widg‧et /ˈwɪdʒɪt/ [wij-it] -noun: Pointless ramblings from the New Forest. Obviously complete & utter Rubbish. Why must I contibute to all this endless talk about me? My self-indulgent knees, spilling themselves all over the internet. Obviously i am Jon and his hair, I AM HIM!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

5-4-3-2-1 The Near Misses

Now I've got all that annoying past out of the way, it's time to concentrate on 2006. I must hurry as Mr. Bo has already beaten me to it and since nothing of any consequence is likely to be released in this, the month of the cheap & nasty Best Of. Here is the run down of the albums that didn't quite make it into my top 5 this year.

Lou Rhodes
Beloved One

It could have been The Guillemots, Peter Bjorn & John, Roddy Woomble, Pure Reason Revolution, The Long Blondes, Joanna Newsom or Bellowhead, but no. A tough choice had to be made and here at number ten is the former Lamb vocaliser, Louise Rhodes. As a witness to Lamb's final concert I was pretty gutted that they had decided to call it a day, but this more than makes up for it. A world and a half away from their dancey ways, this is an organic, almost traditional folky record. Strong melodies and sympathetic backing makes this a hidden gem, a sleeper hit niggling at the back of my mind all year. A pleasantly surprising Mercury Music Prize nomination brought it to a wider audience.

The Dears
Gang of Losers

A huge leap forward from their still impressive debut. Another group to add to the avalanche of really rather good Canadian bands, this was released on the Cocteau Twins owned label, Bella Union, another reason to love or hate them. The title of track four has some advice, as well as summing up their attitude, "Hate, Then Love". I may be wrong, but the prevailing mood seems to be anger with an underlying sense of hope peeping through the cracks. Dark, mysterious & consistently strong, Murray the singer sounds a lot less like Damon Albarn on this one.

Cat Power
The Greatest

Rampant ex-booze hound Chan Marshall goes to Memphis and teams up with Al Green's guitarist and songwriting partner Teenie Hodges for an album of rough, soulful goodness. Ditching the minimalist arrangement from past albums and embracing the full power of a host of veteran session musicians brings a warm and lush sound to this album, but not so overpowering as to bamboozle the senses.

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan
Ballad of the Broken Seas

With a little help from The Scottish Arts Council our protagonists take refuge from their old homes in Belle & Sebastian and The Screaming Trees to provide us with a delicate slice of Scots-American Folk-Country. Mostly written & produced by the lovely Ms. Campbell, bringing Mr. Lanegan aboard to share the credit for this otherwise solo album was a genius move, broadening the scope of this wonderfully autumnal sounding record. The noise Mark's rasping throat makes is the perfect antidote to Isobel's high, airy warble, and gives the whole album a quietly sinister edge.

TV on the Radio
Return To Cookie Mountain

This year wouldn't be complete without a 4ad entry, it could've been Tanya Donelly, but much as I love her new album (best in a while) I had to choose the more upbeat & experimental TV on the Radio. Building on the screwy sounds of 2004's 'Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes', this is an even odder prospect. More untunefully tuneful, more scary, more fun, more David Bowie. In fact, pretty much just more. Bringing the fine tradition of whistling (along with Peter, Bjorn & John) back to pop music.


Blogger AlphIANo said...

Ooh, very nice! And dammit, I forgot about Lou Rhodes (was that really this year? My god it's gone quick)! Oh well, too late now. Good choices all, O'Fun xxx

12:13 am


Post a Comment

<< Home