During the summer of 2007 there were a few albums that got more than their fair share of playing time. These albums ended up being theme music for last summer, and I have no doubt that listening to them going forward will evoke strong memories of the summer of 2007. Here they are in no particular order:
Coldplay — X&Y: An uncle, of all people, turned me onto this album. I have mixed feelings about Coldplay. They’ve put out some enjoyable songs like Clocks and maybe Yellow, but all-in-all, most of their previous efforts have left me disappointed. That is, until X&Y. There is a veritable quadruplet of songs on this album that are fantastic. Start at Fix You, then Talk, skip X&Y to get to the radio-hit Speed of Sound only to round it out with A Message.
I have no idea why the crammed the mediocre song X&Y in the midst of this fantastic quadruplet of songs, but they did. Oh well. And don’t get me wrong, there are a couple other songs on the album that are “classic Coldplay” in the sense that they are less-than-stellar music. But the awesomeness of the aforemetioned four songs makes up for it. Unfortunately, I fully expect Coldplay to never repeat this confluence of solid music-making.
The Postal Service — Give Up: This album came out awhile ago (Early 2003 to be specific). And I was first introduced to it by my friend Larry after he did a solo cover of “Such Great Heights” and sent me his recording. That was in 2004. It took me three years to follow-up and listen to the album. Give Up is incredible music from the beats and lyrics of Such Great Heights to the provactive imagery of Clark Gable or We will become silhouettes or Recycled air. Even if you don’t care for Ben Gibbard‘s other band (Death Cab for Cutie), there’s a great chance you’ll still like The Postal Service. My only gripe with Give Up is that its too short. Alas, some damn fine music. I’m keeping my ears open for a repeat album.
Foo Fighters — In Your Honor: I only list In Your Honor while admitting that I caught up on the entire Foo Fighters discography last summer. Perhaps not unlike The Postal Service, it just took me awhile to be “ready” for Foo Fighters. Alas, the two-disc set of In Your Honor is fantastic music, and I particularly enjoyed Dave Grohl’s more-or-less solo, acoustic album (i.e. Miracle or On the mend). It’s akin to Beck‘s departure from his normal motif in Sea Change (Another one worth checking out whether you like Beck’s other stuff or not).
Peter, Bjorn & John — Writer’s Block: I picked up this album after hearing Young Folks on some internet radio station. Writer’s Block is just a fun, indie rock album. It’s not genius, but if you’re looking for something slightly different than the mainstream and want an enjoyable album, its worth checking out.
Muse — Black Holes and Revelations: Muse is a bit different, but I found this album to be great workout/biking music. It’s loud, rocking, and some of the lyrics are thought-provoking, if not typically and predictably anti-Bush (yawn). Nonetheless, the album’s namesake song Starlight, which includes the lyric “black holes and revelations”, is fun, weird and enjoyable. Supermassive Black Hole is another different, funkily enjoyable tune. This album is completely associated with biking around Ansley and Piedmont Park.
Now that summer 2008 is fully-on, I’m looking for some new music — good tunes that ultimately end up as my 2008 theme music, forever associated with whatever this summer brings. So if you have any albums you think I might enjoy, please comment below.