With 2007 coming to a close, there’s no better time to reflect on the music that made this year memorable. These are my choices for The Best Music of 2007: the songs, the albums, and even videos that made my year. In compiling this, I’m sure I’ve missed some of your favorites, so let me know in a comment what your Best Music of 2007 choices are! :)
So without further ado, here is:
The Best Music of 2007
The 5 Best Albums of 2007
A pretty self-explanatory category!
- Ghosts by Siobhan Donaghy: In my review of Ghosts back in June, I noted that it was likely to be one of the best albums of 2007. Well, the year’s almost over now and it’s official: Ghosts is brilliant. Elements of Kate Bush’s early work and Madonna’s Ray of Light combined to make the most exciting, refreshing album of the year. The songs are consistently great, from the reggae-tinged ‘Don’t Give It Up’ to the wonderfully mystifying ‘Ghosts’. And then there’s Siobhan’s vocals – light, beautiful, and full of emotion. It just doesn’t get any better than this!
- Hakol Ze Letova by Dana International: Dana’s first album since 2002’s Ha’chalom ha’efshari is a solid collection of fantastic dance-pop tracks. Every track is just pure quality, drawing inspiration from trance (‘Hakol Ze Letova’), electro (‘Memagnet’), and Middle Eastern styles (‘Seret Hodi’). This is Dana’s best album yet and one of the year’s best music releases.
- X by Kylie Minogue: X has a little of everything on it – from pop to glam electro – and is a wonderful celebration of life. Boo to the wankers who expected her to sing about cancer and death and gloom and then said the album was nonsense because she didn’t. It shows more courage to smile after a dark time than to just go all dark and moody. Tracks like ‘In My Arms’ and ‘The One’ are bona-fide Kylie classics, while the more tender ‘No More Rain’ and ‘Cosmic’ show a lovely, softer side of Ms Minogue. Her tenth studio album proves that Kylie is “still standing, keeping you dancing, yeah!”
- Tangled Up by Girls Aloud: I’ve loved this one since November! It’s a fun, cohesive pop album, with some great highlights like ‘Can’t Speak French,’ ‘Sexy! No No No,’ and ‘Fling.’ Pop music needs more albums like this!
- Blackout by Britney Spears: I know. It’s Britney Spears. What is she doing on this list? I’ll tell you why – I’m a shameless pop junkie and don’t care who makes the music, so long as it is good. But first, a story. Back when she was first starting out with ‘…Baby One More Time’ and such, I couldn’t stand her. I was in middle school at the time and she reminded me of all the mean clique-y girls at school. I secretly liked her songs, but I wouldn’t have admitted it then! Luckily, I’m not young and stupid anymore, and I’m way past those oh-so-insecure tween years (way past!). Britney’s still a mess, but I like her tunes. And Blackout is actually an excellently produced pop album. It lacks the heart and warmth of a truly great pop album, but it’s great fun to listen to and has a vibe of just letting your hair down and groovin’ to the music. And “it’s Britney, bitch!” is a pretty fierce way of kicking off an album.
The Best Single of 2007
Catchy, memorable, and downright fantastic – that’s what makes a song the best single of 2007!
- ‘Love Boy’ by Dana International: A huge hit in Israel. And in the US – well, I played it a lot on my iPod. That has to count for something! Anyways, this disco-dance-pop gem artfully mixes together blazing synths, disco strings, and a chorus that roughly translates to “I have a steady trick / Twice a week / I have a love boy” (classy!) – what more could you want?
- ‘Sexy! No No No’ by Girls Aloud: Fierce.
- ‘2 Hearts’ by Kylie Minogue: It wasn’t the obvious choice for a comeback single, but who cares? It’s a nifty little tune.
- ‘Touch Me Like That’ by Dannii Minogue vs Jason Nevins: Based on a sample from Sylvester’s ‘Mighty Real’, this track marries disco to more recent dance and simply shines.
- ‘Gimme More’ by Britney Spears: A surprisingly dark electro-pop track.
The Best B-Side or Bonus Track of 2007
Does what it says on the tin!
- ‘Rippin’ Up The Disco’ by Kylie Minogue: The era of X is upon us, and that means lots of new material – and B-sides! Kylie has been known to release some gorgeous B-sides in her time – ‘Tightrope,’ ‘Ocean Blue,’ and ‘Tears’ stick out in my mind – and ‘Rippin’ Up The Disco’ doesn’t let us down. This hot electro track is bound to become a fan favorite, and no wonder – heavy beats, atmospheric production, and confident vocals from our girl make this one of the year’s best tracks. It’s available as a bonus track to download from kylie.com when you put your CD in the CD drive.
- ‘Re-offend’ by Siobhan Donaghy: At only 1 minute and 52 seconds, and consisting of the same lyrics over and over again, this doesn’t sound that exciting on paper. There’s something really neat about it, though, and is a nice little oddity. Find it on the iTunes version of Ghosts.
The Best Remix of 2007
There were tons of remixes this year, and this category honors the best of the best.
- ‘Lovestoned / I Think She Knows (Justice Remix)’ by Justin Timberlake: I tried listening to Justice’s album a few months ago, but it kinda hurt my ears. Something about the sharp contrast of the choppy bass and treble bits. However, in small doses, their sound is refreshing and new. Their remix of Timberlake’s ‘Lovestoned’ is a perfect example of their production and is one of the best remixes to come out of Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveSounds album.
- ‘Thnks Fr Th Mmrs (Lenny B Long Term Memory)’ by Fall Out Boy: You can’t go wrong with driving synths and guitars.
- ‘Love Boy (Zigo And Eli Abramov Club Remix)’ by Dana International: Takes ‘Love Boy’ out of the disco and into the clubs.
The Best Leak (that is still unreleased) of 2007
Lots of stuff leaked this year, but only tracks that still remain unreleased are in the running for this category. For example, ‘In My Arms’ by Kylie, though brilliant, can’t win this one because it ended up on X.
- ‘Can’t Get Enough of You DJ’ by Victoria Beckham: Everyone hates on Posh’s vocals but they’re fine enough for pop. For some reason this track really appealed to me. It’s fairly simple and to some might seem average, but I really like it. Am I nuts to say it’s the best leak of the year? Probably.
- ‘Set Me Off’ by Geri Halliwell: A cast-off from Passion – and really should have made the album, because it’s fantastic.
- ‘Lose Control’ by Kylie Minogue: A little reworking and this could have been a Kylie classic.
The Best Album Reissue of 2007
The only two reissues I gave a toss about this year were Neon Nights and Girl by Dannii Minogue, so this category is kind of lacking…!
- Neon Nights by Dannii Minogue: NN slightly edges out the reissue of Girl because the new and previously unreleased (or just hard-to-find) material is just that much more excellent than Girl‘s new tracks. The new mixes are ace and the inclusion of that era’s B-sides and an unreleased track make this a must for any Dannii fan.
- Girl by Dannii Minogue: A few of the remixes on this are a bit of a let-down, but the unreleased track ‘Keep Up With The Good Times’ and Full Orchestral 12″ Mix of ‘Disremembrance’ more than make up for that.
The Best Compilation or Greatest Hits Album of 2007
I judged this category based on the quality of the songs and the cohesiveness of the albums as a whole.
- The Greatest Hits by Spice Girls: In addition to being a pop phenomenon, the Spice Girls had some absolutely corking, era-defining songs. Relive the mid-to-late 1990s with this collection!
- Club Disco by Dannii Minogue: When she’s not on holiday, Dannii is actually a dance force to be reckoned with, and this album proves it.
- Unleashed by Dannii Minogue: It’s wonderful to hear what could have been with these unreleased tracks from her London label days. Not every song is a hit, but there are a few gems here.
The Best Album Music Video of 2007
Tons of music videos popped up this year – these were my favorites.
- ‘Love Boy’ by Dana International: Dana was definitely at the top of her game this year – she’s all over this list! A gorgeously campy song needs a gorgeously campy video. This vid has that in spades – lots of glittering lights, token “hunky” guys, even an amusing reaction shot from an old lady! It all culminates in some wonderfully light choreography and ends with Dana leaving a lipstick print on the camera, and as she sashays away, the words “Always a diva… Dana International” scrawl across the screen. What more could you want?
- ‘2 Hearts’ by Kylie Minogue: Kylie owned the screen in this video. Just watch that strut up to the (diamond-studded skull) microphone!
The Best Group Reunion of 2007
Who I was most excited to see get back together.
- Spice Girls: Well duh. (I had a Posh doll back in the day, y’know. Sad but true.)
- The Verve: Not really because I’m a huge fan of The Verve, but because I’m a fan of Richard Ashcroft, and I just like anything that Ashcroft has a part in. (Would you believe I became a fan of Ashcroft as a solo artist before I heard his work with The Verve? Obviously I live under a rock.)
The Best Artist of 2007
To be the Best Artist of 2007, the artist must have maintained a consistent level of fabulousness all year.
- Kylie Minogue: She was everywhere this year, and the buildup to the release of X was at times more exciting than I could bear. Very few artists these days have the brilliant combination of talent and charisma that Kylie has. She absolutely glowed in all of her appearances and performances this year. This was Kylie’s year. Shine on, Kylie.
- Dana International: It’s been years since her last album, but finally Dana came back – with a bang. (Well, in Israel at least. And here in the US on my iPod.) In addition to being fabulous on TV, in magazines, and on the radio, she released a fantastic album with perfectly crafted dance tracks. Viva la Diva indeed!
And that’s the Best Music of 2007! :)