NPR logo A Year of Good Memories: Bob Boilen's Top Ten CDs for 2007

A Year of Good Memories: Bob Boilen's Top Ten CDs for 2007

For the past three weeks I put all my favorites CDs from 2007 into a playlist on my iPod and let it shuffle. In the end, the music I was consistently thrilled with hearing are on the list below. Some are groundbreaking (Panda Bear and Radiohead fit that bill), some were delightfully fun (Flight of the Conchords) , and others were full of so many great songs they were undeniable. We try all year long to find music that you'll fall in love with as much as we do — music that will be your friend and music that will fill you with good memories. The ones below did it for me.

More 2007 Top Tens From:

Tom Moon, Will Hermes, Robin Hilton, Meredith Ochs

Listener Picks for 2007

A Year of Good Memories: Bob Boilen's Top Ten CDs for 2007

Cover for Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

Green Gloves

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10.

  • Song: Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse
  • from Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
  • by Of Montreal

This is the work of Kevin Barnes out of Athens, GA. The beautiful, psychedelic, almost-origami packaging reflects the beauty and off-kilter feel of this record. The cover art was done by Barnes' brother David . The record is about transformation and despair but it so often feels uplifting and exciting. This record came out at the beginning of 2007 and I still hear new sounds and deeper meanings each time I listen.

Song: "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse"

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Song
Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
Album
Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
Artist
Of Montreal
Label
Polyvinyl

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Cover for Challengers

Myriad Harbour

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09.

  • Song: Myriad Harbour
  • from
  • by

A brilliant pop record by a loose collective of talented Canadians, each with their own, ongoing projects. The New Pornographers music largely centers around the songwriting of A.C. Newman and features the talents of Neko Case Kathryn Calder and Dan Bejar. More textures then ever and wonderfully contagious.

Song: "Myriad Harbour"

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Song
Challengers
Album
Challengers
Artist
The New Pornographers
Label
Matador
Released
2007

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Cover for Distant Future

Most Beautiful Girl in the Room [Live]

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08.

  • Song: Most Beautiful Girl in the Room [Live]
  • from Distant Future
  • by Flight of the Conchords

Music that makes me laugh out loud over and over again. How hard is that? I can’t think of anyone else that has done this in too many years. Thank you New Zealand.

Song: "The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room"

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Song
Distant Future
Album
Distant Future
Artist
Flight of the Conchords
Label
Sub Pop
Released
2007

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Cover for Person Pitch

Comfy in Nautica

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07.

  • Song: Comfy in Nautica
  • from Person Pitch
  • by Panda Bear

Like of Montreal, a record so full of ideas that even multiple listens won’t reveal all the mystery. This record will be with me for a long time. Noah Lennox plays with the Animal Collective and though I loved their CD Strawberry Jam, Panda Bear’s Person Pitch simply surprised me so much more. I love when music does that.

Song: "Comfy in Nautica"

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Song
Person Pitch
Album
Person Pitch
Artist
Panda Bear
Label
Paw Tracks
Released
2007

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Cover for The Stage Names

Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe

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06.

  • Song: Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe
  • from The Stage Names
  • by Okkervil River

Will Sheff has written a fairly upbeat concept record so full of pop culture references that I had to love this. It all could have been a self referential bore. But Okkervil River writes cinematic songs for a multimedia world. If you don’t feel like reading a good book, spend an hour with this.

Song: "Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe"

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Song
The Stage Names
Album
The Stage Names
Artist
Okkervil River
Label
Jagjaguwar

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Cover for Versatile Heart

The Way I Love You

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05.

  • Song: The Way I Love You
  • from Versatile Heart
  • by Linda Thompson

My British folk passion had been buried for too long. In the ‘70s Linda Thompson made the best folk records ever with husband Richard Thompson. No record is as good as Pour Down Like Silver, but this new record, Versatile Heart has so much of that expressive beauty and is so heartfelt , with Linda’s knockout voice, that I’m thrilled by a ballad all over again. The fact this comes from someone who stopped singing because she was physically and psychologically unable make the stories on this record all the more potent.

Song: "The Way I Love You"

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Song
Versatile Heart
Album
Versatile Heart
Artist
Linda Thompson
Label
Rounder
Released
2007

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Cover for Loney, Noir

I Am John

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04.

  • Song: I Am John
  • from Loney, Noir
  • by Loney, Dear

Sweet, innocent and full of hope. This one man band of Emil Svanängen is a masterpiece of simplicity. There were a lot of guys alone in their rooms in Sweden, I don’t know why, but I’m glad they had a way to put down in digits what they felt in their hearts.

Song: "I Am John"

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Song
Loney, Noir
Album
Loney, Noir
Artist
Loney, Dear
Label
EMI
Released
2007

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Cover for Night Falls Over Kortedala

I'm Leaving You Because I Don't Love You

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03.

  • Song: I'm Leaving You Because I Don't Love You
  • from Night Falls Over Kortedala
  • by Jens Lekman

Another Swede alone with some keyboards and some stories to tell. Jens Lekman's record references ‘60s American pop music, in particular Jimmy Webb and Burt Bacharach -- all the folks from back then who made me want to turn off my saccharine-dripping AM radio. But Lekman is funny and his pastiche of sounds and turn of phrase make a CD I almost gave away one of my favorites of the year.

Song: "I'm Leaving You Because I Don't Love You"

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Song
Night Falls Over Kortedala
Album
Night Falls Over Kortedala
Artist
Jens Lekman
Label
Secretly Canadian
Released
2007

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Cover for Neon Bible

Antichrist Television Blues

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02.

  • Song: Antichrist Television Blues
  • from Neon Bible
  • by Arcade Fire

How this record isn’t my number one fave only speaks to how much I was knocked out by the Radiohead CD. This record takes depressing ideas and turns them into anthemic tales that are thoughtful and musically rich. Is it as good as their first CD? I don’t know that anything this decade is that good, but it wasn’t a letdown. It wasn’t a copy of Funeral -- it was full of spark and spirit.

Song: "Antichrist Television Blues"

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Song
Neon Bible
Album
Neon Bible
Artist
Arcade Fire
Label
Merge
Released
2007

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cover for in rainbows

Nude

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01.

  • Song: Nude
  • from In Rainbows
  • by Radiohead

Making challenging, intricate music that is beautiful is just not easy. Yet In Rainbows has a flow and ease unmatched by any record this year. If feels effortless and that’s the sign of great craft and a good deal of inspiration. Upstaging the way this record was delivered to fans, using the Public Radio model of pay what its worth, was brilliant no doubt. I trust, however, that the legacy of this CD will be the music, not the money.

Song: "Nude"

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Song
In Rainbows
Album
In Rainbows
Artist
Radiohead

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