Fallen pop star Britney Spears may get more headlines for her personal life than her professional, but it's clear as day that her latest album 'Blackout' is a hit--and not just in the US, but in the UK as well. The UK Sunday Times has comprised a list of the top albums for 2007 and Miss Spears made the cut. Here is the full list with their commentaries...
1 ROBERT PLANT AND ALISON KRAUSS: Raising Sand (Rounder/Decca)
The pitch for this album – screaming rock god meets bluegrass fiddle-player – wouldn’t convince anyone. So how did it emerge as such a sumptuous musical feast? The impeccable taste of the producer T Bone Burnett, the intriguing song selection, the masterful band and the unexpectedly gorgeous marriage of those two voices.
2 LCD SOUNDSYSTEM: Sound of Silver (DFA/EMI)
On his second album, James Murphy dug deep into the vaults to relocate the core values of dance music and electronica, emerging with a sequence of songs that nailed for ever the lie that machine music is incapable of emotion. Sound of Silver courses with it. A masterpiece.
3 ARCTIC MONKEYS: Favourite Worst Nightmare (Domino)
Difficult second album? I don’t think so. The Monkeys made light of following up the fastest-selling debut of all time, creating an album that plays to their strengths, but also manages to move their sound on and even to drop intriguing hints about where they might be off to next.
4 CLIPSE Hell Hath No Fury (RCA)
This long-delayed second release from the Virginian brothers was a claustrophobically edgy account of drug-dealing and paranoia, whipped up by the Neptunes into a storm of sonic inventiveness no other hip-hop release in 2007 came close to matching.
5 SUPER FURRY ANIMALS: Hey Venus! (Rough Trade)
Pardon the hyperbole, but the last time we had a band who put together albums with this level of melodic invention, lyrical wit, eclectic bravery, sheer charm and peerless quality control, it was the 1960s, they were from Liverpool, and there were four of them.
6 MAVIS STAPLES: We’ll Never Turn Back (Anti)
The gospel queen’s latest is a collection of songs that inspired the civil-rights movement in America, but if that makes it sound dry and worthy, don’t be misled. Staples’s passion combines with Ry Cooder – producing and playing guitar – to create a subtly funky soul treat.
7 DAVID FORD: Songs for the Road (Independiente)
Salvaging the male singer-songwriter tradition after years of abuse by less talented but more successful rivals, Ford provided a devastating reminder that an artist with a keening voice, an ear for melody and a willingness, lyrically, to wrestle with demons can still take the breath away.
8 FEIST: The Reminder (Polydor)
The use of her song 1234 in an iPod ad may have given her a long-deserved breakthrough, but this spine-tinglingly talented Canadian chanteuse was already a hit with many music-lovers, who wondered if she could equal the magic of the jazz- and soul-tinged Let It Die, and discovered, to their relief, that she had.
9 STEVEN LINDSAY: Kite (Echo)
This beautiful album is an antidote for all those suffering from “they don’t write songs like they used to” syndrome. Steven Lindsay does. Classic pop songwriting – somewhere near Blue Nile territory – topped off by a brilliant reworking of Pixies’ Monkey Gone to Heaven.
10 BRITNEY SPEARS: Blackout (Jive)
Most chart pop plays it safe, but we can only assume that Britney’s producers reckoned there was nothing to lose on this one, and just went for it. The result is the most sonically exciting dance-pop album of the year (against, admittedly, some fairly uninspiring competition)