Panda Bear - Person Pitch
First heard Noah Lennox's little side project back in 2004 off a still-unidentified person's iTunes library. Since then, I've had the honor to see him live at the Bowery in NYC and to make sweeeeeet love to "I'm Not" multiple times (highly recommended).
Bjork - Volta
I missed out on seeing her performance at the Shoreline in CA this summer, but I was able to pick up the Icelandic electronic queen's latest before moving to Boston for a few months. She continues to be ever-innovative with her choice of collaborators (Timbaland)and styles with "Innocence" being the stand-out track.
Amon Tobin - Foley Room
Fans of this Brazilian genius seem a bit divided over the abrupt change in styles, but I personally embrace the endearingly sinister tracks off his latest. The tight arrangements on each track provide the rough yet ironically polished finish of the album. I will never stop kicking myself for missing his show in SF this past may because apparently I need to move to Europe now if I ever want to see him perform!
Caribou - Andorra
This was a breath of fresh air in 2007 - each track was handled delicately and it shows. "Melody Day", "Irene" and "She's the One" are perfect. I highly suggest that you go see them live - you will quickly appreciate the amazing drumming abilities of Dan and Co.!
IAM - Saison 5
While my interest in French Rap seems to be waning this year, it was impossible to ignore the new album from the Marseilles super group. From the first track to the last, you'll be blown away with bombs of frustration and social strife a la intricate lyrics and head pounding beats. At the end, you just want to flip France the bird, because even in 2007, France still is full of fuckers.
Modeselektor - Happy Birthday!
This one is all over the "Best of 2007" charts, which is NO surprise to me. This is one of the best electro-funk albums I've hear in a long time, giving me hope that not everything in this sub-genre will end up sounding like Ladytron. "Let Your Love Grow" is beautiful and should be on every wedding DJ's list.
M.I.A. - Kala
While "Galang (Purple Haze)" got really annoying last year, Kala shows that this Sri Lanka beauty has matured in both sound and presentation. Her punky spirit remains but this time her voice does a lot more of the talking (rather than the sound samples). "Paper Planes" is one for the ages.
Bola - Kroungrine
Ever since I started listening to Boards of Canada, I've been on the hunt to own Bola's discography. Darrell Fitton has been the inspiration for the Scottish duo and I knew that once I found some of his stuff, I'd most likely love it too (and I was right). "Halyloola" is the shining gem, but the rest of the album will not disappoint you.
Ulrich Schnauss - Goodbye
Goodbye is quite delightful - you cannot find a weak track on this album. "Stars" is the song that motivated me to finish one of the hardest semesters of my life, just the melody alone can't keep you from feeling energized. "Goodbye" and "Enfield" are also positively beautiful and the latter should be played during a late night drive in the mountains.
Prefuse 73 - Preparations
While One Word Extinguisher is the best thing Scott Herren ever did for the world, Preparations is certainly worthy of love too. The entire album could easily be the soundtrack to an overlooked Pam Grier film from the 1970's, with the stunning track "Class of 73 (feat. the School of Seven Bells)" for the end credits. This song also led me to discover Ben Curtis' new project, The School of Seven Bells which will hopefully keep making songs like this (and are currently touring with Prefuse 73).
Listen to the original track on the myspace page:
Radiohead - House of Cards (from: In Rainbows)
While Radiohead's decision to make In Rainbows free online is commendable, I'm glad I didn't pay for what is a good, but not great collection of tracks. I will always love Radiohead regardless of what they do with their music but they haven't made an album quite like OK Computer since - and you know it. "House of Cards" however is a song that will play in your head long after your iPod has run out of battery life.
The Knife - Silent Shout
Yeah I know this came out last year, but fuck it, it was one my personal favorites for this year too. There is not one track that won't haunt you, infiltrate your soul and become a part of your every breath. Although after seeing some concert footage, it became readily apparent that the live version of Hearbeats is better than the album version on Deep Cuts.
I'm sure there are other albums that I've forgotten, or never got around to listening to, but I can't hate too much on 2007 with all this great music!