Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Final Year End Listamania

Year End Miscellany:

Contrary to previous posts I've decided to forgo a top 10 albums list this year. The reason being that I am laughably behind in album listening this year. By the time I get around to processing all of the albums there's a good chance that I'll like from this year, it will be well beyond the point at which it would be reasonable to release a 2006 year in review list. There are about 5 albums this year that I am pretty confident will make my top 10 this year, when I've finally processed all the relevant albums. They are, in approximately this order, Amy Diamond's Still Me Still Now Marit Larsen's Under the Surface Gothic Archies' The Tragic Treasury Paris Hilton's Paris and Ciara's The Evolution. You could call that a top 5, I guess, except that there are in all likelihood at least one (maybe more) albums I have yet to listen to that might make the top 5, and I'm still processing Ciara, and she might move up. I'm pretty confident in declaring Amy Diamond's Still Me Still Now as the album of the year, at this point. Top 5 artists of the year: Aly & AJ, Miley Cyrus, Dr. Luke, Amy Diamond, Fergie. Fergie, not because she made the best music of anybody not above her, but because she managed to shatter my previous extreme hatred of her prior to this year, which was a remarkable accomplishment. I'm counting Miley's TV work, which may be unfair, but it is what it is. And it's better for Aly & AJ overall if I don't count Cow Belles. I do count Aly's work on Phil of the Future because as explained I consider that to be a key part of their image, but it doesn't matter because they'd rank number 1 without it anyways. And like I said before I didn't even see 10 movies this year, but my favorite movie that I DID see was, of course, High School Musical with The Departed being the best real movie that I saw.

So congrats to Lillix, The 4400, Amy Diamond, Aly & AJ, and High School Musical for winning all the TCR awards this year.

Top 11 Things to Look Forward to in 2007

OK with all year end content out of the way, let's look forward instead of backwards and see what we have to look forward to in 2007. Unlike all the prior year in review stuff, I will confine this to the theme of my blog. So it's solely things in the entertainment media that are in a broad sense relevant to teen culture. This is for entertainment purposes only, I'm just basing this on what I know for a fact is coming out in 2007, with little research to figure out what else is gonna be out. TV and movies, for whatever reason tend to take me by surprise more than music, so there is more music on this list than the other two. OK, with those caveats, here goes:

11. Ashely Tisdale
Coming out with a new album in 2007, starring in High School Musical 2 and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, 2007 looks like it may be an even better year for The Tis than 2006 was. She was always my favorite of the HSM stars, and while her new singles aren't outstanding, they are pretty good, and I'm certainly looking forward to seeing what she has in store for us in 2007. Her acting will, I'm sure, be excellent as always, though wasted on the cesspool that is The Suite Life

10. Jordan Pruitt - No Ordinary Girl
The full album by Jordan Pruitt promises to be a good one, as I've enjoyed all the songs she's released so far, though to varying degrees. I can only hope they are going more with the confessional sound of "Outside Looking In" than the R&B sounds of her other songs.

9. Natasha Bedingfield - Blank Canvas
Her first album, Unwritten, is not impossibly one of my top 10 albums of the 2000's, and it spawned several great singles. Including the title track, which was one of my 10 favorite singles of 2005. I have no particular reason to think that this one will be inferior to her debut, but for whatever reason I am not super psyched for this release. Still, for all my (possibly unfounded) doubts that this one will rise to the heights of her debut, I'm obviously looking forward to this release by one of my favorite current British pop stars (probably my second favorite, behind Rachel Stevens. [Hey when's her comeback gonna be?])

8. New Brie Larson Album
Contrary to the above, I'm actually not 100% sure that this is coming out in 2007. But I'm listing it anyways because I think it is and I love Brie Larson. Anyways, even though her last album wasn't great, the three tracks she's since posted on her Myspace ("Coming Around" [Greg's #28 single of the year], "Stilts and the Titanic" and a cover of "A Day in the Life") have all been better than any of the songs on her first album. This, plus the great writing on her blog, makes me extremely excited for the full new album to be released.

7. Hannah Montana
New season of the show and new songs? Awesome! I guess I'm not 100% sure that new Hannah Montana songs will be released in 2007, which is why this doesn't rank higher, but it's probably a safe assumption. The new season of Hannah Montana, presumably featuring the return of Jake Ryan and showcasing improved acting talents from the kids, promises to be superior to the first year of the show. My number 2 artist of 2006 may well by my number 1 artist of 2007 if she is able to keep up.

6. Nancy Drew
I've hardly seen a movie with more disparagingly negative comments about it prior to its release. Everywhere that I've read about it has been an attack on the proposed casting of the roles. Apparently they are cast too young or against type or whatever. I don't know and I don't care because I never have and never intend to read a Nancy Drew book. Mystery movies and books bore me. BUT, this movie stars Emma Roberts as Nancy, and Kay Panabaker and Amy Bruckner as her best friends, so I'm extremely excited for it. Kay Panabaker doesn't have much to make me excited for 2007, just this movie a mediocre looking horse movie called Moondance Alexander (that I surely will nonetheless see on opening day) and a likely straight to DVD release of an update of the Prince and the Pauper starring the Sprouse twins. A fairly weak slate, but she plus Emma make this movie one that I am marking in my calendar.

5. New Hilary Duff album
Hilary has yet to release a consistently great album, and I have no reason to think that this will be the one. But she has been a consistently great singles artist, and her two albums so far have all featured several excellent songs. Even Most Wanted had a great original ("Wake Up") and a pretty good original ("Beat of My Heart"). "Play With Fire" was amazing, "With Love" sounds pretty good, and there's no reason to think there won't be at least a couple other songs on this new album that I will absolutely love. I can't wait.

4. High School Musical 2
Well, I have my doubts that they will be able to re-capture the magic of the first movie, but how could I not be really excited for this film. Will it be as effortlessly enjoyable as the first movie? Will it spawn another single as great as "Breaking Free"? Who knows! Like I said, I have my doubts, but I certainly hope so, and I'm certainly looking forward to finding out. The whole main four of the cast is great, so if nothing else, I'm sure they will salvage entertainment out of the film.

3. Season 3 of Unfabulous
My favorite teen/tween TV show currently on the air returns for a third season this year, delayed way too long since the end of season 2. Season 2 ended on a high note with Addie and Jake getting together. I hope they can run with that and produce a season even better than they've gotten so far, propelling this into the list of the truly great shows of its type, such as Phil of the Future. OK, maybe that's not very likely. But as long as it's got Emma Roberts on board it's gonna stay one of the most entertaining shows on television.

2. New Aly & AJ album
You know what, I think I've finally written enough about them. Please though let this be their first consistently great album.

1. New Kelly Clarkson album
The number one slot on this list was a lock before the list was even drawn up. Breakaway remains, as I have noted several times before, my favorite album of the decade to this point (Come and Get It is close). The new songs that she's debuted on tour, including "Maybe" and "Anymore" have been absolutely amazing. So, I'll conveniently ignore that the most recent song she's released, a song called "Go" written for Ford, was completely mediocre. There is not a piece of entertainment media that I have ever looked forward to as much as I am looking forward to this.

Of course, I'm sure most of my favorites by year-end won't be represented on this list, but that's part of the fun! We can check how good my predictions were later.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, I think it WILL be Hilary's most consistent album ("as an album"), and that it will also get about zilch coverage, since Disney has kind of turned their back on her. Just as Hilary comes into her own, she's going to get the same shit as Lindsay and Ashlee -- already is to some degree -- and will either struggle against the tabloids (Ashlee) or just go with it (Lindsay, though not to Lindsay's extent). Might even get dropped from Hollywood in '07 depending on how they choose to market this one (hopefully not before/while the album comes out), but maybe I shouldn't be so pessimistic, since it goes against the series of these sorts of things.

1:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*the SPIRIT of these sorts of things

12:44 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

About.com lists Duff's album as their #8 to watch for in 2007 (Kelly C and Avril are 1 and 2). They say:
"Much of this album was reportedly put together with the assistance of Hilary Duff's former boyfriend Joel Madden of Good Charlotte (see above). The pair broke up in November, 2006. Perhaps there will be tear stains in the grooves. If this album does indeed appear in spring, 2007, there will be a small horde of fans waiting. Hilary Duff has produced 2 #1 albums in the last 3 years."

(By see above they mean that the new Good Charlotte record is one spot ahead). Not a very promising sign, I don't think. And I depressingly fear that you may be right in re: your Hilary prediction. Especially if she continues going in this Europop/dance direction, which I love but the American public sure doesn't. Oh well, we'll see I guess. Nevertheless I still really think that if the record is good enough it will sell. I'm a hopeless optimist at heart.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, my understanding is that she's working a lot with Kara DioGuardi, so if they do go dance, not sure what the end result would be (the only Kara dance track I'm even aware of is an early production of hers by Eden's Crush...maybe "Jealousy" by Paris).

Oh, other thing to look for in '07 is DR. LUKE PRODUCING BRITNEY.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Your understanding is inconsistent with about.com's so now I don't know what to think.

Dr. Luke producing Britney is gonna be great as is Max Martin producing Skye Sweetnam. They would have made my list had I thought of them, but realistically there is just an absolutely incredible amount of music that I'm looking forward to this year. If 2007 is musically anything short of incredible I'm gonna be sorely disappointed.

11:18 PM  

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