Best CDs of 2007

Elliott Smith, New Moon

This posthumous record cracked my heart into a million pieces on the first listen. New Moon captures Elliott Smith from such a prolific era — the mid-'90s, when the songwriter's vocals carried both a grim chill and a chance for things to get better. The spare recordings collected here carry the weight of fragile and doomed relationships. (A perfect example from "Half Right": "Would you say that the one of your dreams, got in you and ripped out your seams?")

Deerhunter, Cryptograms

Cryptogram's "Spring Hall Convert" is an instant nitrous hit, beginning with the sound of a deep inhalation and blooming into a deliciously hazy post-punk cloud that turns your insides into candy. I kept this song on repeat for an hour straight the other afternoon, addicted to the way the distorted vocals and coasting melodies melt into such a damn sexy single.

Turzi, A

If Miami Vice were soundtracked by a French band schooled in Brian Eno and Hawkwind, you might have something like A. This is to say the disc is both stylish and psychedelic. In an ideal world, proof of purchase would entitle each listener to a live Turzi performance in a planetarium with a master laser-light technician.

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