Submitted by Annie Reuter - inReview.net staff
1. John Mayer Continuum
This is one of those albums that I never get tired of. It’s been a constant companion since its release in September of 2006, whether it’s on my hour-long commute to internships in NYC or just lounging at home, there’s not one song from this album I dislike. Continuum has a mix of it all – pop, blues, soul and even some folk music among the usual collection of Mayer’s slower ballads and intricate guitar playing. From his first single, “Waiting on the World to Change” to the folk sounds of “The Heart of Life,” his album has a little bit of everything. One of the better songs includes his rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s “Bold As Love.”
2. Justin Timberlake FutureSex/LoveSounds
What’s so great about this album is that each song is completely different from the previous. However, many of the tracks have interludes after each song that segues nicely into the next song on the album. “What Goes Around” is comparable to his previous single, “Cry Me a River” while this interlude and many of the others portray Timberlake’s slower rap style. “Chop Me Up” has a slow rap feel featuring Timbaland and Three 6 Mafia while “Losing My Way” sounds similar to that of a gospel song. Many of the tracks feature Timberlake’s high falsetto singing range, such as “Damn Girl” and “My Love.” Amidst all the club anthems are mellow soul ballads, such as “Until the End of Time” – which portrays just how much of an all-around artist the former boy-band member really is.
3. Switchfoot The Beautiful Letdown
Although this album was released back in 2003, it’s one of those albums I listen to regularly and can always put in my C.D. player to cheer me up no matter the circumstance. “Meant to Live” asks the listener, “We were meant to live for so much more, have we lost ourselves?” while in “This Is Your Life” Jon Foreman sings, “This is your life and today is all you’ve got now/And today is all you’ll ever have/Don’t close your eyes. Don’t close your eyes/This is your life, are you who you want to be?” I guess graduating in May of 2007 and constantly questioning myself and who I’m going to be, what job I’ll wind up with, this album really meant a lot more than in previous years. The San Diego natives really know how to put life into perspective.
4. Plain White T’s Every Second Counts
2007 seemed to be the year for this indie, pop-rock band from Chicago. With a Grammy nomination for hit single, “Hey There Delilah,” the Plain White T’s have been getting a significant amount of radio play throughout the country, on varying stations such as Top 40 as well as easy listening stations. And you couldn’t go to a department store at the mall or restaurant without hearing their Grammy-nominated song. Various magazines and news shows even interviewed the infamous Delilah, of which the song was written about. For a long time, I kept “Hey There Delilah” on repeat, even attempting to learn the full song on guitar. Most of the songs off their album are pretty catchy as well, such as “Hate (I Really Don’t Like You)” and “Our Time Now.”
5. Colbie Caillat Coco
With a calming voice that puts her in the category of singers like Norah Jones, Alicia Keys and Jack Johnson, Caillat definitely turned ears in 2007 with her first single, “Bubbly” hitting the airwaves. Caillat is what is known as a MySpace success story, after she became the number one unsigned artist on MySpace for four consecutive months, having almost 10 million plays. Perhaps what's most enjoyable about her style of music is its realness. Her lyrics are simple, but authentic. Coco has a flow to it that many albums these days lack. The first song on her album, “Oxygen” represents a certain blend and flow that her entire album encompasses. While the light piano and guitar sound accentuate her soft vocals throughout the song. Each track sounds so gentle, as if she is singing so naturally and effortlessly. In an industry where lip-syncing is talked about more than genuinely good music, Colbie Caillat is truly a breath of fresh air.