Ooh, is it that time of year again? Having been metaphorically prodded in the naughty bits by the Crabb's early bird listability
, I have figuratively cracked my ailing knuckles and literally begun to spew musical opinions from my fingers. Well, maybe not literally, but if Fearne Cotton can't understand the difference, who am I to call for a repealing of the abolition of the death penalty in her one, special case? But then, I don't think I left my preliminary list in her 'special case', I left it at work, next to my heavily stained teacup, so there better not have been no peeking!
Where to begin... hmm, tricky. Well:Ten.
Anywhere I Lay My Head
A controversial choice, I can only assume, as the only one I know (everybody sing: 'has come to take me away')
who even gives this album the time of day is me. 'Oh no', I hear you sing, greek chorus-like, 'another blonde actress that thinks she can sing'. But that's just it, she can't! At least, not in that squeaky bubblegum pop voice, or the equally offensive wanky, Mariah variety. Her register is pretty low, not unreminiscent of early Liz Fraser without the swoopy bits, but none the worse for that. TV On The Radio's David Sitek provides appropriate Cocteau Twins-esque 80s basslines & atmospheric guitar washes (before going on to make a second storming album of the year, TVOTR's own 'Dear Science,'). They even rope in lady of leisure, Dame David Bowie, to contribute some spooky backing vocals (before depositing him back in his straw & glitter lined hibernation pod/time capsule in the Blue Peter garden).
A quirky & unexpected, nostalgic yet shiny-new album; Miss Johansson has taken a pretty unpromising pitch, to say the least: 'Hollywood airhead with OK voice tackles the heavyweight catalogue of Tom Waits', and spins a thrilling, ragged (but wearable), musical yarn.Nine.
Amadou & Mariam
Welcome to Mali
Some may call this great 'world music', pah! Sod your lazy genres. Some may say they've strayed too far from their roots; 'more djembe', they may shout (they may not, I'm not quite sure who 'they' are). Sod your cravings for pointless authenticity and gimme something I can dance/swivel on my fat, lazy arse to (I'm talking about this album here, this is the one I want you to gimme. Do you see? They don't. They're blind. What has that got to with anything? Well, nothing really, but it is a good album. Good? Well, actually it's great. Is it? Yes.)Eight.
She & Him
'She' is Zooey Deschanel, yes her of the steaming pile of stenchy excrement that is 'The Happening', the latest 'film' by M. Night ShyameOnYou, with a name sacrilegiously nicked from a mid-period Pixies song & a plot snatched from the wooley pages of a not particularly exciting edition of Garderner's World magazine (badly edited by God).
But all is forgiven, as for this collaboration she has chosen a far worthier sparring partner: 'Him', for it is he, M. Ward. I have been mildly aware of his work, partly because he's signed to my childhood sweetheart, 4ad, but mostly because he's been popping up on everybody & their monkey's (admitedly not too shabby) alt.country solo albums. Based on his excellent arrangements of Miss D's tip top songs here, I will have to investigate further.
The music industry is rampantly worried about the naughty downloaders taking all of their evil money away, but they're looking in the wrong place. It's those doe-eyed, Hollywood lady-thesps that've come to invade my top 10, muso space; but if you like your country like you like your coffee: hot & thick, smooth with a gravelly after-taste and bodged together by a crap actress, then this one's for you.Seven.
The Week That Was
The Week That Was
Ooh, now. This is a spin-off from the recently defunct band, Field Music, apparently. They are a beat combo that I've not really given much shrift to, not intentionally, they just never floated within my, admittedly limited, radar. Well, now I'm wishing they had, if this little beauty is any indication of their tunesmithery; and this one's by their drummer, for Chorlton's sake! I remember reading somewhere that this album was conceived around a certain week of telly watching. I do not remember which quite significant week that was. But who gives a skid-mark when the end result is this chock-full of delightful melodies, complex arrangement and a healthy dose of startled marimba?Six.
British Sea Power
Do You Like Rock Music?
Yes, I bloody well do!
Labels: albums of the year 2008 top 10