Now that my Annual Xmas Album Countdown has been announced, this feels like a good time to reflect on what others have been saying.
Magazine-wise the unashamedly mainstream Q made a good choice with Arcade Fire while both Uncut and the Skinny plumped for Joanna Newsom’s latest opus, which I’m slightly ashamed to say I haven’t heard yet.
NME made a brave, surprising and very welcome choice by picking out These New Puritans and overall, their list wasn’t bad. I actually find the NME’s list to be usually pretty good, despite the guff they cover through the year and this Christmas was no different.
Of the big websites, Drowned in Sound made a very obscure choice with Emeralds and Pitchfork opted for Kanye West, a result which both baffles and fascinates me, not being a fan of the self-important jackass. But who am I to argue – muso scientists Metacritic also have his latest album sitting top of the pile for 2010.
But what of Scotland?
Well, I was privileged to take part in the second annual BAMS vote. That’s Bloggers and Music Sites to the likes of you. My top five albums post should be an obvious signpost to who I voted for – my choices didn’t win but a couple did rather well, with The National running out clear winners. Here’s the top 30 in full:
1. The National – High Violet
2. Admiral Fallow – Boots Met My Face
3. Meursault – All Creatures Will Make Merry
4. Frightened Rabbit – The Winter of Mixed Drinks
5. Kid Canaveral – Shouting at Wildlife
6. The Phantom Band – The Wants
7. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
8. The Last Battle – Heart of the Land, Soul of the Sea
9. Broken Records – Let Me Come Home
10. Bronto Skylift – The White Crow
11. Beach House – Teen Dream
12. The Fire & I – Stampede Finale
13. Sufjan Stevens – Age Of Adz
14. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
15. Best Coast – Crazy For You
16. Mitchell Museum – The Peters Port Memorial Service
17. Teenage Fanclub – Shadows
18. The Scottish Enlightenment – St Thomas
19. Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me
20. Jonsi – Go
21. RM Hubbert – First & Last
22. Errors – Come Down With Me
23. Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can
24. Sleigh Bells – Treats
25. The Boy Who Trapped The Sun – Fireplace
26. Micah P Hinson and the Pioneer Saboteurs
27. Bruce Springsteen – The Promise
28. How To Swim – Retina (Or More Fun Than A Vat Of Love)
29. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
30. Silver Columns – Yes and Dance
The National were overcome with joy and told poll compiler and Scottish blogging demi-god Peenko: “That’s great news. Thanks for the support!” Ummm. Ok.
Alongside yours truly, the other sites that took part are as follows:
Timothy London, Jock N Roll, The Daily Dose,Resound Scotland, The Steinberg Principle,Dauphin, Hercules Moments, Argos Barks, The Web Is Not A Cold Dead Place, Ed Rock, Off the Beaten Tracks, Found In Sound, Elba Sessions, Kowalskiy, Have Fun At Dinner, Ayetunes, Edinburgh Man, 17 Seconds,Scots Whay Hae, Open Till Midnight, Products of a Gaseous Brain, The Spill, Last Years Girl, Is This Music, JockRock, Dear Scotland, Manic Pop Thrills,Favourite Son, Peenko, Jim Gellatly, My Portis Wasp says, Never Make Friends, Detour, Jenny Soep, Net Sounds Unsigned, Listen Before You Buy, Song By Toad, The Daily Growl, Earz Mag, Glasgow Podcart, Rokbun, The Pop Cop, Pin Up Nights, Traffic Cone Music, Radar and Blueback Hotrod.
I hadn’t even heard of some of these sites but will be mounting a full investigation shortly – even some of the albums that figured weren’t on my radar, but that will also need to change.
Some – in fact probably most – of the sites listed above have drafted their own lists. I’ve not had a chance to look at them all but here’s a few links to those that I’ve been enjoying.
- Ayetunes’ all-Scottish extravaganza
- Peenko doesn’t just co-ordinate the BAMS, he does his own list too
- Our man in Korea, Scrawls & Bawls continues to stalk a fast-rising American indie rock band but likes some other stuff too and has also evoked the spirit of Peel with a Festive Forty where you might recognise one of the guest contributors
- High quality recommendations from broadcaster Dougie Anderson
- Vic Galloway’s 75 (!!! – count ‘em) albums of the year
- Kowalskiy was still counting down his list at the time of writing.
At the time of going to press, Last Year’s Girl hadn’t yet published her chart but if I were a betting man, I’d stick a few quid on the National figuring highly; and while Matthew from Song, By Toad dithers over his personal choices, he’s calling on readers to nominate their favourites.
On a different footing, my regular podcast contributor Slide Into My Hand has posted a Christmas special here. He’ll be talking about – and playing – his favourite tracks of the year and there’ll be tunes from Mogwai, Cee Lo Green, And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Beach Boys, These New Puritans, PJ Harvey and loads more.
Right that’s just about me. I’m about to go into hibernation with my ladies until the New Year – a period which will be sadly sullied by coming into the office. Before I pull the shutters down, here’s some festive cheer courtesy of my favourite Christmas movie of all time – Die Hard.
See you in 2011!