Tuesday, January 01, 2008

UK Blogger Albums Of 2007 Poll Results

It's the first day of a new year, and so time to tally up and declare a winner in our third annual poll of the UK music blogging community to see who joins Funeral and Return To Cookie Mountain in the imagined pantheon. As usual we sought out and asked many a blogger for their personal charts, and occasionally if we're honest utilised lists from a few who we hadn't contacted or hadn't directly responded, just to make the numbers up. It's not illegal.

Specific mentions this year go to 17 Seconds, A Space For Music Liberation, Abstract Boy, Adventures In Tweed, Black Country Grammar, Bloodshed In The Woodshed, Broken FM, Domino Rally, Fire Escape Talking, funfunfun, Headphone Sex, ireallylovemusic, In League With Paton, Lots Of Random Words, No Ripcord, Nothing But Green Lights, Parallax View, Rock Sellout, Song By Toad, Stop Clapping Start Doing, The Daily Growl, The Indie Credential, The Line Of Best Fit, The Pop Cop, The Runout Groove, The Von Pip Musical Express, Troubled Diva, Yer Mam! - thanks to you all and the floating bloggers who also contributed, and apologies to anyone we missed out - and also Hey Charlie!, which we single out because a) it's actually now dormant and b) Thomas wanted us to give a special mention to Tracy Is Hot And The Clap, who'd been his actual number one choice but we callously disallowed on the 'not available in shops' rule. Sorry.

Enough of the niceties, then, here's how the 2007 top 50 panned out:

50 THE MACCABEES - Colour It In
49 THE BESNARD LAKES - The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horses
48 VON SUDENFED - Tromatic Reflexxions
47 DEERHUNTER - Cryptograms
46 MALCOLM MIDDLETON - A Brighter Beat
45 KATE NASH - Made Of Bricks
44 JOHNNY BOY - Johnny Boy
43 THE GO! TEAM - Proof Of Youth
42 EDITORS - An End Has A Start
41 ASOBI SEKSU - Citrus
39 ANDREW BIRD - Armchair Apocrypha
38 BEIRUT - The Flying Club Cup
36 THE YOUNG REPUBLIC - Twelve Tales From Winter City *
35 DIGITALISM - Idealism
34 ROBERT WYATT - Comicopera
32 PJ HARVEY - White Chalk
31 THE CRIBS - Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever
30 DEERHOOF - Friend Opportunity
29 WILCO - Sky Blue Sky
28 GRINDERMAN - Grinderman
26 THE ARCTIC MONKEYS - Favourite Worst Nightmare
25 THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE QUEEN - The Good The Bad And The Queen
24 CHERRY GHOST - Thirst For Romance
23 OKKERVIL RIVER - The Stage Names
22 ELECTRELANE - No Shouts, No Calls
21 KINGS OF LEON - Because Of The Times

(* Technically not properly released until January, but qualifies via a very small limited edition issue in the autumn)

20 THE SHINS - Wincing The Night Away
Number two in the Billboard chart, New Mexico's own power-poppers developed a maturity and extra consideration in sound to fit James Mercer's literate ambitions
Video: Phantom Limb

19 THE WOMBATS - A Guide To Love, Loss And Desperation
In a sea of post-Libertines makeweights the Liverpudlian trio's shamelessly upbeat pop made aiming for the indie dancefloor that little bit less poisonous a concept
Video: Backfire At The Disco

18 THE RAVEONETTES - Lust Lust Lust
The Danish duo's fourth full-length refined their surf-pop Mary Chainisms by taking away the Radio 2-attracting sheen and adding shoegaze static and programming
Video: Dead Sound

17 RILO KILEY - Under The Blacklight
Some cried sell-out, but Lewis and Sennett's fourth collection took Rumours as an unguilty pleasure starting point for infectiously melodic intrigue
Video: Silver Lining

16 INTERPOL - Our Love To Admire
Still set slap bang in twilight NYC seediness, but this time with a more muscular approach that takes the Joy Division comparisons and makes them more expansive
Video: No I In Threesome

15 LES SAVY FAV - Let's Stay Friends
After six years LSF returned refreshed, incendiary and with lessons to teach the post-punks that turned up in their stead while retaining their usual singular fasion
Video: Patty Lee

14 OF MONTREAL - Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?
Just eight albums in Kevin Barnes hit paydirt with a kind of concept album to his own relocation-related emotional imbalance to a psych-electro-glam soundtrack
Video: Suffer For Fashion

13 LUCKY SOUL - The Great Unwanted
This year's foremost nodders to the Spectorite girl group influence, Greenwich's own overcame easy retro with tales of heartbreak and anti-cool celebration
Video: Add Your Light To Mine Baby

12 THE TWILIGHT SAD - Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters
Kilsyth's finest marry walls of chiming, reverberating guitars to post-post-rock anthemry and Scottish small town familial lyrical angst and intrigue
Video: And She Would Darken The Memory (live)

11 FEIST - The Reminder
A classicist soul record, but not as they make them any more, sounding naturally arranged and orchestrated and influenced by her earlier light electropop leanings
Video: My Moon My Man

10 JUSTICE - †
In the year dance music broke back it was only right and proper that its finest exponents should be a French duo, taking notes from eary 80s electropop and big beat to create their own feelgood aura and dancefloor demands
Video: D.A.N.C.E.

9 JENS LEKMAN - Night Falls Over Kortedala
No matter what the production values and orchestration you'd never confuse the lovelorn Swede with an MOR crooner, such is the imagination in his small town ways lyrics and use of samples and arrangements
Video: Sipping On Sweet Nectar

8 M.I.A. - Kala
Maya goes international, throwing together elements picked up during her international jaunts together from club bass to Aborigine chants in such a way that the danceability quotient rarely lets up. Also political, obviously
Video: Paper Planes

7 PANDA BEAR - Person Pitch
And this is just what Noah Lennox gets up to in Animal Collective downtime, using only patchwork samples layered and looped so as to pitch the Beach Boys' Smile into space, throwing disprite rhythms about over blissful vocals
Video: Comfy In Nautica

6 BATTLES - Mirrored
The year's most voted for debut saw the machines start rebelling - the mathrock supergroup of sorts conjure semi-danceable life from intricate guitars, warped electronics, John Stanier's spectacular drum patterns and heavily mutated robotic grooves
Video: Tonto

5 BURIAL - Untrue
Transcending dubstep before most people had become aware of what dubstep is, the anonymous producer evokes the hum of rainy nights in an early hours city as backing for scraps of found sound, mutated two-step beats, R&B vocals and uncomfortable atmospheres
Video: Archangel (fan made)

4 RADIOHEAD - In Rainbows
Never mind the source, feel the ability - possibly their most straightforward release since The Bends, echoing with the confidence that comes from so much boundary pushing while scraping back a lot of the previous production tricks to reveal melodic invention and even romantic intentions
Video: Jigsaw Falling Into Place

Brooklyn's slow burning masters of melancholic alienated rock almost get streamlined and simultaneously more downbeat, with understated power and poise framing Matt Berninger's warm vocals acting as decoy for poetic anguish. Welcome to this year's breakout Americans.
Video: Apartment Story

2 ARCADE FIRE - Neon Bible
And welcome back to breakout (North) Americans of the last three years, moving on from the wonders of Funeral in an apocalyptic direction, taking their huge sound to even huger levels while retaining the odd instrumentation and choral fists-aloft spirit of that earlier meisterwork.
Video: Black Mirror (live)

1 LCD SOUNDSYSTEM - Sound Of Silver
The clear winner in the end, James Murphy tackled mid-30s dread in the frame of his endless recontextualising of his electronic influences with down and dirty arty techno, acid and disco-punk leaps and in parts a new emotional lyrical pull quite apart from his hipster credentials, adding the heart to the robotic monster of the dancefloor.
Video: All My Friends


Ed said...

Hi, glad to have been of use, and thanks for mentioning me. Always interesting to see what has and hasn't made the lists...

Um, I know this is going to make me sound really pedantic, but Burial's Untrue isn't a debut, it's the follow-up to 2006's Burial. However, I hadn't even heard about Burial until I read an article in the wire a couple of months ago, so please do not take this as any sort of 'I Was (T)here First!' ranting, I really wasn't.

Hope you're well, Ed

Simon said...

What makes that mistake even sillier is I'd checked last year's results to see if Burial got any votes (it didn't). Rectified now, anyway, cheers.

Daniel said...

Thanks so much for including me in this poll - good to see the results. All the best for 2008!



Dead Kenny said...

Thanks for putting the hard work into compiling this, Simon.

As I have 17 of these records in my collection, and 7 of my Top 10 made the 50, I have to say this looks as impressive an end-of-year list as I've seen for 2007.

Surprised at the high showings for The Wombats and Cherry Ghost, though...

The Daily Growl said...

Good work again Simon. Good list in all, except for the inclusion of the Wombats of course. Even the nation's arbiters of good taste have the occasional slip. I know I do...

Anonymous said...

nice to see Jens Lekman getting sneaking into the top ten.

thanks again for asking us to take part!


The Pop Cop said...

Good job, Simon. You went to a lot of effort there. I thought Boxer would have come top, but oh well!

The Pop Cop