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Albums of 2007

The 21st Annual fRoots Critics Poll, and the 7th year it has produced the nominees for the Albums Of The Year in the – the BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music. It’s the definitive ‘best of’ list.

Awards for World Music logo
Our large worldwide panel of experts and enthusiasts – journalists, musicians, radio presenters, producers, shop staff and general observers – have once again voted for their favourite albums of the past year.

The usual process applied. They nominated up to six New Albums Of 2007 (newly recorded single artist or band CDs) which produced the fRoots Critics Award for Album Of The Year nominations in the BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music. Then they picked up to four CDs in our Re-issues/Compilations section – collections of old or new material (anything that would be listed as “Various Artists”), re-issues of older recordings and that newer animal, the remix album. That isn’t part of the BBC Awards, nor is our third section for Best Packaged Album which we inaugurated last year and in which they could nominate two beautiful artefacts.

The main provisos in all the categories were that the albums should have been first released since November 2006 (though we do allow a bit of slack) and that they fall into the areas of music we cover in fRoots – music from anywhere with roots in a tradition. And we ask people to not vote for their own products. How well they applied all those rules will become clear at some point early in 2008 when we make the list of how everybody voted available here!

To see how everybody voted, you can download a PDF

The full history of winners since 1986

Album cover
Segu Blue
(Out Here)
Album cover
Album cover
Aman Iman
Album cover
Made In Dakar
(World Circuit)


The top 4 albums in the poll become the Albums Of The Year nominees in the BBC Radio 3 Awards For World Music:

3. TINARIWEN Aman Iman (Independiente)
4. ORCHESTRA BAOBAB Made In Dakar (World Circuit)

The rest of the top 15:
5. Martin Simpson Prodigal Son (Topic)
6= Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara Soul Science (Wayward)
Manu Chao La Radiolina (Because)
8= The Imagined Village The Imagined Village (Real World)
Rachel Unthank & The Winterset The Bairns (Rabble Rouser/EMI)
10 Fanfare Ciocarlia Queens & Kings (Asphalt Tango)
11 Malouma Nour (Marabi)
12= Lau Lightweights & Gentlemen (Reveal Records)
Yasmin Levy Mano Suave (World Village)
Youssou N’Dour Rokku Mi Rokka (Nonesuch)
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss Raising Sand (Rounder)
Runners up (alphabetically):
Aman Aman Musica I Cants Sefardis d’Orient I Occident (Galileo); Mayra Andrade Navega (Sterns); Sylvia Barnes The Colour Of Amber (Greentrax); Bole 2 Harlem Bole 2 Harlem Vol 1 (World Connection); Dee Dee Bridgewater Red Earth (Emarcy); Sa Dingding Alive (Wrasse/Universal); Ersatzmusika Voice Letter (Asphalt Tango); Julie Fowlis Cuilidh (Shoeshine); Gaudi & Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Dub Qawwali (Six Degrees); Bella Hardy Night Visiting (Noe); Angelique Kidjo Djin Djin (EMI); K’Naan The Dusty Foot On The Road (Allother / Wrasse); Lisa Knapp Wild And Undaunted (Ear To The Ground); Habib Koite & Bamada Afriki (Cumbancha); Konono No 1 Live At Couleur Café (Crammed); LaXula In X-ile (Via Lactea); Lo Cor De La Plana Tant Deman (Buda); The Mekons Natural (Quarterstick); Orquestra Imperial Carnaval Só Ano Que Ven (Totolo); Oysterband Meet You There (Westpark); Kate Rusby Awkward Annie (Pure); Selim Sesler Anatolian Wedding (Doublemoon); Shantel Disko Partisani (Essay/ Crammed); Devon Sproule Keep Your Silver Shined (Tin Angel); Mavis Staples We’ll Never Turn Back (Anti); June Tabor Apples (Topic); Taksim Trio Taksim Trio (Doublemoon); Taraf De Haïdouks Maskarada (Crammed Discs); Linda Thompson Versatile Heart (Decca); Richard Thompson Sweet Warrior (Proper); Tiris Sandtracks (Sandblast); Vieux Farka Toure Vieux Farka Toure (World Village); Transglobal Underground Moonshout (Mule Satellite); Chris Wood Trespasser (RUF).


Album cover
1. VARIOUS ARTISTS The Very Best Of Ethiopiques
(Manteca/Union Square)
2. Various Authenticité – The Syliphone Years (Sterns)
3. Tabu Ley Rochereau The Voice Of Lightness (Sterns)
4. Toni Iordache Sounds From A Bygone Age Vol 4 (Asphalt Tango)
5= Djivan Gasparyan Soul Of Armenia (Network)
Hallelujah Chicken Run Band Take One 1974-79 (Analog Africa)
Pentangle The Time Has Come 1967-1973 (Castle)
Various Songs Of Defiance: Music Of Chechnya And The North Caucausus (Topic)
Runners up: (alphabetically):
African Virtuoses The Classic Guinean Guitar Group (Sterns); Bembeya Jazz National The Syliphone Years: Hits & Rare Recordings (Sterns); Willie Colon The Player (Fania); Sandy Denny Live At The BBC (Island); Fairport Convention Liege And Lief Deluxe Edition (Universal); Green Arrows 4-Track Recording System (Analog Africa); Bi Kidude Zanzibara 4 (Buda); Richard & Linda Thompson In Concert 1975 (Island Universal); Various Belle Epoque Vol 1: The Syliphone Years (GUI); Various Bokoor Beats: Vintage Afro-Beat, Afro-Rock & Electric Highlife from Ghana (Otrabanda); Various Colombia (Soundway); Various The Cosimo Matassa Story (Proper); Various Doom & Gloom (Trikont); Various Electric Gypsyland 2 (Crammed); Various Mexican Boleros: Songs Of Heartbreaking, Passion & Pain 1927-1957 (Trikont); Various Sound Of The World (Warner); Various Tamburitza! From The Balkans To America 1910-1950 (Arhoolie); The Watersons Frost And Fire (Topic); The Watersons Sound Sound Your Instruments Of Joy (Topic).


Album cover
1. VARIOUS ARTISTS Authenticité – The Syliphone Years
2. Various Music & Rhythm – Womad 1982-2007 (Womad)
3= Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba Segu Blue (Out There) Andy Palacio & The Garifuna Collective Watina (Cumbancha) Tabu Ley Rochereau The Voice Of Lightness (Stern’s)
Runners up: (alphabetically):
Fanfare Ciocarlia Queens & Kings (Asphalt Tango); Ersatzmusika Voice Letter (Asphalt Tango); Djivan Gasparyan The Soul Of Armenia (Network); The Green Arrows 4-Track Recording Session (Analog Africa); Ron Kavana  Irish Ways (Proper); Esma Redzepova Mon Histoire (Accords Croisés); Tinariwen Aman Iman – Water Is Life (Independiente); Various How Low Can You Go? (Dust-To-Digital); Various West Indian Rhythm (Bear Family).


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