Yes, it's that time of the year, when people with absolutely no authority declare their favourites for the year. And Yours Truly is no exception. But, let's face it - it's fun to make them and it's also fun to read them and damn their author.
So, without further ado, I give you my Top 10 albums and films of 2007. Note, however, that this list might change any day, since I will be watching films and buying albums from 2007 in the future too. And with all likelihood, some of them will creep up into the following lists.
1- Raising Sand by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
And absolute gem of an album from two very distinctive and talented singers. There isn't a filler here as one song transcends to another seamlessly. Perfect.
Recommended download: Nothin'
2- The End Is Begun by Three
Each and every one of these unpretentious prog songs are incredibly memorable for their hooks and intricate arrangements.
Recommended download: All That Remains
3- Black Stone Cherry by Black Stone Cherry
The newcomers of the year, the Kentucky band showed the world that you don't need to lead a hedonist's lifestyle to come up with grooves and hooks.
Recommended download: Rain Wizard
4- Hello Master by Priestess
What is fantastic about this album is how each song sounds unique, yet make up a whole cohesive unit.
Recommended download: Blood
5- From Beale Street to Oblivion by Clutch
Great songwriting and musicianship all around. Like all other Clutch albums, it is full of gems and oddities.
Recommended download: Electric Worry
6- Dark Passion Play by Nightwish
Defying all the expectations, Nightwish came up with a fantastic album that reminds everyone what an amazing band they are once again.
Recommended download: 7 Days to the Wolves
7- III: Over the Under by Down
The sludge-masters are back...with a vengeance. It is mature and full of interesting ideas. Their best work to date.
Recommended download: Nothing in Return
8- United Abominations by Megadeth
Yes, they're back. May not be a classic 'Deth album, but whets my appetite for what is next to come.
Recommended download: Never Walk Alone...A Call to Arms
9- Send Away the Tigers by Manic Street Preachers
Manics? Cheerful? No way...yes way, sir. It's chock-full of hook-laden gems and masterful songwriting.
Recommended download: Your Love Is Not Enough
10- Fear of a Blank Planet by Porcupine Tree
An album that requires MULTIPLE listens. However, the rewards you get from it are worth the time it requires of you.
Recommended download: Way out of Here
Also worth mentioning (in alphabetical order):
Blackbird by Alter Bridge
Carry on by Chris Cornell
Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Vol. 2: No World for Tomorrow by Coheed & Cambria
Devin Townsend Presents Ziltoid the Omniscient by Devin Townsend
The Butcher's Ballroom by Diablo Swing Orchestra
Systematic Chaos by Dream Theater
Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace by Foo Fighters
Latest Version of the Truth by Mustasch
In Requiem by Paradise Lost
Elect the Dead by Serj Tankian
The Varangian Way by Turisas
And now the films...
1- No Country for Old Men (Dir: Joel & Ethan Coen)
The Coens are back. Bleak is the word that comes to mind. Another word that comes to mind is perfection. It may be the best film of the last five years.
2- The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Dir: Andrew Dominik)
It's a beautiful canvas on which a great story is painted. Casey Affleck comes up with the performance of the year. Worth the admission for the dinner scene.
3- Gone Baby Gone (Dir: Ben Affleck)
A gripping thriller with genuine performances and a good script. The Affleck brothers did their homework and delivered a fantastic film.
4- Knocked up (Dir: Seth Rogen)
I am still laughing at the jokes months after...that's what makes it an unforgettable comedy experience.
5- Feast of Love (Dir: Robert Benton)
My guilty pleasure of the year. A warm and genuine film.
6- Sunshine (Dir: Danny Boyle)
It makes you hate Danny Boyle for being this talented. Is there a genre he can't tackle? I heard that he is now making a musical.
7- Atonement (Dir: Joe Wright)
Despite slowing down and going to a completely different direction in the second half, it is a very elegant movie with great performances. Special mention for James McAvoy.
8- Eastern Promises (Dir: David Cronenberg)
Aside from an annoying and unnecessary voiceover and a weak ending, Cronenberg again comes up with the smartest movie of the year.
9- Hot Fuzz (Dir: Edgar Wright)
Better structured than Shaun, this is a movie where belly-aching laughter never ends.
10- The Mist (Dir: Frank Darabont)
How about ending the list with another bleak one? Most people hated it, I was hooked the moment Thomas Jane entered the frame.
And those that just couldn't make it:
The Bourne Ultimatum (Dir: Paul Greengrass)
Grindhouse (Dir: Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino)
Lust, Caution (Dir: Ang Lee)
The Simpsons Movie (Dir: David Silverman)
Superbad (Greg Mottola)
Zodiac (Dir: David Fincher)
So, here it is folks. My favourites for 2007. Like I said, these lists will eventually change, but for now they will do.