Welcome back for another year of top fives. I managed a total of 53 in 2008 which, even if I say so myself, is pretty good going. I'll certainly do my best to stick to the weekly format and can think of no better way to kick off the year than with my favourite albums of last year. If you're interested check out my top 5 albums of 2007 to see how my tastes have changed (or not).
1. Youthmovies "Good Nature" - A band I first saw back in 2004 when they seemed to be an art-rock version of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. They've changed a bit since then but have retained an edge seemingly unaffected by current music trends. Following a number of EPs this was their first full length album and it's a stunning debut release. I've struggled all year to describe the Youthmovies sound, they're a bit post-rock and a bit prog but without charting either genre's worst excesses. Got to see them play live at the tiny Fighting Cocks music room in Kingston last November, an amazing gig at a venue I'd only previously seen mates bands play at. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=fca-XzzxpAY
2. Jim Jones Revue "Jim Jones Revue" - Oh my the JJR are loud! First heard them on Mark Lamarr's "God's Jukebox" then caught them live supporting the Godfathers at the Islington Academy. This is garage rock in the style of Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. They crash through ten songs in a little under half an hour. Punk Rock the way God intended it. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=EVClmEKbm0I
3. British Sea Power "Do You Like Rock Music?" - Released back in January this was the third album from the suffolk based Indie quartet. I reckon it's their best album so far. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqbfnTW1qKM
4. Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan "Ballad of Broken Seas" - OK so not actually released in 2008 (I think it came out in 2006) but I did hear it for the first time last year and it made such a big impression on me I couldn't leave it out. Beautiful melodies written by Ms Isobel sung by the gravel strewn voice of Mr Lanegan. Missed the opportunity to catch them live on their mini tour of the UK last year and hope I don't regret that. Recently got their second album (that was released in 2008) but so far it's not a patch on the debut. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=YsT1CImV4Us
5. Elbow "The Seldom Seen Kid" - Struggled to make my fifth choice (no change there) as I found several albums I enjoyed enormously (Laura Marling, William, The Black Keys) but none that really stood out. I've plumped for the Elbow album as (despite it having more than it's fair share of publicity already) I reckon it's the one most likely to still make me smile come this time next year. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=SQIdXKz4sE8