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Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Top 31 of 2007 - #9

Cale's Pick
The Shins: Wincing the Night Away
Released: January 23, 2007

My expectations were unreasonably high for this album. It had been about 4 years since The Shins had last released a full-length album, and it didn't help that Chutes Too Narrow happens to be one of my favorite albums of all time. Where that album exists in it's very own blissful little world, away from mainstream success or attention, Wincing has The Shins playing nice with the general public. Where Chutes was flawless, Wincing shows a few missteps. But that's not to detract from how relentlessly pleasing it really is. The simple truth is that I've been listening to this album for a little over a year, and the songs that I loved then are just as good now. The songs that I didn't really care for are better. It's an unbelievably solid album, even for The Shins. And with it, the band did the unthinkable. They achieved the mainstream success that they deserved without abandoning their long time fans or deserting their signature sound. They should write a book titled "How to Go Mainstream Without Sacrificing the Music." And Jenny Lewis should buy a copy...and bludgeon herself with it.

For giving me more people who I can discuss The Shins with, they make it to #9 on my list.

The Top 31 Songs of 2007 - #9
"North American Scum" by LCD Soundsystem, from the album, Sound of Silver.

Jill's Pick
Michael Bublé: Call Me Irresponsible
Released: May 1, 2007

You know, Michael Buble is really one of those guys I look at and feel pretty confident in my assessment of: super nice but in a heartbeat would woo away your girlfriend or your mother for a one time fling just because he could. (That assessment, of course, was absolutely cleaned up and made lady-like since I'm not the only one reading this.) He's got that Metro sexual snappy dresser thing going on crossed with a voice that makes him sound like Sinatra has come back from the dead. He makes old standards accessible and does things with songs like Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" that make you scratch your head and wonder which elevator you suddenly stepped into.

It's my slow dance around the kitchen album. If I had the occasion to slow dance around my kitchen, that is.

My favorite track: "World On a String"

Songs you should give a listen to:
--"Best Is Yet To Come"
--"Call Me Irresponsible"
--"World On a String"
--"That's Life"

p.s. there's also his cover of "Me and Mrs Jones" on there that I haven't made my mind up about yet. "Me and Mrs Jones" has got to be one of the sexiest, dirtiest without meaning to be, passionate love songs ever. A remake of it is a nice touch but I just don't know if it works or not.

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