DisappointmentsBut firstly, disappointments of the year. And I know this section will annoy some people...
Steve Hogarth / Richard Barbieri - Not the weapon but the hand
I love the music, but found the lyrics a bit off. It's grown on me, so I haven't given up hope. And yes, Neil's labelling of this as 'HairyBaby' has stuck.
Anathema - Weather Systems
I wasn't in love with the previous album, and this one is a natural progression from it. So if you loved the last one, this one is even better. Except for me! Personally, their highlight is still A Natural Disaster. I just find WS very samey and lacking balls. Subject matter also grates with me.
North Atlantic Oscillation - Fog Electric
I loved their first album, bloody marvellous. This one lacked the vibrancy and quirky charm of the first one. Oh well....
Squackett - A Life Within a Day
The theory was great, Chris Squire and Steve Hackett record an album. Sadly the product didn't live up to the expectation, it came across as a 2nd rate Hackett album. I spun it few times and yet cannot recall anything from it.
The xx - coexist
Loved the first one. Brilliant stuff, delicate, quiet, breathy, and different. The sophomore effort doesn't challenge the first one, it follows the same structure, but came across to me as too derivative. There's a couple of great tracks on it, so all is not lost !! Bring on the third...
Those I cut before from the Top10
Leonard Cohen - Old Times. It's a piece of lovely Cohen, he's got no right sounding this good. Really. I loved it.
Peter Hammill - Consequences. I wanted this in the top10, I really did. It's such a fascinating absorbing album. But went for TAAB2 instead.
The Eastern - Hope and Wire Double album of Christchurch alt-country goodness. This may yet sneak into the top10, possibly at the expense of Marillion....
Admiral Fallow - Tree Bursts in Snow Quirky Scottish pop. Love it. And one of the best gigs of the year (Leicester) for me, and (yayayayay) I get to see them in Scotland next week....
Jack White - Blunderbuss I'm not a big White Stripes fan, but this was interesting fun rock.
Rush - Clockwork Angels Ooohhh something addictive, and was a contender for the top10, but was reasonably easy to cut - the last 3-4 tracks on the album are up there with the best Rush have every released.
Pineapple Thief - All the wars It reminds me of Manic Street Preachers, it's very good indie-rock, but on album it does seem to lack some passion? Is that just me? I dunno, live - they were brilliant and the songs came alive something fierce.
And sometime in the next few days, the top10.