Archive for the List Category

Gold Soundz: Songs for the Summer

Posted in Feature, List with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2015 by David Hall

Summer has definitely, belatedly made its way even to the UK, which you can tell probably most reliably not from the weather outside, but when you see releases like this being made. Obviously this is money-grabbing of the most blatant variety, those aren’t summer hits any more than any other time of year; they aren’t season-specific. Which begs the question, just what is summer music? Would any of us actually know? Well, in an attempt to answer this never-asked question, I sought out some albums that would actually suit a nice day rather well. Sometimes there’s no telling what will happen to a record in a new context, and the only way to find out is to throw it in the pool and see if it sinks or swims. So let’s get this particular witch trial underway:

Warpaint – Warpaint

Warpaint’s confident self-titled second album stands out as music perfectly suited to a stiflingly, paralysingly hot day, which demands barely a toe-tap or a laconic head nod with closed eyes. Plumbing its hazy, druggy depths proves almost mirage-like in the heat, bassy swells washing over the listener in great droning waves. ‘Keep It Healthy’ begins the album brightly with melodic guitar lines, a pleasant morning with dawning sun that hasn’t quite gotten its claws into heating the earth just yet. Compare that with the atonal and sticky twilight of ‘CC’, which pours viscously like molten magma from the listeners’ speakers with almost perceptible heat. Lead single ‘Love Is To Die’ cavorts about the listener mockingly, circling a coastal bonfire at midnight, chanting and flitting out of the moth-ridden darkness. There’s also more than a hint of feverish threat in the death march of ‘Disco//Very’, which forges aimlessly onwards into the heady evening, verses and choruses melting and melding into one another thrillingly. The overwhelming sensation however is fearsome midday heat in Warpaint; you can almost hear the buzzy chirrup of cicadas in ‘Biggy’, its keyboard riff emerging from a blanket of heat haze, whilst ‘Feeling Alright’ falls asleep in the shade, vultures circling overhead.

Joni Mitchell – Ladies of the Canyon

The lengthy evening shadow of Woodstock looms large over Joni Mitchell’s third album, from the brightly sparkling curtain pull of ‘Morning Morgantown’ through to the thrumming, throbbing keys of Woodstock and the existential nursery rhyme closer ‘The Circle Game’s choral chant. It’s a sparsely arranged album, sounding particularly in the title track like a slow drive through the Californian desert, lonely humanoid cacti gliding by in scrubland by the secluded roadside. Though sparing and often unadorned, Mitchell’s material is heady and perfumed, such as on the gorgeous title track. ‘Morning Morgantown’ is the most perfect capturing of a summer dawn as is imaginable, a charmingly and seemingly earnest paean to the possibilities of a new day. However, ‘Woodstock’ is much more arch, sun scorched and serious, almost apocalyptic at times in its imagery – “I dreamed I saw the bombers riding shotgun in the sky” Mitchell sings – but ultimately hopeful in its assertion that “they were turning into butterflies above our nation”. Even the atmosphere of ‘Rainy Night House’ and its interspersed choir and cello, suggests a dusky summer evening thunderstorm rather than autumnal downpour. To paraphrase Mitchell herself, sunlight streams through curtains of ‘Conversation’s setting, her open-tuned chords sounding effervescent and thriving. Plenty of Mitchell’s output, particularly her early-to-middle period exemplified by the later Court and Spark, invokes the sunshine of the American west coast.

The Avalanches – Since I Left You

First and foremost, Since I Left You is quite simply an incredible album. It’s like the best party you’ve ever been to, and everyone has been invited. From the moment you press play, it never lets up for a moment. It’s as full of ideas and self-reference as its copious use of samples suggests, motifs recurring throughout like it is its own little self-contained universe. Track after track tagteams in, each bringing with it their own distinct personality, like ‘Two Hearts In 3/4 Time’s cut-and-paste vocal melody bleeding through ‘Avalanche Rock’ into the juddering, jungleish, almost blaxploitation-flavoured ‘Flight Tonight’, before bass dips in and out of ‘Close To You’ as if being heard through the walls. As a whole, Since I Left You is a big, open-sounding record, easily enough so to be a played at an outdoor party at great volume and be equally pleasing to all ages. It’s a sunkissed, optimistic thrill to dip casually in and out of (the bouncing beats of ‘A Different Feeling’ into ‘Electricity’ prove to be highlights, and quite rightly form the spine of the album), or to listen through.

LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver

From the quietly percussive videogame soundalike intro of ‘Get Innocuous!’, Sound Of Silver album stretches its limbs up to a cloudless, frighteningly blue sky. The opener is soon swarming around, all clattering drums and multitracked vocals, then peeling itself back before crowding in once more. Throughout, James Murphy’s sophomore LCD record proves a very urbane album. It reeks of uncomfortably overheated concrete, of opened windows breathing out the hot air from within and shines with the fierce glare of steel and glass under a summer sun. Sound of Silver longs for night to fall and for the city’s dingy nightspots to open; it feels busy, populated. The informal party atmosphere tells tales of a misspent but regret-free youth, most notably in ‘All My Friends’, which along with ‘Someone Great’ and ‘Us V Them’ flanking it, elevates the album to a genre and period classic. The production is about as crisp as seems possible, each instrument on ‘Time To Get Away’ focussed sharply enough to cut yourself upon even as the track clutters. Finally, ‘New York I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down’ feels like a late night or early morning train ride home anywhere in the world, spent but already reliving the previous evenings’ exploits.

Radiohead – In Rainbows

Radiohead have always harboured a tendency to create soaring music, often hiding this light under a bushel; frequently very well, as on The King Of Limbs, which really only breaks out into the open on final track ‘Connector’. So, perhaps deservedly given the glacial atmosphere of albums like King Of Limbs or the chilly Kid A, they have earned themselves something of a maudlin reputation. To suggest In Rainbows is Radiohead’s summer album then? Surely not. And yet it works. It’s a record on which the band decided to go as full-on pop as they’ve ever been, sounding natural and full of enjoyment. On ‘Jigsaw Falling Into Place’, Yorke describes the all but alien environ of a club – like, a nightclub, with people smiling and having a good time and stuff – over a danceable rhythm section with looping, whirling guitar parts encircling his vocal. ‘Reckoner’ stands as the highlight of the album, its monolithic, triangular upswells of strings creating giant blocks of sound in a desert-like atmosphere. ‘House Of Cards’ follows in its churning wake, again with eastern-sounding strings and a spacious, yawning mix suggestive of gigantic panorama. ‘All I Need’ sounds sunburnt and migraineous, fully realising the bands’ intention to mirror the overwhelming sonic concussion of a band playing loudly in a small room. Rumbling bass synth impels Yorke’s voice to loom over the track, who in turn seems to recognise and stoke the sweltering atmosphere, “I’m an animal, trapped in your hot car” he sings in a cloying, and disarmingly unrequited lovelorn lyric. Following up from Hail To The Thief’s form-finding swagger, In Rainbows found Radiohead in loose but immediate form, and suits long, warm days beautifully.

The Field – From Here We Go Sublime

Track after track from The Field’s much-praised debut album lolls in on the breeze, like hearing a distant radio playing loud but broken snippets of songs, somewhere off in a housing project window. ‘Everday’ for example cuts and pastes Fleetwood Mac’s polite radio pop of ‘Everywhere’, drawing out from a harsh, hacking synth until Christine McVie’s vocal is whisked into a constant, looping hook that throbs and pummels and never lets go. ‘A Paw in My Face’ stretches Lionel Ritchie’s treacly ‘Hello’ into gorgeous, bleeping techno, ending as an authentic-sounding early 90’s slow jam rather than the lampoonable mid-80’s radio ballad of the original. Centrepiece ‘The Deal’ is minimal techno loving life in the open air, freed from bedroom laptops into a world of lawn sprinklers and dizzying heat.

Broken Social Scene – Broken Social Scene

It’s hard to choose just one record from the Canadian supergroup’s catalogue to sum up that summertime feeling, as all do it so perfectly. I’d love to go with the often-overlooked Forgiveness Rock Record, if only because it presents an opportunity to give that album a well-deserved day in the sun. The real winner however must be their second eponymous record, which is every shade of summer, from blissed out (‘Our Faces Split the Coast in Half’), through joyous (‘7/4 Shoreline’), to sweet and smiling (‘Swimmers’). Each track is a near-whitewash of vying noise, a roaring cacophony, constantly on the point of clipping. ‘Ibi Dreams of Pavement’ features Kevin Drew’s half-shouted vocal struggling to be heard above the shrieking squall of drums, synthesizers and brass, relentless and near-blinding. ‘Superconnected’ comes on like a rush of heated air, even the tempo rocketing after a much-needed midsection lull including the simmering, shimmering ‘Swimmers’. The saturated sound of Broken Social Scene perfectly encapsulates the heady, giddy thrill of the season. Days spent so long in the searing sunlight that your head throbs, that your sight is funnelled with brightness when stepping back indoors. It’s a time of overwhelming, endless-feeling possibility, a sensation that Broken Social Scene’s work encapsulates joyously.

Kurt Vile – Wakin On A Pretty Daze

A jammy, noodling affair, Kurt Vile’s fifth solo album is like the most pleasant of commitment-free summer days, which starts when it starts and just keeps pressing onward irrespective of time. The opening title (ish) track stretches on endlessly towards the horizon for nearly ten minutes, seeming both longer and shorter like some sort of perspective trick, its riff repeating hypnotically and ploughing through half-formed solos and drawled verses, at once impressionistic (“Don’t worry about a thing, it’s only dying” Vile sings at one point) and at times smartly focussed and astutely observed, “I gotta think about what wisecracks I’m gonna drop along the way today”. Song titles are repeated like mantras, Vile venturing out in verses only to return to the touchstone, punning and messing with the words playfully. ‘Goldtone’ is a case in point, with its morphing chord sequence spiralling outwards like a galaxy as Vile explores the lyrics’ phonetics, all strange annunciations and unexpected rhymes and declarations. Again like the album as a whole, it feels improvisational, informal and open-ended, just as the season it represents and celebrates should be; Pretty Daze is as pretty and meandering as a summer stroll.

Sufjan Stevens – Come On Feel the Illinoise!

Twee, but never overbearingly so, Come On Feel the Illinoise! is painstakingly researched, a lush and vibrant concept album exploring the geography, communities and history of the state of Illinois. Nothing short of a tour de force, it’s spirallingly lengthy and stands as the pinnacle of Stevens’ career; it took him five years and a dramatic shift in both direction and approach to properly follow up. Even tales of cancer death, religious cults (‘Casimir Pulaski Day’) somehow manage to sound at once uncomfortably specific and personal, but also expansive and macrospective. If it’s expansive you want, Illinoise has that aesthetic in spades. Segueing in and out of characters, places and landmarks throughout its considerable running time, this is an album that demands a free afternoon or a long journey, to sit and be appreciated in full. Track-by-track however, Stevens is also generous with the hooks and choruses, with earworming chord progressions and lovely, lapping melodies that wash like sunlight onto painted walls. ‘Jacksonville’s, sawed, scale-hopping strings give way into banjos and wandering, tremulous guitar lines and pattering drums before brass pogos the track into a pleasingly ornate chorus. Also muscular in places, instrumentation towering around Steven’s trademark barely-whispered vocal on the bristling, anthemic ‘Chicago’, choirs rising and falling along with flutes and woodwind, marching band cymbals crashing like breakers all around. In amongst all this grandeur and splendour, moments like ‘Concerning the UFO Sighting…’ and the breathtaking, eerie ‘John Wayne Gacy, Jr.’ provide goosebumps, a darker, more overbearingly intimate Sufjan Stevens explored further in this year’s exceptional Carrie & Lowell, further signposting how vast and vaulted Illinoise was by comparison. It’s an album of scorching, state-sized beauty.

Pavement – Slanted and Enchanted

Like Broken Social Scene, many of the 90’s alt-rock icons’ five albums would be welcome on a summer playlist, reflecting the Californian locale of the bands’ surroundings. However it’s their charmingly shambling, and correctly acclaimed, debut Slanted and Enchanted that crackles most brightly with almost solar-powered energy. The untutored, gleefully-pounded drumming of ‘Summer Babe’ opens the album as it means to go on, guitars buzzing full of warm distortion. ‘Loretta’s Scars’ jangles more, Malkmus and Spiral Stairs finding a beautiful range of textured tones for their guitars to occupy throughout Slanted, ‘Zurich is Stained’ played almost entirely cleanly for example. Melodic, high-fretted bass hovers delightfully over blankets of distortion on ‘Jackals, False Grails’, its bashed-out drum track and frenzied soloing recalling an image of sunlight breaking repeatedly through a canopy of tree branches. ‘Our Singer’ sounds frazzled, ‘No Life Singed Her’ appropriately fried and frayed around the edges, there’s barely a track that doesn’t imbue some kind of warmth. Malkmus’ drawling, free-associating wordplay mesh with his infantile, sing-song vocals is sweetly addictive and permanently optimistic-sounding. As mentioned, most if not all of Pavement’s output stands up as excellent summer material. The alt pop of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain is a fantastic soundtrack to a sunny day, the more structured material making for a slightly more coherent listen, with more dynamism and more build-up and release of tension. Away from the obvious single cuts ‘Range Life’ and ‘Cut Your Hair’, ‘Stop Breathin’’ and ‘Gold Soundz’ provide the keening, sun-bleached moments of uplift on Crooked Rain. Even their eclectic Wowee Zowee! middle period and more restrained and studied later records retain the same shambling, slacker mood than makes Slanted and Enchanted such a summer delight.

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Top 20 Albums of 2009

Posted in Feature, List with tags , on February 25, 2010 by David Hall

20. Julian Plenti – Julian Plenti …Is Skyscraper

A turn up for the books to begin with; indie superstar “Paul Banks of Interpol” indulges in a pretentiously-titled solo project, and makes it really rather good! Shocker!
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19. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Indie-pop hasn’t hit such solid gold paydirt with the opening of Lisztomania and 1901 in years. Banishing thoughts of disposable immediacy, the mid-album Love Like a Sunset movement is spectacular.
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18. Wild Beasts – Two Dancers

Conjuring a spacey Wolf Parade-ish vibe, Two Dancers is experimental but not impenetrable, at times fluid and playful but always reverting to more surefooted tracks for grounding.
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17. The Antlers – Hospice

Heartbreaking, from the desolately romantic artwork and Bear’s affirmation of “We’re not old” to Wake’s shivering grandeur. Beautiful and poignant, full of daring and close-to-the-bone songwriting.
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16. Fanfarlo – Reservoir

A joyously ramshackle affair, the missing link between Beirut’s rickety rehearsal room atmosphere and Arcade Fire’s skyward gazing.
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15. Antony and the Johnsons – The Crying Light

Astoundingly moving in its unexpected environmental statements – Another World and Aeon particularly are saturated with the most immense gravity – the most impressive thing about The Crying Light is that it all just sounds so effortless.
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14. The Cave Singers – Welcome Joy

Life’s simple pleasures are sometimes the best; Welcome Joy proves a case in point, its quietly and beautifully contemplative songs constituting an uncomplicatedly enjoyable album which readily gives up its unembellished charms.

13. Bat For Lashes – Two Suns

Another step towards the expansive Tolkienian sound of Bat For Lashes’ live sets. For the most part sweepingly panoramic (see Glass and Daniel), but Siren Song in particular is beautifully intimate.
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12. The xx – xx

“Hi there, Glasvegas. This is how cool and detached should sound; clinical simplicity is much cooler than pointless layers anyway. Kthnxbye.”
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11. Goes Cube – Another Day Has Passed

Metal-infused-hardcore-alt-punk delivered with a straightforward, head down, no-holds-barred single mindedness. By turns brutal, epic and anthemic, anyone looking for drumming performance of the year need look no further.

10. Florence + the Machine – Lungs

Ignore the dreadful and noisy Kiss with a Fist and concentrate on positively stellar moments such as Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up) and Dog Days are Over. Quite simply irresistible, Lungs is expansive enough for a mainstream audience (hello Number 1 UK Album slot in 2010) whilst remaining playfully beguiling. Unfortunately, Lungs has also been seized upon by seemingly every person in the country with a copy of Final Cut Pro in their possession. Thus cue endless trailers for every conceivable TV programme which requires key phrases anywhere from ‘moody’ to ‘uplifting’ covering being plastered with a random Flo track, negating the need to listen to said album for at least the next five years. Oh dears.

9. The Maccabees – Wall of Arms

Adventurously moody and slow-building, from the massive No Kinds Words to even the more playful William Powers, Wall of Arms perhaps didn’t get the recognition it deserved despite forging into the UK Top 20 off the back of critical plaudits. An impressive progression from a band who previously sounded on the cusp of disposability with bouncealong indie disco fare such as Precious Time. Unfortunately I suspect that – considering or despite Wall of Arms’ performance – we won’t get a third album out of The Maccabees. That said, Fiction Records have been astoundingly meek and lenient with the perennially shite Athlete, so I therefore recline and await wrong-proving.

8. Twin Atlantic – Vivarium

Alright already, strictly speaking it’s a ‘mini-album’ but its sheer awesomeness more than warrants its inclusion here. Yes Vivarium may bear striking similarities Biffy Clyro, but Twin Atlantic seem to occupy the inverse of their fellow countrymen’s excitement parabola. As soon as Sam McTrusty’s throaty Scottish brogue kicks in and is quickly swamped by distortion in Lightspeed, you know you’re in for something special. I was but a lad when Idlewild emerged, yet I can’t help imagining that listening to You’re Turning into John Wayne is like hearing Roddy Woomble’s outfit for the first time. Twin Atlantic were one of the few bands of ‘09 that really made me sit up and take notice, and they deserve eyes clamped on them for their next release; Vivarium is exhilarating stuff but its clear ‘this-is-not-our-debut-album’ status promises even greater things. If only Biffy were still making music this blistering.

7. Tubelord – Our First American Friends

There’s no other word for it, Tubelord’s full-length debut Our First American Friends was fucking class. Vital and alive with energy, Kingston-Upon-Thames hilariously sells the Americans their own brand of hyperdrive alt rock back to them with added interest. I suggest you don’t hesitate for a second and go buy it, but also check them out when they come to your town in 2010 and their star should really go supernova. Clearly mewithoutYou are a strong influence, but where are they these days? Nobody ever truly got them, however I suggest that Tubelord have what it takes to go where mwY haven’t really managed.

6. Imogen Heap – Ellipse

Like the slow-burning spacestation fire to Little Boots’ nuclear glitterbomb test and La Roux’s Master System hotwiring, Ellipse is superior to the slightly disappointing Two Suns and overly poppy Lungs, but inkeeping with their self-contained aesthetic. Heap is currently beginning to hit the big time, particularly with Hide and Seek from her debut Speak for Yourself, prominently featured in ‘The O.C.’ and ‘CSI: Miami’ and sampled on Jason Derulo’s Whatcha Say, a former Billboard Number 1 and UK Top 10 single. Lead track First Train Home sounds as slick and fluid as Heap’s work with Frou Frou, but there’s more than enough to keep indie experimentalists happy, the Bavarian stop motion apparition of Aha! for instance. Tidal is a less dentist’s drillish version of La Roux, Wait it Out gorgeously perfect indie pop, like a Nerina Pallot track composed entirely on a laptop. Wisely, nothing on Ellipse replicates the harmonizer-based lovesong for dialup modems Hide and Seek; not even the beautifully sparse closer Half Life, which American TV producers are probably lining up to be played over their wedding day car crash season finale as we speak.

5. HEALTH – Get Color

Who else in the world sounds like HEALTH? Nobody. No other band understands that we love having our heads kicked in, but in nice, considerate, 3-minute bitesize chunks. No other band has that bass sound. Hallucinatory and terrifying, music very rarely sounds as close to pylons coming to life as Get Color. Opener In Heat sounds like 65daysofstatic’s Await Rescue being played in the bowels of an abandoned oil rig, echoing blastbeats and needlepoint guitars shattering in all directions. Lead single Die Slow is the sound of a computer virus infecting a music studio console, oddly danceable with its cyberpunk synth, electroclash chorus and processed palm muted guitars. Listening to Nice Girls is like being tortured with circular saws by some terrifying floor tom-pounding crime syndicate and enjoying it. Perhaps a grander departure from their self-titled debut would’ve placed it higher on this list, but Get Color represents a fair amount of restraint on HEALTH’s part – compare Triceratops to Severin, for example – which can only be applauded.

4. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz!

It was the glorious mashup style quality of It’s Blitz! that took me; everything about it was unexpected, sounding beautifully handpicked. It was borrowed, bespoke and crafted, an album that even without the stellar opening couplet of Zero and Heads Will Roll would remain pretty strong. Softshock – like Jimmy Tamborello remixing Radiohead’s Treefingers – is luscious and lugubrious, Skeletons like Kate Bush visiting The Cocteau Twins in their sleep. Dragon Queen sees Korn playing in A Clockwork Orange’s Korova Milkbar to a disco beat, Hysteric sounds like TV on the Radio (probably because Dave Sitek co-produces), with Karen O happening upon another lovelorn Maps-like chorus in “You suddenly complete me”. YYY’s story so far now reads: debut album eye-meltingly good, follow-up in which all of debut’s verve and sass were absent unexpectedly wayward, impressive reinvention of synthy sophistication triumphantly cool. Nice.

3. The Longcut – Open Hearts

It seems as if I’ve ended up with this list by default; I literally didn’t like any other albums enough this year. Say what you like about that, “You miserable bastard” is fair enough, and “You’re not listening to the right things then” is a moot point, but a look at Amazon’s Top 20 of the year seems to support my supposition. For every faceless pop automaton (Lady GaGa, Newton Faulkner), there’s a corresponding mouldy old act past their best (Alice in Chains, Kiss, The Prodigy) or beyond-a-joke nobody (The Raveonettes, Noah & the Whale, Editors). For the record, I personally just don’t get Animal Collective. Accordingly, Open Hearts falls agonisingly trapeze artist short of The Longcut’s debut A Call and Response. But Out at the Roots and The Last Ones Here are stirring anthems from a band with a commendable never-say-die attitude and work ethic and tracks like Evil Dance and Open Hearts are amongst The Longcut’s strongest efforts yet.

2. The Low Anthem – Oh My God, Charlie Darwin

Of all the albums released in 2009, Oh My God, Charlie Darwin may not quite be the best, but it’s certainly one of the most affecting. From Charlie Darwin’s terrified gasp of “Oh my God, the water’s cold and shapeless; Oh my God, it’s all around” and To Ohio’s covered wagon roadtrip soundtrack, through The Horizon is a Beltway and Home I’ll Never Be’s earthy Springsteenish everyman evangelism and Omgcd’s communal spirit, this is accomplished, atmospheric and eminently listenable. Only a midsection in which the material’s standard fluctuates slightly keeps the album from faultlessness. Still, a poignant and compelling record full of the same stark beauty as the landscapes it evokes, picking up where Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago left off in 2008.

1. Manic Street Preachers – Journal for Plague Lovers

Anyone expecting The Holy Bible Pt. 2 will have been disappointed with Journal for Plague Lovers, abrasive flanged guitars and extensive solos notably absent. It’s nowhere near as dark or damaged as The Holy Bible, taking in some lyrical jokes and mostly composed of proper chords. The backstory is well-known, the Manic Street Preachers fleshing out lyrics left to them over a decade ago by their missing presumed dead cohort Richey Edwards. The lyrics are the obvious centre of attention, given the record’s context it’s almost too easy to read William’s Last Words as Edwards’ suicide note. It bids goodbye to his loved ones (“I’m just gonna close my eyes, think about my family, shed a little tear”), bandmates (“You’re the best friends I ever had”) and seems to seek an end to the torment he doubtlessly endured (“I’m really tired, I’d love to go to sleep and wake up happy”). The title track’s Heideggerian sentiments insist “Only a god can bruise, only a god can soothe; only a god reserves the right to forgive those who revile him,” the remaining Manics take it upon themselves to also judge here. They practically edit together an album that isn’t the seismic landmark The Holy Bible remains, but bears scrutiny as part of Edwards’ unique legacy. In terms of tunes, artistic merit and emotional reaction, easily the Manics’ finest since Everything Must Go. Not indie enough for you? The remix album is more than worth a listen.

Honourable Mentions

The Horrors – Primary Colours
A slap on the back of rib-shattering magnitude to anybody who saw this coming.

Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
As somebody who’s never really understood the fuss about Animal Collective, Merriweather was no sudden dawning of clarity for me; it’s still baffling to the casual listener and pretentious as fuck. But it’s also more accessible, with some genuinely great tunes managing to peek through the melee.

Enter Shikari – Common Dreads
Scored me some writing work, and not a bad album to boot. Cheers, ears.

Deadmau5 – For Lack of a Better Name
Dance record of the year, hands down. Or should that be hands up? No, you’re right, hands down.

Exlovers – You Forget So Easily EP
Just look out for their album, more than worth a mention to close.

This article, aside from having been stuck in formatting hell for the past month, contains some elements from contributions to Noize Makes Enemies’ Best of 2009.