Top 5 Albums Of 2007 Not Reviewed By SPB
The National - Boxer (Beggars Banquet)
I'll be honest; I didn't buy into this band until I heard the hype surrounding this album towards the end of the year. So yes, I was oblivious to their previous body of work, which, according to fans and critics, is equally as impressive. Nevertheless, I'm glad I took the time to check up on them. The National piece together a stellar album that falls someplace between the evocative storytelling of Nick Cave, the self-deprecating and dark new wave of Joy Division, and songwriter/pop-rock of Bruce Springsteen, but with a modern indie rock twist.
Down - Down III: Over the Under (Down)
Down is back in action; do you really need anything else? Following a breakup that thankfully turned into just a hiatus, the members of Down rekindled their friendships and musical drive with a slightly altered lineup after Hurricane Katrina. Unlike many of the "comeback albums" in the history of music, the third installment from this southern metal/rock supergroup is no embarrassment to their existing catalog. In fact, the songwriting of Down III: Over the Under is much stronger, focused, more diverse, and even more complex. But don't worry; you can still headbang to it.
Bruce Springsteen - Magic (OOP Really Sux)
When you have a nickname like "The Boss," there isn't much you can do wrong. For over three decades Mr. Springsteen has delivered rock and roll to the world, and in doing so amassed a huge following and one of the most iconic sounds in rock and roll. Magic is no different, and yet the album mixes a plethora of different influences blurring the lines between classic hard rock, blues, singer-songwriter, and more. Sometimes, when you're consistent, you get overlooked. We're sorry Bruce, you are "The Boss."
Energy - Punch the Clock (Rock Vegas)
Are you bummed out that the last two A.F.I. albums haven't lived up to the band's early years? Well then Energy is the answer to your prayers. This Massachusetts hardcore/punk outfit delivers high-octane punk with a melodic hardcore feel on Punch the Clock. And they cover the Foo Fighters too. What more can you ask from a band? Energy could easily become one of hardcore-punk's brightest bands with a good-sized label behind them - Epitaph, Revelation, Fat Wreck Chords? I'm looking at you.
Lupe Fiasco - The Cool (Atlantic)
I'm not an avid follower of hip-hop, but when I hear an artist that is doing something special, I really appreciate it. Outside of the Wu-Tang Clan's comeback album (which was quite good but obviously lacking), Lupe Fiasco's sophomore effort, The Cool, was tops. Teaming original storytelling rhymes, smooth beats, and unique sampling, The Cool is an album that stands out from the overflowing pot of hip-hop and rap MC's trying to become the next Jay-Z/Ludacris.