Only 12 months late but here are numbers 10 to 5 for Big Ell's Top for 2007.
10. Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss (Rounder)
I initially labeled Raising Sand as an unexpected delight but I have had a change of heart. How can I be surprised that this is a great disc when it features one of my favorite singers, Robert Plant. Plant puts in a subdued performance balancing nicely with Alison Krauss? I have read that this duo may be responsible for the Led Zeppelin reunion going on the back burner which is definitely a good thing.
Best Tracks: Fortune Teller, Rich Woman, Stick with me Baby and Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us
I couldn’t find a decent live performance but here is a link to a video for Gone, Gone, Gone by the Everly Brothers that is a horrible video.
9. Let's Stay Friends by Les Savy Fav (French Kiss)
I heard that Les Savy Fav played the Night Gallery in Calgary a few years back. That would have been sweet as I knew one of the owners and may have been able to get on the guest list. I also knew the bartender and he would have given me cheap drinks. I would’ve been very drunk before Les Savy Fav started and might’ve vomited then passed out. Then I wouldn’t have seen this excellent band and that would not have been so sweet.
Best Tracks: the Equestrian, The Year Before 2000, Patty Lee, Brace Yourself
8. American Gangster by Jay-Z (Roc-A-Fella)
I love Jay Z and this 70s funk inspired treat is sweet. American Gangster flows back and forth and side to side with Mayfield like groves. Like most of Jay Z’s tunes the slow ones are mostly boring except for Fallin with its great chorus. I thought Jay Z was done after Kingdom Come which was largely a piece of shit. This is easily the best Hip Hop album of 2007.
Best Tracks: Roc Boys (And the Winner Is), Fallin, Say Hello, Hello Brooklyn 2.0
Roc Boys (And the Winner Is)
7. Death is this Communion by High on Fire (Relapse)
Death is this Communion is the surprise of the year, by far. I should have known seeing as that they are on Relapse records and Relapse rocks hard. These guys play the heaviest stoner rock this side of Orange Goblin. I can’t get enough of these boys. Angry, tough, fast, grinding goodness. So many great tracks give them all a listen. This is how metal should sound.
Best Tracks: Rumors of War, Waste of Tiamat, Turk and Cyclopian Scape
6. Untrue by Burial (Hyperdub)
Dubtastic beats keep coming and coming from DJ Wiliam Bevan of the UK. I wasn’t sure what to make of it when I first listened to Burial but it grew on me quickly. I love the dub heavy bass beats and the understated lyrics that are on a few tracks. I can’t believe this is his second album. Pick it up if you are into electronic dub music.
Best Tracks: Ghost Hardware, Near Dark, Etched Headplate, Raver, and Untrue