Chris Mills’ Living in the Aftermath is one of those records that immediately draws you in. They’re much easier to praise than those records which take a few listens. Whereas other records take longer to love, this one will leave you lusting after it from the very first listen.
19. The Constantines – Kensington Heights
Another rocker of a record. And another one where this was my first real exposure to a band. After listening to this, I had to go back and get their earlier work. And now I see their earlier albums are great (even better than this), I still have a certain fondness for Kensington Heights, and a lot to thank it for.
18. The Hold Steady – Stay Positive
What can I say about the Hold Steady taht hasn’t already been said? By me in fact. This blog is full of countless posts about me waxing lyrical about the Hold Steady. This may not be their greatest album, but it does have some of their finest songs, and with ‘Two Handed Handshake’, the B-Side of the year!
17. Gramercy Arms – Gramercy Arms
For some reason BBC have this in the rap section on their website. That’s very very inaccurate. In fact, it’s one of the best pop albums of the year. And by pop I mean in the vein of Matthew Sweet – the kind of pop to cher you up, not bang the radio off the wall!
16. Centro-matic/South San Gabriel – Dual Hawks
Dual Hawks is one half of a fantastic album, and one half of a decent one. Because the Centro-Matic side is just so good, I don’t think I’m capable of listening to South San Gabriel. I listen to that and just think “I’m listening to the wrong disc.” So are you right now, unless you’re listening to this.
15. The Dutchess and the Duke – She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke
Forget about the dodgy spelling for a minute, this album is certified spirited gold. Initially disregarded by me, but on further listens I relaised the Dylanesque brilliance within. And I mean the 1960s folk-rock legend, not that stuffy old poet.
14. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
Bon Iver would’ve been high on this list only for that album was released in 2007. As a result, Fleet Foxes are the band I’ve installed here as the one that everyone feels they embraced pre-hype. I’m definitely of that camp, as I even have the ridiculous boxes for the coverart on my iPod. Oh and the album is glorious, by the way.
13. The Guggenheim Grotto – Happy the Man
I hate getting new albums when I’ve already made my list. Wait that’s a lie, I love it. But I always have problems fitting some of them in! That’s definitely the case with the Guggenheim Grotto. If I had have gotten this album weeks ago, it’d probably be in the top ten. A fantastic new Irish band.
12. The Mountain Goats – Heretic Pride
Yet another brilliant album from the Mountain Goats, who never seem to get the love they deserve. Released at the start of the year, so perhaps forgotten by some people already, this album is a triumph, not least the excellently-titled ‘Marduk T-Shirt Men’s Room Incident’.
11. The Tallest Man on Earth – Shallow Grave
Folk at its finest. His voice may not be to everyone’s tastes, but Johnny cash wasn’t the best singer, nor is our own Bono. So don’t let that stand in its way. This album is incredibly rewarding, and was unlucky to just miss out on my top ten. One of the best debuts of the year