It's that time of the year again where 'best of' lists are everywhere, attempting to add some order and sense to the past twelve months. This blog is no different.
Although there have been some excellent singles this year it seems as though the push towards digital downloads and the ability to 'pick and chose' from, as well as 'shuffle' album tracks has perhaps, after years of predictions to this effect, started to have a negative impact on the way artists' view the Long Player format. That's not to say all have. Far from it in fact and my album of the year is a great example of this, with the band who produced it being great advocates of 'the album' as a method of presenting music as an affective and affecting art form.
I will be gradually counting down from 20 to 1 with the aim being to reveal the top 3 on New Year's Eve. Exciting isn't it?
Here are albums 20-18...
20. M83 - Saturdays=Youth
Full of gorgeous French shoegazing electro-pop that sounds as if it has been sent in a time capsule straight from the 1980s (like so much alternative music at the moment). Unlike so much alternative music at the moment however, it does this purposefully in the context of the lyrical content and its romantic, nostalgic imagery. Beautiful and currently touring with Kings Of Leon.
Listen to: Couleurs
19. Coldplay - Viva La Vida
Gaining generally below par reviews from critics (and myself) in Britain upon it's release, Coldplay's fourth album continued to help forge a successful furrow through America and the rest of the world. It still sold bucketloads in the UK though and after the inescapable singles caused me to reconsider my opinion of the album, I found it to be far more enjoyable and surprisingly innovative in places. Coldplay's weakest effort to date but I would urge anyone who dismissed it on first listen to give it another chance.
Listen to: Lovers in Japan
18. Black Mountain - In The Future
Psychedelic, riff-based rock music with even a sleeve design that looks like it was from the 70s. Canadian outfit Black Mountain released this, their second album all the way back in January but it was hardly bettered all year. Clocking in at over 57 minutes long, it's not for those with short attention spans. This album undoubtedly comes to life played, in it's entirety, in darkened rooms filled with smoke, friends and beer. Packed with some truly fantastic hook-laden tracks which lovers of classic rock will want to investigate immediately.
Listen to: Stormy High