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Monday, December 10, 2007

The Top 31 of 2007 - #22


Cale's Pick
Emma Pollock: Watch the Fireworks
Released: September 11, 2007

There I was just a little over a month ago, standing at the front of a crowd of people, waiting to see Carl Newman and Neko Case do their thing, when up walks this petite little female in a black dress and black knee-high boots. Speaking into the microphone with a thick Scottish accent, I knew almost immediately that I was in for something special. That night, Emma Pollock did more than convince me to pick up a copy of her CD, she totally outshined the headliners (Spoon) and walked away with a spot on my then nearly-completed list. The reason? Because it's great! Unlike many, I had no prior knowledge of contributions in Delgado (who?) so I was surprised to find that this album was not only well performed, but well wrtitten and completely enchanting. It's not a monumental album, or anything that would lead you to believe that Emma Pollock is the next big female solo act. But it is surprisingly solid from start to finish, containing a few of 2007's best tracks and some amazingly catchy songs ("If Silence Means That Much to You," for example). If you have yet to listen to Emma Pollock, do so. It's hard to imagine anyone coming away entirely disappointed.

For liking Shiner Bock and (in all likelihood) Haggis (simultaneously), Emma Pollock makes it all the way to #22.

The Top 31 Songs of 2007 - #22
"Don't Make Me a Target" by Spoon, from the album, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga.
-------------------------------------------
Jill's Pick
Kelly Clarkson: My December
Released: June 26, 2007

Straight out guilty pleasure.

No, I didn't watch American Idol. I don't think I've even seen 2 minutes total of American Idol. I can't help it that "Since U Been Gone" was catchy and turned me into a Kelly Clarkson fan. It just happened and I'm okay with that. Apparently it was a big risk for Kelly Clarkson to put this album out; Clive Davis (head of RCA, J Records, BMG America) wanted to either fix it or scrap it but she went the Bruce Springsteen "Nebraska" line and declared it an artist's album. (Meaning, you know, she did it for herself and not everyone else, but she's going to share it.) He wanted less of a rock edge and more pop but then when it came out and I heard it for the first time, I really didn't understand why he was so uptight about it. He could have been releasing a far worse album from a less talented former American Idol.

(I think it was a bit of stretch to compare it to "Nebraska" by the way, but I understand why she did.)

There are a lot of different...layers...here and you get this rock vibe, a ballad vibe, and a I'm not really cheesy as television makes me look vibe. It's dark, it's bitter, it's angry. It is in fact my angry chick music album. It's Alanis for 2007!

My favorite track: "Hole"

Tracks to give a listen to:
--"Never Again"
--"Hole"
--"Judas"

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