The album that I have played most this year doesn't appear on the last as it was released in 2014, Some of you will have guessed that it is by one of the biggest pop people on the planet who up until about July I had not knowingly heard anything from and have decided that I am not going to revisit her back catalogue as I'm not sure that it can stand up to 1989. That's the offical line, really between you and me I'm scared that I am entering a second adolescence and will become a really sad middle aged T Swizzle acolyte. Which is strange as I didn't have much time for chart pap when I was youngster.
I have been slightly concerned by the number of albums that I have had to return due to piss poor pressings, at the last count seven albums, I'm not sure whether this is due to my advanced years and turning inot Victor Meldrew or if it is quality control or the old presses. There is good news on the last point as I read in the Fader, I think that new presses have been manufactured for the first time in years.
And so to the countdown. . .
10 - Sydney Eloise and The Palms - Faces
This album has been described as Jenny Lewis produced by Phil Spector and that kind of sums it up really but not only are there 60s girl group stylings in there but also a bit of 70s folk rock and I can hear a bit of Blondie in there as well. The first side of the album is the stronger for me. This was one of those poor pressings that I was banging on about and at the moment I am waiting for a replacement.
9 - FLK - Mummers
The "is it them or some other chancers?" isn't really relevant anymore as this album stands up on it's own as a modern take on Folk or Folktronica as it has been labelled. I think had this came out earlier in the year it would be higher up the list, as I'm still really getting into it. Mummers apparently is a term for amateur actors dressing up in disguises performing British folk drama in the street.
8 - The Fall - Sub Lingual Tablet
Another year another Fall album and initially I thought that this would be my album of the year but it hasn't stood up to continual plays, the law of diminishing returns sadly applies to this album with only three or four tracks standing up tio continual plays but those tracks are brilliant. I was also less than impressed by Smith sticking different mixes on the vinyl and cd making buyin g the album an extremely costly affair.
7 - The Orb - Moonbuilding
The Orb seem to be getting better and better with age, Thias is one of those albums that you just have to sit and immerse yourself in. I bought the triple album version but the two jams in tribute to J Dilla aren't essential. They can also still cut the mustard live as Stiff and I can attest to seeing them a few weeks ago.
6 - Laura Marling - Short Movie
I hadn't really listened to a lot of Laura Marling's stuff until I heard bits of this album and decided to take a punt on it and I'm glad I did. The album is not what I expected. It seems quite angry in bits and I love the guitar and all the space in the music. She also has a very good turn of phrase.
5 - Sexwitch - Sexwitch
Natasha Khan, Dan Carey and Toy tackle Middle Eastern psych rock. What's not to like?
4 - Ryan Adams - 1989
The poster boy of alt Country re-imagines Taylor Swift's wonderful 1989. It has been described as Adams doing Swift in the style of Bruce Springsteen but it is so much more than that. Well, apart from the awful version of Style which on the original is great but here evokes memories of big haired pomp rock ala Europe sung by Bonzo, horrible!
Ryan Adams - How You Get The Girl
3- FourTet - Morning/Evening
Just beautiful, just really beautiful.
2 - Kid Wave - Wonderlust
The debut from this Anglo/Swedish band is everything you want from an indie album, good tunes, loads of attitude and the video for All I Want had me longing to be sixteen again! I just wish I could have made the Glasgow gig, I fucking hate the M1, in October but Stiff assures me they were very good but unfortunately playing to a handful of people.
1- Jamie xx - Colours
I have lapped up everything that Jamie Smith has produced since embarking upon his solo career but nothing up until now had matched the debut, Far Nearer but on this album there are at least three tracks on a par with it. The album just seems so glorious full of wide-eyed optimism. The Talabot remix of Loud Places, although not on the album, had it been released earlier would probably have been the track of my year. Unfortunately I bought the triple vinyl album which is blighted by a bad pressing also, which Young Turks did replace with another copy which although not quite as bad is still not right.
Jamie xx - The Rest Is Noise
and as a wee bonus. Over 1 billion hits. Fuck!