Friday, 7 January 2011

Top 5 Albums of 2010

My annual review of the year and, as is traditional, let's start with my favourite Albums.

1. Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan "Hawk" - The third album from Ms Campbell and Mr Gravel Throat and I reckon their best yet. Debut release "Ballad of the Broken Seas" came out in 2006 and was a bit of a sleeper hit for me making my Top 5 albums of 2008. After a decent but not radically different second album I wasn't expecting a great deal from "Hawk" but it seems to combine the best elements of their previous releases and take the song writing to a new level. A couple of tracks with Willy Mason and a corking garage-blues instrumental add a bit of variety but it's the duets between Isobel and Mark that really hit home.

2. A Silver Mount Zion "Kollaps Tradixionales" - They're not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but in the year that Godspeed You! Black Emperor reformed they remain my favourite post-rock combo.

3. Burns Unit "Side Show" - An 8-piece Scottish-Canadian "supergroup" formed out of a one-week songwriting retreat called "Burnsong". It was meant to be a one off but they got on so well they decided to turn it into an ongoing project. The band consists of folk singer Karine Polwart; alt-folk royalty King Creosote and former Delgado Emma Pollock plus Indo-Caledonian pop artist Future Pilot AKA; multi-instrumentalist Kim Edgar; drummer/producer Mattie Foulds; energetic piano-man Michael Johnston and virtuosic rapper MC Soom T. Quite a mixed bag of influences but one that pulls together seamlessy.

4. Sky Larkin "Kaleide" - Had heard passing mention of Sky Larkin before seeing them support Les Savy Fav in November, but nothing to suggest I ought to be checking them out. They played an interesting half hour set, including a cover of a song by the third support that day, which intrigued me. However, it was the moment when Kate Harkin (singer & guitarist) lept on Tim Harrington's shoulders, just as Tim was about to haul himself back on stage after another typical audience walkabout, to scream the lyrics of the Les Savy Fav song that I decided I needed to check them out.

5. Arcade Fire "The Suburbs" - It's their least enjoyable album so far but the bar was set pretty high and this still manages some moments of brilliance. Seeing them perform the songs live, a thrilling performance at the O2, helped me get to grips with the album and it's been growing on me ever since.


1 comment:

Really Important Reviews said...

We dig it.
Owen of