Wednesday, 20 January 2010

21. ROBBIE WILLIAMS: Reality Killed The Video Star

"Bodies" was the generational sequel to and resolution of "Snobbery And Decay"; elsewhere Robbie and Trevor view the stripped sunset, ready.

22. TINCHY STRYDER: Catch 22

New Pop in practice - move the music forward by moving it towards the centre. "You're Not Alone" an unanswerable coda for this plural year.

23. WILD BEASTS: Two Dancers

A year where British "indie" music found new routes, and new voices too - theirs, perhaps the most remarkable since Kitchens of Distinction.

24. MUSE: The Resistance

Georgist (Monbiotite?) pop! We're all for it! "Uprising" might be the song of the year; David Cassidy sings Slade and Meek's ghost smiles.

25. TIGA: Ciao!

Marginally less "pop" and more "hardcore" than his previous one but his colours, well THEY are fine, and the curves and leeways ineluctable.

26. LADY GAGA: The Fame Monster

She Runs Pop, Part Two: true, she was here last year but the revision gets her back in, higher, and are Propaganda our generation's Velvets?

27. MAJOR LAZER: Guns Don't Kill People...Lazers Do

King Midas Sound was considered, nocturnal, but this was a lighter and warmer take on where reggae might now be taken; its colours are fire.

28. TAYLOR SWIFT: Fearless

She Runs Pop, Part One: saw off SuBo for the 2009 championship and leapfrogged Kanye all by virtue of being....virtuous, and heartfelt, etc.


Boots and Roux opened the door and this poured out; back to atonal perks, forward from 1979 to somewhere where the Slits, not Journey, rule.

30. FUCK BUTTONS: Tarot Sport

VANGELIS?! But with a tighter and lighter propellor; this keeps building and building and BUILDING remarkably; it's some kind of cathartic.

31. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Working On A Dream

"Pete, you think you've changed, but you have not." Can you hear me? "We cannot undo these things we've done." Can you hear me? Pardon?

32. EMPIRE OF THE SUN: Walking On A Dream

"Can you remember and humanise? It was still where we’d energised. Lie in the sand and it's '75 again." Are we peopled?

33. LED BIB: Sensible Shoes

Oh it was great to see Chris and Pete howl n' honk just like the old Windo/Watts days at the Mercury. Less politesse is the watchhook, yes.

34. CIARA: Fantasy Ride

Love and sex and magic; not quite the album that was promised but still a satellite's pitch from the inconvenient gaps others left unfilled.

35. CHARLES SPEARIN: The Happiness Project

Glenn Gould's heirs the talk, the conjectures, the shadows nudging and secretly sustaining the sun. There is a summer, but how?

36. LEONARD COHEN: Live In London

Trust a Canadian to explain the mysteries of the universe. The answer? Not 42, but "doo dum dum dum de doo dum dum." The hat, the warmth.

37. DAVID GUETTA: One Love

Ah, France, you embrace us as Britain seems no longer able to do. Triumphant, euphoric, insolent revved-up pop; the post-Pro Plus age here.

38. SONIC YOUTH: The Eternal

Well of course they're going to sound like Pavement! In our world that is a Good Thing and helped us connect with them again. How long...?

39. TINARIWEN: Imidiwan: Companions

Warmer and marginally more Western than its predecessor but full of sparky space and the preserved interdependent nexus of playing together.

40. RICHARD HAWLEY: Truelove's Gutter

The adventurous record he had always been threatening, and by a minor distance the darkest; long, dissolute meditations on ungrounded loss.