Albums of the year

This is always one of my highlights of the year.

Making the big choice.

And this year was full of rich pickings.

Q said Arcade Fire was numero uno and I am inclined to agree.

Mojo said Radiohead, I can’t comment. I didn’t download it for free.

The Observer went for The Good, The Bad and The Queen. Now, despite my utmost admiration for Damon Alborn I have to say, I didn’t like that at all. Strange choice.

My top ten goes like this.

Neon Bible by Arcade Fire


Wow. They came back bigger (much bigger) and better than before. Although I wasn’t at either Glastonbury or T in the Park I saw both on TV and on each occassion they were the best live band. My biggest disapointment, musically, of the year was having to turn down tickets to see them at the SECC.

Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss

This year’s out of the blue. One off classic. Like The Ballad of The Broken Seas last year by Isabel Campbell and Mark Lanegan. There’s no reasons why albums like this exist but they do, so just take it while it’s going.

I reviewed it on the 60 Watt blog here.


I wish I could have loved you more by Candie Payne

Saw her live and it was my favourite gig of the year. Totally overlooked by the media, this may be my favourite album of the year. A modern day take on wjhat dusty Springfield might have done if she’d been starting out now. I reviewedit  in more depth here.  And there’s a video too!


Shine by Joni Mitchell

From the first chord to the last, a masterpiece. reviewed earlier in the year on my blog here.


Favourite Worst Nightmare by Arctic Monkeys

Great Rock n Roll. just great. Easily surpasses their first great album. But it’s not cool to like a second album is it. Well, that’s what the music press seem to think. Reviewed here.


Boys and Girls in America by The Hold Steady

No holds barred R and R that blew me away when I first saw them on Jools. Chips Ahoy is a masterpiece. Reviewed here.


The Reminder by Fiest

Soft jazzy stuff reviewed here.  Is Canada the hottest place on the planet just now?  I’d say so.


This is the Life by Amy McDonald

I presumed this was a teen angst set. It’s not it’s great folk rock album.


A Lily for the Spectre by Stephanie Dosen

Beautiful and quiet singer songwriter stuff reviewed here.


Kala by MIA

The best world music album I heard last year. It’s a hip hop travelogue with a heavy third world political doctrine behind it. Much of it is great fun.  This was my review and there’s a video too.


and on heavy rotation but either not released this year or just not quite top ten material were…

Cansei De Ser Sexy by CSS

Very naughty Brazilian rocky, poppy dance music, compared in some quarters (but not this one) to the rather overrated Klaxons.


Four on the Floor by Juliette and the Licks

Totally written off as crap and uncool and yet this is a vicious, hard working and actually, great Rock and Roll album.


Ma Fleur by Cinematic Orchestra

Lush orchestral jazz, that’s beautiful but one of the guest singers sounds too like Chris Martin for my liking.  Reviewed here.


Thirst for romance by Cherry Ghost

Three great songs, but although a good album it turned out to be my disappointment of the year because, for me, the est ddn’t live up to the promise of the singles. Still really good, personal singer songwriter stuff with a heavy dose of arrangements thrown in.


Made of bricks by Kate Nash.

No need to comment. You’ll love her or hate her. Foundations was a single of the year (probably my No 2 after Grace Kelly). The album is every bit as good as her arch rival’s – and another whom the media love to hate, just ‘cos she’s famous, Lily Allen – actually it’s probably better.


Re-release of the year was, no question…

Collosal Youth by Young Marble Giants.

Sublime.  Reviewed here (and a video)


And actually, compiling my tracks of the year is harder to do than albums. I’ve made up my usual compilation CD and anyone who wants a copy is welcome to it. Just ask.

For the first time ever I found it a major challenge to limit it to 19 tracks. No Norah Jones, despite one excellent song on her 2007 release. Mika had to be in, despite being desperately uncool.

Smash and grab – Juliette and the licks
People help the people – Cherry ghost
One week last summer – Joni mitchell
No Cars go – The Arcade Fire
Why should I settle for you – Candi Payne
Chips Ahoy- The Hold Steady
Brandy alexander – Feist
Grace Kelly – Mika
Crual Storm – Espers (A KF reccomendation)
15 – Rilo Kiley
505- Arctic Monkeys
Alala – CSS
Only getting better – Stephanie Dosen
Ma Fleur – The Cinematic Orchestra
Dickhead – Kate Nash
Gone Gone Gone – Plant and Krauss
Mr Rock n Roll – Amy McDonald
Missing my Son – Tom Waits

25 thoughts on “Albums of the year

  1. Pingback: My 2007 Albums of the year « Think Hard

  2. …and my last for that matter!!! I’m embarrassed to admit I have heard soooo few these albums – like Hilary I want to be in the loop.


  3. Mark, it’s all there except Burial (Untrue), Ballboy (The Royal Theatre), Lucinda Williams (West), Unkle (War Stories), The View (The View), Loretta Lynn (Van Lear Rose), Immaculate Machine (Fables), Tinariwen (Aman Iman), Malcolm Middleton (A Brighter Beat), Neil Young (Chrome Dreams II), The White Stripes (Icky Thump), Battles (Mirrored), Konono No. 1 (Congotronics), laura Cantrell (Humming by the Flowered Vine), Neko Case (Fox Confessor Brings The Flood)
    3 single stand out:
    Ben Watt & Estelle (Pop a cap in your ass)
    Malcolm Middleton (A brighter beat)
    Ballboy (We Are Past Our Dancing Days)

    Tuck in…

    Yours aye. Jimbo


  4. Can’t stand that Arcade Fire album meself – it’s like Echo & The Bunnymen meets Bruce Springsteen. ‘Funeral’ was miles better. Have to agree on The Artic Monkeys, though – brilliant album, better than their first.
    Also second Malcolm Middleton’s ‘A Brighter Beat’, The View’s ‘Hats Off To The Busker’ and White Stripes’ ‘Icky Thump’
    ‘Tromatic Reflexxions’ by Von Sudenfed should definetely be there as well as ‘Ballad Of The Books’ and ‘Hey Venus!’ by Super Furry Animals.
    I must say I was disappointed in Girls Aloud this year. Last year’s ‘Chemistry’ was one of my faves.

    Well, you did ask.


  5. I did indeed. A lot of people I know prefer funeral. Not me though.

    I saw the view (are on fire -I wish the were) at Barrowlands with my Daughter, Amy during the summer and they were pitifully bad.

    White Stripes just bore me now I’m afraid.

    Love the Furrys, Don’t know Von Sudenfed and I haven’t heard a lot of Malcolm Middletonn (was he in J&MC?)


  6. This is like finding yousrelf at the SECC and finding yourself in the conference room on nuclear physics and you’re meant to be at the soft toy exhibition.
    I am sooooo square.


  7. another strong list from Gorman…eclectic as ever…my thoughts:

    Arcade Fire: excellent record but didn’t make my top 5 as there’s something i can’t quite put my finger on about it which stops me REALLY loving it. they were braw at glastonbury. no cars go is the best song on it by a country mile…

    plant and krauss: i like this. i really like this. but i got a bit bored of it quite quickly. it’s good though, right enough.

    joni: it’s a mellow goodie…would have made my top 15 for the year…but not my top 5.

    arctic monkeys: i have not engaged

    hold steady: my album of the year. unbelievably good. i have bored anyone who will listen about this record all year. their previous ‘separation sunday’ is even better btw…

    feist: like this. listened to it a lot in the car but the way it jumps around a lot between musical styles annoyed me after a while. some great tracks on it though…

    amy macdonald: what are you? 12?

    stephanie dosen: great album. will feature on my tracks of the year (same track as you…awww). she totally loves the cocteau twins and the sundays does she not?

    MIA: i have not engaged

    CSS: quite like this. but not that much. couple of great tracks.

    juliette and the licks: i have not engaged

    cinematic orchestra: again, one of my top 5. a real beauty. atmospheric, emotional and a wee bit spooky.

    cherry ghost: i have not engaged (but this is on my mate ken’s list also so i’ll need to check it out).

    kate nash: see amy macdonald

    YMGs: this record means a lot to you so i won’t go on about how it reminds me of donkey jackets, cherry-red dm’s, cnd benefit gigs and pretentious student twats from the early eighties…oops!

    i look forward to being educated on those i’ve not heard, however…

    my 6 year old daughter still listens to your compilation from last year, believe it or not, so you have your admirers…


  8. Amy Macdonald is for 12 year olds.

    What a ridiculous and frankly ignorant statement!.

    How many 12 year olds do you know that are into folk rock?

    And I don’t think 12 year olds have a great deal of a fix on dickhead boyfriends/ cracked relationships in quite the way that Kate Nash has.

    Otherwise your comments are of a reasonable standard.

    Even if you don’t use initial caps. Is that a trendy WordPress thing/affectation?


  9. Good list Mark….high on the misery count as usual!

    The Robert Plant / Alison Krauss album is probably one of only 2 or 3 albums this year that I regularly played from start to finish – and still do.
    Everything I knew in advance about the Springsteen album made me believe I wouldn’t like it, but I was wrong. A fantastic album (even if Clarence Clemons still only knows one sax solo) and I’m off to see Broooce and the E Street Band at the O2 tonight.
    Still struggling to get my head around Arcade Fire, but I believe a live show would sort out my doubts. Juliette and The Licks didn’t do it for me, but Amy MacDonald and Feist should find their way into our home soon. Look out for Duffy early in the New Year, and check out the new album from Danny and The Champions of The World

    So, with the failure to find 10 albums that stayed with me, here’s a list of favourite tracks from the year…and they’re all over the place as usual!

    Rufus Wainwright – Slideshow
    Robert Plant / Alison Krauss – Please Send The Letter
    Mika – Grace Kelly
    Kate Nash – Foundations
    Cherry Ghost – Thirst For Romance
    Yerba Buena – Billingual Girl
    Kaiser Chiefs – Ruby
    Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescent
    Bruce Springsteen – Radio Nowhere
    Mark Ronson featuring Lily Allen – Oh My God
    The Eagles – How Long
    Foo Fighters – Band On The Run
    6 Day Riot – I Know What You’re Like
    The Fray – Over My Head
    Pink Martini – Tempo Perdido
    Brooks & Dunn – Tequila


  10. 1.Smash and grab – Juliette and the licks
    2.People help the people – Cherry ghost
    3.One week last summer – Joni mitchell
    4.No Cars go – The Arcade Fire
    5.Why should I settle for you – Candi Payne
    6.Chips Ahoy- The Hold Steady
    7.Brandy alexander – Feist
    8.Grace Kelly – Mika
    9.Crual Storm – Espers (A KF reccomendation)
    10.15 – Rilo Kiley
    11.505- Arctic Monkeys
    12.Alala – CSS
    13.Only getting better – Stephanie Dosen
    14.Ma Fleur – The Cinematic Orchestra
    15.Dickhead – Kate Nash
    16.Gone Gone Gone – Plant and Krauss
    17.Paper Planes – M.I.A.
    18.Mr Rock n Roll – Amy McDonald
    19.Missing my Son – Tom Waits

    Well Mark – 2 days (well, 6 car trips) and here’s my thoughts on yer n-n-n-n-n-nineteen tracks. You went to the trouble of burning so it’s the least I can offer.

    Mixed bag – but that’s a good thing. My ear wouldn’t have been tuned in to half of this.

    I’ll warn you now – when reviewing, I’m bad for making comparisons on musical and vocal performance with other musical and vocal performances. Cannae help it.

    Track 1: Rockin! Real deal vocal performance bettering that trout from Hole or the L7 chick. The band sounds very Appetite-era G N’ R.

    Track 2: Tune sounds like Coldplay/Embrace sang by Michael Stipe. May need a few listens but at the moment it’s a “take it or leave it”.

    Track 3: The better and more upbeat of the two instrumentals. Sorta Jazz Café – could be on the soundtrack to Elmore Leonard’s “Out of Sight”.

    Track 4: Enough superlatives already for them. As epic a musical landscape as 80s U2/Springsteen.

    Track 5: Immediate first notes are like The Godfather tune. Then it goes Lily Allen over Portishead. Good.

    Track 6: Very Good. Indie teen-rock at the speed of that early 90s student-fave China Drum (who did a classic cover of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights). The singer has the deep-throat (how did I get that in there?) of the Crash Test Dummies singer but with this band he’s more Counting Crows.

    Track 7: A quality Norah Jones-esque number but we did laugh at how topical it was “That Wendy Alexander always gets me into trouble”. lol

    Track 8: Not my fave but has to be track of the year. Showing that twat from The Darkness how to hit it. He couldn’t out-Freddie Freddie but he could out-Robbie Robbie.

    Track 9: Female Radiohead. Too Sinead O’Connor for me.

    Track 10: Brilliant. Sheryl Crow/Young Dolly P. Like it was written for a Tarantino soundtrack.

    Track 11: Arctics? – It’s all been said. A less acerbic monkey lyric and a much matured sound this time around. Second album? No probs. The new Who.

    Track 12: I love this. An ode to the Islamic deity. Very much akin to Bodyrox and Luciana’s two big hits or Fedde Le Grand’s “Put your hands up for Detroit (Our lovely city)” – (nicked by the Liverpool fans – “Put your hands up for Dirk Kuyt (he loves this city)”
    The missus thinks the girl sings “could you buy me chicken nuggets” but I reckon it’s “cos you want but you can’t have it”

    Track 13: The Cranberries cover Radiohead’s “High & Dry” or the Corrs cover Coldplay’s “Yellow”. Something like that.

    Track 14: Good mood music. More restaurant than elevator. Could go in an early Scorsese NY movie – King of Comedy or Taxi Driver.

    Track 15: Primitive but funny – shows her slightly-younger-than-Lily-Allen age. Less exposed to the adult world than Allen obviously was by that age. She’s very talented though.

    Track 16: Amazing! Unexpected! Loved it. Best track on your best-of that I hadn’t heard before. He goes slightly rockabilly and sounds like…..I dunno….Elvis/Buddy Holly. I cannae place it but it works.

    Track 17: A great Clash sample. The original always moves me. This track – Neneh Cherry on a ragga tip. She’s a bit special.

    Track 18:This year’s KT Tunstall but better. More Kirsty MacColl. Catchy but file under “coffee table”.

    Track 19: Ha – that is a great tale that I won’t try and repeat. I couldn’t serve it that kinda justice. He’s amazing. Bet you’d love to get him voiceover one of yer adverts. An American Joss Ackland who’s sucked too many liquorice imps and smoked too many Café Crèmes.

    Quality collection. Isn’t it refreshingly cool to find a businessman in his mid-forties not stuck in a time-warp listening non-stop to his vinyl collection of The Jam?

    One criminal omission from your albums of the year list is Finding Forever by Common. Consider it burned. The samples, the tunes, the choruses, the slick production, the spoken rhyme. The non-misogynist-gun totting-crack dealing rapping brings hip hop back from the dead. M.I.A. don’t come close.


  11. Nothing if not considered r M. Thanks for the kind comments. Never heard Common but the critics love him/them son looking forward to it.

    I particularly liked your withering dismissal of Espers. A great album actually.


Come on folks. Don't just sit there gawping. Say something. Get involved.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s