Tully Rohrer

December 3rd, 2007

Larissa is one of our newest coworkers at CIMI - and she’s awesome. She was looking out at the sunset setting over the ocean at Shark Harbor.

Onto my favorite music of the year… Remember, before you begin reading, that this is simply my favorite music of the year. I’m not going to pretend that I have the expertise nor nearly enough time to listen to all the contenders to choose the “best” music of the year. I have also only chosen one song per band, because otherwise my top twenty list would be comprised of, oh, three bands. Today we’ll start with the 20th and 19th best albums and songs of the year. Let the countdown begin!

Top Songs of the Year

20. Handsome Furs - Sing! Captain
I never really thought that one of my favorite songs of the year would feature a drum machine. While the percussion is limited in scope, the strengths of Dan Boeckner surely overshadows those restrictions. Sing! Captain is an extremely simple song, but made memorable with distant synthesizers, distortion, and a beautiful melody.

Decide for yourself: Handsome Furs - Sing! Captain (From the Plague Park LP)

19. Beirut - Elephant Gun
Zach Condon had a huge year with the release of both the Lon Gisland EP and the The Flying Cup Club LP. But nothing he created topped this incredible song. Elephant Gun has the most varied instrumentation and the most unique sound of anything on my top twenty list. Sounding like a cross between a gypsy and a gifted pop songwriter, this song is worth downloading just to listen to amazing instrumentation - replete with horns, ukelele, and accordion, as well as all the usual makings of a band. Very sophisticated music - coming from a 20 year old from New Mexico!

Decide for yourself: Beirut - Elephant Gun (From the Lon Gisland EP)

Top Albums of the Year

20. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Some Loud Thunder
This album could also fit into my most overrated or most disappointing categories. I have a love/hate relationship with this album, because the songs themselves are very good (aside from Satan Said Dance), but the band made a catastrophic error in production. In a misguided attempt at being “artsy”, the band added a lot of distortion and static to many of the songs, completely ruining them. Basically, it sounds as if the volume was up way too high and your speakers were buzzing, except that they’re not. This album has the potential to be much higher on my list, but is stuck at the bottom because of that production mistake. However, songs like “Emily Jean Stock”, “Mama, Won’t You Keep Those Castles…”, “Five Easy Pieces”, and especially “Underwater (You and Me)” are wonderful and recall the best moments of their eponymous debut. Hopefully some day the band will remaster the album with the appropriate production - then you might see it in my top ten.

Decide for yourself: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Underwater (You and Me)

19. Elliott Smith - New Moon
New Moon is a collection of rarities and b-sides released a few years after Elliott Smith passed away. Perhaps the most striking thing about this album is its consistency - there is not a single weak point on this album. In fact, had I not owned most of these songs before the release of this album, it would probably be much higher up on my list. Elliott Smith was one of the most gifted songwriters of the last twenty years, and this collection of songs is an essential part of his catalog. The only downside is realizing that we will never hear another new song from one of the most talented musicians of our time.

Decide for yourself: Elliott Smith - All Cleaned Out

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