As it's the end of the year and folks are spitting out their best-of lists like Terrell Owens horking up a loogie at an Atlanta Falcon, we turn our attention to British music mag Uncut, one of your finer publications within the genre. Well, in its December issue -- the one we Amerkins get a month late -- Midlake's The Trials of Van Occupanther is named the mag's seventh-best album of 2007, behind Bob Dylan's Modern Times, Scritti Politti's White Bread Black Beer, Comet on Fire's Avatar, Joanna Newsom's Ys, Neil Young's Living with War and The Arctic Monkey's Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not.
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Me, I don't trust any list with Scritti Politti on it, not even one made in 1982; nor do I subscribe to the notion that Living with War is a listenable Neil Young record, much less a good one, much less the fifth-best album of 2006. Still, when you place ahead of the Flaming Lips, TV on the Radio, Cat Power, Tom Waits, Johnny Cash , Gnarls Barkley and Bruce Springsteen on any list, I guess you have to consider yourself in good shape. So, mazel tov, Midlake. But do you really wanna be the next Crosby, Stills and Nash? Did not think so. --Robert Wilonsky