Forget “In Rainbows”: “Q” Still Loves The Arcade Fire

neonbiblecover.jpgBrit rock mag Q gives countrymen Radiohead the gas face (by daring to stick them at No. 4!), choosing 2007′s first universe-altering rock release, the Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible, as the best album of the year. Their picks for more or less every middle-of-the-road rock album released in 2007the Top 50 albums and the Top 10 singles of the year are after the jump, but first a quick survey of the fallout from this bold snubbing of In Rainbows.

THE GOOD: Roisin Murphy’s second solo album, the dizzying disco-pomp of Overpowered, sneaks in at No. 29, with Robyn, PJ Harvey, M.I.A., and a handful of others doing their best to keep this list from being entirely made up of boring-ass, dude-centric indie rock.
THE BAD: The rest of the list is nearly all boring-ass, dude-centric indie rock. And they don’t even bother to include Wilco like every other similar list this year!
THE WHAAA?: Once again, Justice are a rock-friendly publication’s token dance pick, i.e. why even bother pretending to keep an ear to the clubs? And speaking of blatant tokenism: Hey, there’s Common, way down at No. 36! That fills the annual quota for one acceptably “conscious” album made by a black person. We guess C was Q‘s clever way of avoiding the default Kanye inclusion.

1. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
2. The White Stripes – Icky Thump
3. Arctic Monkeys – Favourite Worst Nightmare
4. Radiohead – In Rainbows
5. The Good, The Bad & The Queen – The Good, The Bad & The Queen
6. Bruce Springsteen – Magic
7. Kings of Leon – Because of the Times
8. The Shins – Wincing the Night Away
9. The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America
10. Rufus Wainwright – Release the Stars
11. Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
12. Foo Fighters – Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
13. Kaiser Chiefs – Yours Truly, Angry Mob
14. Cherry Ghost – Thirst for Romance
15. Interpol – Our Love to Admire
16. Manic Street Preachers – Send Away the Tigers
17. Rilo Kiley – Under the Blacklight
18. LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
19. Björk – Volta
20. The Rumble Strips – Girls and Weather
21. Cold War Kids – Robbers & Cowards
22. The Coral – Roots & Echoes
23. Bright Eyes – Cassadaga
24. PJ Harvey – White Chalk
25. Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
26. Beirut – The Flying Club Cup
27. Ryan Adams – Easy Tiger
28. The Decemberists – The Crane Wife
29. Roìsìn Murphy – Overpowered
30. The National – Boxer
31. Soulsavers – It’s Not How Far You Fall, It’s the Way You Land
32. Klaxons – Myths of the Near Future
33. Neil Young – Chrome Dreams II
34. M.I.A. – Kala
35. Hard-Fi – Once upon a Time in the West
36. Common – Finding Forever
37. Robyn – Robyn
38. Fall Out Boy – Infinity on High
39. Joni Mitchell – Shine
40. Field Music – Tones of Town
41. Keren Ann – Keren Ann
42. The Enemy – We’ll Live and Die in These Towns
43. Patrick Watson – Close to Paradise
44. Gogol Bordello – Super Taranta!
45. Lucinda Williams – West
46. Sigur Ròs – Hvarf-Heim
47. Kate Nash – Made of Bricks
48. Justice – †
49. Jamie T – Panic Prevention
50. Stereophonics – Pull the Pin

1. Rihanna feat. Jay-Z – Umbrella
2. Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescent
3. Kate Nash – Foundations
4. Arcade Fire – Keep the Car Running
5. Klaxons – Golden Skans
6. Manic Street Preachers – Your Love Is Not Enough
7. The View – Same Jeans
8. Candie Payne – I Wish I Could Have Loved You More
9. Mark Ronson feat. Lily Allen – Oh My God
10. Mika – Grace Kelly

Here come the warm jets (VII) [some will look at me and vomit (warning, embedded music)]

  • The Notorious T

    Is anyone at Idolator developing some sort of comprehensive “Top [insert pragmatic number here] Albums Of 2007″ based on all of the lists that are being posted?

  • SomeSound-MostlyFury

    Glad to see some love for Patrick Watson. That album was spectacular. Although it makes me cry a little bit to see it get beaten by FOB.

  • BigRicks

    This is the first end of the year list to have the balls to throw Fall Out Boy in their Top 50. Am I the only one who will admit to enjoying this album?

    Kaiser Chiefs, The Shins, Modest Mouse and Interpol ahead of Sounds of Silver, seriously?

  • OrangeAlert

    how the hell justice ended up on here is beyond me. my guilty pleasure aka the deftones are noticeably absent…so is the latest trent reznor album. indie-centric indeed.

  • spazandmojo

    these lists really give credence to that soft cell accusation of a
    few years back regarding monoculture; everything the same, ordinary,
    boring, monoculture…

  • Diglett

    And yet Umbrella as top song? Wow, that’s some boldishnicity.

  • extracrispy

    I just do not see how the White Stripes keep making these year-end lists. That album had like 2 good songs on it, and the rest of it was crap!

  • Camp Tiger Claw

    @extracrispy: More worthy than Under The Blacklight which has made the top 20 of every list we’ve seen so far.

    Fucking hot pants. Just break up and give us some more solo and Elected records.

  • SteveHy

    All right, we get it, Jess. You don’t like “boring-ass indie rock.” (You love boring-ass metal.) What’s the point of these list reviews other than to point out, smugly, how they don’t conform to your taste?

  • Rob Murphy

    @BigRicks: No, you are not the only one who will admit to enjoying Infinity On High. I have been [practically] screaming to anyone who will not punch me in the face that this is one of the best rock albums of the year. I much prefer it to Neon Bible and Icky Thump.

    Also, completely agree that those Shins and Marrdest Mouse records were overrated.

    @oovy: I agree with this list — “Umbrella” is far and away the top song of the year. In fact, I think this whole “Top Ten” list is pretty good.

    @extracrispy: This needed to be said. Thank you.

    Also, I am glad to see Keren Ann on this list. That was a terrific record. It reminds me a lot of Mazzy Star, if that means anything to anyone.

  • Anonymous

    @SteveHy: Pointing out, smugly, how someone’s else favorite music doesn’t conform to one’s own taste is the job of the “music critic,” thanks. And so I smugly point out that I don’t like boring-ass indie rock or boring-ass metal.

  • Camp Tiger Claw

    14. Cherry Ghost- Thirst for Romance.

    That’s a Wilco reference.


  • dentist

    What’s the point of these list reviews…

    @SteveHy: As mentioned above, the point seems to be to show how deadeningly boring and uniform the mainstream music press really is (surprise surprise, I know). I appreciate these year-end analyses. The five or six that have been posted so far do a good job of showing the extent to which these publications champion the same predictable crap. There’s so much overlap, it’s a bit nauseating.

  • jt.ramsay

    @SteveHy: I won’t pretend to speak on Jess’ behalf, but what if his answer is yes?

  • Jess Harvell

    after six or so, the main point of these posts seems so obvious that i think if we actually admitted it out loud we’d break the spell and turn into pumpkins.

  • iantenna

    in addition to these lists being full of “boring-ass, dude-centric indie rock,” they don’t even have the right “boring-ass, dude-centric indie rock.” caribou? jens lekman? panda bear? that fucking magnolia electric co. box had 3 great new albums in it!

  • tigerpop

    @extracrispy: That goes for every Stripes album besides Elephant.

  • tigerpop

    Nice to see someone still listens to Manic Street Preachers, btw. That latest record is damn good.

  • SteveHy

    Ha! Fair enough. Still love the site.

  • nonce

    Honestly, the only dude-centric indie rock on that list that wasn’t a surprise to me (as in: “oh, I forgot that came out this year”) was Radiohead and Spoon. Meaning that another point of the list redundancy might be to remind us these albums came out in the first place.

    And I’ve never heard of The Rumble Strips, but I suspect I’m not missing anything.

  • Nunya B

    well, go Róisín, I guess, but seriously Kala that low? Nuh-unn. that shit don’t play.

  • stephenbush

    @extracrispy: You’re right, the White Stripes album was terrible and doesn’t deserve a top 50 placement on any list, much less #2 of the year! If anything, I can see “Icky Thump” making a top 50 songs list, but that’s only because it succeeds well enough that it exposes the rest of the album as their worst effort yet.

  • stephenbush

    Also, this is the worst year-end list that’s been posted on Idolator yet. It’s a fucking shame to see LCD, PJ, Radiohead and Spoon — which are all fantastic — on this barren wasteland of a list with so many mediocre albums. The whole thing reads more like a “most disappointing albums of 2007″ list, minus *maybe* ten albums. And that’s being really generous.

  • TheDTrain

    Just curious…did anyone like Favorite Worst Nightmare (Hooray American Spelling!)? I thought it was a far more boring version of their first album…just me though.

  • TheMojoPin


    Yeah, I’ve always been a big MSP fan, but those last couple of albums were pretty dire and they seemed done. Then James puts out that stellar solo album and the quality seemed to carry over to the rest of the band (Nicky Wire’s solo disc not included).

  • Poubelle

    @TheDTrain: Well, “505″ was pretty good, and some of the other songs okay, but overall, yeah: boring and disappointing.

  • SomeSound-MostlyFury

    @TheDTrain: It was very meh. Most songs, when appearing on my ipod, merit a skip. And then a scramble to play something from the first album.

  • J DTZR

    I like Icky Thump. Sue me.

  • Anonymous

    I like Favourite Worst Nightmare a lot. I also like those second Chemical Brothers, Portishead and Strokes albums that everyone forgot about after previously falling over themselves for the respective debuts.

  • tigerpop

    @Job: The second Portishead album was their best by a mile.

  • PrinceHal

    @J DTZR: We gots to stick together, I suppose. Ok whatever, maybe people don’t dig the bagpipes, but even the weaker songs on Icky Thump are at least solid, I would say.
    And “I’m Slowly Turning Into You” is one of the best things they’ve ever recorded.

  • stephenbush

    @tigerpop: Word.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, it’s Q, a magazine read by a bifurcated demographic: naive teenagers escaping popville whose parents object to the NME, and thirtysomething dinner-party-soundtrackers. They’re just annoyed that the new Dido album won’t be out till next spring.

    Conventional, vanilla, vaguely sickening, but griping about Q‘s year’s-end wisdom is a bit like objecting to eggnog.

  • dentist

    @Rabi: Overlap itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and obviously more than one person can agree on the quality of an album–as I said, it’s such a high level of overlap that bothers me. If you were to judge by the lists posted so far, you might think that 90% of the music released this year was indie rock. It just seems lazy, especially when many of the releases by the indie mainstays that are all over these lists (Arctic Monkeys, Modest Mouse, Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley, Interpol, etc.) failed to spark the same level of interest as their past efforts and underperformed as a result (at least at the store where I work). Iantenna had it right when s/he said “they don’t even have the right ‘boring-ass, dude-centric indie rock’”.

    I think it was Stylus who did a list where they only posted numbers 200-101 and cut out the first hundred entirely. I’d much rather see something like that from these magazines.

  • Tauwan

    I know I might get shit for this, but as much as I enjoy a number of the albums placed on this list, I just want to say Big Ups to Fall Out Boy for getting some Top Albums of 2007 love. It’s a lot tighter and enjoyable than some other albums making the Top Albums of 2007 go round.

  • BeRightBack

    @Job: I love second albums, too, especially the Portishead one. And EMF’s! Truth!

  • Michaelangelo Matos

    @Job: the second Chemical Brothers album is the one everyone fell all over themselves about, not the first one

  • Rabi

    @dentist: I don’t understand. What is wrong if the lists overlap? Can’t more than one person agree on the quality of an album? Does one publication, to prove its credibility, have to pick obscure albums just to avoid overlap with another publication?