My Musical Year In Review: Coda

Total albums purchased/acquired in 2007: 54Of those, albums released since 2000: 37 Albums from before 2000: 17 I've never before bothered to keep track of the albums I bought over the course of a year, but I feel certain that I've never acquired 54 in a year. Additionally, my album collection went through a bit of a purging process when I was in college, thanks to an otherwise terrible books/music outlet that offered an economically unsound (for them) plan that let you swap in four used CDs and get a brand new one, of any price, in exchange. Granted, the trade-ins had to pass some kind of weird physical examination that consisted mainly of a surface check for scratches mixed with whatever mood the cashier was in that day — and given that these cashiers lived in and worked in Abilene and were probably upset at their station in life, their moods were invariably negative — but still, it allowed me to slough off some of my catalogue's filler in exchange for some albums I love and will never sell. I guess what I'm saying is that I went into 2007 with a pretty trim collection, relatively speaking, and I valued all of my albums. With the 54 albums I picked up last year, my collection stands at around 275 albums, meaning that in 2007 I acquired 19.6% of my total library. That's kind of ridiculous, when you think about it. I didn't set out to buy more albums last year simply because I was keeping track of the purchases, but I do think the experiment made me more willing than before to buy music. And I've never really been too reluctant to do that, so you can see why it all added up to me buying fully one-fifth of my total collection just last year. I also think it's interesting that 37 of the albums I bought last year, or nearly 69%, were from 2000 or later. I don't buy that much of-the-moment music, and usually only buy a new release if it's from an artist I follow, like Ryan Adams or Wilco. However, it turns out that even if my purchases aren't all or even mostly from this year, a majority of them are fairly modern, falling in the last seven years or so. Am I somehow more drawn to modern releases despite loving certain bands or performers from the 1950s, '60s, '70s, etc? Or were my current-skewing purchases nothing more than an externalization of the kind of vague window in which we all live, dragging the past decade or so behind us like a gunnysack to hold the pop culture detritus we keep collecting? I don't know. But I do know that the sheer amount of music released last (and every) year, combined with the atemporal and personal-discovery nature of music, means that my list of the top albums of the year almost never looks like the ones compiled by the aging critics at Rolling Stone or the hip douchebags over at Pitchfork. My best albums of the year were quite literally my best albums of the year, the ones I bought and listened to and couldn't take out of my car stereo without just one more listen. Music is personal like that, and this was what last year was for me. I can't even really make a top 10 list or anything; all I could hope to do would be to trim 10 disappointments and leave the 40 good albums I came up with. But since I can't do that, here's a selection of tracks from my year in music. "Firecracker," Ryan Adams (I already owned most of the tracks, but not the entire album.): "Arms of a Woman," Amos Lee: "Wagon Wheel," Old Crow Medicine Show: The Lemonheads, "Into Your Arms": "Bad Reputation," Freedy Johnston: "God's Gonna Cut You Down," Johnny Cash: "What a Crying Shame," The Mavericks: Finally, a song I love from one of absolute favorite albums of the year, performed by one of my favorite bands of all time, whom I actually saw in concert again over Christmas: "504," by Old 97's: