For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be an obsessive/compulsive list writer.
I’ve named an album of the year since ’91 (Nevermind since you asked), wrote a list since ’96, and been hassling friends with an annual email since ’01.
I posted it online for the first time last year through my short-lived Livejournal page, so this year is the first time my annual pontification has been branded under the Tidal Wave of Indifference.
So here we go… it’s the annual Christmas album countdown.
25. Avi Buffalo
Country grunge? Yes please! The precociously-talented Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg lit up 2010 with his debut album, sounding Like Gram Parsons if he was brought up on a diet of Dinosaur Jr. Scratchy guitar + lovely melodies = A No Brainer.
24. Frightened Rabbit
In truth, this could almost have gone in the ‘disappointment’ file. Compared to the Midnight Organ Fight this was over-produced and overall the songs – particularly two of the singles – were much weaker. BUT… comparing any modern Scottish indie album the Midnight Organ Fight is going to be thankless task given the benchmark standard it set in 2008. This IS a good album, if not necessarily a great one and it saw the Frabbits hop into the big league with the ink barely dry on a new contract with Atlantic. My original, rather excitable, review – the first on the Tidal Wave of Indifference – can be found here.
23. Wintersleep – New Inheritors
I’ve been aware of these Canadians for a long time but this was the first time I’d bothered to get hold of an album. I’m rather glad I did. This is punchy, dark-tinged classic indie rock and could easily be called the album that Interpol should have made this year.
22. Underworld – Barking
Yes, I’m as surprised as you are. They’ve been distinctly average for the last ten years despite having numerous classic tunes up their sleeve. With Barking they broke their ‘just one decent song per album’ rule and came up with a succinct mix of out-and-out bangers like Always Loved a Film and subtler electronica like Moon in Water. Easily their best work in years.
Or, the moment where Meursault became a national concern. No longer just Neil Pennycook’s bedroom project, this won’t be the only Best of 2010 list that Meursault will feature on, with Amazon already talking it up. Rightly so – it’s lovely stuff and Weather is one of the songs of the year.