I thought I’d get the ball rolling with our Top 10 lists. So here we go:
10. PAUL WELLER – Sonik Kicks (England)
PW is the man! I’m a massive fan and although the first couple of listens didn’t win me over immediately I persevered and now get it. This is far from one man and a guitar with its highly produced sound but its a new, fresh sound from The Modfather.
9. DR. JOHN – Locked Down (U.S.A.)
As per my album of the month review last month this is on heavy rotation. Great blues!
8. FIRST AID KIT – The Lion’s Roar (Sweden)
I immediately liked this album. A pleasant wee album that has been on regular rotation throughout the year. Still gutted I didn’t go see them play in Wellington earlier this year.
7. JAPANDROIDS – Celebration Rock (Canada)
I’ve been meaning to upload this album. Wow…….If visceral Garage Rock is your thing, you should listen to this. It certainly blows those cobwebs away! I’d love to see these guys live.
6. SHEARWATER – Animal Joy (U.S.A)
I reviewed this earlier in the year and it is a real grower. Just great music. There are no anthems here, just solid, honest Alt-Rock.
5. THE BLACK KEYS – El Camino (U.S.A)
This was obviously released in 2011 but I didn’t have time to thrash it enough last December so it makes it into this year’s Top 10. I don’t really need to say anything do I. Blues Rock….hell yeah!
4. MARK LANEGAN BAND – Blues Funeral (U.S.A)
As soon as I heard the opening track (The Gravedigger’s Song) I knew this was going to be an album for me. It’s brooding and somber but just sounds soooo good. If you haven’t heard it yet, do yourselves a favour and listen now.
3. RICHARD HAWLEY – Standing At The Sky’s Edge (England)
Mork uploaded this earlier in the year and it’s been a regular listen. There’s not a lot more that can be said other than it’s a solid offering from a talented musician who knows how to write great tunes.
2. BILL WELLS & AIDAN MOFFAT – Everything’s Getting Older (Scotland)
This is another late 2011 release but had to be mentioned here. Aidan Moffat of Arab Strap fame teams up with the Jazz musician Bill Wells to deliver a gem of an album that can only be described as an experience. A mumbling, miserable, darkly humoured album for the Trainspotting generation. The Cooper Top and Glasgow Jubilee are just classics. I frickin love this album.
1. CALEXICO – Algiers (U.S.A)
I’m a big fan of Calexico and although this isn’t typical Calexico its still a fantastic album. Kathryn loves it, Isla bops up and down to the trumpet and I think it just sounds great from start to finish. A beautiful sounding album and seems to please everyone I have played it to.
The albums below were all on my shortlist but didn’t quite make the cut:
Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball
Muse – The 2nd Law
Of Monsters and Men – My Head Is An Animal
Elbow – Dead In The Boot
OK lads……over to you!