Saturday, December 22, 2007

Favorites for 2007

Let's get this straight... These aren't "The Best" of 2007, just my favorites. These are the songs and CDs that kept showing up on my CD player. There were lots of great ones this year and these are the best of the best; IMHO. :-)

Favorite Singles
Damien Rice - When Doves Fly
Okay, this isn't really from 2007, but it is the year that I came across it. From an Australian compilation called "Like a Version", Damien creates the type of magic that you rarely get from a cover. From the opening chords, there is something familiar about it. Deep down you know where this song is headed. And when it gets there it will put a big smile on your face.
Rufus Wainwright - Going To A Town
One of the great voices in music today has created his best song to date. With lines like "Tell me do you really think you go to hell for having loved?", Rufus lashes out at the intolerance that still exists today. Combine that with a killer melody and Rufus' natural passion and you have THE BEST song of the year.
Bruce Robison - It Came From San Antonio
Bruce creates a spot-on tribute to The Sir Douglas Quintet with this fun rocker. All of the energy and excitement comes flowing out, just like in the 60's when DougSahm and his band had big hits with songs like "She's About a Mover".
The Red Button - Cruel Girl
A perfect song. Right out of the 60's, this is just pure pop.

Favorite Major Label CDs
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - Raising Sand
Who knew that Bobbie could sing so soft? What a great pair of voices. Then throw in one of the best producers, T-Bone Burnett, and finish it off with lots of good songs, including a new one from Sam Phillips.
Steve Earle - Washington Square Serenade
Changing your style is always a big risk. Steve gets lots of extra points for fiddling with a winning sound. And apparently, being in love has been good for his songwriting too.
Patti Scialfa - Play it as it Lays
This is her best CD yet. Patti's songwriting is so good that her husband could probably take a few lessons from her.
Once - Music from the Motion Picture
The songs tell the story in this movie. It's a wonderful story and that makes this the best soundtrack of the year.
Lori Mckenna - Unglamorous
Wake up America, there's another great songwriter here. Lori's country/folk/rock is contagious.
Joni Mitchell - Shine
If there was to be a degree in singer/songwriting, Joni's music would have to be the bulk of the coursework. "Shine" is a wonderfully social and political work. This is the best grandmother writing today and the younger generations still have plenty to learn.
Bruce Springsteen - Magic
This is the best E Street CD in many years. It may not be as emotionally satisfying as his 70's classics, but these are good songs that really pick up steam with multiplelistenings and in concert.
John Fogerty - Revival
CCR is back as John makes peace with the past and returns to the sound that made him famous.
Crowded House - Time On Earth
It's as if they never left.
Shane Nicholson - Faith & Science
He was the guy who could replace Crowded House. Now we've got two of them.
Joan Armatrading - Into The Blues
Joan takes her own path to the blues.
Rufus Wainwright - Release The Stars
Just the song "Going To A Town" makes this one of the best CD's of the year. And there is so much more...
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Just my favorite of the modern bands (The Decemberists are a close second). They are unique, special and a killer band in concert.
Patty Griffin - Children Running Through
She's in her early 40's and is already an American treasure. This CD is all about her singing and Patty shows us just how good she is.
Lucinda Williams - West
I don't think she is capable of putting out a bad CD.

Favorite Indie CDs
Emily Maguire - Keep Walking
This Australian has it all: Great songs. Great Melodies. Great Production. This CD is worth searching for.
Future Clouds & Radar - Future Clouds & Radar
Look out Spoon, these guys are going to be storming the Indie world. They may already be the hottest band in Austin. The best debut from a Texas band since Los Lonely Boys CD of a few years back.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals - This is Somewhere
Women can still rock. Move over Melissa, here comes Grace.
The Latebirds - Last of the Good Ol' Days
Sweden isn't the only Scandinavian country to bring us great songwriters. This Finnish band is worth watching. (This is from a pre-release, so expect to hear more about it next year).
Spoon - Ga Ga GA Ga Ga
Between Spoon and Future Clouds the Austin music scene may finally get the respect it deserves.
Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
This is a pop rock classic. One great song after another. If you don't enjoy this CD you probably shouldn't be reading anything I have to say.
Jimmy LaFave - Cimarron Manifesto
Another great songwriter waiting for the world to catch up with him.
Cowboy Junkies - At The End of Paths Taken
Their best CD since "Trinity Sessions".
Sarah Borges - Diamonds in the Dark
Tapping every vein that is Americana Music, there isn't a bit of filler on this CD.

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