Like Keith I agree that its been an average year for “new” music. I wouldn’t say its been a bad year but it hasn’t been a great year either.
I sat down and drew up a list of albums I remember listening to over the past year and this is what I came up with:
Arcade Fire, PJ Harvey, Foo Fighters, The Decemberists, Noel Gallagher, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, The Vaccines, Kasabian, Beady Eye, Elbow, Noah & The Whale, Ryan Adams, Lykke Li, Beirut, Wilco, Gomez, Liam Finn, Miles Kane, The Black Keys, EMA, Arctic Monkeys, Anna Calvi, Jordie Lane, Florence and the Machines, Radiohead, The Horrors, Friendly Fires, Glasvegas.
Honestly nothing really jumped out as life changing to me from the list…I’ve enjoyed a few of them but I wouldn’t say that any of the above albums will be having lots of air play in a years time. So my next thought was to go by play count on my ipod. That created this list:
1. Kasabian 1. Liam Finn (interestingly same play count as Kasabian) 3. Beady Eye 4. Noel Gallagher 5. Arctic Monkeys 6. The Vaccines 7. Elbow 8. Foo Fighters 9. PJ Harvey 10. Ryan Adams
I then doubted my play count method due to when the album was released, I may have deleted some and put them back on, I’ll have listened though other means etc., so I then decided to listen to a few of them again and make my mind up based on the here and now care factor. I came up with this (and I’m sticking to it):
10. The Decemberists. Probably one of the earliest albums released this year. Reminded me a lot of the Irish folk music feel that you hear in bars up and down the country. Fav Track: Rox in The Box
9. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake. At first I didn’t like this album. Thought it was a bit weird and a bit out there. But I gave it another go and its grown on me over the past few months. No were near the heights of Stories From The City…but a good collection of songs. Fav Track: The Words That Maketh Murder
8. Noel G – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Another album I wasn’t sold by on the first listen but it has definitely grown on me. I’m still a bit pissed that it didn’t go far enough away from the Oasis sound but some good songs on there. Fav Track: The Death of You and Me
7. The Vaccines – What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? An album I was really looking forward to when it came out and it didn’t disappoint. I take on board the criticism that it sounds like every other British band but I don’t really care…good short and sharp upbeat songs. Fav Track: Post break Up Sex (Then I go and pick a depressing fav song!)
6. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light. I was a big fan of this album at the time it came out and kind of stopped listening to it for a while. Have rediscovered it lately and I still love it…Foo’s back to their best with Pat Smear back on guitar. Fav Track: Walk
5. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues. I really liked their first album and if anything this took it to a new level for them. I’ve been listening to a lot of Folk and Blues music this year so this was definitely up there for me. Fav Track: Helplessness Blues
4. Miles Kane – Colour of The Trap. This album passed me by at first but then during a lull in interesting stuff to listen to I discovered it. It sounds a lot like Arctic Monkey’s b-sides…but that’s not a bad thing for me! Would it have got the attention it got if he wasn’t in the last Shadow Puppets, probably not, but still a good collection of songs on here and a good sound. Fav Track: Rearrange
3. Noah & The Whale – Last Night On Earth. One of the best albums to come out of 2011 in my book. I think he’s got a great voice that’s quite unique in this era of mass production. Shame they look like a Top Man advert every time I see them on TV but I love the sound. Fav Track: L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N
2. Kasabian – Velociraptor! I’m never going to say anything bad about this band as I think they push the boundaries in British music scene to new limits every time they release an album. One of the best live bands around at the moment as well. This probably would have been No.1 for me if I wasn’t such a bit fan of West Ryder. Fav Track: Days Are Forgotten
1. Jordie Lane – Blood Thinner. A recent discovery for me and I’ve fallen in love with this album since first listening to it. Exceptional guitar player and great folk voice for an Australian. I went to see him live and it was unbelievable…he’s like a cross between early Dylan and Neil Young only with a banjo!!! This album is sure to gets lots of air play round my way over the summer months. Fav Track: Annabelle Marie or On The Net ‘Till Morn
What you think? I had trouble with the top 5 in the right order but pretty happy with the overall 10 from the list I started with. I found this list on the nme website right after I’d though about it way too long…if only I’d have known I could of copied and paste :)…although can you trust a list that has Kayne West on it. I think not!
Just Missed Out: Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
Most Disappointing 2011 Album: Radiohead – King of The Limbs
Favourite 2010 Album I Though Was Released This Year: Broken Bells – Broken Bells
Favourite 2011 Gig: Matt Langley @ St Peters Hall Paekakariki
Most Anticipated 2012 Album: The Stone Roses Return!!! & The Shins – Port of Morrow. Oh and the new Weller album…see 2012 is already gonna be a better year!