Credit: Illustration by Peter Hoey

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In November, we asked City Paper music contributors to submit their choices for the 10 best albums of 2007. In December, they got back to us.

Sadie Dingfelder

This list is two albums short. Bands known for experimentation (such as Wilco and Radiohead) released predictable, if lovely, albums this year. As far as I know, no other artist filled that void with a startlingly original recording. So I settled for a shorter list of albums heavy on songcraft, if a little short on innovation.

  1. Neon Bible, Arcade Fire (Merge)
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  2. Kala, M.I.A. (XL/Interscope)
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  3. In Rainbows, Radiohead n(self-released)
  4. Emotionalism, Avett Brothers (Ramseur)
  5. Let’s Stay Friends, Les Savy Fav (Frenchkiss)
  6. From the Corner to the Block, Galactic (Anti-)
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  7. Sky Blue Sky, Wilco (Nonesuch)
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  8. Situation, Buck 65 (Strange Famous)

Sarah Godfrey

  1. Waitin’ to Inhale, Devin the Dude (Rap-a-Lot)
  2. Da Drought 3, Lil’ Wayne (Young Money Entertainment)
  3. The Big Doe Rehab, Ghostface Killah (Island/Def Jam)
  4. Graduation, Kanye West (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)
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  5. M.A.D.E., Scarface (Asylum)
  6. Finding Forever, Common (Geffen)
  7. Underground Kingz, UGK(Jive)
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  8. American Gangster, Jay-Z (Roc-a-Fella/Def Jam)
  9. Return of the Mac, Prodigy (Koch)
  10. Eardrum, Talib Kweli (Blacksmith/Warner Bros.)

Aaron Leitko

  1. Reflector, Antelope(Dischord)
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  2. Mirrored, Battles (Warp)
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  3. Person Pitch, Panda Bear (Paw Tracks)
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  4. Kala, M.I.A. (XL/Interscope)
  5. Guitars From Agadez: Music of Niger, Group Inerane (Sublime Frequencies)
  6. Eddy Current Supression Ring, Eddy Current Suppression Ring (self-released)
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  7. Hope for Men, Pissed Jeans (Sub Pop)
  8. Belly, Food for Animals (Hoss)
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  9. God Save the Clientele, the Clientele (Merge)
  10. Fabric 36, Ricardo Villalobos (Fabric)

Kriston Capps

  1. Liars, Liars (Mute)
  2. Mirrored, Battles (Warp)
  3. The Reminder, Feist (Cherrytree/Interscope)
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  4. In Rainbows, Radiohead (self-released)
  5. Andorra, Caribou (Merge)
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  6. Spiderman of the Rings, Dan Deacon (Carpark)
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  7. Cryptograms, Deerhunter (Kranky)
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  8. Underground Kingz, UGK (Jive)
  9. Smoke, White Williams (Tigerbeat6)
  10. Rise Above, Dirty Projectors (Dead Oceans)

Casey Rae-Hunter

  1. Radiance of Shadows, Nadja (Alien8)
  2. Blood Is Clean, Valet (Kranky)
  3. Draw Breath, Nels Cline Singers (Cryptogramophone)
  4. Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, Of Montreal (Polyvinyl)
  5. Mirrored, Battles (Warp)
  6. Nocturnal, the Black Dahlia Murder (Metal Blade)
  7. Raising Sand, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss (Rounder)
  8. The Coast Explodes, Mammatus (Holy Mountain)
  9. Two Hunters, Wolves in the Throne Room (Southern Lord)
  10. Person Pitch, Panda Bear (Paw Tracks)

David Dunlap Jr.

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  1. Wagonmaster, Porter Wagoner (Anti-)
  2. Conqueror, Jesu (Hydra Head)
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  3. Comicopera, Robert Wyatt (Domino)
  4. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Miranda Lambert (Columbia)
  5. The Western Lands, Gravenhurst (Warp)
  6. Verklighet and Beat, Eric Malmberg (Häpna)
  7. Werewolves and Lollipops, Patton Oswalt (Sub Pop)
  8. Ire Works, Dillinger Escape Plan (Relapse)
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  9. The Flying Club Cup, Beirut (Ba Da Bing!)
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  10. Person Pitch, Panda Bear (Paw Tracks)

Ben Westhoff

  1. Graduation, Kanye West (Roc-a-Fella/ Def Jam)
  2. Places, Georgie James (Saddle Creek)
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  3. Da Drought 3, Lil Wayne (Young Money Entertainment)
  4. Cease to Begin, Band of Horses (Sub Pop)
  5. Back to Black, Amy Winehouse (Universal Republic)
  6. Don’t Give Up, Serengeti & Polyphonic (Audio 8)
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  7. Desire, Pharoahe Monch (SRC/Universal Motown)
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  8. The Undisputed Truth, Brother Ali (Rhymesayers)
  9. 8 Diagrams, Wu-Tang Clan (SRC/Universal Motown)
  10. Fort Nightly, White Rabbits (Say Hey)

Steve Kiviat

It amazes me that if you’re stuck in a car without satellite radio, an iPod, CDs, or a laptop and you have to listen to Washington rock radio, that you’ll likely hear only mainstream rock, much of it old. Sadly, Clear Channel believes that DC 101 listeners would be unable to handle a heavy rotation of, say, Spoon or Arcade Fire.

  1. Rokku Mi Rokka, Youssou N’Dour (Nonesuch)
  2. Sound of Silver, LCD Soundsystem (DFA/EMI)
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  3. Motel Lovers: Southern Soul From the Chitlin’ Circuit (Trikont)
  4. Graduation, Kanye West (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)
  5. Pay Before You Pump, Denise LaSalle (Ecko)
  6. Residente o Visitante, Calle 13 (Sony BMG Latin)
  7. Cryptograms, Deerhunter (Kranky)
  8. Segu Blue, Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba (Out Here)
  9. The Roots of Chicha: Psychedelic Cumbias From Peru (Barbes)
  10. Isabela, Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca (Mopiato Music)

Brent Burton

  1. Conqueror, Jesu (Hydra Head)
  2. Mirrored, Battles (Warp)
  3. Red Album, Baroness (Relapse)
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  4. Wooden Shjips, Wooden Shjips (Holy Mountain)
  5. Volta, Björk (One Little Indian/Atlantic)
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  6. Metheny Mehldau Quartet, Metheny Mehldau Quartet (Nonesuch)
  7. Untrue, Burial (Hyperdub)
  8. Person Pitch, Panda Bear (Paw Tracks)
  9. Saltbreakers, Laura Veirs (Nonesuch)
  10. The Modern Tribe, Celebration (4AD)
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Alfredo Flores

  1. La Radiolina, Manu Chao (Nacional)
  2. Residente o Visitante, Calle 13 (Sony BMG Latin)
  3. La Vida…Es un Ratico, Juanes (Universal Music Latino)
  4. Sino, Café Tacuba (Universal Music Latino)
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  5. Papito, Miguel Bosé (Warner Music Latina)
  6. Regreso el Jefe, Elvis Crespo(Machete Music)
  7. Malamarismo, Mala Rodríguez (Machete Music)
  8. Esta Es Mi Vida, Jesse & Joy (Warner Music Latina)
  9. CéU, CéU (Six Degrees)
  10. El Cartel: The Big Boss, Daddy Yankee (El Cartel/Interscope)

Michael J. West

  1. Live at the Jazz Gallery, Jason Lindner Big Band (Anzic)
  2. Live Vol. 1, Robin Eubanks & EB3 (Kindred Rhythm)
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  3. Neon Bible, Arcade Fire (Merge)
  4. A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina), Terence Blanchard (Blue Note)
  5. Sky Blue, Maria Schneider (ArtistShare)
  6. Block Ice & Propane, Erik Friedlander (Skipstone)
  7. In Rainbows, Radiohead (self-released)
  8. Above and Beyond: An Evening in Grand Rapids, Billy Bang Quartet featuring Frank Lowe (Justin Time)
  9. Jazz Cycles, Manhattan New Music Project (self-released)
  10. Mirror, Jacky Terrasson (Blue Note)
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Joe Warminsky

Tired of Kanye, Shins, Common, 50, Winehouse, Jay-Z, Pornographers, Stripes, Wilco. Suspicious of M.I.A., T.I., El-P, and LCD. Will buy Ghostface on sale. Lily Allen was kinda last year, Elliott Smith was last decade, but loved the P.E. single and the El Kinto reissue. Should’ve made more time for metal. Kept coming back to these (in no particular order):

  1. Belly, Food for Animals (Hoss)
  2. Phantom Limb, Pig Destroyer (Relapse)
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  3. Person Pitch, Panda Bear (Paw Tracks)
  4. Underground Kingz, UGK (Jive)
  5. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Spoon (Merge)
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  6. Perseverance, Percee P (Stones Throw)
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  7. We All Belong, Dr. Dog (Park the Van)
  8. Rhythms From a Cosmic Sky, Earthless (Tee Pee)
  9. Dr. No’s Oxperiment, Oh No (Stones Throw)
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  10. Weirdo Rippers, No Age (Fat Cat)
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Share your top-ten lists in the comments and check out our music blog, Black Plastic Bag, for more year-end features.