It has been a very good year for albums, so much so that I still have quite a few that I haven't got round to buying yet.It felt like every week there was at least another two to add to the list. So my top ten here are from the ones that I actually purchased and I realise that there will be ones that I will get round to listening to next year that will have been smaefully over looked here. Of those that didn't make the ten, notable mentions have to be made for The Black Angels - Death Song, The Brian Jonestown Masssacre- Don't Get Lost, Mark Lanegan Band - Gargoyle and Eat Lights Become Lights - Nature Reserve and I suspect that You Might Be Smiling Now by The Just Joans may have made the list had it been released before last week.
The biggest disappointment of the year by far was New Facts Emerge by The (once mighty) Fall which I keep going back to hoping that it's just me and it will eventually just click and I will get it but I'm afraid that for me it is a very poor album. Take care MES and make a speedy recovery so you can getr into the studio and produce another album that will blow us away.
10. Meursault - I Will Kill Again.
One of the highlights of 2017 was the return of Meursault and the forth album from Neil Pennycook and friends did not disappoint. It may not be the most uplifting of albums but it contains a dark beauty and the use of bit samples from Vince Guaraldi's "Christmas Time Is Here" is rather lovely.
9. Curtis Harding - Face Your Fear
Harding's second album continues on from his debut Soul Power. His sound has been described as "retro-soul" and of course it does hark back to the late 60s/early 70s and the sounds of Curtis Mayfield and tinges of psychedelic soul. For a excellent review from a blogger who describes the album far better than me go here and get the full sp from Craig.
8. The Afghan Whigs - In Spades
More songs of sleaze and debauchery from the dark recesses of the mind of Greg Dulli. One of the very few rock bands who you know have genuinely got soul. As ever Dulli's vocal delivery is always on the verge of losing it but he always seems to pull it back from the brink just in time.
7. The Regrettes - Feel Your Feelings Fool
I never thought that my find of the year would be a bunch of teenagers from LA making an album full of Riot Girl sentiments to a hybrid sound of DooWop, Punk and Surf Rock. But it is a breath of fresh air, full of attitude and very good songs. I'm still not sure that a middle aged man is the demographic that the band are aiming at tho'. They are also responsible for the most sing along chorus of the decade in Seashore that you really can't sing out loud.
6. The Jesus and Mary Chain - Damage and Joy
This album was in and out of my Piccadilly Records basket on more than one occasion. One minute I was thinking "it's not going to be a patch on anything that they've done before" and the next "it's a Mary Chain album, you need to buy it" But up until seeing them at the Barrowlands in March I wasn't expecting much from this, so to say that it exceeded my expectations doesn't mean much but it turned out to be 100 times better than I expected even if nearly half of the tracks had been aired before in one form or another Live they were absolutely brilliant both times I saw them this year.
5. Mogwai - Every Country's Sun
It's what you expect from Mogwai but never formulaic or boring, quite a feat for a band who have been together for over twenty years. It also contains Party In The Dark which if we lived in a sane world would have been a huge hit single.
4. Andrew Weatherall Qualia
It has been a very busy year for the Chairman and when I come to produce The Tracks of My Year in the next week or so I suspect that he may feature a few times in one form or another. Qualia is an album to be listened to in it's entirety, sure you can listen to the tracks on their own and they are all excellent pieces of abstract techno but you only get the full force of the when listened in one sitting either at home or on a long drive.
3. Hannah Peel - Mary Casio - Journey To Cassiopeia
Another album that needs to be played in a single sitting and I guarantee that you will play it more than once. Hannah Peel's concept album about an elderly lady from Barnsley who dreams of travelling in space to the constellation of Cassiopeia where Peel marries the sounds of a traditional colliery brass band and analogue synths may have you arching an eyebrow or going "aye right Drew" but have a listen you won't regret it, it is an incredible piece of music. Oh, and the cover is absolutely beautiful.
2. Sister John - Returned From The Sea
This album is just so intimate and lush when I first heard it it took me back to the feeling that I had the first time I heard the Trinity Sessions by Cowboy Junkies it has the same sort of atmosphere but whereas at times there is a coldness to that album, there is a warmth about Returned From The Sea. One for putting on when a gale is blowing and the rain is lashing down outside and you will soon reap the benefits of this lovely album.
1, Michael Head and The Red Elastic Band - Adios Senor Pussycat
It's Mick Head, what else do you need to know.