Sunday 9 December 2012

And So The Lists Begin

Haven't seen anybody else get in with their best of lists yet so I will throw my easy one into the ring first, my Top Ten LPs.

It's been a rather good year for long players for me as over the past few years I have tended to moan about getting bored with albums and very rarely being able to sit through them. This was not a problem this year as a considerable number of the ones I have bought get played through in their entirety and the top ten have all spent a considerable time on the turntables indeed at different time points in the year the only time they were off was to put on the second disc of both offerings.

There were things that were eagerly anticipated that failed to deliver the goods, the Raveonettes. Again the album is okay but when heard the songs were transformed from being just okay to being really good, I still hold out hope that one of these days they will produce an album that will capture how good they are live.

I also found myself surprised at how much I liked Jack White's solo album having never been the biggest fan of the White Stripes or any of his other projects.

So here is my favourite ten long players from the past twelve months

10 - Clubroot - III


The third and final in the series from Dan Richmond is in the same vein as the previous two, widescreen music with an air of the apocalyptic. In a similar vein to Burial but not a straight imitation.

9 - Thousand Foot Whale Claw - Dope Moons Volume I

One of those records that you take a punt on, as with a name that weird they must be good and surprisingly they are. I'm not sure how to describe the output of these four stoners from Austin Texas. The words that have been used are Krautrock, minimalism, drone,  pulsing, you get the idea. It is certainly an album to be listened to in its entirety, preferably through headphones while enjoying some good alcohol.

Thousand Foot Whale Claw - Phobos

8 The Allah - Las


From the label that brought us Nick Waterhouse and indeed produced by the retro R&B performer, this album has been flogged to death over the past few weeks. Very late 60s, Bay Area, Nuggets type sounds that banished the shitty weather and brought visions of sun and driving along PCH or my perception of PCH from reading Fuel Injected Dreams.

7 Allo Darlin' - Europe

Product Details

The second album from Elizabeth Morris and co does exactly what you expect and with enough jangly guitars and uplifting songs to make the sun shine on the blackest of days. Not only does it have the wonderful Tallula, widely available for the first time but in Some People Say a song so emotional that you will probably have "something in your eye" by the end of it and a fitting tribute to the first man on the moon,  Neil Armstrong.

6. Nick Waterhouse - Time's All Gone


Sharp suits, small dingy clubs, amphetamine fuelled dancing.

5 Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls


There has been a retro feel to quite a few of my favourite albums of 2012, which I suppose could be seem as either good or bad depending on your outlook. But wen the finished product is this good well I know what side of the fence I fall on. Shades of Janis with Big Brother and The Holding Company but what an incredible voice!

4 Meursault - Something For The Weakend


Neil Pennycook's writing and vocal delivery just get better and better on this,  the third Meursault album.

3 The xx - Co-exist


This was eagerly awaited by me. I did come late to The xx, mid 2009 but since then I have more than made up for it and think that their debut is possibly the most played album in our house, well after this year's favourite.
I have heard quite a bit of criticism that this album is too similar to the last album, not sure what these people wanted from the band, a Greek Heavy Metal album? It's the xx ffs!

2 Spiritualized - Sweat Heart Sweet Light


This was another eagerly awaited release, ever since October 2011 when Jason decided to play the, then unknown album in it's entirety on the short UK tour. These were some of the best Spiritualized songs I had heard in a long time. And the album didn't disappoint, ok the white vinyl pressing was very badly cut and sounded dreadful but on download and when the black pressing appeared the songs sounded great, Jason's voice higher in the mix than usual but no bad thing. This was always going to be my favourite album of the year until about July when I was banjaxed by the one below.

1 Dexys - One Day I'm Going To Soar


If somebody had said to me before July that my favourite album of 2012 would have been by a band that hadn't made a record for twenty seven years, I would have first asked what prescription medication they were on and then have pronounced them mad and told then to not talk such shite. But it is the fact that One Day I'm Going To Soar by Dexys is my album of the year.

I saw them on Later and thought, Rowland's voice was holding out quite well and that the two new songs that they performed were actually quite good and that was it or so I thought. For the next couple of weeks I kept going back to You Tube and watched the later performances, something I very rarely do. I eventually decided to find a snidey download and find out what the album was like.

From the first play I was hooked and before the end of the day I was on the Piccadilly Records website and the vinyl was ordered and since that time the vinyl has rarely been off of the turntable. It got to the stage at about the end of September beginning of October that I had to force myself to listen to other things instead but I always end up coming back to ODIGTS.

It is very funny in parts, embarrassingly and cringingly honest in others but the performances are all excellent. Simon commented on Twitter that he thought that the drums sounded too thin, something I hadn't noticed before he mentioned it and he is right but that is about the only criticism that I can find in it. I'm not sure why it didn't receive a better critical reaction than it did but don't let that put you off, I suspect that this like it's predecessor it will turn out to be one of those timeless albums.

Dexys - Nowhere Is Home To Me

So there you go, in my opinion the best albums of the year.  There are probably a couple of glaring omissions that I will remember later but at the moment and over the past week or so when I have been thinking about it these are the albums that have sprung to mind.

I have one question regarding Goat's World Music, what does everybody hear that I don't? It is good and would be in my top twenty of 2012 but number 1, I just don't hear anything that special.


George said...

Never heard of Goat's World Music.

Echorich said...

Your 1 & 2 are certainly up there for me. The XX really surprised me. I hadn't thought I would get anything nearly as good as the last album from them. I will always be a champion of Kevin Rowland. I don't fault him for the ad nauseam playing of Come On Eileen over the last 30 years. I forgive the mis-step of Don't Stand Me Down (which has improved with age). Part of my fan boy attitude is that he writes some of the most raw and direct lyrics in pop and stands behind his work. The other part is that I had the pleasure 20 years ago challenging him to a drinking battle with the winner being the last one left not laying under the table.... He won.

Swiss Adam said...

Just started thinking about this kind of thing the other day. Some good choices there and a couple I need to investigate.

davyh said...

I'm not nearly in tune enough with the zeitgeist to do any sort of list (I haven't heard of most of these) so all credit to ya.

Walter said...

I agree with davyh because I'm not in the mood to list something up (I've got rankinkgs enough at my job). I also agree, that Dexy's record was one of the higlights of these year. Kevin Rowland was cool in my younger days - but now turned into a real crooner. Rhis is real music of qualtiy and distinction. A couple of your favorites I have on my own the rest I will explore when I'm back home again.