Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Best of 2009 - The Aye Tunes Top 10 Albums

The plan with this was to write a bit about all the albums before I published the final top 10, but time and laziness have gone against me, and if I try to write about everything then I'll keep changing my mind and never get the list done.
Instead, here's the top 10 with a couple of comments, and I'll get back to writing a bit about them all, and maybe a few that missed out, over the coming days and weeks.

The list has gone through umpteen different permutations since I started thinking about it, and has been complicated slightly by a good bunch of the stuff I've loved most this year being a single or EP rather than an album.I had to leave out a whole bunch of records I loved, and tried not to be influenced by other lists.
You can let me know what you think of my choices.

Before I can change my mind again, here's my top 10, after the jump:

10. The Wildhearts - Chutzpah! Quite simple this one. The Wildhearts release an album, it's likely to be on my top 10. As good as anything they've done, and shows that although I mainly listen to Scottish bands these days, I don't only listen to Scottish bands.
9. Cuddly Shark - Cuddly Shark Mad fun. If this hadn't been released then Dananananaykroyd might have snuck the mad fun vote, but this is, just, a better album. I reviewed it here.
8. Malcolm Middleton - Waxing Gibbous Took a while to grow on me, but once it did I loved it.
7. The Phantom Band - Checkmate Savage The one I did manage to write about, so see here for why it got included.
6. There Will Be Fireworks - There Will Be Fireworks Brilliant live band, fantastic album. That simple really.
5. You Already Know - Stop Whispering The irony of me saying that an instrumental band is a hard sell for me, then including two of them on my top ten isn't lost on me. It is a truly fantastic album though. Review.
4.The Gothenburg Address - The Gothenburg Address A bit of a cheat, given that it only just came out officially, too late for most people's lists. I don't really care though, it is a wonderful album. Review here.
3. De Rosa - Prevention Full disclosure: yes, I carry a bit of boas towards De Rosa, but in my defence I was a fan of the band before I knew I was related to one of them. Bias aside Prevention is one of my favourite albums of any year, not just this one.
2. Lord Cut Glass - Lord Cut Glass More bias, maybe, due to my undying Delgados love. Nonetheless this album just reinforces what we all new already, that Alun Woodward doesn't half know his way around a song. This was actually a slightly tough call, since I'm not convinced there is a stand out moment on the album. Relistens have convinced me that that is because the entire album is consistently brilliant though.
1. Beerjacket - Animosity Beerjacket takes the top spot, but controversially not just because it is a brilliant album. This album was a turning point for me in many ways. Aye Tunes had been running for just over a year when Animosity was released, yet posts had been few and far between in that year. I've probably written more in the last month than I did in that whole first year. Animosity was the first album that I tackled a review for. I did a terrible job on the review, so I'm not giving you a link, you can go look yourself if you want to find it. However it was round about that point - helped by getting encouraging words from Peter when I met him a little while later to buy tickets from him for a Beerjacket gig - that I decided to make a real go of doing more with this blog. Since the release of this album I've written more about and listened to more music, particularly local, than I have in about ten years. Since I hit 30 in the middle of June I've been to at least one gig every single week, whereas before I'd get to one every few months.
Animosity wasn't just a fantastic album for me, it also helped give me a push to do more with myself. I feel I have a personal connection with this album, since it coincided with me giving myself an almighty boot up the rear end. For all those reasons I can't see beyond it as my number 1 of the year. New review here.


  1. Great choice as #1. Beerjacket is amazing.... Don't you think he sounds a bit like Elliott Smith? :-P

  2. There's one thing I like about my Beerjacket review, and that is that since then I've got an awful lot better at writing. Even when I wrote that bloody thing I was cringing at it. I don't even think it sounds that much like Elliott Smith!

    I hate that review, in case anyone didn't guess. It's the most read page on here all year too...

  3. Good choice for #1. I'm pretty sure BJ will be in my top 10 list too when I get round to it!

  4. That's why I love the beerjacket album, cause it takes me back to my love of early elliott smith records. it's a great record. peter is a lovely guy and wonderful musician.