Saturday, 27 December 2014



"Adventurous, inventive, inexplicable, bizarre – and, to counter Scott Walker’s latest exploits in the world of musical impenetrability, actually accessible."

24. ROBERT PLANT – Lullaby And …The Ceaseless Roar

"He does upbeat folk (“Poor Howard”), he does rock with a good punch (“Turn It Up”), he does affecting romantic ballads (“A Stolen Kiss”)... This is the sound of taste and experience."


"James Dean Bradfield can still write a tuneful anthem in his sleep. The addition of a few friends, deplorable though it is, actually works. All nice and good. Let’s face it though: Rewind The Film had better songs."

22. THE MENZINGERS – Rented World

"On The Impossible Past unfurled like a great novel, every page equally powerful and gripping. This time it feels like a short story collection with some stories outshining the slightly weaker ones."

21. THE AFGHAN WHIGS – Do To The Beast

"I don’t believe that Greg Dulli is physically capable of writing a better collection of songs. Do To The Beast is all you could ask for, now or in 1993."

20. KING DUDE – Fear

"He does acoustic, he does electric, and everything he sings has the sort of melodic menace that was only budding on King Dude’s two previous albums. Truly, the stuff here is catchy as hell where ‘hell’ is more than just a metaphor."

19. EMA – The Future’s Void

"The Future’s Void may lack a truly signature song like “California”, but if anything – it is even more consistent than Past Life Martyred Saints, her previous album. Just as raw and creative, and a little less fucked up."

18. TOM VEK – Luck

“You’re skating on thin ice with a heavy heart”. This line starts “Pushing Your Luck”, and it just might be the perfect description of this album. Luck is edgy, claustrophobic, intelligent. It has dance beats, but they will not get you on the dance floor."

17. ROBYN HITCHCOCK – The Man Upstairs

"This is a late period Hitchcock album."

16. TIMBER TIMBRE – Hot Dreams

"This album will take you places. You won’t listen to it too often, Hot Dreams does bring on a rather bleak feeling, but every time you will play it you won’t resist its unique charms."

15. DELINES – Colfax

"There’s this engrossing, atmospheric darkness swallowing the city with only a few neon signs flashing out of the night. The effect is both lush and narcotic, and you know you’re in for a great deal of style."

14. MIREL WAGNER – When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day

“1 2 3 4, what’s underneath the floor”, it is almost too simple. These ten songs sound like nursery rhymes delivered by way of acoustic guitars, haunting vocals, dark vibes and dust. When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day is a perfect title."

13. COMET GAIN – Paperback Ghosts

"These twelve songs are about as far away from saving the world as you can get. But please note how the last words on this album go: ‘Every little nothing is some kind of something’. If anything, Paperback Ghosts is certainly that."

12. SWANS – To Be Kind

"To Be Kind will be followed in 2015 with an H-bomb explosion of intensity and desperation and running time matching that of Erik Satie’s “Vexations”. If he doesn’t do that, we should feel robbed."

11. SUN KIL MOON – Benji

"Benji is Mark Kozelek’s fifth album in less than two years. Some feat – considering that each and every one of those mines similar depths of mumbling, world-weary greatness. If he doesn’t stop now, this might go the distance."

10. WHITE LUNG – Double Fantasy

"Their albums last from 20 to 25 minutes (which is a brilliant concept, I would certainly encourage many bands to do the same) and contain songs of such power, sheen and intensity that you will wonder what everyone else is up to."


"Really, there’s no way a band featuring A.C. Newman, Neko Case and Dan Bejar can release a less-than-great album. And that’s my only complaint: Brill Bruisers is just that, another great New Pornographers album. Wish I could say that about a few other bands."

8. MORRISSEY – World Peace Is None Of Your Business

"Let’s get it straight: World Peace Is None Of Your Business is a ridiculous title. It’s so ridiculous it verges on embarrassing. However, when Morrissey does it, it’s all right."

7. THEE SILVER MT. ZION MEMORIAL ORCHESTRA – Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything

"But a little kid says ‘we make a lot of noise because we love each other’, and all my concerns are swept aside by the wall of sound that is both monstrous and absolutely majestic."

6. MARIANNE FAITHFULL – Give My Love To London

"Over the course of these exceptional 11 songs Marianne barely puts one foot wrong. The songs are excellent and while her voice is on a clear Dylanesque trajectory (she does sound a lot like him on the title track), the performances are stylish and affecting." 

5. GALLON DRUNK – The Soul Of The Hour

"The Soul Of The Hour won me over in its opening 10 or 15 seconds of rollicking piano notes. This album is tight, gripping, positively overwhelming."

4. LEONARD COHEN – Popular Problems

"Leonard Cohen is where you can say ‘deep’ without sounding silly or pretentious. It’s 40 minutes of therapy by way of understatement, introspection, effective arrangements and female backup vocals."

3. COLD SPECKS – Neuroplasticity

"This is sensational. “A Broken Memory” is sensational. Gutsy, charismatic, soulful music with rasping horn giving it a sizeable John Coltrane-esque edge."

2. JOHN MOORE – Floral Tributes

"So essentially Floral Tributes is a perfect companion to Lo-Fi Lullabies. Its playfulness is jazzy and obvious, but it isn’t sober and is, quite possibly, totally delusional. As for the actual songs, they are just as good as the ones that made up Lullabies."

1. JOHN MOORE – Lo-Fi Lullabies

"The songs that make up Lo-Fi Lullabies were written in dismal, crisis-fuelled mid-90s, prior to Black Box Recorder. The sound and the vibe wouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar with John’s music. It’s elegant and stripped-down and it never gets monotonous because of the sheer quality of songwriting."


  1. Interesting list. Maybe the best I've seen so far. Gallon Drunk are BRILLIANT. But what's with John Moore (no disrespect, I don't even know the guy) getting both of your top spots?

    1. Cheers, Andy. John Moore used to be in Jesus & Mary Chain and Black Box Recorder, so you've no excuse really.
      As for my top spots - those are two separate albums, both better than anything I've heard all year.
      Also, who cares for objectivity.