Monday, December 17, 2007

Don't Look Back

A look back

Before I post my Top 5 Albums of 2007 I wanted to take a moment to look back to my favorites from the past two years and see how they still stack up. Here we go.

Hops’ Top 5 Albums of 2005

1) Z by My Morning Jacket – I still absolutely love this album. When I first heard it I knew it would be something that I’d be listening to for quite a while. Two years later my theory has been confirmed. Long live My Morning Jacket.

2) Alligator by The National – My boys have all grown up since being named the #2 album of 2005. I struggled between this and Z for the top spot at the time and to be honest I still struggle to say which is better. Alligator remains nothing short of a masterpiece and probably should be tied for #1. In 2005 I didn’t want to wimp out and not name a clear winner, now I remember why debated it for so long.

3) Silent Alarm by Bloc Party – I still like Bloc Party, but I don’t listen to this as much anymore. It still stands up and is definitely enjoyable but a bit of overexposure and lots of copycats didn’t help entice me into repeated listens.

4) Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (self-titled) – Like Bloc Party I was disappointed with their follow up album in 2007 which spoils their debut just a bit. However, the energy and incomprehensibility of this album remains. I don’t listen to it very often but enjoy it when I do.

5) Apologies to the Queen Mary by Wolf Parade – I never was totally in love with this album, and I’m still not. Some days I completely loved it and some I just wasn’t in the mood. I don’t know why. I still think it’s a good album overall and many of the songs still get me fired up. It’s very comparable to the Bloc Party and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah albums on this list. All have great energy but none have tremendous depth. I guess that just was my mood in ’05. That said if I were to rank these again this album would probably get pushed up above Bloc Party and Clap You Hands Say Yeah.

FINAL VERDICT: Z and Alligator are epic albums worthy of the top 2 slots any year. The other three albums on this list are all very good, but not something I expect to be lasting the test of time.

Hops’ Top 5 Albums of 2006

1) Return To Cookie Mountain by TV On The Radio – Mrs. Hops and I just put this on the other day and then we both scolded one another for not listening to it more. It still is leaps and bounds better than most music you can find and there is still so much to hear in it every listen.

2) Everything All Of The Time by Band of Horses – I played this album more than any other last year and that unfortunately made me listen to it less recently. That said, when I do put it on its still as enjoyable as it was back then. There 2007 follow up was good, but it was pretty difficult to exceed the expectations they set with Everything All Of The Time.

3) Modern Times by Bob Dylan – On further listen some of the songs on here shine even brighter when I first heard them. Some are a bit duller. Overall, from start to finish this album still works. I think it would be in my Top 5 if I did it all over again, just maybe not at #3.

4) The Eraser by Thom Yorke – Hearing the new Radiohead album, In Rainbows, you can see how this Thom Yorke effort really set the stage for what was to come. I don’t think I quite appreciated the subtlety and beauty of this the first time around. I was too fixated on the beats and the fact it wasn’t a Radiohead album. Upon further review it’s even more impressive.

5) Every Waking Moment by Citizen Cope – Citizen Cope is still fantastic. I don’t think I can listen to this album and not enjoy it. Its also one of the few albums I can universally recommend. If anything it should be higher now that a year has passed.

FINAL VERDICT: All five of these of these albums still deserve repeated listens today. Return To Cookie Mountain still stands out from the bunch and I feel very good about giving it top honors last year.

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