Welcome to part four of my look back at the amazing music year that was 2007. After these ten, you will see the top ten, but as you could probably gather by how low some of your other favorites ranked on my top 50, these ten albums are just as essential as the top ten. Everything in the top 50 is worth owning, but these are part of the upper echelon. Your wallet will not be very happy, but your ears will be thanking me for years.
20. Mustangs & Madras - La Lechuza (Latest Flame)
With last year's impressive field of thoroughbreds such as Band of Horses, HORSE the Band and the Ponys, who would have thought that the darkest horse of them all, Mustangs and Madras, would be the lone horse to end up in the top 20?
I had never even heard of this band until, on a whim, I read a review of this album on AllMusic.com and instantly picked up a copy for myself. I was rewarded with a fun, energetic set of post punk stylings that left me with a level of excitement I haven't experienced since the first time I listened to At the Drive In, a band that no doubt had a similar effect on these young, fresh fellows.
The tempo shifts from various tones of dark feel and subject matter to epic and progressive rhythms and time changes, but the overall sense is that of a hungry, explosive band who is ready for big things and has the talent to pull off an even bigger upset next time around.
For fans of: At the Drive In, Gang of Four, the Cure, Jawbreaker, Dismemberment Plan
They'll Make Great Pets
19. (tie) Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam (Domino)
19. (tie) Panda Bear - Person Pitch (Paw Tracks)
Panda Bear (aka Noah Lennox) is a member of the Animal Collective, so I decided to lump these two outstanding, out there opuses together. Both albums are chock full of colossal cuts that are often unnerving noise-fests, but thankfully, are more commonly fun, melodic oddities that will grow on you when you least expect it. This music is definitely not for everybody and it's the kind of stuff you have to work with, to fully enjoy and appreciate, but there are also sections that showcase an amazing potential to create something even more potent and even some crossover appeal. But I get the feeling these wild animals would rather stick with the challenging stuff, thank you very much.
For fans of: Beach Boys, Grizzly Bear, Enigma, Caribou, Mercury Rev