I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday season so far. I know I have. Teresa and I are finishing our winter tour of Kansas and Oklahom and will soon be heading back to Louisville. Before we do, here's my annual Top 10 Albums of the Year. Enjoy.
10. Relient K - Five Score and Seven Years Ago - An almost complete departure from the pop punk genre, this strictly pop album is not as good as their previous Mmhmm, but it is a strong release from the band. Many of the songs are instantly catchy and Matty T's lyrics are just as witty as ever, although some of the tongue in cheekiness found in their previous releases is now gone.
9. MxPx - Secret Weapon - This album came out in July, but I didn't get it until Christmas, which leaves it a little low on my list, but barges its way into the top 10 anyway. I'm pretty sure these guys will never make a crappy album, they're still going strong after over 15 years and this album is even better than their previous two efforts. Upbeat, fun, positive, and full of all the things you love about MxPx. Hats off to the kings of pop punk.
8. Chiodos - Bone Pallace Ballet - Chiodos definitely takes a step forward with this album. It's much better produced than All's Well That Ends Well and Craig Owens' vocals are much more on point. However, you have to wonder how long a band like this can keep up steam in a genre on the decline, but as for now, Chiodos may be the emo/screamo/whatever the crap you want to call it top dog amongst the scenesters in 2007.
7. The Academy is - Santi - This may have been my most anticipated album of the year. Santi is far from over-produced and holds onto much of the rawness of a live performance. William Beckett is a fantastic frontman and his voice is just beautiful. Also, We've Got a Big Mess on Our Hands may be the catchiest song of the year. They're not as big as Fall Out Boy, Panic!, and now Paramore, but the guys of The Academy is push the boundaries of the indie rock scene and may blow up with their next album.
6. LA Symphony - Unleashed - This is a collection of new songs and songs that were lost and didn't make the cut over the past seven years. It features former members Pigeon John, Btwice, and J-Beits, and as you can expect, is solid throughout. LA Symphony is indie hip hop at its best and features hysterical moments along with focused and emotional songs that keep you listening from start to finish.
5. Paramore - Riot! - This is easily my guilty pleasure of the year. Yes, they're all high school age, but they've put together an extremely solid album. It's full of pop appeal and apparently MTV loves it, which is very odd since MTV and I rarely agree on anything. Don't let the first single Misery Business fool you, this album is much deeper than their first hit and is full of hidden gems. It's one of the few albums that I can listen to this year from front to back without having to reach for the skip button.
4. Chasing Victory - Fiends - Sadly, this is the best and last album from Chasing Victory. The band took about 10 steps forward with this release and easily shredded the boundaries of screamo that coralled them in the past. Musically, this album is incredible and the lyrical content cuts me to the core (it's a concept album based on many of the vices we have).
3. Anberlin - Cities - At first, this album was a bit of a letdown for me, but as the year rolled on it became one of my favorites. It's a bit more mellow at times than their previous works, but that's okay. It's honest and transparent and Stephen Christian may be the coolest dude in music. They have gotten more mature, even better live, and are ready to break out with a new album on Universal in 2008.
2. 12 Stones - Anthem for the Underdog - Don't ask me why I still like 12 Stones, I just can't explain it. Maybe it's because they make other alt rock bands look silly. Maybe it's because they stay true to their path and make the music they love. Maybe it's because Paul McCoy is an incredible vocalist and isn't out to prove anything other than he loves rock n' roll. Maybe it's because time and time again this band's songs affect me in a way no other band does. Maybe this is why I STILL (and always will) love 12 Stones.
1. The Almost - Southern Weather - Was there really any question? Aaron Gillespie is absolutely unbelievable. He recorded every sound on this album and made it near perfect. It's nothing like Underoath, and actually, that's a good thing. It's a true expression of Gillespie's passions and his desire to create unique music. This album was easily the soundtrack to my year and I can't wait for what Aaron cooks up next.
In case you were wondering, there were some let downs this year. Several in fact. Here are my biggest musical let downs in 2007.
3. Thousand Foot Krutch - The Flame in All of Us - Trevor, I know you can do better.
2. Falling Up - Captiva - I guess this is what happens when you lose half of your band.
1. Emery - I'm Only a Man - Apparently so. But I've seen you men make MUCH better music than this.
Enjoy your final day of 2007 everyone!