Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Albums Of The Year: 14-6

#14 Adebisi Shank: This Is The Album Of A Band... (The Richter Collective)
Sadly, the sole Irish representative out of the 25. This Wexford/Dublin hybrid glued together a frenzied 23 minutes that took the tediousness out of instrumental guitar music. Half sounding like it was slapped together in studio, the dexterity of the threesome is awesome. Cheeky bastards.

#13 The Dodos: Visiter (Wichita)
Another surprise this year. Two piece based on acoustic guitar and drums make a series of catchy folk-pop tunes. A couple of filler tracks stopped this one making the top 10.

# 12 No Kids: Come Into My House (Tomlab)
Three-quarters of Canadian band P:ano return as No Kids, and ditch the ukuleles and discover R&B. No seriously...come back. 'For Halloween' was one of my favourite tracks this year, and as a whole, Come Into My House is a fairly refreshing affair.

#11 Subtle: Exiting Arm (Lex)
Crazy anticon-offshoot featuring the twisted genius that is Doseone returned with their follow up to 2006's blinding 'For Hero: For Fool'. This one way not have had all the same pop charms as that one, but again it blended the kitchen sink with indie hop.

#10 Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (4AD)
Tip #1,723 in how to make a good album: Dylan used this one years ago, but split up with your missus, and pretty much write the album about it. Justin Vernon decamped to the woods and did just that, and even the Emma in question seems to be ok with it, and he has probably made it up for her departure with a bevy of top groupies while touring this album to the max. Word.

# 9 Portishead: Third (Island)
Band releases first album in eleven years and it's not shit shocker. Actually, it's really fucking good, and is not a re-hash of their old guff. In fact, it's the best thing since their debut 14 years ago. Back of the net.

#8 TV On The Radio: Dear, Science (4AD)
The boys can do no wrong. Dave Sitek is gradually maturing into one of the finest producers out there, and TVOTR's third long-player seems more cohesive than 'Return To Cookie Mountain'. Even one or two silly rap moments and a ballad can't dent that.

#7 Beach House: Devotion (Bella Union)
Truly beautiful lovelorn rock awash with the slightest influences of Mazzy Star, Spiritualized, etc and then topped off with Victoria Legrand's delicate yet eerie vocal. Smashing stuff

#6 M83: Saturdays = Youth (EMI)
Anthony Gonzalez has always known his way around a tune, yet after three albums, he had yet to really nail the art of making an album that was totally consistent. This time around, he has got it right. Whereas before, you were waiting for the "filler" to wind down so the "hits" could kick in, with 'Saturdays = Youth' everything from the dreamy ballads to the uptempo 80s-tinged rockers, everything works a treat.


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