Your Real Name
Top 10 Albums of 2007
1. Britney Spears Blackout 15
2. Aly & A.J. Insomniatic 14
3. Miranda Lambert Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 13
4. Kelly Clarkson My December 12
5. A-Trak Dirty South Dance 11
6. Travis Tritt The Storm 9
7. Rihanna Good Girl Gone Bad 8
8. The Veronicas Hook Me Up 7
9. Jordan Pruitt No Ordinary Girl 6
10. Gretchen Wilson One Of The Boys 5
Top 10 Singles/Tracks of 2007
1. Lloyd f. Lil Wayne "You"
2. Miley Cyrus "See You Again"
3. Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons "Beggin' (Palooski Edit)"
4. Ashley Tisdale "Not Like That"
5. JoJo "Anything"
6. Britney Spears "Gimme More"
7. Yung Berg f. Junior "Sexy Lady"
8. Paula DeAnda f. Lil Wayne "Easy"
9. Linda Sundblad "Lose You"
10. Keak Da Sneak "That Go"
Top 5 Reissues of 2007
1. Paula Abdul Greatest Hits
2. Neil Young Live At Massey Hall 1971
3. v/a The Kings Of Reggae
4. The Stanley Brothers The Definitive Collection
Top 5 Artists of 2007
1. Britney Spears
2. Brie Larson
3. Antonina Armato and Tim James
4. Kelefa Sanneh
Stuff About You
Age: 51 Or Older
I finally admitted it. Britney's Blackout is the album of the year. Blackout vs. Aly & A.J.'s Insomniatic is like the Stooges' Raw Power vs. New York Dolls once was, and my heart was saying Aly & A.J. this year in the same way that long ago it was saying the Dolls. What my decision finally came down to then and now was force (power, wantonness, viscera seizing you by the throat, insinuatingly nervy sexiness) vs. love (passion, vulnerability, warmth, sympathy, desperation, smarts, idealism), and I had to admit that it was the Stooges (force) more than the Dolls (love) that I incessantly craved in my musical synapses. The Dolls had more good songs than the Stooges, fewer dead spots, smarter lyrics, more open available humanness (and humaneness), more tunes, more beauty, just as the Aly & A.J. album has more good songs than the Britney, and fewer bad ones (in fact, no bad ones).
But I think it helps Britney that her voice is older than Aly's or A.J.'s. Even with this great half-piercing scratch thing that Aly and A.J. do with their vocal chords (you get the sense that their throats could break into feedback any second), their voices are still teenagers'; Britney's has more presence. I SIMPLY DO NOT COMPREHEND THE REVIEWERS WHO ARE WONDERING WHERE BRITNEY IS ON THE ALBUM. Blackout has an overwhelming - sometimes unpleasantly overwhelming - personal force to it in the same way that Mick Jagger's personal force is all over Aftermath and Eminem's is all over The Marshall Mathers LP. Whether it's the brat thing in "Piece Of Me" or the sprite thing in "Radar," there's a persona and a body that's coming right out at you. And yes, for all I know the producers coached her to this persona, or used the takes that ensured they got it - though this would mean that the different producers on the different songs all made more or less the same artistic choices; and whoever chose the songs for the album (is there any evidence that it wasn't Britney? she's the executive producer of the thing) wanted and got a coherent emotional tone; the leaked outtakes show a more varied and generally less hectic sound.
On the basis of the personalities presented on record, I'd rather get to know Aly & A.J.: their reflectiveness, their thoughtfulness, their gorgeousness, their wordplay. But it's the Britney on record - acting out and lashing out and nightclubbing and partying - who rocks me harder.
Ironically, in my Idolator comments for last year I identified Aly & A.J. with the Stooges. This is what I wrote:
Aly & AJ are a couple of Darwin-shunning home-schooled evangelical Christian teenagers who act and record for Disney and sing songs urging us to throw ourselves into life, into the unknown, as the crucial condition of our expressing ourselves; and they sing other songs about their terror of life, their difficulty in growing up while being racked with fear, afraid of strangers, helpless in the face of bullies. It's as if every Aly & AJ song has an equal and opposite Aly & AJ song. Minds in motion. Into your head, into your mind, out of your soul, race through your veins, you can't escape, you can't escape. Accidentally like Iggy Stooge. Desperately wanting to be touched, afraid to be touched. Raw power got a healing hand; raw power can destroy a man. Can you feel it, can you feel it, rushin' through your head, rushin' through your head, can you feel it, can you feel it? (Raw power is a guaranteed O.D. Raw power is a laughin' at you and me. Can you feel it? Can you feel it?) It took me two seconds, after seeing that there was an Artist Of The Year category, to know that Aly & AJ were it. Both of us broken, caught in a moment, we lived and we loved, and we hurt and we jumped, yeah.
So, it's not like the Dolls and Stooges are opposites or anything. Having a loving perspective on the tornado storm and being the tornado storm are not mutually exclusive. But this year the tornado wins, and perspective is sheets of paper and dust scattered in the wind.