Blimey, it’s been a while since I’ve been here. At least 6 months, maybe more. No offence but I can’t say I’ve missed it and really, it’s only since I stopped updating this blog that I realised how much I was just going through the motions. That is to say, writing about music for the sake of it rather than the love of it. Maybe this year hasn’t been great for music. Or maybe like Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon, I’m just getting too old for this shot. Who knows. Either way, I guess I kept this place alive just in case I ever felt the need to start writing again and while I wouldn’t necessarily say that was the case right now, I kind of felt like I wanted to do this post. So, just in case you haven’t had enough lists thrust at you this month, here’s my choice of favourite albums of 2012. As ever, I make no claims to them being the best, the most important, the most revolutionary or any other grand statements like that. No, these are merely the albums that I’ve enjoyed listening to the most over the last 12 months. As ever, the albums are presented in alphabetical order because to my mind, music isn’t a competition. Read more
Okay, so before we go any further, I have to confess to making a little mistake. A miscalculation shall we say. For previously, where I said that this list consisted of 13 albums, it appears I counted wrong because there are actually 14. Clearly my maths skills aren’t what they used to be. Not that it makes much difference. These are still my favourite albums of 2011. So without further ado, I present to you, in alphabetical order, the 14 albums that stood out for me over the last 12 months.
Well it’s taken me a while but I think I’ve finally narrowed down my favourite albums of 2011 to a selection of 13. As ever, I’ll throw in the caveat that I make no claims for them being ‘the best’. It’s merely a list of the albums that I’ve enjoyed the most this year. Not that I’m going to reveal them just yet. You’ll have to wait a little longer to discover what made the cut I’m afraid. However if you keep reading, you’ll see what didn’t quite make the cut because this post is about 35 albums that were considered for inclusion but which, for one reason or another, didn’t quite make it.
So this morning, I thought I’d share a track from the latest Wilco album with you. For no other reason than I really like this version of ‘Dawned On Me’. In fact, bar one track which I can’t decide on, I really like ‘The Whole Love‘. It’s an album that seems to find the band finding a nice middle ground between the experimentation of their mid period and the crafted songwriting of the last two albums. Bookended by two standout tracks, the album does suffer from a mid section thats seems to drag in comparison to how it starts and ends but in all honesty, that’s a minor quibble on what is a highly enjoyable album. It’s a record that finds Wilco in a comfortable position. While I wouldn’t say they were anywhere near running on auto pilot, you do kind of get the impression that Wilco can knock albums like this out effortlessly. It’s as though they’ve almost become so proficient at what they do that they’ve kind of become a slick songwriting machine.
So seeing as he’s featured in my most listened artists for the last few weeks, I thought I’d say a little bit more about Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds. Not that I’m under any impression that anything I write will change the opinion you already have. If you hated Oasis, you’re unlikely to have a road to Damascus moment here. While if you liked Oasis, it’s almost certain that you’ll enjoy this record. You see, Noel Gallagher hasn’t exactly reinvented the wheel here. There are no wild shocks, no unexpected musical tangents taken, no dubstep mid eights. What there are however, are 10 good, solidly reliable songs and sometimes, that’s all you need from an album.