Friday, 30 December 2011

A Year in Music - Best of 2011

I don't think it has been a classic year but at least with all these have been released in 2011 so I guess for once the title isn't too far off. So here are my best what are yours?

Just missing out - John Foxx with a gloriously 80s sounding comeback lp, the wonderfully named Brad Pitt Orchestra, Elbow rising to the challenge of probably the first lp that was expected to sell and Shirley Lee's (of Spearmint) wildly ambitious Spring Summer Autumn Winter.

10 - Ed Sheeran +

yes I know he is everywhere and all that , I sleep on coaches , I've toured for ages , I've written millions of songs has got a bit tiresome, but ignore the hype that is a low key lp full of warmth, clever lyrics and subtle tunes

9 - Diamond Mine - King Creosote and Jon Hopkins

A concept lp of sorts about life in a Scottish fishing village, songs by the marmite vocals of King Creosote and field work from Jon Hopkins creates a lp of mood to get lost in. Only complaint is that it is too short and sweet

8 - Into the Murky Water - The Leisure Society

A step away from the folk towards the pop and arrangements that would fit nicely on a Prefab Sprout lp - an lp that gets better with each listen

7 - 50 Words for Snow - Kate Bush

2 lps in a year (even if one is reworkings) blimey Kate is getting prolific! In isolation the songs are okay but put hem together and the whole lp is a triumph of emotion and mood. Mainly built around voice and piano some of the guest appearances can jar but that is a minor quibble

6 - Last Night on Earth - Noah and the Whale

Insanely catchy , the spirit of 80s FM music crossed with a bit of Lou Reed Transformer and only an echo of they nu folk past.  Each track could be a single.

5 - Under the Dark Cloth - Duke Spirit

Not everyone's cup of tea, the Duke ploughs his own furrow . Here are orchestral songs inspired by photographs in the New York Metropolitan Museum. "I love you yes I do" this aint

4 - Helping Hands - Butcher Boy

Richer in sound , more inventive in structure , each lp they make gets better and better

3 - Coldest Winter for 100 Years - Wild Swans

Return of 80s could have been contenders with a real state of nation address . By far the best thing they've done and probably surprise of the year for me

2 - A Different Kind of Fix - The Bombay Bicycle Club

A move away form their acoustic lp of last year Flaws, there a great influx of styles and imagination whilst sticking to the guitar Bass drums  indie feel. I think they are going to be around for a long time yet

1 - Boots Met My Face - Admiral Fallow

Elbow meets Mumford and Sons meets Deacon Blue - should be an unholy mess but somehow works - played it to death when it first came out

So that is it for 2011 - let me know what I've missed

You can find a compilation of the above here - it is only going to be up for a couple of weeks.


  1. Wow you are good! I won't probably be able to address this for another 2 months or so, but you do have 2, possibly 3 on their I have under consideration. My list will be full of Post Punk Heros made good this year - that's my teaser...
    Happy New Year!!

  2. cheers Echo - let me know when you have your top 10

  3. Right about now you're thinking that you've got a stalker.
    It seems that we are wearing the same trousers... alright, you did put me onto Admiral Fallow (many thanks) and Butcher Boy (ho hum) but the rest I found by myself, honest.
    What colour boxers are you wearing this morning?

  4. A fine list
    We overlap on 3 choices
    My bubbling under choices are
    John Foxx and the Maths - Interplay ( best album since 'In mysterious ways')
    Zoey Van Goey - Propeller versus wings
    Brent Cash - How strange it seems
    The Rosebuds - Loud planes fly low
    Acid House Kings - Music sounds better with you
    Tahiti 80 - The past the present and the possible
    Glen Campbell - Ghost on the canvas
    Shirley Lee - Winter autumn summer spring ( can't help but feel it would have been better as a single album)
    Jonny - S/T
    The Wild Swans - The coldest winter for 100 years
    and the ones that made my top 10
    10 Wise Children - The Woods ( available as a free download from their site)
    9 The Son(s) - S/T
    8 Aidan Moffat and Bill Wells - Everything's getting older
    7 The Guillemots - Walk the river
    6 Wide Sea - A place called home
    5 Admiral Fallow - Boots met my face
    4 The Wild Beasts - Smother
    3 The Sand Band - All through the night
    2 The Leisure Society - Into the murky water
    1 Butcher Boy - Helping hands
    and here ends the voting for the Israeli jury!
    Happy New Year

  5. Hi Phil

    The Wild Beasts I really like but came to it quite late and I thikn it is a grower (reminds me of Colour of Spring era Talk Talk)I was a bit disappointed with the Guillemots one - maybe need to give it more of a chance - The Aidan Moffat one has appeared on a few best of lists so need to check it out , in fact I'll be giving a listen to all the ones you've mentioned


Leave a comment and let me know what you are listening to.