Saturday, December 29, 2007

so rock and roll to be alone

Top 10 Albums of 2007

3. The Good, The Bad and The Queen (ST)

Damon Albarn has now very nearly completed his transformation from "That Twat Out of Blur" to becoming a genuine auteur in his own right. Since he stopped being so concerned about how many records he sold or what other people thought of him, he has started producing some really startling music.

The Good, The Bad & The Queen aren't even really a band - apparently they are an as yet unnamed group of musicians performing an album of that name. Whatever. It's a beautiful, melancholy slow-burner of an album. As a tale of life in London, it almost forms a mature counterpoint to the juvenile ramblings on "Parklife", but such a comparison would probably be to do this album a disservice. Paul Simonon's bass is instantly recognisable, of course, as is Albarn's voice, but the whole sound of the album is one of sadness and a vague sense of foreboding. It's also a concept album in the sense that it's hard to pick off individual tracks, but the album makes best sense when listened to as a whole, in one sitting. It's not an album that will get many people out of their chair and onto the dancefloor, but it's a fantastic album nonetheless.

Favourite Song: Green Fields

3. Amy MacDonald - This Is The Life (LB)

Compared with the other young female singer-songwriters occupying the charts, Amy MacDonald eschews the "you shagged my boyfriend/you've been sick on my trainers" nonsense of the London set and, in an album belieing her years (she's 20), displays a vocal and lyrical maturity her peers can only dream of.

Opening with one of the singles of the year - the brilliant "Mr Rock and Roll", it's an album hock full of jangly guitar and songs about her beloved Scotland ("The Road To Home" was used in Glasgow's bid for the Commonwealth Games) and about life and loves, but in a way that doesn't grate or display the lack of life experiences apparent in the work of the Allen's or Nash's of this world.

It's not a perfect album - "The Youth Of Today" was obviously written by a teenager - but it's an extremely promising debut.

Favourite song: Run

1 Discussions:

Blogger bedshaped said...

I dunno what it is about The Good, The Bad and The Queen album. I really like it, but faced with a choice, it never seems to be one I pick to listen to when I'm loading up my player.

Amy's album is nice enough. I personally think that the album is very unbalanced. I like her voice and there's no doubt she can pen a good song, but ultimately there feels like something's missing.

3:35 PM  

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