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Our Favorite Albums of 2007

Panning for gold in an avalanche of 2007 releases

Tomahawk, Anonymous: One of Faith No More/Mr. Bungle nomad Mike Patton's myriad extracurricular pursuits, obviously exploring his Native American interests. The song titles ("Mescal Rite 1," "Mescal Rite 2," "Sun Dance") could have been a bit more elaborate, but overall an enticing, borderline inexplicable mixture of mystical metal and, well, mescal. Quite a bit of it, evidently. See also: Puscifer, V is for Vagina; Grinderman, Grinderman; Ministry, The Last Sucker

The Hives, The Black and White Album: As someone who never really bought the Hives, this sure made me reconsider, and not because of the Timbaland songs. The record the Stooges failed to make with the weirdness that was The Weirdness. See also: Interpol, Our Love to Admire; Babyshambles, Shotter's Nation; Gogol Bordello, Super Taranta!

Siouxsie Sioux, Mantaray: The year of her 50th birthday, Siouxsie leaves the Banshees and Creatures behind for her — believe it or not — first-ever solo album. She's still every bit the slinky Goth seductress ("They Follow You"), with the kind of Shirley Bassey-like stature ("Here Comes That Day") that only gets better with age. See also: PJ Harvey, White Chalk; Willowz, Chautauqua; Avril Lavigne, The Best Damn Thing

White Stripes, Icky Thump: Their best yet. Oh yes. Combines the stadium-begging, pulverizing riffs of White Blood Cells and Elephant with the stylistic flightiness of Get Behind Me Satan. What is not to love? Jack and Meg are adorable in mariachi getup. Or kilts. Or rocking the fuck out. See also: Queens of the Stone Age, Era Vulgaris; Clutch, From Beale Street to Oblivion; John Fogerty, Revival

chris.gray@houstonpress.com

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