Paste Magazine says that The National - Boxer is the best album of the year. I have to agree, personally. It was my favorite along with Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam. Ben told me his is hands down Kanye’s Graduation. ”>Pitchfork named Panda Bear - Person Pitch #1 (a great record I do agree…). Metacritic chose Burial - Untrue, MSNBC listed Radiohead - In Rainbows, Spin gave it to Against Me! - New Wave and Rolling Stone crowned M.I.A. - Kala. I researched a ton of other lists and Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Bruce Springsteen, and Lil’ Wayne all also were either #1’s or listed consistently in top 5’s. I have to say, 2007 was a fantastic year for new music. The explosion of indie rock and hip-hop onto the charts and into the mainstream has been pretty fascinating to see and it’s exciting to feel like truly good music is making its way into more and more people’s hands. There’s certainly a downward trend in the importance of labels thanks to Myspace, blogs, and Radiohead this year, although there are handfuls of labels who are making moves to change with the times. I would have to say one of the negative things about music moving to a mostly downloaded format and the rapid demise of the CD is the loss of the importance of album artwork. If we all download our music, we’ll never see the album artwork in more than a 1x1 inch square in the bottom left of our iTunes or in a record store/Best Buy just walking by. I like what Beck did with The Information late 2006 and (sorry for the 3rd namedrop) what Radiohead did a few months ago with the box set option. It keeps up the interest to have something tangible and to hold it in your hand, something I believe cannot be replaced simply by downloading an MP3. So I’m excited to see what artists go above and beyond in that aspect this coming year. Anyways, I tip my hat to all the musicians that put out great albums this year. Here’s to The Breeders and Oasis in 2008.