Its been a decent start to the year so far and with 3 months gone I feel its time to look back at my 10 favourite albums so far. The only rule, the album must have been released before the 31st of March to qualify. I wonder how many will be in my albums of the year come December?
10, Inside Llewyn Davis, the soundtrack – Various
Saw the film in January and enjoyed it so much I wanted to hear the soundtrack. It perfectly captures the Greenwich Village 1960s feel. Despite the fact that Marcus Mumford has co-writing responsibility on a number of tracks it is a perfect listen for a cold winters night (except the excruciating Please Mr Kennedy). If you liked the film, you will love this. It even has an early Bob Dylan included.
9, Odludek – Jimi Goodwin
The Doves singer is back with his first solo Album. A departure from the bands work, Jimi calls upon the services of Guy Garvey to support his writing. The stand out track Oh Whiskey gave a hint that this would be different to anything heard before, even if the voice is unmistakable. Whilst enjoyable as a whole, there are one or two tracks I wasn’t keen on which left my overall view that I need Doves to return as a band and do what they do best.
8, High Hopes – Bruce Springsteen
Reviewed in full here this collection of out takes and covers certainly means the Boss is far from finished. The addition of Tom Morello from Rage has added something different to the E Street Band sound.
7, Burn Your Fire For No Witness – Angel Olsen
This is one that I owe Steve and Rob at Pie & Vinyl for recommending this great collection of tracks. Superbly written, arranged with real spatial awareness and showing a real maturity in the sound, Burn Your Fire would be a strong recommendation to fans of Lorde though perhaps Olsen pips her for the better record.
6, Singles – Future Islands
My first impression here is that this is a band who love the ’80s. In particular the likes of Heaven 17. Throw in a bit of Arcade Fire and you have a collection of 10 great songs. I will be honest and say I knew little about them but with previous albums to listen to I certainly will go looking for more.
5, After the Disco – Broken Bells
Second album from James Mercer (the Shins) and producer Danger Mouse, looks to the late ’70s disco era for influence. The title track could easily have been lifted from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Whilst this isn;t as good as Mercer’s last Shins album (the superb Port of Morrow) this collection will certainly keep us happy till he gives us the next one.
4, Going Back Home – Wilko Johnson & Roger Daltrey
This is a record that should never have been made, for the past 12 months, Wilko has been fighting the cancer that will keep his time on the planet limited. So for him to be rocking out with the now 70 year old Who singer as they re-engineer some of Wilko’s finer back catalogue and give the great man a fitting epitaph as his time with us is beginning to come to an end.
3, Rave Tapes – Mogwai
Largely instrumental collection but wow, what a collection. From the opening bars of Heard about you last night through to the end of the Lord is Out of Control this is an hour of music to melt away to. Headphones are a must unless you can play this one LOUD. One thing this album did was make me go and listen to their older stuff. Any record that can do that has to be worth a listen.
2, Metronomy – Love Letters
Released on the same day as my Number 1 album which proved to be unlucky for the Devon band’s follow up to the superb English Riviera. An almost psychedelic collection that keeps up what made its predecessor so good, they have not allowed the success of the previous record go to their heads so this one feels as intimate. It certainly needs the summer to, I feel, give it even more warmth. Any other year this would have been number 1.
1, The Take Off and Landing Of Everything – Elbow
I gave this my verdict on the day of release and it was, not surprisingly very positive indeed. At the time I stated it wasn’t as good as the Seldom Seen Kid but with every listen that gap closes. It is a simply remarkable piece of work and has been supported by some excellent live TV and radio work. Next week I am off to see the guys at the O2 and while this will almost certainly remain number 1 album of 2014 I also imagine the gig may eclipse even that achievement. BUY THIS RECORD.
So there you go, my top 10 of the year till the end of March. What have I missed? Please tell me by commenting below.