Best of 2007

Top 5 albums
1 Radiohead - In_Rainbows
Just instantly sounded better than everything I'd heard for months - and for once in our instant preview/early release/download era, an album felt like an event.
2 Devandra Banhart - Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
Love the 70s laid-back vibe here, traversing rock, folk and tropicalia effortlessly.
3 LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver
Beyond the hipster hype, an album with something to say, and a fresh way of saying it.
4 Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
Warm rock, the perfect soundtrack to a snow-bound expedition. Great solos too.
5 Kings Of Leon - Because Of The Times
They disappointed live, but any album that kicks off with a good 7 minutes of slow-burning driving music is a winner round these parts.

Runners Up:
Justice - +
Demented production, great inventive dance/pop that felt like it could only have been released in 2007.
Brazil 70
OK, it's a compilation of post-Tropicalia freak-outs from 70s Brazilian, but most of it was new to me this year.
Burial - Untrue
Intriguing dubstep with soul
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Bit like eating a whole chocolate cake after a while, but still great in small chunks.

Top 5 gigs
1 The Rolling Stones - A Bigger Bang - The O2 August 26
They still rule. Billed as the last-ever tour too, glad to have finally caught them.
2 Prince - 3121 - The O2, August 31
Unstoppable showmanship, amazing guitar, huge catalogue of hits to draw on.
3 Wilco - Shepherd's Bush Empire, May 20
Possibly even better live than on record.
4 Beastie Boys - Brixton Academy, September 4
Good to see the BBs again, still got the skills to pay the bills.
5 Black Mountain - Cargo, December 5
Great introduction to a band I'd only heard on one track before - might have been higher in this list if I'd been able to sing along more.

Also: Cornelius/Matmos - Royal Festival Hall
Laptops, psychedelia, rock-outs and pure pop. RFH refurb works too.
The Vitamin Trip reunion, Joyce Is Not Here, September, Hong Kong
Just about pulled it all together again after ten years.

Top 5 films
1 Inland Empire
Unhinged Lynch. Not sure there's anywhere for him to go after this, but it's hard to beat for showing the extremes of cinema possibility; great performance from Laura Dern too.
2 The Lives Of Others
Brutally sharp in its dissection of recent state madness, and the ways people surprise and disappoint.
3 Superbad
McLovin!
4 Knocked Up
Great way to play both sides of the romcom gender split.
5 Disturbia
Enjoyed the tight scale and execution of this MySpace generation Rear Window.

Runners Up:
2 Days In Paris
Night Of The Sunflowers
Zodiac
Smokin' Aces
The Bourne Ultimatum

Most Disappointing threequel - Shrek The Third
Sucked as much as the first two rocked.

Top 5 tracks
1 Seahorse - Devendra Banhart
2 Bodysnatchers - Radiohead
3 Dear Dead Friends - Von Südenfed
4 Keep the Car Running - Arcade Fire
5 505 - Arctic Monkeys

Plus:
Ghost Ship - Menomena
Ponytail - Panda Bear
I Got Lost - Dinosaur Jr
Tenderoni - Chromeo
Love Your Man, Love Your Woman - The Broken Family Band
Veni Vidi Vici (Diplo Mix) - Black Lips
I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance - Black Kids
Is There A Ghost? - Band Of Horses

Top 5 TV shows
1 The Wire - FX/HBO
Just gets better and better. Does it really have to be the last series next time round?
2 Heroes - Sci-Fi/BBC2/NBC
Took a while to put everything in place, but this was one of the most fun shows around this year.
3 Entourage - ITV2/HBO
Vince and the gang are on a roll.
4 Flight Of The Conchords - BBC4/HBO
Jokes? Present. Songs? Present. Something new worth quoting.
5 30 Rock, Five/NBC
Didn't think this would be as funny as it is - Alec Baldwin's timing is great.

Runners Up:
Party Animals - BBC2
Lead Balloon - BBC2
Saxondale - BBC2
Comics Britannia - BBC4
Californication - Five
Five Days - BBC2
The Sopranos - E4/HBO
South Park - Paramount/Comedy Central