In keeping with the xmas season being upon us and the end of 2011 draws near I've decided a good post would be my top 5 albums of the year.
So here we go:
1. Bjork - Biophilia
Anyone who knows me well, knows I'm a big bjork fan and have been for a long time. Her latest album is available as an LP but also as an iOS app.
The iOS app allows you to restructure the music through a manner of different mechanisms, and I feel brings a truly interactive experience to the sound. The LP as you'd imagine is just a straightforward album.
The album itself reminds me of a previous album by her entitled homogenic. It makes ever present her interest in music technology and pushing what can be done in a variety of different ways.
Standout tracks for me have to be crystalline, a beautiful plinky track, breaking into a breakcore esque finish, and virus, another fantastic plinky track.
2. Gil Scot Heron and Jamie XX - We're new here
Gil Scott Heron had come back with a fantastic album in the last couple of years, but unfortunately his passing this year will mean we will hear no more from this fantastic, free thinking spoken word artist.
However his last installment "I'm new here" was beautifully re-jigged by Jamie XX into a spacious and uplifting album.
Stand out songs for me have to be 'running' which uses Gil's fantastic vocals alongside a Jamie XX backing track to invoke a true gut feeling from the song, and 'Ill take care of u' again blending the vocals with a fantastically chilled beat and a spine tingling guitar sample.
3. You love her coz she's dead - you love her coz she's dead
I've actually already written a review of this album, which you can read here
4. the Junk - Problem.Reaction.Solution
Hailing from Brighton, these guys have got a talent for ska punk that shouldn't be ignored. I was introduced to the junk at Boomtown festival in 2010, and download their EP. I've been eagerly awaiting an album and wasn't dissapointed, with only one song being repeated on both EP and first album.
the Junk come with hard hitting lyrics, and balance out all the sounds in the calamity of noise beautifully, easily one of my most sing alongable albums in the car (not that I ever sing in the car obviously).
Stand out songs for me are rise and shine, which balance a bit of scream with some classic ska punk sound and scream your dreams with shows some real anger and makes some good points in the lyrics. This band have a real brit grit feel to them, reminding me a little of citizen fish, a highly recomended album.
5. Machine head - enter the locust
Having had some fantastic albums, and some slightly shit albums in the past, over the last 2 albums machine head have had a return to form over the last couple, in addition to this I fucking love machine head. End of.
What you'd expect, teenage turning to middle age angst, shouty lyrics, grinding riffs, a couple of solos, long tracks, a fuck you attitude and a curious inclusion of a childrens choir, which would be my main downfall for this album..... Overall however, pretty fucking awesome. If you dont like machine head you probably wont like this, if you like machine head but haven't heard this then listen to it, if you like machine and have heard this, you'll know what I'm talking about.
Other releases that didnt quite make it into my top 5
Raging Fyah - Judgement day - Some great new roots reggae from Kingston Jamaica
Ruby my dear - The Gingko EP - French breakcore mentality taking his name from a thelonious monk apparently
The correspondents - What happened to soho? - Another installment from london based kings of electro swing and festival favourites. Really hoping for an album soon!