Monday, January 7, 2008

2007 Hit-List Part III - Essential Non Hip-Hop Albums of '07

Despite a obsession with hip-hop culture, don't think for one second that [dom corleone] doesn't appreciate others. This Hit-List represents a variety of artists from many genres, from soulful divas to experimental rockers, proving that there are truly only 2 classifications of music - good or bad:

Amy Winehouse – Back To Black

Media coverage of Winehouse's out-of-studio antics overshadowed the reality in '07 - the girl can sing her damn heart out. The British 20-something's soul-jazz voice on Back To Black resembles that of Ella Fitzgerald. Winehouse's sophomore effort has a nostalgic sound paying homage to the 50's and 60's jazz scene blended with modern-day subject matter for a revitalizing fresh feeling.

Essential Listening:



To Know Him Is To Love Him (Incredibly spiritual live acoustic song released on Napster)

Arcade Fire - Neon Bible

Montreal-based indie collective Arcade Fire delivered their most commercially successful album to date last year, Neon Bible. The group experimented with many instruments beyond the typical rock guitars and drums for an orchestral sound perfect for its subtle social commentary and personal revelations. Neon Bible debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 behind only Notorious B.I.G.'s greatest hits CD - these Canadians ain't too shabby, aye.

Essential Listening:

Neon Bible



Bob Marley & The Wailers – Exodus [30th Anniversary Edition]

A reissue of Bob Marley's timeless Exodus 30 years after the original release featuring classic songs like "Exodus," "Jamming," "Three Little Birds" and "One Love/ People Get Ready" and lesser-known but equally inspirational tracks such as "Waiting In Vain" and "Natural Mystic." Tuff Gong's quintessential album is as good as new - 'nuff said.

Essential Listening:

Three Little Birds


Natural Mystic

Bruce Springsteen – Magic

Asbury Park, New Jersey's famous rockers Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band return with Magic, a collection of upbeat rock anthems and familiar down-to-earth content. Lead single "Radio Nowhere" questions "Is there anybody alive out there?" - the answer here is an enthusiastic "Yes!"

Essential Listening:

Radio Nowhere


Terry's Song (Hidden Track) (an emotional tribute to Bruce's late assistant and long-time friend Terry Magovern)

Pressure Busspipe – Love and Affection

Hailing from the U.S. Virgin Islands, Pressure's voice is smooth and well-pronounced on his sophomore album Love and Affection. From the uplifting "Be Free" and "Touch The Sky" to the agony of "Ghetto Life" and "Why," the disc is a genuine, purifying experience.

Essential Listening:

Be Free


Touch The Sky

Radiohead – In Rainbows

These Brit alternative art-rock heroes made history by releasing In Rainbows exclusively online and allowing fans to choose the album's price themselves, later distributing a physical deluxe box set with a second disc and vinyl copies of each. The album is artsy and intriguing, blending Thom Yorke's poetry with lush, climactic instrumentals for a colorful musical concoction.

Essential Listening:

All I Need

4 Minute Warning

Weird Fishes / Arpeggi

Slightly Stoopid – Chronchitis

Chronchitis signals this SoCal band's sound shift towards reggae and bluesy rock from their previous albums of heavy ska and punk influences. The LP's bouncy rhythms plus nifty guitar work let leadmen Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald describe beach-side memories while slower love songs make the listener want to lay out a towel for two - perfect tunes for a breezy summer afternoon at the shore.

Essential Listening:



Above The Clouds

Chris Brown - Exclusive

Eagles – Long Road out of Eden

From Dubplate to Download: The Best of Greensleeves Records

Luv Fyah & Million 7 – Ethiopia We Belong

Miles Davis – The Complete on the Corner Sessions

Ne-Yo – Because Of You

Ras Shiloh – Only King Selassie

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand

Sigur Ros – Hvarf-Heim

Stephen Marley – Mind Control

Smashing Pumpkins – Zeitgeist

This January is the last relaxing month for me since I'll be graduating in May, so I'll use it for a couple more '07 lists.. stay up!

[babylon is falling]

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