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Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Top 31 of 2007 - #2

Cale's Pick
Of Montreal: Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
Released: January 23, 2007

Over the last decade or so, Of Montreal has released a lot of albums. Cherry Peel was the first LP that the band ever put out. It was filled with a bunch of quirky guitar pop songs, each with their own unique sound (nearly every word was accompanied by it's very own chord). From there, the band (or Kevin Barnes) spiraled into what I have lovingly called "drug-induced circus music" on their two brilliant concept albums, The Gay Parade and Coquelicot Asleep in the Poppies: A Variety of Whimsical Verse. After that, they brought things back down closer to where they had started with Aldhils Arboretum, a decent, but flawed album. After taking two years off, Kevin Barnes started to craft Of Montreal albums almost entirely on his own. 2004's Satanic Panic in the Attic shows Kevin's first real foray into electronic pop, though guitars and real drums were still very prevalent. Then came the band's (mainstream) breakout album, The Sunlandic Twins. With that album, Of Montreal became to favorite "drive across town with your window down" CD to every pubescent girl in the world. It's electro pop was absolutely captivating, and and strange for those who had been with the band since the beginning.

Hissing Fauna, shows Of Montreal as a band who has finally come into their own, carving out a spot in indie music history in the process. It is, in my opinion, their best album; not to mention the first Of Montreal album that takes an introspective approach to music. It is a dark, dark album. Therein lies the genius of it. Despite it's darkness, it is also incredibly fun to listen to, to dance to, to sing along to, and to freak out with. Folks could deny the genius of Kevin Barnes prior to it's release, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who could say such a thing now! It is a magnificent record. One that never grows old, and one that reveals new things to enjoy every time you put it on. I downloaded the leaked copy of Hissing Fauna in September of 2006 and I've been listening to it pretty consistently ever since! The fact that this album has been around so long and yet still can make it in the Top 3 of 2007, should really tell you a lot about it.

For giving me more than I ever could have imagined (yes, it is cheesy), Of Montreal is #2.

The Top 31 Songs of 31 - #2
"I Must Belong Somewhere" by Bright Eyes, from the album, Cassadaga.

Jill's Pick
Sondre Lerche: Phantom Punch
Released: February 6, 2007

when i listen to this album i get the urge to talk really fast but in this case type really fast and use long run on sentences devoid of capital letters, proper grammar, and punctuation that all just flow together because well this album is absolutely flouncy hyper quirky frantic fun and really when i put it on it's like i've loaded up on a whole bunch of sugar and coffee and i'm on a high that makes me as predictable as this album (read: not predictable at all) that's going to leave me sobbing like a two year old when i finally come down yes it's that much fun even the songs that you wouldn't think are that much fun are that much fun.

The best track: "John, Let Me Go"

My favorite tracks:
--"John, Let Me Go"
--"Say It All"
--"Face the Blood"
--"If Not Now, Then When"
--"She's Fantastic"
--"Airport Taxi Reception"
--"Well, Well, Well"

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