If You Want To Make The Best Album in 2008…

…learn a lesson or two from these artists.

It’s that time of year again….everyone else is doing it so why shouldn’t I? 2007 has been a long, funny diverse year in my life and the music business has been pretty much on par with it. I’m breaking lists in half this year to recognize not only the best albums of the year, but also the breakthroughs, discoveries, fresh looks too. Obviously neither list is in any particular order.

First the 13 best breakthroughs…
Deerhunter – Cryptograms
Au Revoir Simone – The Bird of Music
Peter, Bjorn & John – Writer’s Block (“Young Folks” might scream 2007 in 5 years, but it might be the song of the year…and a good ringtone)
Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
St. Vincent – Marry Me
Foreign Born – On the Wing Now
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black (surprised?)
Elvis Perkins – Ash Wednesday
Okkervil River – The Stage Names
Stars – In Our Bedroom After the War
I’m From Barcelona – Let Me Introduce My Friends (Incidentally makes a frigid Alaska day feel a bit warmer)
Kathy Diamond – Miss Diamond to You
Coconut Records – Nighttiming

The 13 Best Albums of 2007
Josh Ritter – The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
Bruce Springsteen – Magic
Wilco – Sky Blue Sky
Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Feist – The Reminder
Ryan Adams – Easy Tiger
Band of Horses – Cease to Begin
Radiohead – In Rainbows
Kings of Leon – Because of the Times
The Shins – Wincing the Night Away
The National – Boxer
Bjork – Volta

And finally 13 albums I know I’m leaving off…but they’re not far from the list
Travis – The Boy With No Name
Eisley – Combinations
KT Tunstall – Drastic Fantastic
Beirut – The Flying Club Cup
Colin Hay – Are You Lookin’ At Me? (great cameo in Scrubs in season premiere of Scrubs)
Son Volt – The Search
Paul McCartney – Memory Almost Full
Athlete – Beyond the Neighbourhood
The Broken West – I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On
Iron & Wine – The Shepherd’s Dog
Nine Inch Nails – Year Zero
Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
Dan Wilson – Free Life

Incidentally I’m looking forward to some very promising new records in 2008, but that’s another post.

And in case you missed it, here is my post for the Best of 2006. And get your copy of Superbad Tuesday.

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