Best alternative CDs of 2007

We are one week into 2008 and I must be bored.

Haven't bought one good new disc released in 2008 (sorry In Rainbows was officially released in 2007). So, I thought I would share my favorite list (in no real order... although top 5 probably reflect amount of play they received on my stereo, iPod, and iPhone.

1) Animal Collective: Strawberry Jam
2) Spoon: GA GA GA GA GA
3) Panda Bear: Person Pitch
4) Beirut: The Flying Club Cup
5) Radiohead: In Rainbows
6) Okkervil RIver: Stage Names
7) MENOMENA: Friend or Foe
8) LCD soundsystem: Sound Of Silver
9) White Stripes: Icky Thump
10) Andrew Bird: Armchair Apocrypha
11) PJ Harvey: White Chalk
12) Iron & Wine: Shepherd's Dog
13) Carbiou: Andorra
14) St. Vincent: Marry Me
15) The field: From Here We Go Sublime
16) The National: Boxer
17) Battles: Mirrored
18) Deerhunter: Cryptograms
19) Deerhoof: Friend Opportunity
20) Of Montreal: Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer
21) Dirty Projectors: Rise Above
22) White Williams: Smoke
23) Scout Niblett: This Fool Can Die Now (with Bonnie "prince" billy)
24: Nina Nastasia & Jim White: You Follow Me
25) The Besnard Lakes: The Besnard Lakes Are The Dark Horse
26) Arcade Fire: Neon Bible
27) Sigur Ros: Hvarf/Heim

Didn't put any Ryan Adams on the list, but Easy Tiger was good

Disappointments of 2007 (I really like these artists, but couldn't get into these CDs in a big way): New Pornographers, Rilo Kiley, Bloc Party, Devendra Banhart, Interpol, Bright Eyes, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Modest Mouse, Lucinda Williams, Shins, MIA, Band of Horse, WIlco ... (Don't Flame me as some of these are not that bad... I mean some have a decent track or two, but I didn't think these CDs were up to these artist's potential... PERHAPS I'M BUYING TOO MUCH MUSIC).
Thanks for sharing. You got one of my favorite artists on the list... P.J. Harvey. I need some new inspiration too. Big mainstream alternative fan in the 80's and 90's but lost my way with a couple of exceptions (White Stripes, Doves, etc.).

Then the local college station changed formats to pop and I really lost touch.

Some things to try in the new year!

Jim S.
Thom have you heard Phosphorescent? Their newer album Pride is great but their masterpiece from a few years ago is titled Aw Come Aw Wry. Imagine Neutral Milk Hotel on valium. I like that album by The Field a lot. Some electronic stuff in that vein but more minimal and dark...Gas-Pop, Gas-Zauberburg, Basic Channel-Basic Channel & Yagya-Will I Dream During The Process?
I have to say I respectfully disagree with some of your big dissapointments.
I do like the Band Of Horses and New Pornographers releases but agree whole-heartedly on Rilo Kiley. They just peaked with Execution Of All Things and went downhill from there.

I tried to like Arcade Fire after hearing "Antichrist Television Blues" on the radio. That is an incredible song, but I haven't really gotten into the rest of the album....


I take it you were referring to 97X? Do you listen to WNKU 89.7 now? It's mostly singer/songwriter and acoustic rock/folk and NPR news, but its the only game in town at this point. If you want to try some of the bands mentioned, check out Pandora. It's a pretty cool internet radio setup that's called the Music Genome Project. You build a "radio station" based on a favorite artist and Pandora plays music by the artist and similar artist based on the attributes of the chosen artist's musical attributes. Kinda cool......


Pandora is very cool. How do the pay the royalties? Do they hit you up for a subscription?

Jim S.
You picked some of my '07 favorites including P.J.Harvey, Wilco, Iron & Wine, Arcade Fire, Panda Bear, and Radiohead.

Also tops were Shearwater "Palo Santo," Grizzley Bear "Friend"(which includes a great cover by Band of Horses), Nels Cline Singers "Draw Breath"(which straddles alt rock & NYC loft jazz), Robert Wyatt "Comic Opera"(in a world of his own), and Joe Henry "Civilians"(which is too good to be left off any best-of list.)
Here are some under the radar artists I really liked in 2007:

Karen Ann, a French Israeli singer based in NYC
Bat for Lashes, UK
Bloc Party, UK
The Cribs, UK
Hot Chip, UK, Best Live Band I saw this year
Klaxons, UK
M.I.A., UK
The Presets, out of Sydney, Australia
Tokyo Police Club, Canada
The Bird and the Bee, electro pop bossa nova from Silver Lake, LA
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Silver Lake
The Ettes, Silver Lake
Great Northern, Silver Lake
Silversun Pickups, Silver Lake
Pinback, San Diego
This has been a good thread, as it's guided some music purcahses of mine:

Rilo Kiley "Under the Black Light" - This release is what it is: brilliantly executed alterna-pop. In that context, I cannot fault a single track.

Iron & Wine "The Shepherd's Dog" - This trippy folk-rock release hit me square between the eyes, and it is making me seek out their previous releases. Amazing.

Band of Horses "Cease to Begin" and "Everything All the Time" - While I wish "Everything..." had the same production sensability of "Cease...", the writing is better on "Everything..." However, both are solid releases that I'd recommend.

The National "Boxer" - At first, I wasn't sure what all the fuss was about, then I 'got it'. Just like "Under the Black Light" you need to take the whole work in context, then the individual pieces make more sense. Very mature and thoughtful, particularly to those who have had to deal with the transition. Currently in heavy rotation. Brilliant.

Arcade Fire "Neon Bible" - So far, it's not doing it for me. I'm not ready to discount it, though.

Interpol "Our Love to Admire" - I was really looking forward to finally buying this, and it hasn't done it for me, either. Just like "Neon Bible", I'm not ready to throw it out the window, but I did expect more. Just I'll just have to put on "Turn on..." and listen to "The New" over and over...

LCD Soundsystem "Sound of Silver" - This one snuck up on me. I think it's good, but I'm not going to call it great. Until I did some research on LCD Soundsystem, I would have swore it was some middle-school kids messing around with Garageband on their Mac.