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Valencia's Top Albums Of 2007

Sputnikmusic contacted Valencia to pick their brains and ask for their top albums of 2007. George's (1-5) and Brendan's (6-18) answers - along with many of their colleagues' submissions - will be featured in an artists' retrospective staff feature shortly.
1Okkervil River
The Stage Names

"I distinctly remember hearing this album for the first time back in September and thinking that it was going on my list. The layers of music underneath relatable lyrics (some especially being a dude in a band) made this album hit me close to home and it never got old for me."
2Bright Eyes

"It's funny, this album took a while to grow on me. I think it has to do with the fact that I went into listening to it with such high expectations that I almost forced myself to be let down. Regardless of that, I kept listening, and I finally realized that this is actually one of the best albums I?ve heard in a long time."
3Kanye West

"Normally it's pretty hard for me to listen to a hip hop album all the way through in one sitting, but every song on this album has something that grabs me. That's how it usually is with Kanye, his beats are always over the top and awesome, and he always says something that makes me jealous because I wish I thought of it."
The Alchemy Index: Vols. I and II...

"The Fire EP comes at you full throttle and rocks so hard, then the Water EP slows down and listening to it, feels like you're swimming almost. It's hard to not listen all the way through because it feels like one half resolves the other, and that's why I love it."
5Modest Mouse
We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

"In all honesty, this is the first time I've actually enjoyed a Modest Mouse album beginning to end. Their earlier stuff never really grabbed me when I listened, and Good News? was great, but listening to this album feels like more of an 'experience' than anything else, That's really the only way I can describe it."
In Rainbows

"What an amazing way to release an album. Every musician hates the waiting period for an album to be released and fear of the album being leaked. Radiohead just threw that old method out the window when they posed "New album is done? will be released in 10 days" on their website. This outrageous release may not revolutionize the music industry? but it's pretty badass and it's a great album."
7Arcade Fire
Neon Bible

"I was doubtful that they could follow up Funeral, because it was such an epic, well-written album. Arcade Fire went above and beyond the call of duty with this album, they couldn't have done it better and what really me over the top was their live video playing "Neon Bible" in an elevator (genius!)."
The Reminder

"Everyone, by now, knows the song "1 2 3 4" from the ipod commercials, but this album goes way beyond that. This record is Leslie Feist's best yet, perhaps even topping her days in Broken Social Scene. There are such a wide variety of genres on this record and it never gets boring, no matter how many times I listen to it."
9Biffy Clyro

"Biffy Clyro is a band that has been around
for years and years and has just now caught my attention, by accident. We found out we were sharing the same Warped Tour dates with them and decided to share a bus with them. Little did I know that they are a rock 'n roll sensation in Europe, and would quickly become my favorite band on Warped Tour. Their well-produced, pristine album reminds me of the Foo Fighters, while their live show is raw and hard along the lines of At the Drive In. They have such an interesting dynamic as a band and this is by far their best album to date."
10The Shins
Wincing the Night Away

"It feels like so long ago that Chutes Too Narrow was released and I was driving to high school blasting it. I had almost dismissed the band, because of how long it had been? but from the second I heard "Phanton Limb" I was hooked on the new album. This hasn't hit me as hard as Chutes, but definitely in the top 5 of the year."
11 Iron and Wine
The Shepherd's Dog

"Iron & Wine used to be myfavorite going to sleep music, but that has all changed. With the addition of a full band, the music is much more interesting and engaging. Boy With A Coin is probably my favorite off the record, but the whole thing is great."
12Kanye West

"Kanye West has never let me down. Everything he's done is fun and innovative and a little different than the other rappers out there. The collaborations on the record are not only unique, but serve a purpose to the songs that he's doing, unlike many rap collaborations. Great songs throughout the whole record, I can listen to it front to back."
13Jimmy Eat World
Chase This Light

"This is exactly the record I wanted to hear from Jimmy Eat World. This record is a little different, including some dancy stuff and less slow jams than any other JEW record. I was stoked on the album from the second I heard Big Casino and the entire thing is Jim Atkins at his best."
Sky Blue Sky

"Wilco has put out some of my favorite records of all time. Summerteeth and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot will never get old to me. This new album included some new influences that we hadn't heard from Jeff Tweedy recently. Some songs (like What Light) even have a Bob Dylan ?esque sound to them. All in all, a great record."
15Bright Eyes

"Another artist this year who puts out some of my favorite albums kept the streak going. Conor Oberst can do no wrong, even in his more mature and sober days of late he can still write some great songs. The single from this record is more country and adult than anything he's done and still managed to grab me. Not all of the songs are incredible to me, but overall it's a great album and definitely deserves the 10 spot on this year's list."
16Of Montreal
Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

Honorable mention.

Honorable mention.
18Rascal Flatts
Still Feels Good

Honorable mention.
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