My Favorite CD's of 2007/Week 16 picks
December 20, 2007

Top 15 CD’s of 2007

Before you read, hate and criticize this list, I didn’t just put the CD’s that I would necessarily rate the best in order. I took into consideration how good song is every song as a whole, Is there any flow or order to the CD or does fee like a bunch of songs thrown together, is this effort all that different from there other CD’s or a cash in? And finally can I still listen to the CD as a whole however long after it’s been out and still like it as much the first time I heard it. Yes some came out much later for that category so it does affect where they place, and when such instances occur I note it.

15. Sean Kingston – self titled
By now everyone has heard “Beautiful Girls” to death, but the rest of the album is actually pretty under-rated, “Kingston” should’ve been the second single and later songs like “Dry Your Eyes” have a nice tempo to them. The Problems arises with songs like “Colors 2007” which isn’t interesting and that towards the end the sampling gets heavier like “I Can Feel It” and the lack of a ton of variety. Towards the end the songs tend to get blander and his voice begins to sound the same making it harder to distinguish songs. That said, there are plenty of great tracks to listen to and it’s a CD worth checking out.

14. Bon Jovi – Lost Highway
I’ll admit I was first on the “oh crap Bon Jovi is doing a country album” bandwagon, and I’ll be one of the first to admit I was wrong. Somehow he manages to pull off a pretty solid mixture between Rock and Country and still delivers a few great Anthem tracks like the self-titled “Lost Highway”. There are a few songs like “You Want to Make a Memory” which are not enough rock and too slow, but for the most part it’s better song for song then his previous album “Have a Nice Day” and is further proof that Bon Jovi will be around for many years to come.

13. It Won’t Be Soon Before Long – Maroon 5
It only took 5 years for Maroon 5 to release the follow up to their first CD “Songs about Jane” and while IWBSBL isn’t as good, it’s still a great CD. The CD has a lot of variety to it but lacks a big rock punch out track like “This Love” and “Harder to Breathe” from their initial effort. The slower songs on the CD like “Nothing Lasts Forever” and “Won’t Go Home Without You” are much improved from SAJ. And then the big hits like “Makes Me Wonder” and “Wake Up Call” are great songs as well. The problem is that not all of the slower songs are really good and tracks like “Can’t Stop” and “Kiwi” slow the album down, and dampen an otherwise fantastic second effort.

12. Carrie Underwood – Carnival Ride
The only American Idol I’ve ever been able to listen to for more then one song, does a pretty great follow up on her second album. The initial single “So Small” falls right in line with her style of music, and the fact that she is becoming more involved and writing some of her own music earns her some more props. The album has some great range of emotions like the opening song “Flat on the Floor” and the later song “I Told You This”. There are a few misses on the album, and parts of it seem to drag, but it’s a stellar to follow up for what’s sure to be the most successful American Idol.

11. Good Girl Gone Bad – Rihanna
From Jay-Z’s opening on Umbrella to Rihanna’s emotional ending on “Good Girl Gone Bad” the Barbados singer delivers by far her best CD. Packed with hits from beginning to end. Buried in the hits like “Umbrella” and “Hate That I Love You” were far superior songs like “Rehab” and “Breakin Dishes”. Where the CD falters is that it gets repetitive on second listens. “Lemme get that” and “Sell Me Candy” are fun for one listen, but afterwards you realize they really don’t sync with the rest of the album. Yet, considering her past efforts Rihanna shows a lot of improvement vocally and lyrically in her third try and releases one of the more enjoyable pop albums of the year.

10. Finger Eleven – Them Vs. You Vs. Me
Can’t say I imagined I’d have these guys on the list, never mind this high. Prior to this every Finger Eleven has had one or two good songs and a bunch of mediocre ones, but something changed with this one. From the huge hit “Paralyzer” it all seemed different for the band. And upon further listening I realized that this was actually a really good CD. ‘Falling On” and “Them Vs You Vs Me” are great songs and the rest of the album has a great flow to it, and is probably one of the more undersold and under-rated rock albums of the year.

9. Timbaland – Presents: Shock Value
This was a tough CD to place, because for every really incredible song there is a song that is just not up to Timbaland’s own high standards. “Release” “Way I Are” and “Scream” are all countered by tracks like “One & Only” “Time” and “Bombay”. It features a guest on every track but the first one and has already spawned three tracks in the top 3 on the billboard charts with “Scream” due to become the next smash hit. The album does have some flow to it and despite the mediocre Fall Out Boy track, the track with the Hives shows that Rock and Hip Hop can be merged and done right it’s just rare. As a whole the CD is great just has a few more duds then you might expect from one of the most successful and commercial producers of 2007.

8. Beanie Sigel – The Solution
You know its been a good year for CD’s when Beanie is this low. The Solution was one of the later releases this year (though even later releases chart higher) , and shows that the man still has it. The CD is not for radio success by any means and you won’t hear much of it on any mainstream radio, but that’s never been a problem for Beanie before. What’s more interesting is how effective the guest spots are. Rock City lends a great hand on the best song on the CD “Go Low” and the Jigga man drops a verse and chorus on “Gutted”. That’s not to say Beanie needs a guest, as “Hustla, Haze and Highways prove”. The low points on the album are the James Blunt sample “No Bravery” and “All of the Above” with R. Kelly. Although, you’ve got to give credit, anyone who can rap to Black Sabbath and have it somehow not turn terrible has got a lot going for them.

7. Linkin Park – Minutes to Midnight
Probably one of the spots where I’ll take the most flack on the list, but I really genuinely like this CD. “What I’ve done” is in my opinion one of Linkin Park’s top songs to date, and Mike has the best linkin Rock/Rap track to date with “Bleed it out” (The video of which sucked) and Linkin shows some genuine thought provoking topics with the final tracks “Little Things Give You Away”. Unfortunately this makes tracks like “Valentines day” and “In Between” seem out of place as neither is very good lyrically or beat wise. I juggled this one all over the list, but I keep listening to it months after release and that says a lot as I can only listen to a few tracks of Meteora right now.

6. Backstreet Boys – Unbreakable
By far the most pleasant surprise album of the year. Who knew what they really needed to get back to their groove in “Millennium” was to drop Kevin Richardson. They write some of the songs, and the pop beats are better then ever. And you never had this in 2007, J.C. Chasez of N’Sync produces “One in a Million” which invokes memory of “Larger then Life” with it’s techno beat. Yet where it truly hits it stride is the slow pop tracks that Backstreet will go down in history for and “Unsuspecting Sunday Afternoon” is one of their best. Combined with the also fantastic “Inconsolable” and “Helpless when She Smiles” you’ve got a winning recipe. Backstreet’s back with this one, and because it’s had some success don’t think they won’t be coming back again.

5. Jay – Z – American Gangster
It’s been that sort of a year in rap, where Jay-Z’s return (I’ll pretend Kingdom Come didn’t exist) gets him the 5th spot. Truth is, this album is something special and tells the life story (again) of the Jigga man from beginning to end. Lyrically Jay is back in form and the rhymes are slick and smooth. Former rival Nas delivers a fantastic verse on “Success” and Beanie helps out on one of the album’s best tracks “Ignorant Shi’ite”. There’s nothing exactly wrong with American Gangster, but when you compare to his older stuff like “The Black Album” (one of my favorite CD’s of all time) and The Blueprint (another great CD) it’s hard to put it a lot higher. Especially when you consider the competition. However, one thing’s for the Jigga man is back and it can only mean good things for the rap industry.

4. Wu Tang Clan – 8 diagrams
I have a feeling if I re-did this list six months from now this CD would be a few spots higher, but I can only listen to it so many times in a week (I got it late the same time as the album above it). It’s seems almost incredible that Wu is even back especially since members like Ghostface have had success as a solo MC. It’s hard to even pinpoint which tracks are bad and good as they’re all very well done, though if one track stands out in a packed race I’d pick “The Heart Gently Weeps” or “Life Changes”. --From this point on it becomes a much more personal list as I could see people putting any of the 4 in a lot of different orders and I fully expect most people will disagree with my #1--. 8 Diagrams delivers though and is easily a standout album.

3. Lupe Fiasco – The Cool
This or the #2 album will probably end up being one of the most overlooked albums of the year. From the initial intro track to the end Lupe keeps the beats and flow constant and catchy and delivers his best work by far. The album is not a short one coming in at about 70 minutes. Yet somehow it never really drags as it flows from track to track excellently. Considering the album barely made it for 2007 it’s a must listen to album. It shows range from his slower tracks “Intruder Alert” to the fast paced “Go Gadget Flow” the latter of which unfortunately doesn’t sample the theme song for Inspector Gadget. Another victim of coming out late though, as it hasn’t had enough time to grow on me, but in it’s limited time I love it and glad to see more legitimate good rappers further emerging, hopefully they’ll bury crap like Soulja Boy (how bad Soulja Tell’em is merits it’s own column).

2. Chamillionaire – Ultimate Victory
Where to start? A rap album without cursing and it doesn’t suck, wait what? I had this album at the top spot but it’s my opinion and which album I like the most so it dropped. Though truth be told if I reviewed both Chamillionaire would outscore the champ. But enough, Ultimate Victory is amazing in so many different ways. And after many play throughs the only track I don’t like is “Rockstar” which is just disappointing. But the hilarious “Industry Groupie” and the intelligent “Morning News” and “Evening News” way overcome one bad track. Every other song is fantastic in it’s own ways and I can’t say enough good things about the CD. It was undersold and that’s a travesty as it’s exactly what the industry needed, intelligent, catchy, smart, and clean. The fact that it’s so good without swearing is evidence to the lyrical skills of Chamillionaire. Outside of Rockstar I have no faults with the album at all.

1. Kanye West - Graduation
And here comes the flack, but here me out. I honestly think this is Kanye’s best effort yet and that says a lot. Plus this is my list and the CD’s been out since August and I still can’t stop listening to it. And it’s an album that truly grows on you every time you listen to it. And it seems when I listen to it I find a new favorite track. Recently I’ve begun to like “The Glory” which I really didn’t like the first times through. “Flashing Lights” is another standout track and one of the better beats of the year. “Big Brother” is one of the most meaningful rap tracks of the year even if it bends the truth slightly. “Stronger” is probably my favorite song of the year, and “I Wonder” has one of the most arrogant lines of the year, yet you expect no less from Kanye at this point. “You say I think I’m never wrong, you know what, maybe you’re right”. But can you blame for it? He crushed 50 Cent and outsold his brother Jay-Z. I loved Graduation and unlike Late Registration, which wears on you after listen, this one gets better after every listen.

In response to NFL Blitz Week 15, The Bucaneers were 0-16 during their expansion year and were actually 0-26 until Beating the Saints on the road and Arizona at home. Miami will probably finish 1-15 as they finish against New England and Cincinnati. Hiring Bill Parcells was a smart move, though you have to feel bad for Arthur Blank whose now had Vick, Petrino, and Parcells lie to him.

Pittsburgh V St. Louis - Pittsburgh
Dallas V Carolina - Dallas
Philadelphia V New Orleans - Philadelphia
New York G V Buffalo - New York G
Green Bay V Chicago - Green Bay
Cleveland V Cincinnati - Cleveland
Kansas City V Detroit - Detroit
Houston V Indianapolis - Indianapolis
Oakland V Jacksonville - Jacksonville
Tampa Bay V San Francisco - Tampa Bay
Atlanta V Arizona - Arizona
Baltimore V Seattle - Seattle
New York J V Tennessee - Tennessee
Miami V New England - New England
Washington V Minnesota - Minnesota
Denver V San Diego - San Diego

Last Week: 8-8
Overall: 137-86

Most recent blog posts from Chris Lammers...

Genj Genj - December 20, 2007 (04:38 PM)
I see Jay-Z, Kanye, and Wu-Tang, but WHERE'S M.I.A.?!

Incidentally I really hated 8 Diagrams when it leaked, but now I like it more than Ghostface's solo from this year.
Felix_Arabia Felix_Arabia - December 20, 2007 (04:59 PM)
Oh my God your background is killing me.

Edit: What's with all these italics?
ghostyghost ghostyghost - December 20, 2007 (08:37 PM)
I didn't get a chance to here M.I.A so it didn't make the list, I'll look into getting it for christmas, and if all else fails download it. Scarily I actually buy most music, though I often give a test run if I'm not sure (the only reason I've ever heard Soulja Boy Tell'em).

And Wu Tang grew on me. At first it seemed okay but its a lot better the more you hear it.

and Felix is that because it's bad or because your an Anti-Patriot Fan?
Felix_Arabia Felix_Arabia - December 20, 2007 (09:05 PM)
I'm a Colts fan.

Of course, I'm sure you're a fine person even though your team conjures up many evil memories for me.
Suskie Suskie - December 20, 2007 (09:41 PM)
I disagree with the entirety of your list (especially Linkin Park... ugh), but as they say, that's why they invented vanilla and chocolate ice cream.

And being a Patriots fan is too easy.
ghostyghost ghostyghost - December 28, 2007 (10:59 PM)
The Colts logo only brings up the pain of last year and watching the utter collapse of my patriots defence as they seemingly couldn't stop a paper bag.

And being a Pats fan isn't easy when everyone hates your team and prior to and including Belichick's first year your team was seemingly jinxed to never win it. And yes I was fan during the parcells and brief Pete Caroll era prior to his heroism at USC.

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