Second Annual Bwog Music Critics(ish) Poll

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With all the ballots in and the numbers thoroughly crunched, Bwog proudly presents its second annual Music Critics(ish) Poll. Like last year, we’ve collected lists of favorite albums and singles from various on campus critics, musicians, and radio programmers. Unlike last year, we’ve devised a formula (not a very complicated one) in order to create a composite list, awarding 100 points to the first album or song on the list, 90 to the second, 85 to the third, 80 to fourth, etc. It sounds simple, but it took a while, believe you me. Thanks to all those who submitted lists (all of which can be read and thoroughly criticized after the jump). 

UPDATE: After it was brought to my attention that a certain Bwogger’s list was not posted and thus not included in the composite album listing, we have a new number one album. It was close, but Radiohead wins. My sincerest apologies to Armin Rosen, whose list is now visible after the jump.

Critics’ Choice:


1. Radiohead—In Rainbows

2. M.I.A.—Kala

3. Animal Collective—Strawberry Jam

4. Battles—Mirrored

5. The Field—From Here We Go Sublime

6. Kanye West—Graduation

6. Panda Bear—Person Pitch

8. The National—Boxer

9. Justice—Cross

10. Liars—Liars

11. Deerhoof—Friend Opportunity

12. Dirty Projectors—Rise Above

13. Om—Pilgrimage

14. Of Montreal—Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?

15. LCD Soundsystem—Sound of Silver


1. Rihanna feat. Jay-Z—”Umbrella”

2. LCD Soundsystem—”All My Friends”

3. UGK feat. Outkast—”Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You) ”

4. M.I.A.— “Paper Planes”

5. Sean Kingston—”Beautiful Girls”

6. DJ Khaled feat. Akon, T.I., Fat Joe, Rick Ross, Birdman, and Lil Wayne—”We Takin’ Over”

7. Fabolous feat. Ne-Yo—”Make Me Better”

8. Kanye West—”Stronger”

9. Panda Bear—”Bros.”

10. Swizz Beatz—”Money in the Bank”

Jacob Brunner

Music Blogger Vice’s VLES/Musician


1. Animal Collective—Strawberry Jam

2. Panda Bear—Person Pitch

3. Battles—Mirrored

4. Of Montreal—Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?

5. Deerhoof—Friend Opportunity

6. Dirty Projectors—Rise Above

7. Radiohead—In Rainbows

8. The Field—From Here We Go Sublime

9. Om—Pilgrimage

10. White Williams—Smoke


1. UGK feat. Outkast—”International Players Anthem”

2. Swizz Beatz—”Money in the Bank”

3. Fabolous feat. Ne-Yo—”You Make Me Better”

4. Sean Kingston—”Beautiful Girls”

5. Animal Collective—”Fireworks”

6. Panda Bear—”Bros”

7. Cool Kids—”Black Mags”

8. Caribou—”She’s The One”

9. J. Holiday—”Bed”

10. Vampire Weekend—”Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa”

Chas Carey

WBAR College Rock/Fed EIC


1. Magik Markers—Boss

2. Dirty Projectors—Rise Above

3. Deerhoof—Friend Opportunity

4. M.I.A.—Kala

5. Parts & Labor—Mapmaker

6. Ghostface Killah—The Big Doe Rehab

7. Von Sudenfed—Tromatic Reflexxions

8. Black Dice—Load Blown

9. Times New Viking—Present The Paisley Reich

10. Love Of Diagrams—Mosaic


1. PK14—”00000000001″

2. Electrelane—”To The East”

3. Wu-Tang Clan—”Wolves”

4. LCD Soundsystem— “All My Friends”

5. No Age—”My Life’s Alright Without You”

6. Shy Child—”Summer” (2007 single version)

7. This Free Field—”6000 Salad Bowls”

8. Dinosaur Jr. —”Been There All The Time”

9. Future Of The Left — “Plague Of Onces”

10. Galaxie 500 —”Ceremony”
(even though it came out in 1989, this is really

just for Sam Roberts since he’s been the unfortunate person next door to me

who’s heard me play it at least twice a day for awhile)

As the Replacements once said, “I hate music, it’s got too many


Milano Chowkwanyun

WBAR Co-Promotions Director

This year I enjoyed the revivalism of stoner rock and continued my habit of listening to post-punk reissues and questionably mysogynistic punk bands.


1. Electric wizard—Witchcult Today

2. Circle—Katapult

3. Pissed Jeans—Hope For Men

4. Young Marble Giants—Colossal Youth and Pylon (Gyrate reissues)

5. Clockcleaner—Babylon Rules

6. Wooden Shjips—Wooden Shjips

7. Health—Health

8. Om—Pilgrimage

9. Mika Miko—666 EP

10. v/a—I Hate CDs: Norton Records Singles Collection


1. Magic Lantern—”At the Mountains of Madness”

2. Jay Reatard—”Night of Broken Glass”

3. Jay Reatard—”I Know a Place”

4. Pocahaunted/Robedoor—”Hunted Gathering”

5. Wooden Shjips—”Loose Lips”

6. Black Lips—”Veni Vidi Vici”

7. Live Fast Die—”Got Nintendo”

8. Abe Vigoda—”Animal Ghosts”

9. High Places—”Head Spins”

10. Bat for Lashes—”What’s a Girl to Do”
(guilty pleasure)

Parker Fishel

WKCR Business Manager/Host of Tennesse Border Show


1. Animal Collective—Strawberry Jam

Beauty and spastic happiness

2. The White Stripes—Icky Thump

Despite the bagpipes misstep, pure guitar heroics

3. The Arcade Fire—Neon Bible

4. Nick Lowe—At My Age

5. Kings of Leon—Because of the Times

6. Neil Young—Live At Massey Hall 1971


7. Liars—Liars

8. Betty Lavette—The Scene of the Crime

Back from the dead with a vengeance.

9. Willy Mason—If the Ocean Gets Rough

10. Arctic Monkeys—Favourite Worst Nightmare

They hate the hype more than you do.


1. Kate Nash—”Foundations”

2. Amy Winehouse—”Rehab”

3. Deerhunter—”Fluorescent Grey E.P.”

Where the eye meets the pyramid on the $1 bill.

4. Les Savy Fav—”What Would Wolves Do?”

This rocks!?

5. Grinderman—”No Pussy Blues”

6. Mount Eerie—”Mt. Eerie Pts. 6 & 7″

7. Josh Turner—”Long Black Train”

8. Babyshambles—”Delivery”

9. The Academy Is?—
We’ve Got A Big Mess On Our Hands

Stadium rock that embraces the title

10. Tie! Ryan Adams—”Two”/”Halloweenhead”

and DJ Reggie—”I Like You (You Rock)”

11. Alex Silva—”Aesthetic Sense”

Alex Gartenfeld

Former Eye Editor

1. Sally Shapiro—”He Keeps Me Alive”

The only woman in my world this year was Sally, and she’s from Sweden and it’s not even her real name…

2. Sally Shapiro—”I’ll Be By Your Side”

Re-issued from 2006. ALSO FROM SWEDEN.

3. Tough Alliance—”First Class Riots”

Re-issued from 2005. Swedish + v. cute!

4. Lissy Trullie & the Fibs—”Hold Your Head Child”

The only song on here that is not, quoth my more discerning friends, “disco shit.” They have a broad definition of “disco shit”

5. MIA—”Paper Planes”


6. Crystal Castles—”Crimewave”


7. Teenagers—”Homecoming”

This song is about gender roles!

8. Au Revoir Simone—”Fallen Snow” [Teenagers Remix]

 Before this remix, this band was on snooze control. Now I might lose control!

9. Cougarfuck—”Poppers”

10. Dan Deacon—”The Crystal Cat”

I have a cat!

I couldn’t really get it together to listen to that many albums this year, but in any case, this is the only one that matters…

Young Marble Giants, Colossal Youth [Reissue]

Justin Goncalves

Bwog Arts Editor/WKCR New Music Dept. Head


1. Radiohead—In Rainbows

2. Kanye West—Graduation

3. Animal Collective—Strawberry Jam

4. Battles—Mirrored

5. Lil Wayne—Da Drought 3

6. Of Montreal—Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

7. Dirty Projectors—Rise Above

8. The National—Boxer

9.  Deerhunter—Cryptograms

10. Wilco—Sky Blue Sky


1. UGK feat. Outkast—”Int’l Playas Anthem (I Choose You)”

2. Kanye West feat. T-Pain—”The Good Life”

3. Playaz Circle feat. Lil Wayne—”Duffle Bag Boy”

4. J. Holiday—”Bed”

5. DJ Khaled feat. Akon, T.I., Rick Ross, Fat Joe, Birdman, and Lil Wayne—”We Takin’ Over”

6. Sean Kingston—”Beautiful Girls”

7. Fabolous feat. Ne-Yo—”Make Me Better”

8. Rihanna feat. Jay-Z—”Umbrella”

9. Cool Kids—”Black Mags”

10. Swizz Beatz—”Money in the Bank”

Jennie Rose Halperin

Spec Music Editor

1.  Animal Collective— Strawberry Jam

2.  Yoko Ono—Yes, I’m a Witch

I had so much fun with this album.  It’s a complete surprise from Ono, not terribly experimental and completely dance-able.  I loved the collaborations with Peaches and Le Tigre, as well as with Antony and the Johnsons.  Ono is in top form here, and this album is fantastic.

3.  Radiohead—In Rainbows

This one’s obvious.  They’re consistently incredible, and this much-hyped album definitely lived up to expectations.  I don’t think that there’s much more to say about it. 

4.  Amy Winehouse—Back to Black

5.  M.I.A.—Kala

6.  Panda Bear—Person Pitch

7.  Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band—Live in Dublin

This is Springsteen at his best.  I feel like as an artist, he is only really good when he surrounds himself with the best musicians of his generation.  So this, with fantastic artistry and good songs (my obsession with Pete Seeger is way too encompassing to leave this out!) is a great example of what Springsteen can do.

8.  Okkervil River—The Stage Names

9.  Bjork—Volta

Fantastic.  She is always good, but particularly here, she’s on top.  Bjork has completely solidified herself as the most talented musician of our time with this album.  It’s listenable and transcendent.

10.  Justice—Cross


1.  Justice—”D.A.N.C.E. “

Self-explanatory.  Infectious, dance-able, amazing.

2. M.I.A.— “Jimmy (or XR2) “

See above.

3.  Sean Kingston—”Beautiful Girls”

4.  Devendra Banhart—”Lover”

If you’ve ever heard this, you know why it belongs.  I was listening to the new Devendra and all of a sudden, out of no where, he turned into Marc Bolan.  I don’t know where it came from, but it’s totally fantastic.

5.  Flight of the Conchords—”If That’s What You’re Into”

6.  LCD Soundsystem—”North American Scum”

7.  Blitzen Trapper—”Wild Mountain Nation”

8.  Menomena—
Muscle’n Flo

9.  Grizzly Bear—”He Hit Me (and It Felt Like a Kiss)”

Sublimely creepy.  This was originally written about Little Eva’s abuse by her boyfriend as a protest, but was seen as an endorsement for spousal abuse, strangely.

10.  Wilco—”Hate It Here”

Isla Hansen



(and where we are when we listen)

1. Om—Pilgrimage

   (A-Sleep in a dark dark forest)

2. Tomahawk—Anonymous

   (away from home on the range, hangin’ with Runs With Horses)

3. Mammatus—The Coast Explodes

    (final battle: sea creatures vs. amps)

4. Radiohead—In Rainbows

    (bubbles of meaningful memories in our bathtub)

5. Animal Collective—Strawberry Jam

    (the backyard mini plastic pool turns into an ocean, we all go a-raftin’ and a-venturin’)

6. Battles—Mirrored

   (workin’ on the assembly line in a water pipe factory, pay day, on speed)

7. (The) Grails—Burning Off Impurities

   (rolled up in an oriental rug in the forest, hiding from Om and Tomahawk)

8. M.I.A.—Kala

   (checkin’ out the world from one hoppin’ hot air balloon)

9. Black Moth Super Rainbow—Falling Through a Field

  (in our childhood closet playing with a tape recorder)

10. Jose Gonzalez—In Our Nature

  (on our Argentine Grandpa’s front porch in October)

Jamie Johns

WBAR DJ & Community Affairs/Bwog

1. Battles–Mirrored

Progressive (but not in a prog-rock sense, eww), mindblowing, experimental etc… I love this record more than I will probably ever love any children I give birth to.

2. Marnie Stern – In Advance of the Broken Arm

Marnie Stern sounds like Mick Barr if he stopped smoking a shitload of weed and started chugging red bulls. In short, she shreds. However, she takes this shredding and creates ballistic pop songs about Plato.

3. The Field – From Here We Go Sublime

4. Times New Viking – Present the Paisley Reich

These Ohioans brought back Siltbreeze Records, and also created a lo-fi, noise pop gem that evokes the best of the legendary label’s back catalog. Mmmm.

5. No Age – Weirdo Rippers

6. Boris with Michio Kurihara – Rainbow

Also awesome: Boris with Merzbow – Rock Dream.

7. Magik Markers – Boss

I loved when lead singer Elisa Ambrogio mock-masturbated with her guitar but spooky drones and bad trips make this record a breakthrough for this former noise duo.

8. The Studio – West Coast/Yearbook 1

9. REISSUES: Pylon – Gyrate+, Young Marble Giants – Colossal Youth, Fire Engines – Hungry Beat

Post-punk is the greatest subgenre of music…ever.

10. Pissed Jeans – Hope for Men

A lot of people attempt to evoke the Jesus Lizard and fail. Pissed Jeans do not.

Records I will probably love next year when it is too late: Burial – Untrue, Robert Wyatt – Comicopera, Throbbing Gristle – Part Two: The Endless Not


1. Battles—”Atlas”

Incomprehensible lyrics, loops, exaggerated keyboard tones, a really high cymbal, all in a hall of mirrors – and people can mosh to it?

2. LCD Soundsystem—”All My Friends”

This song is a tear jerker.

3. Fucked Up—”Year of the Pig”

An 18 minute punk song based on the Chinese Zodiac but really about corruption

4. Grinderman—”No Pussy Blues”

I thought Nick Cave was the biggest tool ever until I heard this song.

5. Kathy Diamond—”All Woman”

Maurice Fulton, I thank you for this but please make another Mu record

6. Sian Alice Group—”Nightsong 7″ “

A haunting 7″ released on the Social Registry label

7. Von Sudenfed—”Flederamus Can’t Get Enough”

Mark E. Smith + Mouse on Mars + transvestites

8. Deerhunter—”Strange Lights”

Let’s forget the bro-job, the shit/porn blog etc…and remember the straight up Guided by Voices-esque goodness of this song

9. Bjork—”Declare Independence”

10. Panda Bear—”Take Pills”

Christian Kamongi


1. Liars—Liars 

2. P.J. Harvey—White Chalk

A haunting addition to Harvey’s oeuvre of exquisitely painful biblical soundscapes.

3. Justice—Cross

No matter how much I’ve listened to these tracks their final packaging as an album represents a stunning amalgamation of masculinity, distortion, and Michael Jackson.

4. Calvin Harris—I Created Disco

Cheesy and repetitive? So what. The most fun I’ve had all year? No doubt.

5. New Young Pony Club—Fantastic Playroom

6. Von Sudenfed— Tromatic Reflexxions

7. Battles—Mirrored

We need a new definition for music.

8. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs— Is Is EP

It sounds like a jungle queen’s vengeful oratorio.

9. Digitalism—Idealism

10. Simian Mobile Disco—Attack Decay Sustain, Release

Silliness and sexiness joined in holy matrimony.

Caitlin Lynch

WKCR Latin Music Department Head


1. Gui Boratto— Chromophobia

2. M.I.A. — Kala

3. Panda Bear— Person Pitch

4. The Field— From Here We Go Sublime

5. Studio— West Coast

6. Radiohead— In Rainbows

7. Justice
— Cross

8. Kanye West—Graduation

9. Electrelane— No Shouts No Calls

10. Caribou— Andorra


1. Studio— “Out There”

2. Junior Boys— “In the Morning” (Hot Chip remix)

3. M.I.A.— “$20”

4. Panda Bear— “Bros.”

5. The Field— “A Paw in my Face”

6. Cut Copy— “Hearts on Fire” (Joakim remix)

7. Klanguage— “All This Time” (Yuksek v. Invaders remix)

8. Electrelane— “To the East”

9. Devin the Dude ft. Snoop Dogg and Andre 3000— “What a Job”

10. Seabear— “Arms”

Andrew Martin

Former Spec A&E Editor


1. Panda Bear—Person Pitch

2. Wu-Tang Clan—8 Diagrams

Method Man isn’t having any fun, and he’s never sounded better.

3. Dinosaur Jr.—Beyond

J Mascis is God- this record melts indie pop.

4. Lil Wayne—Da Drought 3/ Assorted verses and tracks

All I want for Christmas is The Carter III.

5. The  Black Lips—Los Valientes Del Mundo Nuevo

6. The National—Boxer

Slow burn of the year—seems overrated until you’ve heard it about 30 times.

7. Spoon—GaGaGaGaGa

8. Robert Pollard/GBV/The Takeovers—Coast to Coast Carpet of Love/Live in Austin/Crickets/Standard Gargoyle Decisions/Bad Football

9. Menomena—Friend or Foe

10.   Holy Fuck—LP

Worst band name ever.


1. LCD Soundsystem—”All My Friends”

The “Stairway” or whatever stupid song you like of our generation.

2. Spoon—”The Underdog”

Official campaign song of Bob Martin for Senate ’07 —pick it up Obama!

3. DJ Khaled feat. Akon, T.I., Rick Ross, Fat Joe, Birdman, and Lil Wayne—”We Takin’ Over”

He is the beast—feed him rappers or feed him beats.

4. Against Me!—”New Wave”

5. The White Stripes—”Rag and Bones”

They’re so cute!

6. Jay-Z and Nas—”Success”

The rivals unite- put it on your mixtape after “Ether” and have fun.

7. Black Lips—”Bad Kids”

8. Kanye West— “Can’t Tell Me Nothin'”

Kanye takes a break from loving himself and releases it as a single.

9. MIA—”Paper Planes”

Best use of gunshot percussion since the glory days of Master P.

10. Devendra Banhart—”Seahorse”

Coleman Moore

Up in Ultra Records and KCR and BAR, active musician


1. M.I.A.—Kala

M.I.A. and Switch, with the help of a few others, combine rhythms from the American South, South Asia, South Beach, Africa, Detroit, and the Caribbean to produce some of the most original and shockingly effective dance music of 2007.

2. !!!—Myth Takes

3. Rich Boy—Rich Boy

The mediocre rhyming skills of Rich Boy are not important, because this album’s producers, particularly Polow da Don and Brian Kidd, fuse various musical styles into a cohesive sound evoking the swamp, the tropics, and the gutter at once.

4. Jay-Z—American Gangster

5. 8 Ball and MJG—Ridin’ High

Respectable southern underdogs fall short of their previous collection but come through with a record laced with aces, not without help from a list of excellent contributing MC’s and producers.

6. Kanye West—Graduation

7. The Field—From Here We Go Sublime

8. Rihanna—Good Girl Gone Bad

9. Justice—Cross

While many of its tracks risk sounding kitschy after the novelty wears off, Justice’ debut LP invents a whole new aesthetic for club music and forcefully gives the genre the “kick in the balls” that the French duo claim it needs.

10. UGK—Underground Kingz


1. R. Kelly feat. T.I. and T-Pain—”I’m A Flirt (Remix)”

Catchier and groovier than any other single of 2007 and includes possibly T.I.’s best verse of the year, despite his 18-track album.

2. Justin Timberlake—”What Goes Around…”

3. Rihanna feat. Jay-Z—”Umbrella”

So famous for some good reasons: gray-skied echo-drenched melody, fresh drum tracking, and the three (or four?) most quoted syllables of the year.

4. Beyonce—”Irreplaceable”

5. Timbaland feat. Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake—”Give It To Me”

6. Jay-Z—“Blue Magic”

7. Fabolous feat. Ne-Yo—”Make Me Better”

Fabolous ices the cake with swag and elegance, but the bread here is Ne-Yo’s soulful hooks, spitting his chorus and verse in tight tandem with Timbaland’s beat.

8. Justin Timberlake—”Summer Love” by

9. UGK feat. Outkast—”International Players’ Anthem”

10. Rich Boy—”Boy Looka Here”

Alex Silva

WKCR DOE/Jazz programmer


1. Radiohead—In Rainbows

Of course.

2. Les Savy Fav— Let’s Stay Friends

3. The Field— From Here We Go Sublime

4. M.I.A.— Kala

She’s really, really hot.

5. LCD Soundsystem— Sound of Silver

I dance when James Murphy tells me to. 

6. Deerhoof— Friend Opportunity

7. Battles— Mirrored 

Get out your calculators.

8. Bad Plus— Prog

9. Miles Davis
—The Complete On the Corner Sessions

10. Charles Mingus— Cornell 1964

This forgotten, excellent recording resurfaced this year and features Mingus’ sextet in prime form just a few weeks before the Town Hall concert and Dolphy’s sudden death.  


1. R. Kelly vs. Broken Social Scene—”I’m a Flirt (Shoreline)” [TheHoodInternet]

2. The Twilight Sad—”And She Would Darken The Memory”

3. Flight of the Conchords—”Business Time”

4. Arcade Fire—”Keep the Car Running”

5. White Stripes—”Icky Thump”

6. Andrew Bird—”Heretics”

7. The Klaxons—”Golden Skans”

8. DJ Khaled feat. T.I., Akon, Rick Ross, Fat Joe, Birdman, and Lil Wayne—”We Takin’ Over”

9. Animal Collective—”Peacebone”

10. The National—”Fake Empire”

Alex Symonds



1. The National—Boxer

2. LCD Soundsystem—Sound of Silver

3. Radiohead—In Rainbows

4. Kanye West—Graduation

5. Patrick Wolf—The Magic Position

6. M.I.A.—Kala

7. Animal Collective—Strawberry Jam

8. El-P—I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead

9. Battles—Mirrored

10. The Field—From Here We Go Sublime

Honorary mentions: Feist’s The Reminder, which was cute when it came out but just got so old so fucking fast. (Did you need to sell “1 2 3 4” to every retail chain, Leslie? Did you really?); Spoon’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga; PJ Harvey’s White Chalk; Eisley’s Combinations; every album that every one of the below songs came from


1. Rihanna—”Umbrella”

If you disagree, you have no heart and no tolerance for the mainstream. Also, to paraphrase YLT, Rihanna is not afraid of you and she will beat your ass. Seriously, have you seen her thigh muscles?

2. Panda Bear—”Good Girl/Carrots”

3. Menomena—”Muscle ‘n Flo”

4. Malcolm McLaren—”Love Will Keep Us Together/Tear Us Apart”

5. Ryan Adams—”Oh My God, Whatever, Etc.”

6. Wilco—”Side With the Seeds”

7. Blonde Redhead—”23″

I put this on the mix I made for my retail job this summer. I discovered that the affluent soccer moms who shop at United Colors of Benetton are maybe not ready for Blonde Redhead.

8. Deerhoof—”Believe E.S.P.”

It has enough attitude not to devolve into preciousness… thank goodness.

9. Bishop Allen—”Click, Click, Click, Click”

10. Seabear— “I Sing I Swim”

It’s smart and sincere and basically begging to be “discovered” by whatever the Garden State of 2008 ends up being. Guess it’s too late for Juno.

Lucy Tang



1. Miracle Fortress—Five Roses

If Person Pitch hadn’t been released this year, Five Roses would have received much more recognition. Oh well, never enough of a good thing.

2. Blonde Redhead— 23

So 23 is a bit derivative of the Cocteau Twins, but that comparison in itself is pretty high praise. It is also impossible to not fall in love with Kazu Makino after seeing Blonde Redhead live.

3. The Tough Alliance—A New Chance

The band name is such a misnomer. The songs are all absolute pop gems, all of them, really!

4. A-Trak—Dirty South Dance

The Girl Talk comparison is inevitable, like Night Ripper only with more recent top 40 hip hop (which makes it that much more fun).

5. Matthew Dear—Asa Breed

6. Liars— Liars

7. Panda Bear—Person Pitch

8. Menomena—Friend and Foe

9. Holy Fuck—LP

10. Jens Lekman— Night Falls Over Kortedala



1. LCD Soundsystem— All My Friends

If I were fifteen years old, listening to this song, I would have totally quoted the lyrics of this song in my AIM profile.

2. Rihanna feat. Jay-Z— “Umbrella”

3. Kanye West— “Stronger”

4. Fergie— “Glamorous”

“The flossy flossy” is an apposition for glamorous. Bonus points for mentioning Taco Bell.

5. Gwen Stefani feat. Akon— “The Sweet Escape”

6. The Teenagers— “Homecoming”

7. The Tough Alliance vs. Taken by Trees— Taken Too Young

8. Animal Collective— “Chores”

9. M.I.A.— “Paper Planes”

Jon Tanners

Producer/CEO Invent Horizons


1. CunninLynguists—Dirty Acres

Best Hip-Hop album in years. Rich, melodic production and deeply reflective lyrics give us a reminder that accompanying dances are not necessary for great music. What would happen if Outkast and Kanye’s old beats had a child.

2. Nine Inch Nails—Year Zero

3. Jens Lekman—Night Falls Over Kortedala

Beautiful cut and paste pop album. Every second of music is shimmering. Lekman’s lyrics are everyday without being boring. Simply put, a beautiful album.

4. Kanye West—Graduation

A bit of a spotty album, but the highlights are bigger and better than almost anything else this year.

5. Jay-Z—American Gangster

6. Justice—Cross

7. Pharoahe Monch

I like Lil Wayne, but Monch is the real best rapper alive.

8. Ghostface Killah—Big Doe Rehab

9. UGK—Underground Kingz

10. Supastition—Leave of Absence

The best rapper you’ve never heard of delivering a fiery nine-song EP. Focused, hard-hitting Hip-Hop.


1. UGK feat. Outkast—”Int’l Players (I Choose You)”

Even before Pimp C died this was the best song of the year. Proof that Outkast can

still rap, UGK are still the kings of the south, and the Three 6 Mafia is one hell of a production team.

2. Rihanna feat. Jay-Z—”Umbrella”

3. Kanye West—”Stronger”

4. Mark Ronson feat. Daniel Merriweather—”Stop Me”

Ronson tuns awhiney Smiths song into a polished, beautiful slice of neo-Motown soul.

5. Young Buck—”Get Buck”

The sound of the South punching the North in the face. Polow the Don’s relentless marching band beat makes Young Buck sound like Godzilla.

6. DJ Khaled feat. Young Jeezy, Juelz Santana, Rick Ross, Fat Joe, Lil Wayne, Dre—”Brown Paper Bag”

7. Battles—”Atlas”

8. Master P—”Gutta Time”

9. Ghostface Killah feat. Beanie Sigel—”Barrel Brothers a.k.a. Tony Sigel”

Fight music.

10. Common ft. DJ Premier—”The Game”

Kanye’s best beat of the year matched with an inspired performance from Common. A glimpse of Hip-Hop if the world had stopped turning in 1994.

Zach van Schouwen

Bwog/14th Street Busker


1. The National—Boxer

2. M.I.A.—Kala

Yummy terrorism hip-hop insanity.

3. Tokyo Police Club—A Lesson in Crime

4. Of Montreal—Hissing Fauna Are You The Destroyer?

5. Fountains of Wayne—Traffic and Weather

A dangerously underrated album by a band I don’t usually like.

6. The Twilight Sad—Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters

7. Okkervil River—The Stage Names

8. The Clientele—God Save The Clientele

9. The Shins—Wincing the Night Away

Overrated, underrated, whatever, it’s another Shins album.

10. Kanye West—Graduation

C’mon, admit it, you love this.


1. Wyclef Jean—”Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)”

2. The National—”Apartment Story”

3. Emmy the Great—”Secret Circus”

London anti-folk that you’ll wish you’d heard of in a year. You can still go to the shows for free on the Lower East Side.

4. Page France—”The Ruby Ring Man”

5. Immaculate Machine—”Dear Confessor”

6. M.I.A.—”Paper Planes”

It’s the dumbest song on the album, but it’s catchy…

7. St. Vincent—”Marry Me”

8. Consequence—”Don’t Forget ‘Em”

A great song from a lousy album, with fantastic Kanye production. Actually, there are a few good Kanye guest singles on here that make it worth listening to.

9. Fountains of Wayne—”Someone to Love”

10. Avril Lavigne—”Girlfriend”

Armin Rosen

Bwog/Spec Opinion/the L


1. Balkan Beatbox—Nu Med

How do describe BBB…are they acid-klezmer? Gypsy afropop? Middle-Eastern punk? I have no idea, and thanks to the Box’s ability to channel  Balkan, Jewish, Caribbean and Middle Eastern beats into an infectious and staggeringly original sound, I’ve been grasping for some catchy shorthand for the better part of the past year. Forget the genre distinctions–“best band/album of the year” should do.

2. Radiohead—In Rainbows

3. Jens Lekman—Night Falls Over Kortedala,

4. Oakley Hall— I’ll Follow You

5. Jay-Z—American Gangster

6. The Black Lips— Good Bad Not Evil

As an acquaintance of mine once put this album on and started drinking as fast as he could. I think it’s the best idea I’ve ever heard–see if you can quick six a pack of Natty before barroom brawler “Bad Kids” wraps up.

7. Arcade Fire—Neon Bible

8. Animal Collective—Strawberry Jam

9. Fiery Furnaces—Widow City

10. The Modern Lovers—The Modern Lovers

I know it’s a copout to rank a reissue this high, but the return of this masterpiece of early-70s minimalism (starring Magnet Fields forerunner John Richman and future Talking Heads guitarist Jerry Harrison) definitely deserves some recognition.


1. A Sunny Day in Glasgow—”5:15 Train”

2. Feist—”1, 2, 3, 4″

It’s too bad that this is probably going to go down as “that one song in that iPod commercial that everybody got really tired of.” It should go down as a work of undeniable genius, if only because Feist has such an unreal singing voice. I’m also a huge fan of that banjo riff.

3. The Black Lips—”How Do You Tell a Child that Someone Has Died”

4. Balkan Beatbox—”Pachima”

If life were fair, this would have been the biggest dance track of 2007 instead of that one overrated song by Justice. Oh well. At least somebody’s giving the best track from the best album of the year the respect it deserves.

5. Okkervil River—”Unless It’s Kicks”

6. Elk City, New Believers—”Cherries in the Snow”

7.  Lily Allen
—“Shame for You”

8.  Vampire Weekend—“The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance”

Although I’ve never been much of a Vampire Weekend partisan, “Kids” is the one VW song that makes me think that the critics and rock nerds could be on to something. Patient and self-reflective, the VW’s longest and most mature track is not as grating as “Walcott,” or as pretentious as “Boston” or as infuriating as  “Oxford Comma.” If they keep moving in this direction, VW will do more than just stand a chance, even in a music scene where the hype cycle is getting shorter and shorter.

9. Bishop Allen —”The Chinatown Bus”

10. M.I.A.
—”Paper Planes”

Tags: ,


  1. Um...

    M.I.A. and Radiohead are the only artists worth listening to on that entire list. This sucks.

  2. yeah

    agreed, under the blacklight is the shit.
    and single--one republic "apologize"
    come on...

  3. fools

    any of these lists that don't feature RADIOHEAD have zero credibility. It's that simple.

  4. well

    i'm just glad all the campus hipsters got a chance to prove their credibility.

  5. sigh  

    self-congratulatory "indie-cred" circle jerk posts - DNW

  6. person

    i like that at least one person included "the twilight sad." what an amazing album.

  7. Anonymous

    Is this the music that defines your lives? I feel bad for you.

    Although Radiohead is alright, I guess.

  8. None

    of the other artists on any of these lists are even in the same league as Radiohead

  9. Festivus!

    It's a motherfucking Festivus banner bitches! Festivus for the rest of us!

  10. r00sta

    what a long post! time to play in the snow.

  11. ehhh

    I think M.I.A. kind of sucks.

  12. erection

    the collective hard-on that columbia has for radiohead is quickly approaching the magnitude of the collective hard-on for '68...

    not that this is a bad thing.

  13. anon.

    these lists are total bullshit. no normal person has heard of any of these bands (with the exception of radiohead). you've proven your point--you listen to obscure bands no one has heard of. now go be ironic and suffocate in your skinny jeans.

  14. hey

    they asked people who listen to more music than the average kid. obviously you haven't heard of a few bands on the list. the fact that they listen to music not on the top 40 chart doesn't make them assholes.

    they almost all named 'umbrella' as one of their top 10 singles. not exactly ironic or pretentious, eh?

  15. anon.

    no im sure they did list songs like umbrella just to be ironic. ooh we're hipsters but we also like pop music we're sooo ironic. i hate hipsters almost as much as i hate hunger strikers.

  16. Haha  

    great banner, Bwog. Any particular reason why it's George?

  17. rjt

    I'm confused by people who are convinced that all the bands on these lists that they haven't heard must be "hipster bullshit." Maybe, but listen to them first? Especially if you think the one band they list that you do know is good?

    There was a lot of good music this year, so there's only one band that I can really be angry didn't make anybody's lists: LOW. "Drums and Guns" was easily one of my favorite albums this year. Other stuff that didn't get or barely got mentioned: Blitzen Trapper, Wilco, Lucinda Williams, Metric, Talib Kweli.

  18. rjt

    Yeah, also the Festivus banner is awesome.

  19. uhhh

    First of all, none of these lists are particularly obscure if you are someone who actually takes the time to care about music and listen to all kinds, whether popular or less popular. You don't have to be a hipster to do this, honestly. You should try the same before you decide that one popular band like Radiohead is the only band worth listening to this year. I read this list with interest and it makes me realize there is a lot of music that I should really check out. I wish other people would have the same attitude, but as is often the case here people just want to shit all over everything. It's depressing.


    i've never even heard of 99% of this stuff........
    and umbrella?? are you KIDDING me? terrible song

  21. alexw  

    I double posted that HO by accident.

  22. hmm

    i dont know anything about this
    it makes me want to puke
    but really i just can't stand music at all
    except sometimes when i can

  23. amy

    another series of lists with no love for in our bedroom after the war. pathetic to you all.

  24. honestly

    anyone who writes shit like "Radiohead is the ONLY good band on this list" should DIAF

  25. dda

    M.I.A. shouldnt be in the top 10...just saying

    and for those suggesting rilo kiley or wilco, seriously? snooze.

  26. dude...  

    tell these tards to stop reading pitchfork.

  27. What about

    the NY Philharmonic's online release of Tchaikovsky's 6th symphony? Hey Guys, you don't have to include mainstream crap to prove you're not hipsters. We love you just the way you are.

  28. Jennie

    Hey BWOG-readers:
    I originally wrote a note that said I didn't really put bands that released good albums that were EXPECTED to be good (arcade fire, wilco,) besides Radiohead because I wanted to put a few surprises up. (For example, Springsteen's full-length, not live, album is also great, but the live album was the real surprise, I think.) Top ten lists are hard to do! I think everyone did a good job crossing genres and exploring different kinds of music.
    Yes, my music taste is really similar to most of these people, but that could be because all of these albums are really good, though this is not to say they were the only good albums of the year.
    But these lists are awesome, and I hope to listen to the music on them that I haven't yet heard!
    Thanks Justin for putting this together!
    PS Pitchfork doesn't particularly like Amy Winehouse, but I still love her.

  29. no surprise

    hmmm...they all listen to the same contrived indie music! it's as if no other music was put out this year! well, bwog, there's plenty of it! and there are plenty of people who listen to it and can give you credible write-ups...*waving hand*

  30. thanks

    thanks alex for mentioning mingus.
    and what do you think of the second part of in rainbows from the boxed set?

  31. honestly

    You guys should release these lists before the big Pitchfork list dump. That way you could compare your predictions with theirs, and avoid sounding derivative when conveniently listing the same "unexpected" hip-hop anthems in your top 10s.

    • JAG

      The lists were all submitted before Pitchfork released their top albums/singles lists. Any similarity is coincidence.

      One thing I don't understand is the nonsensical bashing of individuals who submit lists. They did this because I asked them to, not because they wanted to further their indie gospel or verify their hipster status. I like Jay-Z's verse at the beginning of Umbrella a lot, a whole lot. And i think the chorus is genius, with half step down shit that goes on. It hits the spot.

      I don't know what people expect, but I'm pretty proud of what we've got here. and, no, i don't like m.i.a. being number one either. oh well.

      (and to number 39, send an e-mail to [email protected] if you want to write for us.)

      • well  

        point taken. I may have my own ideas about these bands and the token hip-hop track, but if I think that a lot of these lists are hipster bullshit, that's fine. It's just my opinion. Keep on doing what you're doing and wearing skinny jeans. I will too, because I like them.

        But, the one thing that really gets me is the defensive responses that are all "Well, these lists were made by who care a lot about music and love it waaaay more than you do, and you should broaden your horizons and stop calling me a hipster". I'm sorry, I think I like music a lot too. In fact, I even listen to M.I.A. and obscure shit myself (I've got some kick-ass French Canadian electro-pop if you interested...). Everyone has different tastes in music, and that means that your lists will get ragged on. Deal. I don't get all defensive when my friends make fun of my taste in music and then go off and listen to Sublime. Just because someone has no interest in Radiohead or Animal Collective doesn't mean they don't care about music.

        /end rant.

        • JAG

          fair enough.

          It's not the criticism of lists that bothers me, but rather the personal attacks, which has more to do with bwog than anything else. That's all I was getting at.

          I'm allowed to enjoy hip-hop without it being ironic, aren't I?

  32. oh hell

    Umbrella? Seriously? Ugh.

    Pick some other mainstream single to dilute your list of predictable off-the-radar choices.

  33. ohmaigawd

    battles new album mirrored is seriously amazing. seriously. listen to it. now.

  34. invisible_hand



  35. haha

    clearly, we've reached the point where hipsters reflexively hate hipsters.

  36. ok cool  


    And yes. I'm so over irony.

  37. newark

    where is dalek on any of these lists?

  38. amy

    these lists weren't made by hipsters. or if they were, perhaps they were made by columbia hipsters. that aren't actually hipsters beyond trying to do the same things so-called hipsters do while attending an ivy league institution at the same time.

    these lists are really more of a "who's who" buzz list of most blogged about music in 2007. i wouldn't call that hipster in the slightest.

    but they can continue wearing their skinny jeans if it makes them happy. and lowers the sperm count.

  39. ARR

    I know I ranked the Balkan Beat Box album #1, but since last week I've come accross the new Evangelicals album, "The Evening Descends." It hasn't been released yet, but it's the real best album of '07. By far.

    Well maybe not, but it's damn good.

  40. McFister

    Deerhoof is really a crappy band.

  41. all these lists

    and no alicia keys??? poor at best

  42. What about

    Do Make Say Think? The Besnard Lakes? Stars of the Lid? Beirut? All of them had solid albums that deserve a mention or two.

  43. point of this post

    We've mated pretentious hipsters and hip hop faux thugs--lets see how retarded they actually will be.

    why don't we just ask kappa alpha theta and delta gamma what 80's songs they love to boogie to while we're at it?

  44. say what?

    why is there no stones throw? yesterdays universe is pretty incredible, as is anything else they put out

  45. hairs

    HAHA, thanks for the inclusion of alex silva music.

  46. The main problem  

    with this system is that the "results" have no correlation to the individual lists.

    top ten lists are made as complete documents; to extrapolate points from them to use for a larger ranking betrays the actual logic by which the lists are made. Ask the critics to assign points to a list of songs, however long, rather than ask them to make a "top ten" and the results would be drastically different.

    • JAG

      The thing is, the results do correlate. I admit that I should've gone by a point system (seems like someone googled Pazz & Jop too), but I only realized after it was too late. So the point system was a bit improvised, but the data was data. But in terms of not using the points, you've got me.

      Also, can someone please explain why the fuck I can't enjoy hip hop without being a faux thug?

  47. art hipster 2010

    these comments are stupid and petty. these lists only reiterate what most of the lists in major magazines (not just pitchfork) say.
    so, the fact is that everyone at columbia is a douchebag. its what we pay 50000 bucks for. live with it.
    happy holidays.
    "math rock forever"

  48. Summer of Hate

    Listen to the Horrors. And does nobody enjoy interpol?

  49. hipster!


  50. Summer of Hate

    Alright fine, I'll swing to your game; here's something worth reading, and keep music evil.


    1. A Place To Bury Strangers- Self-Titled
    2. Nick Cave and Warren Ellis- The Assassination of Jesse James by The Coward Robert Ford The Soundtrack
    3. The Horrors- Strange House
    4. The Arcade Fire- Neon Bible
    5. Grizzly Bear- Friend EP
    6. Interpol- Our Love To Admire
    7. Burial- Unearth
    8. Feist- The Reminder
    9. Low- Drums and Guns
    10. Junior Boys- Dead Horse EP

  51. look at me!

    the best music i found the time to love this year. and i love these lists cause they do their part in preserving the album as a distinct art form.

    1. Radiohead - In Rainbows (my favorite album in about 4 years)
    2. Menomena - Friend and Foe
    3. Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity
    4. St. Vincent - Marry Me (and an amazing performer, to boot)
    5. Joan as Police Woman - Real Life
    6. Bjork - Volta (weaker Bjork is still Bjork)
    7. Eleni Mandell - Miracle of Five
    8. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
    9. John Vanderslice - Emerald City
    10. Jonny Greenwood - There Will Be Blood s/t (a perfect score for an incredible movie. PTA is as lucky here as he is skilled).

  52. JEJ

    I put down records I liked that came out this year. There were other records I liked too, but not as much as I liked the ones in my top ten, so they didn't make the cut.

    I find all of the comments saying things "OMG these kids are just trying to prove how cool they are, none of these are really cool records, they're just overhyped blog shit" to be funny:

    1. When did this become some kind of pissing contest about who is cooler? This is all in good fun - make a list and put it up in the comments, fun fun fun! I'll be the first to say I know little about jazz/classical/most hip-hop so someone put up some lists with that on it!

    2. "INDIE ROCK" is not a genre. Independent is a classification for distribution/labels. Radiohead isn't an "indie" band (although they are now I guess) - they made all of their money off of the major label system and selling their tickets on ticketmaster. Obvious: Fugazi was an independent band. Most of the artists on here are on independent labels/are independently distributed and that is awesome.

    3. If any of the commenters have some great truly underground records that you think should be heard, please recommend them to me...I like to hear new music and I would be grateful for any tips.

  53. Sam

    Yay for shoutouts to me!

  54. Alex S

    I feel bad for neglecting Neon Bible in the honorable mentions. Also, for the record, Bon Iver's "For Emma, Forever Ago" is great.

  55. just checked bwog

    Wow, this is such a hipster selection

  56. umm

    to amend 77's post...

    this list sucks.

  57. asdf

    young jeezy feat. r. kelly - go getta

    unk - walk it out

    lil' wayne - something you forgot

  58. chillll

    geeez, so much anger
    chill out guys, and maybe try listening to this music before you criticize it

    p.s. a place to bury strangers tops my list

  59. Hm...

    I didn’t expect any different than last year...of course, that was the post on which I made all those “classic rock is awesome” comments, so I don’t know why I even read through this entire list.

    C’mon, Foo Fighters? 'Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace' was light years better than 'In Your Honor'.

  60. '11

    I'm still in love with Rilo Kiley's Under the Blacklight. Shame it didn't get a nod.

  61. Most

    of this music sucks. You dorks are just trying to be "in" and cool. At the end of the day, you have worthless taste in music. While mainstream is not always great, obscure is mostly crap.

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