Friday, December 21, 2007

28. Loney, Dear - Loney, Noir

Very confusing band name and album title, I must admit. In fact, it could almost be a deal-killer if the music wasn't so good. Loney, Dear is Swedish singer/songwriter Emil Svanängen, and Loney, Noir was a big hit with me in a year that many of his fellow countrymen also made an impression. Actually, only two of the four artists who come to mind landed spots in the top 40, with Shout Out Louds and The Tough Alliance falling short.

Emil's ridiculously high falsetto might not be your cup of tea, but how can you not fall for his brand of infectious and sweetly melodious pop music? Highlights here are many, but my particular favorites are "Hard Days 1,2,3,4", "Carrying a Stone", and "I Won't Cause Anything At All". Slotting in at #28, this record holds the distinction as the highest ranking album by an artist I'd never heard of prior to this year, with Handsome Furs being the only other band in the top 40 to satisfy that criterion.

27. Editors - An End Has a Start

Editors' debut album, The Back Room, instantly grabbed my attention, despite the fact that the tougher critics generally referred to them as a poor man's Interpol. In a somewhat ironic twist, I can actually credit Editors as the band that turned me on to Interpol. I'd certainly heard small doses of the latter prior to this, but it wasn't until hearing these less than favorable comparisons that I figured it was time to give Interpol a solid listen.

Editors' sophomore effort, An End Has a Start, is nearly as good as their first. It may not break any new ground, but it's another 40+ minutes of anxious, dramatic hook-laden British indie rock. This band will probably never escape the Interpol comparisons, but they could do a lot worse in terms of reference points. They may occasionally veer dangerously close to Coldplay, but they seem to reign it in just in time to keep from falling over the edge.

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