Albums of the Year


I couldn’t believe it when I realised that this will be my first blog in a year! Such has been the saga of the past fifteen months, which started with a broken arm, then continued via various other distractions, some good, others not so. However, throughout the year the musical backdrop has been consistently good, so here is my review of the year, finishing with my choice of Album of the Year 2015

The first two purchases for the year were carry-overs from 2014 which, had I been aware of them at the time, would have definitely both made it to the shortlist. Someday World by Brian Eno and Karl Hyde is a wander through an electronic landscape that is much more accessible than some of the former Roxy Music keyboard man’s ambient efforts over the last ten to fifteen years. Maybe it was the collaboration with Underworld’s frontman that created this infectious album which almost demands to be played regularly. Continue Reading

A belated Happy New Year everyone, and my apologies for not blogging for more than six months – a long and convoluted story for another time. So to more important business, the slightly-belated selection of album of the year 2014 – and what a difficult choice this has been.

There are good years and better years, but 2014 was exceptional, witnessed by the CD racks groaning under the weight of more annual purchases than I have made in many a long year and all, bar a few minor exceptions, valid contenders for the shortlist. Added to that were some omissions from 2013 that would have been considered had they come on the radar earlier. Continue Reading

aoty13Along with the usual crop of interesting new bands, we had the welcome return of a few old favourites in the shortlist for my Album of the Year 2013 , one or two of whom have been away for too long.

I suppose it is only to be expected in this world of instantly-downloadable individual tracks that back-catalogues are being visited by new generations of music-lovers, but it is still interesting to see the age-spread in the crowd for a gig by any big names of the previous century, when they make their return to the stage after a long absence. Such as when we visited the O2 back in June to see a band I hadn’t seen live for over 45 years – The Who. They came to Bath several times in the ‘sixties, and my main memory is of a cold November night in 1965 when hundreds of us, parka-clad, packed cheek-by jowell into The Pavilion, a venue only designed for half our numbers, in the hope of hearing something discernable come out of the crap PA. It didn’t, and nobody cared, but was it any wonder the band smashed-up all their kit at the end? Continue Reading

the short list for album of the year 2012

The intriguing thing about the process for arriving at my Album of the Year 2012 is that all but one of my long-list to be whittled down to that final selection was a debut effort, and the other came from an artist that I was previously completely unaware of.  So could this be an indication of yet another changing of the guard?

I hope so, because if we did anything with our ‘Revolution’ of fifty years ago, it was to lay down a marker that the music scene should never be allowed to become predictable.  Neither should it be the domain of what purports these days to be the NME, where anything is simply uncool if produced more than five minutes earlier, or if not made by an artist considered as a legend simply because they have never submitted to a decipherable interview. Continue Reading

AOTY11I have probably purchased more albumsduring 2011 than for some years and, what’s more, it’s been more difficult than I can remember for many years to select a short list of just the ten.  So quite a bounce-back for this, my 49th annual round-up which includes my album of the year 2011 .  Hopefully my fiftieth will be just as interesting next year; if not, I guess I can always do a retrospective!

This year there have been several albums from established artists that one might expect to be a shoe-in to any top ten, but somehow they proved disappointments, not even making it onto the buy list, thereby excluding them from possible selection.  Continue Reading