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Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Top 31 of 2007 - #17

Cale's Pick
The Apples in Stereo: New Magnetic Wonder
Released: February 6, 2007

It was a long time coming, but when The Apples in Stereo finally released New Magnetic Wonder after years and years without new music, it all seemed worth the wait. Crammed onto this single CD is more than 20 songs, each with their own appeal and charm. Songs like "Same Old Drag" or "Energy" are obvious favorites just in their sheer pop goodness, while other like "Non-Pythagorean Composition 1" are sure to get the mathletes excited. So whether you're rocking out to "Seven Stars" or just smiling at "Vocoder Ba Ba," you're almost assured to enjoy every second of this album. Sure, they seem to rely on the vocoder far more than they should. But then again, most artists don't use it as smartly as the Apples do either. The bottom line is that few albums released this year (or, hell, the last 5 or 6) have been as consistently enjoyable as New Magnetic Wonder. It's persistent feel-goodery is so infectious that, even when you're in a less than stellar mood, you'll be tapping your toes and singing along in no time! Put down the razor blades kids, and pick up this album instead. You can thank me later.

For keeping me happy, The Apples in Stereo sweeten the #17 spot on my list.

The Top 31 Songs of 2007 - #17
"She's a Rejector" by Of Montreal, from the album, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?


Jill's Pick
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings: 100 Days, 100 Nights
Released: October 2, 2007

Okay. Again with the true story. I'm in Best Buy (again) and I've got Amy Winehouse's album in my hands. I'm walking around looking at video games (okay, I was drooling over the Wii. I really want a Wii.) and this woman stops me. "Stay right here" she says and rushes off. I'm game. People amuse me and I'm watching the Wii demo anyway, so I wait. She comes back and thrusts this cd at me. "Don't buy that! Buy this! Trust me!" And she's gone again.

Lady in the pink coat with that weird corsage on it that your 5 year old made for you, I salute you. You turned me on to Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and if I knew you, I'd kiss you. Or at least thank you properly for being so weird and bold that you'd stop someone in a Best Buy like that.

Fun facts:
--Amy Winehouse's "Rehab"...that band is the Dap Kings. They are fantastic. Even more so when you pair them up with Sharon Jones, who has a HUGE voice.

--It's Motown Soul with a little Blues edge; it sounds like it's 1963 all over again. Even more so since they recorded it in analog rather than digital, as part of Daptone Record's attempts at reviving Funk/Soul.

--There's actually a vinyl pressing of the album (Which I want)

--Sharon Jones can sing...they way people should sing.

The only downfall is it's only a 1/2 hour long, but there's so much goodness in that half hour that you start it over from the beginning and go through it all again. It's my house cleaning motivational album.

I think Amy Winehouse wants to sound like Sharon Jones, but she fails in a fantastic way. Try this over Amy's so much better.

My favorite track: "Be Easy"

Songs you should give a listen to:
--"Be Easy"
--"Something Changed"
--"Keep on Looking"
--"Settling In "

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