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12.27.10 Top 25 Albums Of 201012.27.10 Top 25 Albums Of 2010
06.11.10 Andrew Hartwig's Decade List12.24.07 Top 15 Albums Of 2007
09.19.07 Recent Purchases12.26.06 Top 10 Of 2006

Top 15 Albums Of 2007
1 Do Make Say Think
You, You're a History in Rust

You, You're a History in Rust, like every other Do Make Say Think record before it represents true musical growth and an unparalleled willingness to try new things. As can be rare for post-rock albums, You You're a History in Rust flows as a whole, rendering some of its most essential moments useless outside the context of the album as a whole. From the heavy and anthemic "The Universe!" to the front porch folk picking of "A Tender History in Rust", You, You're a History in Rust puts on display the band's willingness to chart new musical territory and in true Do Make Say Think form, betters its predecessor and thus the rest of the band's catalogue in the process.
2The Kidcrash

Internet dramas aside, Kidcrash have created the most stunning emotional hardcore release of the year. Blending ferocity with calm, Jokes is a singular release that displays fantastic musicianship, creative and often catchy songwriting and intimate honesty that few bands achieve. Jokes' blend of ferocity with calm and gorgeous passages give it an accessibility that is rare for the genre without sacrificing emotional intensity.
3Tartar Lamb
Sixty Metonymies

Kayo Dot mastermind Toby Driver returns with violinist Mia Matsumiya on what is his most calm and minimal composition to date. Sixty Metonymies contains none of Kayo Dot's vast shifts in dynamics and does away with what metal influence still existed in Driver's main project. Instead, Sixty Metonymies leaves us with a starkly strange and sparse composition, which, despite Driver's departure from full-band mode, represents him at his compositional peak.
4Ghastly City Sleep
Ghastly City Sleep

If there's one thing to be said about Ghastly City Sleep, it's that it's one of the most beautiful and sincere releases of the year. Ghastly?s former Pg. 99/City of Caterpillar members may have revolutionised hardcore in the past, but Ghastly City Sleep feels like their most organic release yet. While the intensity of hardcore is all but lost in Ghastly City Sleep's soft, serene atmospheres, its honesty and simplicity seem to be embedded for life in the band's approach to music. Each of Ghastly City Sleep's four songs has its own unique presence, but it's opener "Ice Creeks" that takes the cake as the greatest representation of this band's power to create achingly beautiful music.

Nick Cave grows a moustache, straps on a guitar and along with the 'mini Seeds', remembers what it's like to be 17 again with the most ***-kicking album he's released for a great number of years. In the hands of lesser songwriters, Grinderman could have turned out a great disaster, but tunes like "Get It On" and "Depth Charge Ethel" rock out more so than bands who are half Grinderman's age. In a category of its own, "No Pussy Blues" deserves special mention as by far the year's greatest single with the winning combination of Cave's gut-bustingly hilarious lyrics, his madman-like delivery and the filthiest, fuzziest, most gloriously rock n' roll riff of the year.
6 El-P
I'll Sleep When You're Dead

El-P's dark, atmospheric sci-fi hip-hop stands out from the crowd by being thoroughly engaging in every possible aspect. Surprisingly, the impressive roster of guests (Trent Reznor, Omar and Cedric, Cat Power, James McNew of Yo La Tengo, etc, etc) do very little to affect the record's sound. Instead, El-P gives us a darkly, beautifully produced post-apocalyptic masterpiece that is easily one of the most interesting hip-hop releases of the year.
The Alchemy Index: Vols. I and II...

The first half of Thrice's four-part Alchemy Index is easily their best work since The Illusion of Safety and possibly the best of their career. Juxtaposing some of their most hard-hitting work on the Fire side with calmer experiments with electronic textures on the Water side, The Alchemy Index Vol. I offers plenty of new ideas and variety to newcomers and dedicated fans alike. Thrice have always been a 'progressive' band in the sense that they attempt push themselves into new sounds and ideas and if this first half of the album is anything to go on, Thrice may well have made their masterpiece.

Matthew Cooper has finally solidified himself as one of the greatest artists in ambient music with Copia. Whether it be the dense, layered beauty of "Repose in Blue" or the simplicity of solo piano pieces like "Radio Ballet", Cooper has made an eclectic, hopelessly beautiful collection of melodic ambient pieces that surprisingly never suffer from being too dramatic for their own good.

Who would have thought that Battles' off-beat combination of masterful musical proficiency of traditional instruments with quirky melodies and robotic electronics would prove to be such a hit with mainstream audiences? Who knows how it happened, but God knows they deserve it because ultimately, Battles hit their groove with Mirrored and created a perfectly unique niche in the math rock genre.
10Wolves in the Throne Room
Two Hunters

What is there to say about Wolves in the Throne Room's second album, except that it's the most elegant black metal release since Emperor's In the Nightside Eclipse? Each song achieves an atmosphere that is nothing short of perfect and an improvement in almost every way on the band's debut. Furious black metal sections give way to calmly dense post-metal sections with gorgeous female vocals, never once sacrificing beauty or emotion. With fantastic production, Two Hunters represents a very natural step forward for the best American band currently making black metal.

A thorough understanding of dubstep is entirely unnecessary for anyone who wants to experience Burial's Untrue. Instead, one needs to understand the feeling of walking home alone through empty streets late at night. Untrue's organic nature gives us samples that are thoroughly reminiscent of city life; a flicking lighter, jangling car keys, even the sound of bullet casings hitting the ground from Metal Gear Solid. The vocal samples are another thing altogether; warm and yet distant. For listener and composer alike, Untrue is one of the most warm and deeply personal electronic releases in some time.
The Resisting Dreamer

A noisy post-metal collaboration between three of Pelican's four members and Kayo Dot mastermind Toby Driver sounds too good to be true, but Tusk's second full-length is everything it promises to be. The group combine the noise and dissonance of 90s noise-rock with soundscapes that are more vast than any Pelican creation. The Resisting Dreamer's four tracks manage sparse beauty, as well as Rosetta-esque brutal heaviness and maintain a steady focus. Toby Driver guests as a vocalist and his intense performance is every bit as good as could be hoped for, making a great album into a superb one.
13Burton Wagner

DIY post-rock guitarist Burton Wagner followed up last year's epic A Sentinel's Eyes with more song-based material. 21 marks Wagner's first foray into the use of vocals, as well as some of his most lovely compositions to date. Plus, free music is never a bad thing.
14Modern Life is War
Midnight in America

The combination of thick, slowed-down hardcore with the work of the band's extremely likable vocalist Jeffrey Eaton proved a winner for Modern Life is War in 2007. Midnight in America may not be the classic its predecessor Witness was, but it is a disc of brutal, enjoyable hardcore. The group's take on some classic source material on "Stagger Lee" is an easy highlight.

Norway's Supersilent proved once again with 8 that they are truly a group unlike any other. Improvising their material in the studio, Supersilent have always been able to create singular releases, but 8 is one of their least accessible to date and they sound all the better for it. 8 combines bizarre jazz with noisy drones and the result is music that is truly worthy of the term 'avant garde'.
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