the price of admission.

4. Skindred | Roots Rock Riot (Bieler Bros.)
Everyone should have room in their musical diet for a little reggae-metal. Mostly thanks to Benji Webbe’s hyperactive vocals, few releases this year were more fun than this unnoticed offering.

5. Nine Inch Nails | Year Zero (Interscope)
The viral marketing campaign enough should earn this concept album some credit, but it helps that Trent Reznor’s paranoia converts nicely into a (possibly not-so) sci-fi world.

6. Kaiser Chiefs | Yours Truly, Angry Mob (Universal)
The awesomeness that is "Ruby" would keep this album near the top even if the rest of the tracks were rubbish. Fortunately, they aren’t.

7. Athlete | Beyond the Neighbourhood (Parlophone)
It may lack an addictive standout like the title tracks of Vehicles and Animals and Tourist, but this easily the London band’s most solid and altogether beautiful album to date.

8. Dolores O’Riordan | Are You Listening? (Sequel/Sanctuary)
Maybe I just miss the Cranberries, but this release was a welcome return from one of music’s most unique and sincere voices.

9. Chevelle | Vena Sera (Epic)
A few generic missteps don’t do much damage to this release, which includes some of Pete Loeffler’s best vocals and the band’s hardest tracks yet.

10. LCD Soundsystem | Sound of Silver (DFA)
As the genre quickly fills up with copycats and wannabes, James Murphy has created nearly perfect marriage of dance and rock music. Rookies should take note.

And…

Blindside | The Black Rose EP (s/r)
The best EP of the year goes to the little Swedes who could. Their brand of honest rock continues to impress, even without a label.

Electric Six | I Shall Exterminate Everything Around Me That Restricts Me from Being the Master (Metropolis)
I have to admit, I haven’t actually heard this. But that doesn’t stop it from claiming the award for "Beyond Awesome Album Title of the Year." | Aaron Brummet

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