Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Best Bits of 2007

Here's my dilemma. I'm a great fan of lists, but I'm not great at making my own. Partly, it's a question of time, and partly a question of taste. I just don't get to listen to that many records, watch that many movies and TV shows or read that many books. Much of the time, I'm still stuck in the 80's or early 90's - but what I do like, I'm pretty passionate about. In the past I've ranked albums I've bought in a particular year - many of which are not current - but with the amount of material I've discovered from my blogger friends and keeping my SanDisk player topped up, just listing some of my purchases from Wal-Mart seems somewhat churlish. And I'm certainly not qualified to attempt a comprehensive ranking of 2007 releases - if that's what you are looking for, then start here.

Instead, I've decided to describe my favorite discoveries of 2007, mainly music, but other things too. There's no ranking system, just a vaguely chronological presentation. As always, comments are welcome. Bring on 2008!

1. [Album] Grant Lee Phillips - Strangelet
Following on from an impressive covers album, Nineteeneighties, GLP issued a self-penned disc that continued the "busker-in-a-studio" vibe, and most importantly, some quality songs.
TRY THIS: The standout track, "Soft Asylum (No Way Out)"

2. [DVD] Music And Lyrics
I'm a sucker for movies about music and musicians, even when they take the form of a relatively predictable chick-flick. Hugh grant perfectly captures the heart of an aging teen-idol, and the spoof 80's tracks (by Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne) are genuinely great songs in their own right.
TRY THIS: The fantastic fake MTV video for "Pop Goes My Heart"

3. [Album] Amy MacDonald - This Is The Life
Massive in Britain, unknown in the States. Like Lily Allen and KT Tunstall, I'm expecting this one to be on a lot of Best Of lists next year, when the rest of the world catches on.
TRY THIS: The video for the title track, "This Is The Life"

4. [Movie] Ratatouille
My favorite Pixar movie, which is saying something. My daughter didn't like it, but I bought her the DVD anyway. A charming tale, and a lot of fun.
TRY THIS: Meet Colette. The hottest animation since Jessica Rabbit.

5. [Album] KT Tunstall - Drastic Fantastic
Talking of KT, I've no idea why her sophomore album didn't feature on any Best Of lists that I've seen. It's at least as good as the first album, Eye to the Telescope.
TRY THIS: The lead single, "Hold On"
BONUS: KT's managed to record quite a few cover versions in her short career. I've already posted "2000 Miles" but also check out her interpretation of Bloc Party's "The Prayer"

Phew, this is hard work. Time to go to a simpler list format.

6. [Album] The Shins - Wincing The Night Away
7. [Commercial] Miranda Kerr in the Victoria's Secret "Angels On Air" promo
8. [Album] Charlotte Martin - Reproductions
9. [Song] Rilo Kiley - "Dreamworld"
10. [TV] Battlestar Galactica
11. [Album] Steven Lindsay - Kite
12. [Song] MIKA - "Grace Kelly"
13. [Album] Kate Nash - Made of Bricks
14. [Album] The Rosebuds - Night of the Furies
15. [Album] Hard-Fi - Once Upon A Time In The West
16. [Album] Collective Soul - Afterwards
17. [Album] Fountains of Wayne - Traffic and Weather
18. [Song] Clark Datchler - "Tomorrow"
19. [Song] Keane - "The Night Sky"
20. [Song] Eva Cassidy and Katie Melua - "Wonderful World"


Davy H said...

Hey fifty, thanks for the pre-Christmas greetings over at my place and may I be the first here to wish you a deeply groovy 2008.

Miss Parker said...

What he said :-)
And a very Happy New Year.