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Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Top 31 of 2007 - #3

Cale's Pick
St. Vincent: Marry Me
Released: July 10, 2007

You always remember the first time you hear a new artist. For Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, I was sitting at my computer with a freshly downloaded copy of Marry Me and I thought, "Oh great. Chick music!" And I brushed it aside. But as is often the case with albums that I brush aside, I come back to them and love them. I don't know why I decided to give St. Vincent another listen, but I am thankful that I did. Annie Clark is a truly talented musician, teetering on the brink of genius. Marry Me which is a collection of songs that she's been working on for years, is an absolutely perfect solo debut! Quirky pop songs, sweeping ballads, and inventive sing-alongs fill every last second of this album. It's the all-too-common "first album" that people spend their lives writing. Now that Annie Clark has proven herself as one of music's most notable female musicians, she has the ever-daunting task of making a second album that equals or betters her first. Most artists only dream of achieving such a daunting goal, and only a few ever achieve it. For the time being though, Marry Me will continue to keep me company for months, and probably years, to come. At the time of my review for the album, I hailed it as one of the best female debuts of the last decade. Today, I stand by that statement wholeheartedly. Marry Me is a brilliant piece of music, and one that I will have a hard time forgetting.

For using an Arrested Development reference as the title of her album, St. Vincent is the proud recipient of my #3 spot.

The Top 31 Songs of 2007 - #3
"No One Can Win" by Loney, Dear, from the album, Loney, Noir.

Jill's Pick
Jay-Z: American Gangster
Released: November 6, 2007

I've heard it called a "hip-hop concept album", where Jay-Z can exist as character inside another world. But is it really a concept album? When I looked it up, concept album means "an album whose recording are unified by some theme, whether lyrical or instrumental or narrative or compositional." Aren't all of his previous albums concept albums?

I say forget the "hip-hop concept album" question and focus on the fact that it's really, in my opinion, almost as good as "The Blueprint".

It is this mix of Rap, Hip-Hop, Gospel, Retro-Soul, and Soul Funk with genius lyrics, and about the 4th listen I started to wonder when Jay-Z started channelling Biggie. "Hustle hard in any hustle you pick" ("No Hook") is my new motto.

The best track: "Pray"

My favorite tracks:
--"No Hook"
--"Roc Boys (The Winner Is)" (I wish there were more beats like this.)
--"American Dreamin' "
--"Say Hello "

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