Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Un-ortho-dox - Top 10

I need to start writing more or else I'll forget how to structure a sentence and then I'll be everything I ever hated. Not being pretentious or out... DAMN!

Right, ok, so, I'm really creative with my ideas and therefore following on from NMEs post about the top 5 albums this year; I'm going to do a countdown! Nobody saw this coming... Best 10 albums this year - with justified decisions and everything! So this is basically me trying to advertise the bands which I think you listen to... So, excluding, 'Best of' hits, let's get to it.

#10 - Submarine - Alex Turner
Arguably not an 'album' in the sense of the word, but it is. The soundtrack to Richard Ayoade's debut masterpiece. When choosing somebody to record the sounds for his film, Ayoade said it was down to a flip of a coin; one side Alex Turner (of Arctic Monkeys), and the other Jay Kay (of Jamiroquai). Comprising of 5 full songs and an intro, if genius came in the form of a CD, this would be the definition. It has become an instant chill out classic and a song from here also made it onto the Arctic Monkeys album, 'Suck it and See'.
Highlight: 'Stuck on the Puzzle'

#9 - The People's Key - Bright Eyes
After an impressive 7 studio albums, in February this year, Bright Eyes released a follow up album to Cassadaga, 4 years after that was released. This is truly magnificent. It unveils itself as a science problem which the 15 year old inside yourself cannot comprehend; but as the album progresses, it becomes, well, no clearer... but we are taken through the many different sides of Bright Eyes as a band, exploring numerous different genres that have made up Connor Oberst's career - from the ever-present charm of folk which he has made his name in, to the synth-drowned joy in which is most detectable in songs like 'Shell Games' and 'Jejune Stars'. Top album!
Highlight: 'Triple Spiral'

#8 - Pala - Friendly Fires
Not as strong as their debut album which was self titled, but Pala came in at #6 in the UK charts and received sound reviews. Adding to their already established collection of hits; 'Live Those Days Tonight', 'Hurting' and most favourably, 'Hawaiian Air', this is an album which - with a few listens - can become treasured and can keep its place in your all time favourites. With this album, you must have a viable imagination, just so you can envision Ed Macfarlane shaking his midriff as he so famously does live. With that, picture the sweat dripping from the beard of drummer Jack Savidge as he smashes the drums backdoors in... so to speak.
Highlight: 'Hawaiian Air'

#7 - Playing in the Shadows - Example
3 Albums in, and Example (real name, Elliot Gleave) is only really just starting to get the credit he deserves. Playing in the Shadows is the finest of his work so far and chart music is changing for the better; no longer do I have to hear moaning-mongering tossers such as Rihanna or Gaga over and over again... decent music is kicking in! Example has transformed my music library from indie-filled, alternative rock, to something much more powerful. Like Fatima Whitbread. Not only this, but when I put Example on at house parties, I dont get butter thrown at me. Successful.
Highlight: 'Stay Awake'

#6 - Outside There's a Curse - Ben Marwood
My most underground choice, yeaah. Discovered this guy when he supported Frank Turner on a couple of tours in the UK and instantly fell in love with his sound. Acoustic singer-songwriter Ben Marwood has displayed the titanic degree of determination required to be successful in the industry and has produced one of the finest albums I may have ever heard. Songs about lost loves, having killer hangovers on public transport and there's even a song about Avril Lavigne in there for good measure, this is an album people should definitely take note of and share with the world. Even your gran will like it!
Highlights: 'I Will Breathe You In', 'Oh My Days'

#5 - Smother - Wild Beasts
Hailing from Kendal, these 4 lads offer an alternative view of music and a seemingly different way of life. Complex drums hold together the calming twang of the vocals (taken in turns by Hayden Thorpe and Tom Fleming) and the trance enfixing guitar riffs. They still continue to reveal sexual gratification via the poetic words and tones only really associated with that of Shakespeare and such. When performing live, everyone within ear range of the Beasts are completely immersed in a sense of satisfaction; imagine sitting on a deck chair in the middle of a luke-warm lake with everything you hold dear and that allows you to unwind, and that is pretty much the sound of Wild Beasts. Smother is a drug. Class A most likely.
Highlights: 'Deeper', 'Albatross'

#4 - What Did You Expect from the Vaccines - Vaccines
Along with professional critics jumping on the Vaccines bandwagon, widely renowned bands such as White Lies, Strokes and The Maccabees have joined in the fun. Zane Lowe praised them from day one after they uploaded a demo of 'If You Wanna' on to Youtube and since have become a massive band supporting Arctic Monkeys and playing along side Miles Kane. This album epitomises rock and many of the tracks are short and sweet; 'Norgaard' a prime example being just over 90 seconds long. Having witnessed them live as well, its clear they are on to something and will no doubt be headlining the major festivals in years to come. This really is half an hour of pure, passionate, timeless music and the year they have been around is just the beginning of something inconceivable.
Highlights: 'Norgaard', 'Post Break-Up Sex'

#3 - England Keep My Bones - Frank Turner
I could type and type and type until I achieved infamous 'claw hand', but I'll keep it (relatively) short. This is Frank Turner's 4th studio album and he seems to be at his very best. I've been going to a hell of a lot of his gigs over the passed couple of years and witnessed utterly majestic songs; but this list of tracks seem to have him most at ease, and this is what Frank Turner is about. He has done more in the music business than anyone else, achieving over 1000 shows in 6 years and travelling to the ends of the earth to play. Pure grit. His success has not come over night, he has grafted and grafted to get to where he is and has created a soundtrack to a generation. His passionate voice ever-present in a number of songs which have him struggling for breath at the songs climax and his abilities with 'the axe' shine through in songs like 'Nights Become Days' and 'Rivers'. "At least I f*cking tried" a notable lyric of his from 'The Eulogy' is an understatement, he's come so far in active years and is sticking round for a lot longer. You MUST get to one of his gigs. Stunning every time.
Highlights: 'I Still Believe', 'I am Disappeared', 'Balthazar Impresario'

#2 - Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Oasis' split left millions devastated, but not surprised. Liam cropped up post-Oasis with his band 'Beady Eye' and were taking the business by storm. But then Noel arrived back on the scene much to the delight of many (myself included) and made Liam's work look like manure from all different kinds of animals mixed into one; impressive but poor in comparison (poor analogy but the red bull is wearing off). This album is absolutely BOSS. Not a bad song on there, not 2 songs alike and not a Liam in sight! Despite receiving mixed reviews, this is some of Noel's finest work and arguably his best since the Morning Glory days. Oasis' split was heartbreaking, but if Noel and his High Flying Birds continue to make music of this magnitude, the UK charts are in for a shock; no shit music topping the tables. Wonderful.
Highlights: 'If I Had a Gun', 'Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks', 'AKA What a Life'

#1 - Suck it and See - Arctic Monkeys
Gone are the days of Alex Turner's shyness, songs about chavs with snooker cues and general saturday nights. We are here, now, with an album so magnificent it makes 16 year old girls cry. The debate continues as to whether their first album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not is still their greatest, but modern music has changed, and this - in my opinion - could well be the finest albums of the past 20 years. This proves that guitar music still has a place in society and the Arctics' natural charm and charisma still has a place in the seemingly dystopian world of today. The accent is still there, the humour is still there and the metaphors and idioms for love still have people swooning. Men and women. Naming no names. Thing is, Arctic Monkeys always had a job on their hands to deliver and after being overly successful when they first started out, they had to keep on top of their game. They couldn't carry on with the same sounds and this album depicts their rise to the big time by not mentioning any classic reeboks or underage drinking. Instead, we're entised by the sounds of heavy similies ringing through our ears accompanied by sick drumbeats and brave string plucking. Truly fantastic album, and seeing it being played live is an honour.
Highlights: 'Don't Sit Down Cause I've Moved Your Chair', 'That's Where You're Wrong', 'The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala'

So there. I should also mention; Chase and Status - No More Idols, Ed Sheeran - +, Scroobius Pip - Distraction Pieces, Ben Howard - Every Kingdom and Elbow - Build a Rocket Boys!

No comments:

Post a Comment