what i found keen in 2007: my take on the top albums (the first five)
1* cassadaga ~ bright eyes
without a doubt, my favorite album of 2007. i slid it into the cd player, in my car, and started listening to it and had to pull over to the side of the road to take it all in. i have cried many tears to this album, quoted lyrics from the songs countless times, even named this blog from a line in when the brakeman turns my way. this is conor's cleaning up, growing up, struggling but finding a bit more of himself album, and oh my stars do i feel it.
2* under the blacklight ~ rilo kiley
my favorite gig of the year, and an album i have loved with almost as much passion and fervor as cassadaga. continuing with their take on los angeles, in all it's grit and glory, is a collection of songs that veer into country, rock, indie pop, and something that is so uniquely theirs that it defies genre categorization. sex and love, sin and redemption, and all the dangers that fall in the in-between. i love it, so much. and i sort of adore that so many friends who never bothered with them before seem to have fallen in love, too.
3* neon bible ~ arcade fire
this is a sure thing on just about any list i am sure to find. i think it out-indies even radiohead, and somehow i still find it in my top five. the album is so visual-inducing, each song feeling like a tiny film just waiting to flicker across a screen. there are stories in every line, and i find myself getting lost in each and every track, not quite sure that i want the end to come.
4* once soundtrack
as much as i adore soundtracks, i do not think i have ever put one on a top album list. but, this is definitely an exception worthy of any top list. i still have not seen the film, though i am quite sure that once i do it will also find it's way into a top list of films, too. the songs, they slay me. they bring me to tears and overflow me with a level of emotion that i sometimes lack words to describe. i think that if you listen closely enough there will be a song among the album that hits you so deep beneath your exterior self that you will swear it is about you. it is that personal, that intimate, and that full of raw truth; love with the fairytale peeled away to reveal what lies within.
5* boxer ~ the national
this album reminds me of something i would have fallen hard for in the late eighties; the album leaning right next to the cure, psychedelic furs, sisters of mercy, and my (at the time) newly discovered velvet underground. there is something slightly dark here, laden with emotion and self-deprecation. this is the music of uncertainty, confusion, and longing that is stained with the ugly marks of jealousy and lust. it feels like the soundtrack of losing yourself as you find yourself, falling apart to fall in love, breaking down before your time has come to collapse.