Thursday, May 7, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Best Albums of 2007
As an apology for being away for so long and because nostalgia is always fun in pop music, I have decided to share with you all NSOTP's Best Albums of 2007. As 2007 was the beginning of a golden era in pop music, it only stands to reason that some of the best albums of the decade came out that year.  I'll also try to put an update on what the artist is up to now so we can see the continuation of their legacy. So sit back, relax, think of yourself as a young 7th grader with a lot of issues (wait, that was just me) and listen these classic collections of pop.

11. Ghosts - Siobhan Donaghy

One of the original members of the now defunct (yet still legendary) girl group Sugababes was pop treasure Siobhan Donaghy. She always seemed slightly out of place at the time and when she left, it was clear her own path in music would be nowhere near the sassy R&B the babes would go into. Instead, Siobhan's 2007 album is a clash of Baroque influences with a strong pop sensibility, leading to a pretty mystical and hypnotic collection of songs on Ghost. Even though it lacks on the hits, it was one of the most cohesive albums released by a girl group member ever.
Where Are They Now? Siobhan made the genius move to reunite with the other original Sugababes to become the newly legendary group Mutya Keisha Siobhan (still into the Origibabes name but whatever) and released a pretty great song in 2013. Apparently, they are coming out with SOMETHING this year, but since that's been the status for almost 2 years now, it's hard to believe what they'll come up with.

10. Alphabeat - Alphabeat

When all else fails, you can always count on Scandinavia to make great waves in pop. In 2007, the effervescent and constant vibrance of Alphabeat was exactly what the world needed. "Fascination" set the Danish troupe up for greatness and their album certainly kept up the spirit, with songs like "Go-Go" and "DJ" acting like sonic uppers. The beat was certainly dropped by Alphabeat and their debut album signaled a new force in pop finally arriving.
Where Are They Now? At the moment, The Beat have decided to go on hiatus and the world got a little darker without them. However, some solo efforts have come out of this pause in their career. Lead female vocalist Stine Bramsen has just released her debut EP in her native country after racking up a number 2 single thanks to "Prototypical." While the music isn't really up my alley, the side project of THANKS by two of the Anders from Alphabeat had a Song Of The Day on NSOTP last year!

9. X - Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue albums are god's gift to the world. And Kylie's tenth (TENTH) album continued the hallowed tradition of classic music that essentially defined pop music. This time around, Kylie didn't make the seamless album of nonstop dancing that we know and love. Instead, we got the sasstastic burlesque number "2 Hearts", the killer bright electropop of "In My Arms", the iconic disco of "Wow" and the epic pop masterpiece "The One." It all just makes you a little lightheaded from wonder.
Where Are They Now? Kylie released an album last year (just okay) and has collaborated with Giorgio Moroder on one of the greatest songs of 2015. So pretty much business as usual for Minogue.

8. Blackout - Britney Spears

You all thought she was over. You thought that Britney Spears had nothing left to offer, and would fall into infamy as a sad pastiche of a great past. FOOLS! When Blackout came out, it was the revival of a major popstar that managed to make what Jesus did look like going to the market for cookies. The grimy beats and sexually charged atmosphere of this album perfectly captured what we all wanted but didn't realize we needed. More importantly, it set the stage for Britney 2.0, the best example of what a modern popstar should be.
Where Are They Now? Britney is currently slaying Las Vegas with the iconic Piece Of Me show. Along with that, she is readying her next single "Pretty Girls" with Iggy Azalea, which is sure to be the "something more urban" that she promised us. In other words, we may also get Blackout 2.0 sooner than we thought!

7. Boogie 2Nite - Booty Luv

Let's get one thing straight: disco is one of the greatest accomplishments of mankind. Thankfully, the girls of Booty Luv decided to use this genre to great effect on their deftly titled Boogie 2Nite. It's a nonstop party with amped up covers like "Shine" with their own bangers like "Some Kinda Rush" and "Dance Dance." In a pre-EDM world, we needed a soundtrack for a Saturday Night and Booty Luv were the girls that gave that to us. 
Where Are They Now? The girls never released a sophomore album, with a couple of singles floating around afterwards. They have been pretty good with the whole touring thing so maybe we'll get the fun 70's bangers we all know and love.

6. Robyn - Robyn

On a recent trip to Stockholm, I went to the Swedish Hall of Fame for the sole reason of seeing Robyn's excellent album Robyn in the exhibit. It was a genre-bending pop album that reintroduced Robyn to the world at large. Robyn had made a collection of songs from the insane (Konichiwa Bitches) to the heartaches (With Every Heartbeat). It was groundbreaking, earthshaking pop that everyone should come to be familiar with when talking about Scandinavia's greatest superstar.
Where Are They Now? Robyn has continued her streak of amazingness by teaming up with Royksopp and creating the electronic masterpiece of "Do It Again." She will likely come out with a new album that will be in the top 5 of whatever year it comes. We can always count on Ms. Carlsson in times of distress.

5. Overpowered - Róisín Murphy

Indie electronica is a slippery slope but the theatrical antics of Róisín Murphy tied it all together in a nice, strongly delivered pop album. Setting the stage from some other extravagant artists we all know and love now, Overpowered was an album of nocturnal dance hits that made us realize just how special Murphy was to the pop world.
Where Are They Now? Murphy had an extended (8 years!) hiatus from music to raise her children. I suppose this was an ok decision, but certainly not for music. With a couple of dance collaborations under her belt, Roisin is readying her 3rd album coming out this year Hairless Toys, which, um, certainly retains, well, her specific artistry…

4. Good Girl Gone Bad - Rihanna

This was primetime Rihanna. Before the Chris Brown drama (I still blame him for making her too angry to continue), Rihanna was the definition of a pop princess, with R&B infused hits that basically defined the mid-2000's like the unescapable "Umbrella" and hidden gem "Breakin' Dishes." The best parts of the album are the actual dance hits that signaled a new era of EDM pop that Rihanna basically started. Good Girl Gone Bad was a trailblazing album that solidified Rihanna's spot as a top tier global superstar.
Where Are They Now? After a small misstep with acoustic-pop hit "FourFive Seconds" (just to give Paul McCartney some employment really), Rihanna has come back with harder hit "Bitch Better Have My Money" and "American Oxygen" for her new album coming this year. All hail the Illuminati High Priestess!

3. Tangled Up - Girls Aloud

The greatest band the Earth has ever seen released their fourth album in 2007 and somehow gave them 2 SIGNATURE ALBUMS. Moving on from the almighty Chemistry, Tangled Up brought back some of the grit of Girls Aloud's early work mixed with the sublime pop sensibility that made me fall in love with them at the beginning. But more than anything, the galactic pop moments of insanity in "Sexy! No No No…", the exquisitely crystalline "Call The Shots" and the greatest lyrics of the millennium so far in "Can't Speak French" made it look so easy for the girls.
Where Are They Now? They broke up and the world is 20x sadder because of it. Still waiting on the second Nicola Roberts album though…

2. My Secret Lover - PRIVATE

This super group created by Danish pop genius Thomas Troelsen came and went with a spectacular album. It captured all of the shimmering wonder of the past couple of decades in terms of exuberance but had something spectacularly forward thinking in the production. From start to finish, it sounds almost like a Pet Shop Boys album with Michael Jackson on vocals but a tropical techno twist makes PRIVATE's album essential listening in 2007.
Where Are They Now? It looks like PRIVATE is on hold at the moment, sad face. But fortunately, Thomas has not stopped on the production front. Working with Romanian popstars Antonia and Inna give me hope that a new PRIVATE album could come anyway now.

1. Galore - Dragonette

Dragonette started out as the best band of 2007 and ended up making the best album of 2007. Their lascivious lyrics and overt adoration of electropop was a breath of fresh air for pop purists who needed to remember where it all started. Dragonette's signature sass and brash attitude pervades the bangers on "Competition" and "I Get Around" but even the downtempo stuff like "True Believer" gave us the pop sugar that makes us glad to have diabetes. Every single track goes above and beyond what anyone could expect and left a warm memory of what made 2007 so special. Congratulations Dragonette for helping shape what NonStop On Top has become!
Where Are They Now? Fourth album anyday now guys?

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