I can't believe it's almost the end of the year already! In honor of the new year (and of me having internet at home again!), here are my top picks for the year:
Top Ten Albums of 2007:
I'm not usually really into listening to full albums. I'm more of a fall-in-love with individual songs kind of girl. But here are the full albums that I've listened to over and over again this year.
Josh Ritter – The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
Not my favorite Josh Ritter album, but really great. It's more upbeat than a lot of his earlier stuff, which is fun. I don't think the lyrics on this album live up to his potential, but they're still good.
Pelle Carlberg – In a Nutshell
I might be a little premature in including this one, since I just discovered it a week ago, but it's been on constant rotation on my ipod ever since. Reminds me of Belle and Sebastian. Cheerful sounding, but with darker lyrics at times. His sense of humor also just cracks me up. Best song -- Middle Class Kid. Best Lyrics -- I love you, you imbecile. I think I want to have that song played at my wedding someday. Choice lyrics "I love the way you talk, I love the way you stalk me with your mobile phone. I love the way you smile, the way you're juvenile . . . " It's actually a very cute little song about loving someone in spite (or even because) their flaws.
The New Pornographers -- Challengers
Putting the New Pornographers on the CD player always makes me happy. What else can I really say about them?
Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Okay, so the title is dumb, but the music is classic Spoon. It really gets my blood pumping. Great for listening to in the car at full blast.
Okkervil River – The Stage Names
How can you not love a band that, in the middle of a song about the suicide of a famous poet, breaks into a cover of the Beach Boys' Sloop John B so melancholy you almost don't recognize it.
Bishop Allen – The Broken String
LOVE them. Fun, funny, cheerful. Great lyrics. The version of The News from Your Bed on this album is not as great as the original on last year's LP, but it's still one of my favorite songs of the year. And Rain has become one of my favorite songs to listen to on my way to work in the mornings. Best line -- "If things are every gonna get any better, they've got to get worse for a while."
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Some Loud Thunder
When I first got this album, I blasted it on the stereo for house cleaning and it was exactly perfect. I'm sure my landlord got tired of hearing it come through the walls. The song "Underwater you and me" is near the top of my favorite songs of the year, too.
Beruit – Postcards from Italy
Hard to even describe. It's like punk meets Polka. Just listen to it. Favorite song -- Elephant Gun
Rilo Kiley -- More Adventurous
Okay, so this one didn't actually come out in 2007, but it wins the award for CD most often in my car CD player this year, and I DID only discover it in March, so it's a 2007 album for me. Unfortunately, the album of theirs that did come out this year is not so good. I haven't been able to get into it at all.
Top Reads of 2007
These are not actually all books that came out this year, but they're books that I've read for the first time this year and really enjoyed. Most of them I've already written about on this Blog, so I'll skip the descriptions.
Kate Moses – Wintering
Jonathan Lethem – Motherless Brooklyn
Marcus Zuzak – The Book Thief
JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Gail Tsukiyama – The Samurai’s Garden
Mary Doria Russell -- The Sparrow
Elizabeth Gilbert -- Eat, Pray, Love
Ted Kooser -- Delight and Shadows (Poetry)
I'm not going to do a top movies list. I've seen some pretty good movies this year, but not enough to really do a full list, I think. And, really, I just don't get quite as excited about movies as I do about books and music. :-)