Thursday, 17 November 2011


As 2011 rapidly draws to an end the world of music publications and websites all fight and struggle to get their reviews into the editors sweaty palm a month in advanced to make sure their opinions are taken into consideration over the other proles and hacks, in fact I’m sure all the ‘best of’ lists for 2011 are being typed up as we speak so it would only be fitting for my ego and drastic self grandiose style of writing to present my own personal fav’s.

I have been pretty lucky this year in the sense that I’ve been handed various music from a wide range of bands and artists to review and on the whole there have only been a few real stinkers (my impeccable manners stop me from mentioning such bands/artists i.e. Viva Brother.) Instead I was lucky enough to get albums from groups such as Arctic Monkeys as well as more left field artists such as the exquisite Agent Ribbons with their own brand of garage rock and pre war Berlin waltzes.

My top 10 of 2011 are as follows. I have attached links to my original reviews rather the rehash the same opinions. A dog never returns to his vomit after all…

10. Practice in the Milky WayDave Cloud & the Gospel of Power (Fire Records)
Original review:

09. Chateau CroneAgent Ribbons (Antenna Farm Records)
Original review:

08. What Did You Expect from the Vaccines?The Vaccines (Columbia Records)

07. Colour of the TrapMiles Kane (Columbia Records)

06. Rome - Danger Mouse/Daniele Luppi (Capitol Records)

05. Hotel ShampooGruff Rhys (Ovni Records)
Original review:

04. Suck It And SeeArctic Monkeys (Domino Records)
Original review:

03. If You Can’t Smoke Em’, Sell Em’Rodeo Massacre (Smoky Carrot Records)
Original review:

02. Submarine (original Soundtrack) – Alex Turner (Domino Records)
What is their left to say about this album that I haven’t already bored everyone to tears with already? Run out and get this immediately. Alex Turner is definitely hitting a peak with his song and lyric writing and this album is the proof that he is now at the head table with his own heroes and contemporaries and in fact all the initial hype that followed him around at the start is completely justified and in fact deserving.
Original review:

01. Anna CalviAnna Calvi (Domino Records)
Well, well it seems that the best album of the year is in fact one of the earliest ones to be released in 2011. I first saw Anna Calvi LIVE at London’s Borderline and hadn’t heard any of her material beforehand. There aren’t many original artists out there today (especially on the live circuit) and to behold one so complete and still only on her debut album is a real treat. Her sound is colossal and especially when you consider her line up is so minimal i.e. Drums, harmonium/various percussion and Anna and her guitar. I’ve seen bands with double the number of players on stage come over like a wasp being recorded in an empty coke can but the Anna Calvi Group is a wave of sound washed in reverb alternating between blitzkrieg and a pin drop. The album itself is great throughout and in any order also (thank you shuffle mode) when mixed with the single ‘Jezebel’ and it’s Jeff Buckley influenced B-side ‘Moulinette’ you find yourself not bothering listening to any other music for days and days on end, a beautiful sonic poison. Choice favourites on the album itself are the overtly dramatic tracks such as the David Lynch-esque ‘The Devil’ as well as the guitar tour-de-force ‘Love Won’t Be Leaving’, although the introduction ‘Rider To The Sea’ (which I still believe is the opener when performing live) sets the mood for the whole record perfectly. If you’ve been living under an indie rock for the last year and have missed the attention and press she has been getting from artists such as Nick Cave, Brian Eno etc, then look no further for your new favourite band.

Original review:

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