Owl and Bear’s Top Albums of 2007

Owl and Bear writers’ favorite albums of 2007.

RadioheadIn Rainbows
This year, Radiohead stuck it to the man and released a great album at the same time.
Download: Thom Yorke – Live on Radio, June 2006

Band of HorsesCease to Begin
Band of Horses could’ve easily disappointed with their sophomore effort, but instead produced one of the most instantly engaging albums of the year.
Download: Band of Horses – August 11, 2006

WilcoSky Blue Sky
Wilco fully disclosed their appreciation for the Steely Dan era, but also wrote songs that translate to the live stage better than any of their past efforts.
Download: The Wilco Archive

Elliott SmithNew Moon
Elliott Smith’s first in perhaps a series of mournful goodbyes. At two discs, it is long, sad, and beautiful.
Download: February 28, 2000 (DVD)

The NationalBoxer
Piano-laced and drum-laden tracks are enhanced by lead singer Matt Berninger’s unexpected baritone. Not one wrong move in 12 tracks.

FeistThe Reminder
Thanks to iPods, nearly everybody has heard Feist’s song “1234.” Thanks to Feist, nearly everyone’s iPod contains “1234.”
Download: Feist – August 9, 2005 (DVD)

Bon IverFor Emma, Forever Ago
Bon Iver, a.k.a. Justin Vernon, debuted with this folky, sad release that sounds like it was recorded in a lonely Wisconsin cabin. Hey, what do you know, it was!

The Twilight SadFourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters
Try to not shout along with the lyrics, thick Scots burr and all.

Iron & WineThe Shepherd’s Dog
Audibly enhanced by Red Red Meat/Califone’s Brian Deck, The Shepherd’s Dog is another great release for Sam Beam.
Download: Iron & Wine – February 8, 2007

Arcade FireNeon Bible
With Neon Bible, Arcade Fire made it known once and for all that they’re not in the business of disappointment.
Download: Arcade Fire – September 14, 2007 (DVD)

White RabbitsFort Nightly
Every musical element—from voice to guitars to keys—interlocks to give each song an identity without emphasizing one component over the others.

Andrew BirdArmchair Apocrypha
Called his “long awaited breakout” by Pitchfork, Bird’s latest is innovative and consistently interesting.
Download: Andrew Bird – March 29, 2007

Kevin DrewSpirit If…
Drew and special lady friend Feist will make countless Best Of lists in 2007—with or without the need to name-drop Broken Social Scene.

Georgie JamesPlaces
Former Q and Not U drummer John Davis and D.C. songwriter Laura Burhenn teamed up as Georgie James to release the Pollard-esque, powerpop 70s throwback Places.

Of MontrealHissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? is a vital album, a living work that honors—but does not feed upon the corpse of—the past.
Download: Of Montreal – March 5, 2007

SpoonGa Ga Ga Ga Ga
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga has a well-developed sense of sound and production that enhances an already strong album.

St. VincentMarry Me
Is Annie Clark friendly or frightening? Marry Me implies a lot of both.

Okkervil RiverThe Stage Names
This record takes the listener places, or maybe it’s already gone places and we’re trying to keep up.

Kanye WestGraduation
Kanye has proved his worth yet again. Let’s hope he can keep it up.

Elvis PerkinsAsh Wednesday
Ash Wednesday is cathartic and emotional—a deep breath.

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