Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published September 5th 2019
Some years albums are awesome
Well, in our look at the music of 2007, we've already had a look at the songs of the year and the cover songs of the year and I came to the conclusion that 2007 was a fine year for music. In that vein, and because I already promised it, here are the albums of 2007 that I really enjoyed.
Now, of course, looking at those previous two columns, readers can probably guess some of the albums here. But it is still good to put these things out there.
I have collated a list of 10 albums, with two extras, and they cover a variety of musical styles. I hope you will find something here that will appeal to your tastes. Or something that looks interesting enough for you to try out.
To start, I usually don't include Greatest Hits albums in lists like this. It's slightly unfair if you like an artist, and most of the time, if you do like an artist you have all the tracks anyway. However, here is an exception to that rule: Exile On Mainstream by Matchbox 20
This was a two CD set. CD 2 was a greatest hits collection with all the usual suspects. However, CD 1 was a collection of 7 brand new tracks, and it was an impressively good collection of songs. Two tracks in particular 'How Far We've Come' and 'All Your Reasons' are right up there with the very best Matchbox 20 recorded.
I also tend to avoid live albums for the same reason that I avoid Greatest Hits albums. However, sometimes a live album is so different that it deserves to be mentioned, and so the live album from 2007 to look out for is: Live In Dublin by Bruce Springsteen and The Sessions Band
This is not a straight forward collection of live Springsteen tracks, either with the E-Street Band or solo. This is with a totally different band, with a folk-rock sound that is also very different. Two CDs of incredible versions of tracks. With a mix of Springsteen originals and traditional tunes and songs by other writers, it just sounds like everyone had a lot of fun recording it.
All right, now the ten albums I enjoyed from 2007!
Dark Passion Play by Nightwish
If you like your rock heavy and with a dose of classical music thrown in, then Nightwish is the band for you. With lush orchestrations, fantastic singing and a rock sensibility, it is like prog rock taken to the nth degree. Of course, IK bought the deluxe version, which came with a bonus CD of instrumental versions and some demo tracks, but the album itself is brilliant. There is not a bad track on it, but hone in on '7 Days To The Wolves', 'Bye Bye Beautiful' and 'Amaranth' for the truly awesome.
Standing On The Outside: The Songs Of Cold Chisel by various artists
This is a tribute album to the Australian band Cold Chisel by contemporary Australian artists, and it is amazing. If you bought the deluxe edition (like I did), you get a bonus CD with the original versions of the tracks, sort of a Greatest Hits CD, but the regular single CD set just had the covers, and there are some stunning versions of these Australian classics. Only two of them don't resonate with me, but then you have something like Sarah Blasko's version of 'Flame Trees' which makes the album worth getting on its own.
Jukebox by Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings
Jukebox is a covers album that is just awesome. In many cases, these re-dos are close to the originals; it is obvious Bachman/Cummings have deep affection for them. These two have worked together before, in The Guess Who, and here they even rework their Guess Who classic 'American Woman' into something different but still really good. In fact, that is a great description of the whole album.
Magic by Bruce Springsteen
It must be obvious that Springsteen had quite the year in 2007! This studio album was a wonderful piece of work, with great tracks that sit amongst the finest Springsteen has done. 'Radio Nowhere' and 'Girls In Their Summer Clothes' are amongst Springsteen's finest. This is a strong album that is unfortunately almost forgotten today.
5th Gear by Brad Paisley
Brad Paisley is my favourite country singer and 5th Gear is a really good album. He rails against the modern world in 'Online', 'Better Than This' is a lot of fun, 'I'm Still A Guy' is about what it says on the tin Paisley is not known much outside of country music circles and I think that is a shame.
Wolfgang's Big Night Out by Brian Setzer Orchestra
Brian Setzer is an under-rated artist and it seems no matter what he does, he does it well. So, on this album, he takes classical music and re-interprets it as big band jazz rockabilly music, because who doesn't need that sort of fusion in their life? And the versions are fantastic! Another album where it is hard to find a dud track so long as you like big band jazz and classical music, of course.
Teo & Tea by Jean Michel Jarre
I don't mind some of Jarre's work, but find some of it quite pretentious and some of it does become aural newspaper, blending into the background. Not Teo & Tea. The tracks on this album stand as some of his best individual works, and there are enough differences for the songs not to merge into one another. It is also a concept album, but that really didn't strike me. I just really enjoyed this album.
Close As You Get by Gary Moore
I enjoy a good blues album, and I really enjoy Gary Moore's work, so when he released this in 2007, I bought it the day after it came out. I was not disappointed. A few covers, a number of originals, all blues. He is a talent that is sorely missed.
Long Road Out Of Eden by The Eagles
When Eagles released Hell Freezes Over, a collection of stripped-back live tracks and four new songs, people thought it was just a nostalgia thing. Then they came out with this first full studio album in years, and the band was back. It is a fine album. Some rockers, some examples of those fine Eagles harmonies, some poignant statements made it is an Eagles album, and they were back as good as ever.
Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
My favourite song of 2007 'Please Read The Letter' and an awesome cover song 'Fortune Teller' are just two reasons this is my favourite album of the year. When two people come together like this, both stepping out of their comfort zone, and the results are so natural and perfect, you know the album is not just a good album, but a classic.
So, all up, 12 albums to give a go. 2007 was a good year for music. Sort of crept up on me, that one! Thoughts, questions, complaints, etc leave a comment!