1.When I was An Eagle – Laura Marling – Jungian archetypes meet boy-gods and all are punished to a melody you can sing in the shower.
2. Power Of Trinity… A Slight Return (EP) – Tomas Doncker – Protest music with a funky guitar and a back beat
3. Generic Treasure – Modern Hut – A dystopian masterpiece about 2013 disassociation filled with doubt and dismay, made acidic by acoustic renditions of great pop songs.
4. Yeezus – Kanye West – Industrial strength beats and a litany of recriminations… so where are his damn croissants?
5. Yes, You – Jahn Xavier And The Bowerytones – A piece of agitprop pop rock soul blueprint for recrimination against discrimination, full on roar.
6. The Long Lost – David Bronson – The prequel to Story is, at its best, just about the most deliriously deep and beautiful music you will here this year but so lost in its sorrow it can be difficult to penetrate
7. Something About Knowing – Maria Taylor – One of the top indie Queens finds a truth within the truth, a truer truth in true love, marriage and childbirth, then she tells us how it feels to be a mother and how it feels to know what she didn’t know. A miraculous album.
8. It Won’t be Long Now – Linda Thompson – Impossible to overestimate English folk album by impossible to overestimate English folk singer.
9. Matangi – M.I.A. – Beat fanatic political rapper as Hindu Goddess
10. Darkside – Tom Stoppard And Pink Floyd – A radio play that works as a record album that works as a radio with Stoppards rat-a-tat dialogue and concise storytelling. No, it isn’t “The Invention Of Love” but then neither is “The Coast Of Utopia”.
11. Mother – Natalie Maines – Country girl embraces her inner alt rocker, becomes modern country girl and the better for it.
12. Home – Rudimental – Honestly, you may have to see them live to dig them on record as much as I do, but once you do you will be mouth agape and in wonder that a dance band can be so much fun in the modern age. A terrific and fun set of songs.
13. Modern Vampires Of The City – Vampire Weekend – God and man reconciled
14. Southeasterner – Jason Isbell – Country rocker sobers up, falls in love, likes it.
15. Shellshag Forever – A band that have survived and thrived by building a romance and a musical environment that suits them and here they manage to share it in perfect melody and harmony
16. Elvis Club – The Del Lords – Americana garage rockers as great as ever.
17. 3.0 – Marc Anthony – Welcome return to form
18. This Is The Tomas Doncker Band’s Howling Wolf Ep -We Hope He Likes It – Tomas Doncker Band – As powerful and original a version of Mr. Wolf classics as you could hope for. And more.
19. In Time – The Mavericks – 1990s country band add anything they damn well feel to the main ingredients and come out with near perfect country rock.
20. Love Is Everything – George Strait – Superior country album by the numbers.
21. Without A Net – Wayne Shorter – It is, of course, all about the horn. But he plays it often and the music is unlike what we rockers are even slightly used to
22. Less Radio – The Normal Living – Spector meets Springsteen at Penn Station
23. Fourth Corner – Trixie Whitley – Highly ambitious, somewhat polished, blues pop from a new master on her debut album.
24. Time – Rod Stewart – has his mojo back for the first time in decades.
25. Claire’s Diary – Claire’s Diary – A sonic surf and pop debut album so fresh and bitingly alive.
26. Wakin On A Sunny Daze- Kurt Vile – Like Neil Young in mellow mode with a better guitarist but weaker songs.
27. Re-Mit – The Fall – More of the same, ain’t that enough? Plus rockabilly elements!
28. Reasons To Live – Hilly Eye – Another debut album, another soundscape folkie feminist masterpiece.
29. The 20/20 Experience – Justin Timberlake’s worst solo effort is overstuffed in every imaginable way include length of songs, song suites and hooks.
30. Fade – Yo La Tengo – High melodic quotient stories of monogamy.
31. I Got A Boy – Girls Generation – Nice piece all girl band throws everything they’ve got at K-Pop and watch a lot of it stick.
32. Fidlar – Fidlar – Punky rock and roll from L.A.
33. Adam Ant is marrying The Gunner’s daughter – Adam Ant – A sprawling mess of a rock and roll album.
34. My True Story – Aaron Neville – His back pages, produced by Keith Richards.
35. Cheaters Game – Kelly Willis And Bruce Robison – Songs for swinging married couples.
36. Honeys – Pissed Jeans – Way out there punks come noise merchants come hardcore guys.
37.Beautiful – Teena Marie – Ivory snow r&b old school. A magnificent album filled with strong songs, great vocals and, well, naff lyric kinda comes with the territory but a fine farewell from the great dance diva
38. Random Access Memories – Daft Punk – French disco, sometimes more than French disco.
39. IV Play – The-Dream – The 21st century’s Babyface.
40. The Next Day – David Bowie – the hangover part IV
41. One Big Particular Loop – Polysenso – Jazzy, experimental, obtuse, catchy. From the Mid-West.
42. Jamie Lidell – Jamie Lidill – Blue eyed soul goes hi-tech.
43. Face The Music – Avant – Classic r&b
44. Tinvulva – Tinvulva – Rioting grrrls
45. The Bronx IV – The Bronx – Hard rocking album.
46. Memphis – Boz Scaggs – Includes Mink de Ville’ covers.
47. She – Alice Smith – Excellent old fashioned r&b except not rally old fashioned.
48. Afraid Of Height – Wavves – Eccentric surf punk experimental stuff.
49. Mosquito – Yeah Yeah Yeah – Their worst album is still pretty awesome
50. Wolf – Tyler, The Creator – Rich but still bumming
51. True Believers – Darius Rucker – Solid country album
52. Same Trailer, Different Park – Kacey Musgrove -You can take the girl outta the trailer park…
53. A State Of Trance – BT – More melodic than the live DJs tend to play it.
54. Bankrupt – Phoenix – Not bad but a bit bland in the middle.
55. True Romance – Charlie XCX – Betetr pop than you imagine it will be
56. Right Place, Right Time – Bruno Mars – Right on
57. Strike Gently – The Virgins – It took awhile to kick in but moves forward from their Some Girls meets First Impressions vibe.
58. Vanishing Point – Mudhoney – They’re back!
59. Trouble will Find Me – The National – Depressed songs about happy things.
60. A – Agnethea Faltskog – 70s superstar return
61. Wheels – Laura Stevenson – Pounds even when it ponders
62. Everybody Loves Sausages – The Melvins – Dream covers go to hell.
63. The Messiah – Sizzla – Rastaman
64. My Shame Is True – Alkaline Trio – Not just the funniest album title, the smartest pop punk
65. Sound The Alarm – Booker T – Better than the last one
66. J.AC.K. – Forever The Sickest Kids – Emo doesn’t just live, it improves.
67. Queensryche – Queensryche – Hard hitting second cousin to glam
68. More Light – Primal Scream – Not prime Primal but not bad at all.
69. Born Sinner – J. Cole – Maybe a third of this is really good modern hip hop
70. Pythons – Surfer Blood – Excellent indie pop surf and turf
71. Don’t Look Down – Skylar Gray – Shockingly good album from Eminen protegee brings singer songwriter into 21st century.
72. Magna Carta Holy Grail – Jay Z – Its on here where BP3 didn’t make it because it is his best album in a decade and he rocked it live.
73 electric – Pet Shop Boys – Upbeat disco (i mean RELATIVELY)
74. Home Life – Andrew Cedermark – The poppier stuff is really good
75. Bakersfield – Vince Gill, Paul Franklin – Owens, Haggard, plus steel guitar solos
76. Body Music – Alunageorge – EDM duo from the UK are pretty damn hot.
77. Fairy Tale And Myth – Suzzy Roche And Lucy Wainwright Roche – Writing a song about Edith Wharton is one thing, writing a song about Lily Barth something else again. But then, has there ever been a more quirkily mythic folkie than our own Suzzy? Here joined by her daughter.
78. The Civil Wars – The Civil Wars – AFter years and years of dismissing this folk duo, this album knocked me out. Very powerful and wonderful stuff about love on the rocks and otherwise.
79. Penny Park, Omaha, NE, Summer 1989 – Matt Shipkey – I know you’ve heard that they don’t make albums like this stirring, sprawling rock opera of nostalgia and tunefulness but guess what, they don’t.
80. Vampire Life – Jim Jones – I haven’t had the time to be certain yet, but it appears that the former Diplomat and Cam’ron friend has released one of the best hip hop albums of the year.
81. How Things Look From Here – Glenn Campbell – Remakes of classics, good remakes of classics.
82. 6 Feet Beneath The Moon – King Krule – Superb debut album of modern, like very very modern, punk folk.
83 Afro-Jersey – Afro Jersey – Lovely liliting African rhythms meets Roches folks.
84. Bakersfield – Vince Gil and Paul Franklin – The sound of Merle and Buck plus solos unlimited!
85. Body Music – Alunageorge – A really good electronic duo from the UK bring actual songs with them.
86. Doris – Earl Sweatshirt – The best Off Future offshoot since Goblin.
87. Side Effects Of You – Fantasia – She has gone through a lot to get here, a nigh on perfect soul record, mixing dance and ballads to equal effect and sounding very much like the woman who has survived the life she has, indeed survived.
88. Dynamics – Holy Ghost – Excellent dance album
89. In Utero 20th Anniversary – I know, I know but it’s the best album of the 1990s.
90. 8:18 – The Devil Wears Prada – Christianity has never been darker
91. Long Way Down – Tom Odell – Modern piano man could be major
92. Rarities – Rod Stewart – The version of “Farewell” is exquisite
93. Hesitation Marks – Nine Inch Nails – Both poppier and more experimental than you can imagine
94. Mechanical Bull – Kings Of Leon – Good, mainstream rock and roller
95. The Diving Board – Elton John – Has its moments.
96. THIS IS – Icona Pop – Five new songs, all excellent
97. Nothing Was The Same – Drake – Actually, pretty much the same
98. Step Inside – Kevin Jenkins – Bassist emerges as soul brother # 1
99. Presenting – JJ McCabe, Fallin’ Angels – Old time power poppers
100. 14th And Nowhere – Patt Todd And The Rankoutsiders – New wave rockers from the left coast.
101. Save Rock And Roll – Fall Out Boy – Emo boys remember how it’s done.
102. Knockdown Dragout – Sammy Hagar And friends -Sure, it’s dumb fun. I like dumb fun.
103. Get wet – Krewella – When they’re not stabbing their managers in the back, they are releasing pretty good tech pop.
104. My Name Is My Name – Pusha T – The hip hop album he’s been promising since ‘Runaway”
105. Bitter Rivals – Sleigh Bells – Poppier than they have any right to be
106. Weird Crush – Joanne Gruesome – Indie pop rock from Glasgow
107. Old – Danny Brown – A superb hip hop trip and a half fucked up on Kush no doubt.
108. Lightning Bolt – Pearl Jam – A handful of near classics and very few duds.
109. New – Paul McCartney – His best in around a decade
110. Aftershock – Motorhead – Nothing has changed but it is all just as good.
111. Nothing Was The same – Drake – Not as good as it should have been but better than it had to be.
112. Fade Away – Best Coast – Excellent EP, not close to a bad song on it.
113. Paramore – Paramore – The great reunion album of 2013. The great return of 2013. A shockingly good album.
114. Labor – JD Samson And Men – Modern disco
115. reflektor – Arcade Fire – The sprawl of techno
116. No Blues – Los Campesinos – Return to form by great punk band
117. 2 Of 2 – Justin Timberlake – Too much of a good thing but still a good thing
118. No Poison No Paradise – Black Milk – Alt rap by a guy with terrific flow
119. 12 Stories – Brandy Clark – Tales of country women
120. m b v – My Bloody Valentine – Decades later and this is nearly exactly the album you had hoped, guitar modulations and bruised melodies aplenty.
121. The Next Day Extra – David Bowie – The extra songs are better than the first album
122. Canvas – Margot Macdonald – Looptastic masterwork
123. Knock Madness – Hopsin – Another rapper throws it down and some times he has a point, you know
124. Revolution Number Zero EP – The Brian Jonestown Experience – Not a wasted moment
125. Based On A true Story – Blake Shelton – Astoundingly, consistently tuneful country album.
126 – Artpop – Lady Gaga – A disappointment? Not for me, I love around half the songs and will take those odds any day.
127. The Marshall Mathers Album Vol 2 – Eminem – Man, this guy has flow to die for, even if he is lyrically moronic.
Another Self Portrait – Bob Dylan
At Stax – Elvis Presley
Rumors (Super deluxe) – Fleetwood Mac.
Wings Over America
Rarities – Rod Stewart
Best Over 50
The Next Day Extra – David Bowie – The rare album that improved the longer it became
Fairy Tale And Myth – Suzzy Roche And Lucy Wainwright Roche – Folk with bite though you don’t hear it at first
Love Is Everything – George Strait – Superior country songs made simple
Without A Net – Wayne Shorter – It is, of course, all about the horn. But he plays it often and the music is unlike what we rockers are even slightly used to
Adam Ant is marrying The Gunner’s daughter – Adam Ant – A sprawling mess of a rock and roll album.
Bakersfield – Vince Gil and Paul Franklin – Early 60s country
My True Story – Aaron Neville – His back pages, produced by Keith Richards
Memphis – Boz Scaggs – R&B stuff from a past master.
Sound The Alarm – Booker T – Better than the last one
See You There – Glen Campbell – Re-recordings.
Knockdown Dragout – Sammy Hagar And friends -Sure, it’s dumb fun. I like dumb fun.
Comment: I would say that after the top twenty or so there are just too many albums to be in a real favorite
weaving a fairy tale for us to get lost in
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – July 1973 (Volume 5, Number 2)
“I don’t consider David (Bowie) to be even remotely big enough to be any competition.”
an old school New York feel
oedipal vulnerable and blue collar visceral
An emotional song with Miya’s acrobatic and vulnerable vocals
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1973 (Volume 4, Number 12)
From Robert Johnson to the Ramones – what a life!
one of the great top tens of the 2020
will mark their return to the road in early February, 2023 with a string of to-be-announced US arena dates
enjoyable and soulful romp
another full day of music