December 27, 2007

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Best CDS of 2007
Avril Lavigne is number one on a whole different list
By Eric W. Saeger letters@hippopress.com

1. !!!, Myth Takes The single catchiest bass line of the millennium in the title track. Booster rockets on the rest of the tunes come from the Lilys or Brian Jonestown Massacre, whichever you like more.

2. Vital Might, Obsidian More soulful new-prog in one line than Mars Volta could drum up in a lifetime, and these guys are local.

3. Ministry, The Last Sucker Uncle Buck Satan thumbs his nose one last time at the Repugnicans, leaves behind charred bodies, detritus.

4. DJ Tiesto, Elements of Life Relentlessly sexy house and trance artist album from the living legend, who knows it, by the way.

5. Arcade Fire, Neon Bible I took small pride in the fact that I reviewed this chamber-pop watershed without using the words Bruce or Springsteen.

6. Battles, Mirrored Amazing conflagration of electro, rock and weird voice samples.

7. Black Francis, Bluefinger The Pixies cannot die lest we all follow. This album, from their fearless leader, came out better than anyone could have hoped.

8. Chemical Brothers, We Are the Night Another stunted electrogasm full of curveballs, especially the salmon song, which only mean people, who, of course, suck, hate.

9. Clinic, Visitations The Kiss of alt rock, sort of, even if that isn’t Radiohead under the surgical masks. Or is it?

10. Coheed & Cambria, No World For Tomorrow Triumph lives! Punchline: there’s no rational reason to hate that fact in this pathetic day and age.

11. Jesse Harris, Feel You know what, I changed my mind about this Paul Simon soundalike after spending some quality time with his CD. There are some boring, repetitive folkies out there, but Harris is neither.

12. New Young Pony Club, Fantastic Playroom Hope springs that nu-rave will consistently be this good. It won’t, but just saying.

13. Oscar G, Nervous Nitelife: Space Miami Best live house-DJ record ever. More organic than getting swallowed by a sperm whale.

14. Queens of the Stone Age, Era Vulgaris What’s their mascot’s name again, Bulby the Light Bulb or something? And why aren’t all stoner-hard-rock records this good, anyway?

15. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Raising Sand You already have this album, of course, thus you know why it’s here.

16. Skinny Puppy, Mythmaker Unfortunately lacking a nice obvious breakdancer suck-up in this album, SP nevertheless remain industrial’s go-to band.

17. The White Stripes, Icky Thump Wanna hear a funny one, I was invited to play the devil’s advocate role against Glenn Given in a “Dork vs. Dork” piece in this paper wherein I would have had to come up with reasons that the White Stripes suck. My immediate reaction was, of course, “What drugs are you on?”

18. Amber Dust, Without Windows New Hampshire Band of the Year as far as I’m concerned. Laptop alt-folkie chill from Sandown, N.H.

19. Apostle of Hustle, National Anthem of Nowhere Chilled-down Calexico for jet setters. And the guy on the cover looks just like Swearengen.

20. A.I., Sex & Robots If the movie Dropped II ever comes out, this Prince-vs-God Lives Underwater band should be the first one featured.

And now, for the fun part…
• Worst Album of the Year
Avril Lavigne, The Best Damn Thing
“Hi everyone, I’m Avril Lavigne. Say, teens, don’t you be naughty or your mom and dad will be grandparents while they’re still in their 30s. And now a word from my sponsor, teen sex.”

• Most Disappointing Album
Birthday Massacre’s Walking With Strangers
The sophomore jinx hit these guys with a Sledge-o-matic. Two times.

• Biggest Whiner
Why, the Deadly Syndrome, of course. When last we left those guys, they had complained in the Hippo letters section about how I was “out of step” when I rained hell on their rotten, purposely un-catchy album, The Ortolan. They asked for a “second opinion.” I shall now give them just that: “Surrender, Dorothy.”

• Worst Show of the Year
The Projekt Revolution Tour. An ongoing, super-annoying Linkin Park commercial on the giant side screens, and they treated every single fringe player — the writers, photographers, backing bands, etc. etc. — like animals. Remember kids, white rap = bad.

• Actual Best album of the Year, Whose Title Is Too Disturbing For Print, Unfortunately For Them
The Acumen Nation album that came out in October. Look it up, then buy it. Heaviest, craziest industrial/metal/DnB album in history..