Thursday, December 27, 2007

Keep Hope Alive

Happy New Year
Top Trax of 2007 - Playlist

I've been listening again to my favorite tracks of 2007. Overall it was a damn fine year for music. I enjoyed plenty of rousing and transcendent pop (Arcade Fire, Clientele, Shins, Radiohead, The National), marvellous edgy rock (Liars, Yeasayer), creative explorations of folk and blues (Iron and Wine, Plant and Krauss), and the fabulous ambient emotiveness of electronica outfits like The Field, Stars of the Lid and Burial (album of the year).

My worst fears came true for hip-hop, but Saul Williams, Madlib, Pharoah Monche, Underground Kingz and Jay Z delivered the goods in small doses.

In the jazz area, I heard nothing as far ahead as Ornette Coleman's Sound Grammar from 2006, though Charles Lloyd, Paul Motian, Charlie Haden and Michael Brecker released excellent sets. The expanded version of On the Corner had me scurrying back to my Miles Davis collection, which is no bad thing. New Year's Resolution: Gotta hear more jazz in '08.

All of these artists reflect the difficulties of modern life in profound and beautiful ways. While their solitary epiphanies evoke the receding certainties of the past, they tentatively suggest new paths into the future. These are difficult times, and these cries from the collective unconscious demand that we articulate a humane alternative to the madness which divides us.

So here's to a brave new year. Let's rock on. And keep hope alive.

1 comment:

stoibee said...

Yo Shiffi,

Happy New Year. Enjoyed your blog a great deal in 07 and look forward to more this year. Need some early recommendations so will check out The Field. As an old punk, I have carefully avoided the likes of R Plant and all the hysteria over the Led Zep reunion but was made to listen to him and Alison Krauss over a long car journey this week - pleasantly surprised.

Also pleased you have been keeping tabs on hip hop for me. The music has definitely been absent from my listening in 2007 and I intend to rectify in 08 so will seek out your tips.