Not that you asked . . . the best music of 2007

Geoffrey Manne —  4 January 2008

I’ve been inspired by Lynne’s music favorites post (mainly so I can share my disagreement with her–and one big agreement).  It’s a bit off-topic for this blog, but some of you must be music fans.  And in the spirit of taking advantage of a platform while you have it, I thought I’d share my picks for best music of 2007.  Have at it in the comments. 

25.  Ha Ha Tonka, Buckle in the Bible Belt

24.  Great Lake Swimmers, Ongiara

23.  Dr. Dog, We All Belong

22.  Rogue Wave, Asleep at Heaven’s Gate

21.  Levon Helm, Dirt Farmer

20.  Sunset Rubdown, Random Spirit Lover

19.  Over the Rhine, The Trumpet Child

18.  The Apples in Stereo, New Magnetic Wonder

17.  Band of Horses, Cease to Begin

16.  WIlco, Sky Blue Sky

15.  Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga 

14.  Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Baby 81

13.  Josh Ritter, The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter

12.  Deadstring Brothers, Silver Mountain

11.  White Stripes, Icky Thump 

10.  Cloud Cult, The Meaning of 8  

9.  The Bees, Octopus

8.  I’m Not There (Soundtrack)

7.  Blitzen Trapper, Wild Mountain Nation

6.  Shearwater, Palo Santo (Expanded Edition (ok, slightly cheating, but well worth it))

5.  The Broken West, I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On 


4.  The Avett Brothers, Emotionalism


3.  Okkervil River, The Stage Names


2.  Menomena, Friend and Foe


1.  The National, Boxer


Geoffrey Manne


President & Founder, International Center for Law & Economics

8 responses to Not that you asked . . . the best music of 2007


    To David, 2:19 – I think its difficult, if not impossible, to ascribe political ideology to musical taste. The generic correlation between conservatives and opera/classical or liberals to modern rock/alternative is more a false positive, if you ask me.

    As to Neon Bible, I share your thoughts, Geoffrey, to some extent, re: the sound. But you can’t deny the art that the two albums manifestly are. Consider the powerful riff of the guitar with the choral crescendo of Funeral’s “Wake Up” matching the symphonic and choral crescendo of Neon Bible’s “No Cars Go.” The two albums, the more I listen to them, are as much meant as one in myriad ways, from the arrangement of scores to the eerily familiar lyrics, with Funeral’s relating as much to loss and mourning as Neon Bible’s, only in drastically different contexts.

    That said, though, I would also agree with your opinions re: critics’ take on the album.


    Interesting that such a conservative site would enjoy music made almoste entirely by and for liberals.


    Actually, that was an inadvertent ommission on my part; thanks for mentioning it. It was meant to reside at number 15, ahead of Spoon. Oops. It is an excellent album, I agree.

    I’d hate for Ha Ha Tonka to fall off the list (and I expect Ha Ha Tonka would be even higher if I hadn’t discovered it around the last week of the year)–a highly recommended and little known band (in fact, I recommend just about everything on the Bloodshot label:


    Whoa! I had no idea you were such a hipster. It’s an excellent list (of those I know). My only addition would be Iron & Wine’s The Shepherd’s Dog. (Can’t see including the Great Lakes Swimmers and not this one.)


    Well, I really didn’t like Neon Bible much. I am a big fan of Arcade Fire’s first album, but this one never grabbed my interest–I found it pretty dull, actually. I think most of its critical acclaim has come from reviewers hoping against hope that Arcade Fire could do it again. And some comes from reviewers who just really like the Arcade Fire sound–which was gripping the first time around, but got a bit tired this time.

    I liked Feist OK the first time through, but then I never found myself interested in listening to it again–a bad sign. Broken Social Scene I like a lot, but Feist solo, not so much.

    By the way–note I also didn’t include Radiohead. I know a lot of people love it. I just can’t tell why. I mean it’s good–Radiohead at its worst is better than the great bulk of music out there. But it’s no Bends or OK Computer.


    Arcade Fire’s “Neon Bible” is a conspicuous absentee from your list. Now what do you have to say for yourself?


    Not much disagreement there, and I’m glad (and not surprised) that we agree at the top! I know you don’t share my Interpol thing. Interesting that you don’t have Feist on there either …

    You are waaaaay more knowledgeable than I am in these things! I take your recs as my starting point for 2008.


    Great list!
    Check out these amazing photos of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club playing live.
    Have the best year!