Top 10 CDs of 2007

Billy Altman's Top 10 CDs of 2007

1. Radiohead: In Rainbows (radiohead.com). You get what you pay for - and whatever you decide will be worth every cent, as Thom Yorke and crew continue in their ever-surprising, ever-expansive way. As they say: no static at all. 2. Herbie Hancock: River: The Joni Letters (Verve). In the best tradition of jazz masters like his old boss Miles Davis, a contemplation of the music of Joni Mitchell that's both deep and accessible. No mean feat, that. 3. Miranda Lambert: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Columbia). Maybe she's no American Idol, but this Nashville Star can take our wheel anytime. Just don't cross her, or it'll cost you - dearly. 4. Amy Winehouse: Back to Black (Universal Republic). It's too bad that her trainwreck of a personal life has at least temporarily derailed what started out as a pretty cool musical retro-ride. 5. Peter, Bjorn, and John: Writer's Block (Wichita). They're cute. They write nice songs. They whistle. Got a problem with that? 6. Levon Helm: Dirt Farmer (Dirt Farmer/Vanguard). Now you know: You can indeed raise a Cain back up when it's in defeat. Rag, papa, rag - all over the barn. 7. Arcade Fire: Neon Bible (Merge). As eclectic as they are artsy. A chill in their air, to be sure, but remember: They are from Canada. 8. Mavis Staples: We'll Never Turn Back (Anti-/Epitaph). This gospel treasure has never sounded better - and that's saying something. (Producer) Ry Cooder, consider your ticket punched. 9. Björk: Volta (Atlantic). If life is like a box of chocolates, then every Björk CD is like a packet of Fizzies. As long as my ears keep on tickling, I'll keep on listening. 10. Woody Guthrie: The Live Wire: Woody Guthrie in Performance 1949 (Woody Guthrie Publications, woodyguthrie.org). It's been nearly 60 years since this recently unearthed concert recording by the folk icon was made - and yes, his machine still kills fascists.

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