Quite possibly, my favourite album of 2007. Ignorance only pidgeon holes Justin as the sideburn wearing leadman of Del Amitri but that would be neglecting what a great songwriter he is, what underated vocals he has and what an outstanding twisted lyricist the man is. Few write better lyrics, especially about his take on love, life and relationships.
Super Furry Animals – Hey Venus!
So ironic that get experimental whilst with Sony and now, at Rough Trade, they provide their most melodic album since Radiator. I love SFA, I love this album.
Athlete – Beyond The Neighbourhood
Glorious album, brilliant song and one which should have caused a massive public stir for them but it’s largely failed to do that. Those who have heard it will know how great it is musically, those who haven’t are missing a gem.
Manic Street Preachers – Send in the Tigers
Far from their greatest but undoubtedly their best for a very long time. Stripped down, rocked up, great tunes. What the Manics do best.
Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sink
Johnny Marr or gee-tar and a fantastic album of great sounds and songs. Massive hit in US, even though it’s hardly AOR or MOR fayre, but another that slipped under the radar in UK.
Air Traffic – Fractured
Whoever thought Bournemouth would spawn a promising indie band but Air Traffic have a highly listenable album and can only get better ... I hope. Well worth checking out if you've not yet heard them.
Lemonheads – The Lemonheads
I love Evan Dando’s country drawl, I love his jangly guitars and I love his continual slices of fantastic 3 minute or less pop rock songs. Resurrecting the Lemonheads name, this album didn’t disappoint in the slightest and stands comparison with his early work. To top it all, a suitably brilliant and typically disorganised Cardiff gig too where he played song after song with no apparent running order.
Silversun Pickups – Canavaras
Fantastic layered Californian melodic rocking. Only too sorry I missed their gig in Cardiff this year but can't wait for their next release.
Foo Fighters – Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
Dave Grohl and the Foos always do what is says on the tin, they seem to be the House Band for Rocking The UK and know they’ve hit on a winning formula. Another brilliant listen of an album and a Foo-kin' outstanding gig in Cardiff in October to boot.
Muse – Black Holes and Revelations
Have to confess I couldn't get into them for a long time even though I own their early material but I've got to love them over the past year or two. Thoroughly enjoyed their latest offering.
Datarock – Datarock
And now for something completely different. A strange album with twists and turns of style in each song from Norwegian robot-rockers who put the dance into indie
Hull funsters who show the Kaiser Chiefs how much they've lost their way and what a one-trick pony they were so now wear their crown.
Don't think I'll ever rave about them but this is a pretty decent listen that's had plenty of airings in my ears.
A take it or leave it artist for me but his latest offering is one I've enjoyed more than most. Good work.
The "You're shit and you know you are"
WHITE STRIPES - ICKY THUMP
As much as I love Jack's musicality and adore the title track, you get the feeling the wheels are coming off. If it is, it won't be the end of Jack and there's a great legacy in their material.
From Leeds and could be in decline quicker than United. Their last single was called Everything Is Average Nowadays ... everything except Kaiser Chiefs that is, they've now shit.
THE HOOSIERS - The Trick to Life
Sparks ... ahem ... without The Sparks. Two catchy singles but an album of mostly dirge.
HARD-FI - Once Upon A Time In The West
The Clash wannabees had a Mick Jones-eque first single in Suburban Knights but they failed to deliever on their second album overall.
MY GIG OF THE YEAR
DEVO at Shepherd's Bush Empire in June. Got back from honeymoon, unpacked then charged up to London to see Mark, Jerry, Bob 1 & 2 looking portly but as tight as ever to send the boiler suited, flower hatted, stocking faced packed Empire into singing and dancing heaven. Those boys know how to perform and put on a show and the 17 year wait to see them back here saw us fully rewarded. A night I will never forget and still smile fondly at the memory of. What a group!
HAPPY NEW YEAR MUSOS!