2007 passes without sorrow. It had some great moments: a new book published, a memorable trip to Marrakech and a superb 30th Birthday party among others. But it fell, with remarkable symmetry, into two equal six month chunks (punctuated by quite simply the worst week of my life. Four gut-wrenching reasons – apply for details.) that will be filed under ‘Hubris‘ and ‘Nemesis‘ respectively and I also seem to remember it rained a lot.
In any case, some sort of 2007 review seems in order. So, rather than a catalogue of triumphs and disasters, how about a Hornbyesque ‘Top Five’? I thought about my favourite ever years (for ref: 1988, 1994, 1997, 1998 and 2006) but settled on a ‘Top Five Hits of 2007‘.
So, in roughly chronological order, my top five ‘new’ tunes for 2007 are:*
Mika – Grace Kelly
Ben Folds – Landed
This album passed me by in 2005. I bought it and never gave it any time, which is odd because I listen to Mr Folds (with and without his Five) quite a bit. It’s from Songs for Silverman and there is a lot else on the LP that’s great, particularly Trusted and Late. I just love the lyric: “if you wrote me off I’d understand it/ Cos I’ve been on some other planet/ So come pick me up… I’ve landed.”
Duke Special – Last Night I nearly Died
By no means as depressing as the title suggests (for total heartbreak try Ballad of a Broken Man), this is a brilliant number from the rather talented Northern Irish songster Duke Special. As much a poet as a musician, I can’t wait to see him live in 2008.
Ed Harcourt – Born in the 70s
How has Ed Harcourt passed me by all these years? Since hearing him on 6Music, I’ve bought everything he’s done and haven’t been disappointed. It’s all the more remarkable considering we’re the same age and spent our teen years in the same (really rather small) town (Lewes, East Sussex). I like this one because it’s anthemic and I too “was born the year punk broke…the year of the snake“. But there’s a helluva lot else to love about this man’s work viz All of Your Days will Be Blessed, Until Tomorrow Then and The Black Dress.
Beirut – Nantes
My only bona fide ‘cool’ choice, but Beirut are just so complex and dizzyingly addictive that in only a few months I’ve been totally beguiled. The entire album, Flying Club Cup, is worthy of your attention. Never before has the accordion been so damn bloody sexy.
* As ever, ‘new’ means ‘new’ to me rather than generally ‘new’. I heard all these numbers for the first time in 2007. Needless to say, this is my own failing, rather than anyone else’s. Dan Wilson and being cool or with it. Never a close relationship. ;O)