So here are my top albums of 2011;
5. Example – Playing in the Shadows.
I liked this album before I went to see Example earlier this month, but personally I think that seeing the act live can make or break it. Luckily for Example seeing him live made me want to listen to the album over and over again, to the point that it is quite possibly permanently jammed into my car stereo.
My Top Tracks – Stay Awake, Never Had a Day, Midnight Run.
4. The Streets – Computers and Blues
Computers and Blues is the fifth and sadly the last ever Streets record. As I have said a few times before, a lot of people will say that they haven’t made a good album since ‘A Grand Don’t Come For Free’. I will agree that ‘The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living’ wasn’t their best work, but they were
in a transitional period. The latest two albums, including ‘Computers and Blues’ have had a different feel, slower dulcet songs with equally as poignant lyrics, just not as much about taking drugs and more about the philosophical side to life. I think Mike just grew up a bit. C&B has a lot of catchy songs, stretching from very guitar heavy to the return of garage. It’s a grower and takes a few listens, but it is well worth it.
My Top Tracks – OMG, We Can Never Be Friends.
3. You Me At Six – Sinners Never Sleep
You Me At Six never fail to disappoint do they. Sinners Never Sleep differs slightly from the previous YM@6 albums. The opening track ‘Loverboy’ is very much in the vein of their previous work, catchy chorus and lyrics that are essentially about sleeping with girls. That basically sums up YM@6’s first two albums. The rest of Sinners Never Sleep takes you through melodic slow rock ballads, to heavy guitar riffs, such as the single ‘Bite My Tongue’ which features Oli Sykes from Bring Me The Horizon, that alone should give you an idea of how heavy the album gets at points. All in all it is a very well balanced rock album that really shows the musical evolution of YM@6 from boys to men.
My Top Tracks – Jaws on the Floor, Reckless, Bite My Tongue
2. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
Again, in the same way as seeing Example made me enjoy‘Playing in the Shadows’ more, seeing Foo Fighters in the summer made me love ‘Wasting Light’ even more than I already did. I was going to (I may still) do my top album openers of all time, and ‘Burning Bridges’ would have to be in there. It literally slaps you in the face and says for the next 47 minutes Dave Grohl is going to change your life. I have heard a lot of people say that this album was below par, or not their best, however I think that this is purely because of the high standards that they have set themselves. This album again has great balance, for me it is key to have the aggressive with the ballads and Wasting Light really does this, going from the out of control ‘White Limo’ to the anthemic sing along that is ‘These Days’. I may be biased as I listen to a lot of albums in my car, but if you want an album for your journeys around town, look no further.
My Top Tracks – Arlandria, Bridge Burning, Dear Rosemary
1. The Blackout – Hope
Hope is the third studio album from The Blackout, and from the Welsh rockers we receive a punchy upbeat record, very much in the vein of their previous works. However, Hope, is more of a finished article, a more rounded and complete album. They embrace the ballads which show the vocal range of Gavin, as well as hitting back with the up tempo aggressive music in which they made their name. For me it has everything you expect from The Blackout but also all you need from a post-hardcore album. I have seen The Blackout live twice this year and a fair few times before, I have always maintained and still do that they are one of the best live bands around.
My Top Tracks – You’re Not Alone, The Last Goodbye, Higher and
There have been a lot of great albums this year, and these are my picks. Feel free to let us know some of yours!