Monday, January 7, 2008

Top 5 Albums of 2007

5. Amy Winehouse, Back to Black
All you need to do is listen to Winehouse on "Rehab" and you'll understand what makes the rest of the CD work.

4. Mark Ronson, Version
Normally I hate concept albums, but something about Mark Ronson's sophomore album Version really connected with me. From the sublime cover of Britney's "Toxic" to the double shot of Ronson's muses Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen on "Valerie" and "Oh My God" respectively, nearly every song is a weird amalgamation of electro, soul and hip-hop that somehow blends together and works.

3. Various Artists, Hairspray Soundtrack
Forgive my initial bitching about it- it often takes me many listens for me to truly love an album- because the Hairspray Soundtrack is one of the strongest of the year.
Everyone brings their A-game and no song is completely butchered (the only meh song- "You're Timeless to Me"- is still listenable): John Travolta grew on me, his little idiosyncrasies becoming more tolerable and even loveable; James Marsden makes the insignificant role of Corny Collins all the more important with his fantastic and smooth voice; Michelle Pfeiffer lays into "Miss Baltimore Crabs" with all the divaliciousness she can muster; Elijah Kelly hits all the highs and lows in "Run and Tell That"; and newcomer Nikki Blonsky makes such a splash on this album that it's not blasphemy to compare her to J. Hud last year on the Dreamgirls Soundtrack.

2. Britney Spears, Blackout
How in the hell, amid public meltdowns, a high profile divorce, a bitter child custody battle and that horrid VMA performance, did Britney manage to pull of an album every bit as amazing as Blackout? I guess we'll never know the answer to that one, but what we do know is that Blackout is, hands down, Britney's best album to date.

1. Kelly Clarkson, My December
Why is Kelly Clarkson's My December the best album of the year? Because even though it's not compulsively listenable like Britney's Blackout, Kelly Clarkson took risks, pissed people off, alienated fans of Breakaway and American Idol and delivered the most all-around impressive album of the year. All of the songs compliment each other so well that you almost have to listen to the album in track order to get the most out of it.

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