The ten albums that really shook Andy’s world this year.
I said this yesterday, I hate end of year lists!
I’ve done this site since 2014 (and other blogs before that) and come year end, you go through your spreadsheets, notes and reviews and still, you always miss something out.
This year, there are two things to say: First, for my list I only ever use albums I have reviewed. There were 324 albums released in 2017 that I wrote about so my list is only from them. This means that there is no Europe, no Alice Cooper, and no Jason Isbell (Isbell actually would have been in this top 10) but there’s no point in listening to and agonising over all the ones I get sent if I am not going to use them.
It also means that there might be some with a higher score on the review than some that have made the cut. The explanation for that is simple: things change over 12 months. The best stick with you.
So without further equivocation, here’s 10-1
- KING KING – EXILE AND GRACE
What I said: “Exile And Grace” is merely proof that there is nothing they cannot do.
TOM RUSSELL – FOLK HOTEL
What I said: “Folk, blues, country, poetry, call this whatever you want. The truth is it is all of these things, but so much more. Tom Russell has many people jealous of his talents, wishing they could do this too, but he’s largely without peer. A five-star hotel if ever there was one.”
8.HANNAH ALDRIDGE – GOLD RUSH
What I said: “Ending with the title track is another clever move. The most “country” if you will, with its mournful Lap Steel” it’s another with a marvellous turn of phrase. “I don’t know if this is living” is it’s almost whispered line “or slow-motion suicide”. Anyone who feels like that has found their favourite album of the year. But then so good is “Gold Rush” that anyone who just loves great music and wonderful songwriting has probably found theirs too.”
ROBIN TROWER – TIME AND EMOTION
What I said: “So, is “Time And Emotion” another one where we can say Robin Trower has released his best solo album? Without sitting on the fence we’d say why bother to choose. Look at the 2016 and 2017 albums as two halves of the same whole. Both are incredible, and with them Robin Trower must surely have cemented himself as the best on these shores.”
- KRIS RODGERS – LOSING THE FREQUENCY
What I said: “It is no exaggeration to say that “Losing The Frequency” is one of the finest records of the year so far. Choc-a-bloc full of timeless music, it is more than a homage to the greats, it is a classic in its own right. All you need to do now is tune in to it.”
- BITERS – THE FUTURE AIN’T WHAT IT USED TO BE
What I said: “They don’t want to be original – Christ there was a song on their last album that opined for 1975 – they don’t want to be “post” this or “core” that. The only thing they want to do is write classic rock and do it in three-minute chunks. No one on the planet does it better than them right now. Forget the future not being what it used to be, Biters are the future – and that star on Hollywood Boulevard is on its way.”
THE PICTUREBOOKS – HOME IS A HEARTACHE
What I said: “Records aren’t supposed to sound like “Home Is A Heartache”. No one gave The Picturebooks the rulebook.”
THE NEW ROSES – ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD
What I said: “How far it takes The New Roses is for the future, but we’ll say this: ”Slippery When Wet” was Bon Jovi’s third album and no one had heard Springsteen’s first two. [the world] sure know “Born To Run” though – and what is wrong with dreaming? Maybe, just maybe. Whatever, the road deserves to be paved with gold.
WALTER TROUT – WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
What I said: Whereas in other hands, it might lack coherence – think of the album that Slash made with a guest singer on each track – here, under Trout’s supervision “We’re All In This Together” is more than aptly named. It is one of the albums of the year.
BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION – BCC IV (2017)
What I said: “When all is said and done and the talking stops, only the music is left and these four can create true magic. “BCC IV” is the proof.”