Thursday, July 24, 2008

Half Term Report

The Parallax View pick of the best albums released in the UK for the first time between January 1 and June 30 of the year 2008. To clarify, Yeasayer's mighty 'All Hour Cymbals', which would have been a shoo-in for the Top 10, has not been included because it was released in November 2007, even though it didn't receive wider exposure until it's re-release in Spring. Similarly, new releases in July by the likes of The Hold Steady, Leila and Tricky will have to wait until December's year-end list (we're sure they're all cool about this in their own distinctive ways).

We can't pretend to have heard every single qualifying release, but of those we did, these were the best -

2. Santogold - Santogold
3. Stainless Style - Neon Neon
4. Youth Novels - Lykke Li
5. Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles
6. Alas I Cannot Swim - Laura Marling
7. Hold On Now, Youngster - Los Campesinos!
8. Seventh Tree - Goldfrapp
9. Neptune - The Duke Spirit
10. For Emma, Forever Ago - Bon Iver
11. "Couples" - The Long Blondes
12. El Rey - The Wedding Present
13. Nouns - No Age
14. Waited Up 'Til Light - Johnny Foreigner
15. Falling Off The Lavender Bridge - Lightspeed Champion
16. Reality Check - The Teenagers
17. Box Of Secrets - Blood Red Shoes
18. Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
19. X Marks Destination - The Whip
20. We Started Nothing - The Ting Tings

The usual disclaimers apply. Bad luck to some decent albums by the likes of MGMT, The Mae Shi and Isobel Campbell/Mark Lanegan for just missing the cut. Please use the comments box for feedback, vitriol, kudos, whatever.

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Blogger dunc said...

I keep going back to The Crystal Castles album quite a lot. I really liked it to start off and it's grown on me more and more.

A few on this list that I need to check out, Ladytron included. I shall pop it on my shopping list.

8:43 PM  
Blogger Dead Kenny said...

Hi Dunc

I want to dislike Crystal Castles, but I just can't. The album benefits from being fairly uncategorisable, a rarity these days. The NME's description of them as 'the disco Pistols' is woeful, but to be fair, nobody's come up with anything better.

The Autumn Store gig review is on the way, by the way!

2:44 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

I too kind of want to dislike Crystal Castles, and they weren't particularly good at Glastonbury, but the stuff on their MySpace is good enough to make me want to hear the album.

Nouns has really won me over in the last week or so, whereas (whisper it) I don't think Hold On Now, Youngster would be in my top ten for the year so far...

12:42 AM  
Blogger Dead Kenny said...

Ben, it's a shame you're being such a Grumpy Gus 'bout the LC! album. Fizzing tunes, surreal lyrics and such a great sense of fun make it a real blast!

10:04 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

I agree with you there. Maybe the problem's overexposure? I listened to the album quite a bit when I first got it, but the fact that I already knew nearly all of the songs didn't help its staying power. Perhaps best to reassess it again in a couple of months.

11:46 PM  
Blogger Dead Kenny said...

I think it's true that a few albums have suffered in terms of impact because the tunes have been so familiar from touring in the long gestation period before the record company saw fit to release the debut album.

The two that immediately spring to mind are Los Campesinos! and Blood Red Shoes. The thing they have in common? A record company - V2.

But you're right that in the fullness of time they should be able to be appreciated again on their own terms. That's starting to work for me on 'Box of Secrets'.

7:50 PM  

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