New Year part 1 – Last Year

Well, it comes as no surprise to me that this hasn’t been the most frequently updated blog that you can find. Should anyone be reading this – it appears at least one person has – then I’ll do my best to update more frequently.

For me at least, 2005 was an absolutely cracking year for music. Elsewhere on the internet where I waste far too much time I contributed to a list of Year-end Top 10 lists and for the sake of, well, space-filling I’ll reproduce the list here.

10. Duke Special – Adventures In Gramophone
A great little indie record that has some excellent nods to music hall and is sufficiently different from the whining-young-man formula.

9. Damien Jurado – On My Way To Absence
A bit of a surprise this one. It came about partly through my increasing love affair with Secretly Canadian records and a review sticker by one of the staff in my local music emporium. Fragile without being too flimsy and with some deft little musical tricks, the closing minute of ‘Big Decision’ is one of my musical moments of the year.

8. Fiona Apple – Extraordinary Machine
This one is shaping up to become a firm favourite so I’ve pushed something else out of the ten to make way for it. Instantly captures your attention and a decent progression from the first two albums.

7. Pernice Brothers – Discover A Lovlier You
If nothing else, the song ‘Saddest Quo’ puts this record in the top ten. If you like Teenage Fanclub and don’t have this yet then you can add it to your list. Wonderful harmonies and decent songwriting.

6. Richard Swift – The Novelist / Walking Without Effort
Comprising some bits that were released in the past, but balls to that, this one was another slight surprise. His voice is slightly ragged, and lived in combined with some Wainwright-esque flourishes on the musical side of things.

5. Teddy Thompson – Separate Ways
A soulful, Sexsmith-esque vocal with very sharp indie songwriting. A fairly full production that is bolstered with Wainwrights dropping it at various points. It certainly shits all over Sexsmith’s record with Don Kerr. Great stuff.

4. Supergrass – Road To Rouen
Still delivering the goods. Another fantastic record.

3. Elbow – Leaders Of The Free World
I always thought there was a tiny bit missing from previous Elbow records, which I really liked but never loved. Not sure what it was but they’ve found it with this one. Really strong songwriting throughout and on ‘Great Expectations’ some of the most endearing lyrics I’ve heard in yonks.

2. Magnolia Electric Co – What Comes After The Blues
Gruff, laid-back and picking up from where Songs:Ohia left off, this album was a delight. I wasn’t too bothered at first, but after picking it up second hand soon after its release it’s become a firm favourite. Could well have been my number one had this bloke not had a new one out…

1. Josh Rouse – Nashville
This has overtaken ‘1972’ as my favourite Rouse record now, after many, many plays. It’s still a sheer delight and ‘Sad Eyes’ will be on compilations I make for as long as I have my sanity.

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