Here’s my list of favourite CDs of the year.
1. Day and Age the Killers
I have been a big killers fan since the Mr Brightside single on Hot Fuss. Unlike many of the reviewers I quite liked Sam’s Town especially songs like: Can you read my Mind and When we were Young. I initially got agitated about the “Are we human or are we dancer” lyric from the latest single Human – but it such an amazingly put together song – with the rest of the lyrics being so well crafted and a brilliant Pet Shop Boys feel to it that the album was a must buy for me. On first listen I was worried that there weren’t any instantly appealing songs but it has been constantly on my IPOD this week and I have come to love the entire album.
It is like a musical mystery tour through the 1980s.
Losing Touch – rips into action with a powerful bass riff and a horn section that would have fitted in nicely on Robert Palmer’s excellent and iconic 80s Rip Tide Album. The lyrics work at so many levels –
I’m in no hurry, you go run
And tell your friends I’m losing touch
Fill their heads with rumours of impending doom
It must be true..
On first listen I thought the killers had lost touch but far from it they have timetravelled back to the 80s and stolen all the best riffs and mixed them with the best of today’s production values and a postmodern wink.
You get Talking Heads meets the Lion Sleeps Tonight in I Can’t stay. And a rather large nod to ” Hold me, Thrill me, Kill me” by U2 in Neon Tiger. Its a great album get it as soon as you can – then you won’t be able to get it out of your head.
2. Viva La Vida
This has come to be be favourite Cold Play album. It has a real breadth to it – with some great uplifting stadium filling rock anthems and yet some intimate soulful numbers too.
The normal album is available for download from amazon.co.uk for only £3 or buy the cd for £6.99.
I must admit that i didn’t like the album on first listen, but it has been on my ipod playlist ever since and now it is one of my favourite albums.
Viva La Vida is a great song – with powerful lyrics and great musical innovation.
- “Life in Technicolor” – 2:29
- “Cemeteries of London” – 3:21
- “Lost!” – 3:55
- “42” – 3:57
- “Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love” – 6:51
- “Yes” – 7:06 / “Chinese Sleep Chant” (hidden song)
- “Viva la Vida” – 4:01
- “Violet Hill” – 3:42
- “Strawberry Swing” – 4:09
- “Death and All His Friends” – 6:18
3. Prospekt’s March
This is an amazing collection of songs – well worth buying – there are 4 excellent tracks that are worthy of classic status and some other nice pieces to go along with them.
1. Life in Technicolour II – fast becoming the background music of choice for TV at the moment – this version adds a whole song to sing along to it.
2 Postcard’s from faraway – a classical piano piece – very restful
3. Glass of Water – chris Martin recently said this was his favourite coldplay song
4. Rainy Day – a great funky song – piano, strings and thumping bass – this is a great song – yet another song that could have been a single.
5. Prospekt’s March / Poppy field – soulful, haunting and yet very catchy again
6. Lost + (Jay z) – ok so this is the third time we get this song in two albums – Jay Z does not really add much in my view
7. Lover’s in Japan (osaka sun remix)- I enjoyed this on the original VIVA LA VIDA – on the first few listens I am struggling to notice the differences . It feels like they just chopped off the really brilliant ending of the original.
8. Now my feet won’t touch the ground – a beautiful song – featuring Chris Martin at his most mournful with a brass band accompaniement – I know that sounds naff but it really works.
You can buy the special edition deluxe version of VIVA LA VIDA which includes PROSPEKTS MARCH for only £8.95
4. Juno (soundtrack)
incredibly simple melodies with high school quality lyrics – this is a very sweet album of catchy pop tunes. Really worth a listen – if you haven’t seen the movie – check it out on my best movies of 2008 list. This is a great album with some classic tracks and some nice new songs that you’ll find hard to get out of your head. Highly recommended. Download it for 7.99
5. ABBA Gold – OK so this is not really a 2008 album, but through the success of Mamma Mia Abba are back in the limelight. Whatever you do” don’t got wasting your devotion” on the soundtrack featuring the warblings of Pierce Brosnan and co. “Take a Chance on me” and spend your “Money, Money, Money” on this fantastic collection of hits. My kids still think that one of the songs is an ode to “Chicken Tikka”… Priceless.
6. SNOW PATROL – OK I admit I am a die hard SNOW PATROL fan. This album has not had the incredible coverage of the first two albums and the singles haven’t had the major chart success of RUN or CHOCOLATE or CHASING CARS.But they have moved on with some musical steps forward in this album. You’ll love Take back the City and If there’s a rocket.
Its available for only £3 on the amazon mp3 download site.
Accelerate (standard edition) – REM – I have been a fan of REM since 1989 and i wish i could say that hand on heart this was a great album. it’s a fairly ok album and yes probably their best work in nearly a decade -( i really liked UP) but that is not saying much anymore. The stripped down rock out feel to the album is ok – but I miss the masterpieces of Murmur the happiness of Out of Time or the broodiness of Automatic for the people, give me the absurdity of Don’t go back to rockville or the brilliance of Life’s rich Pageant or Document. Nevertheless it would be wrong of me not to put the REM album as one of the year’s best – particularly as I have put ABBA in this list! stand out tracks are: LIving well is the best revenge and Super NAtural Super Serious
ONCE – another movie soundtrack – this set of soulful songs is a great romantic gift for Christmas.