Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Review: Top Albums Of 2009 (II)

The moment all music lovers have been waiting for, part 2 of the NME-Europe top albums of 2009. There were some class acts among positions 11-20 (click here if you haven't read part 1 yet), but the real cream of the crop is here. As promised, a couple of surprises along the way. Enjoy!

10. Camera Obscura - 'My Maudlin Career'
Camera Obscura have certainly managed to make themselves heard this time without compromising the style which has seen them reach cult status in many countries. Read full review.

9. Muse - 'The Resistance'
From the very start of Muse's much-anticipated fifth studio album 'The Resistance' you are aware that this is quite simply the complete aural experience, which confirms their status as top dogs on Planet Rock. Read full review.

8. Manic Street Preachers - 'Journal For Plague Lovers'
Whilst there are undoubtedly similarities between this 'Journal' and the original 'Holy Bible' - starting with the cover art provided by Jenny Saville -,this is not just another attempt at an earlier winner. Read full review.

7. Placebo - 'Battle For The Sun'
Less glam, less goth, more rock and a blinding album is the result. Hats off to Molko and Co for yet another cracker.

6. Morrissey - 'Years Of Refusal'
If, as he declares, he really has only five years left, we must treasure every offering until D-day arrives and there's no better way to start your personal homage than by getting your hands on a copy of 'Years Of Refusal'. Read full review

5. The Cribs - 'Ignore The Ignorant'
It is clear that Mr. Marr has been instrumental - in all senses of the word - in the development of their sound. Read full review.

4. Overspill Poets - 'Thompson Falls'
It has it all. You want musical poetry? Try 'The Neon Lights Are Beautiful'. Something a little more powerful? How about 'Independence Day' and 'Northern Star'? Meanwhile, 'Boxing Gloves' or 'Summer' keep all nostalgics satisfied. Read full review

And so, the podium awaits...

3. Second - 'Fracciones De Un Segundo'
Everything about Second is very 'Brit'; the look, the sound, the voice and in the previous three albums they even sang in English most of the time! This is the first totally Spanish album, but what doesn't change is the sublime combination of catchy pop songs and heart-searching ballads. The added expertise of producer Carlos Jean means this is Second's most complete album to date. Read full review.

2. The xx - 'XX'
From the moment 'Intro' springs to life, The xx's sound, quite frankly, captivates the listener. The more you hear, the deeper you are drawn into their lair and once you're in there, forget about escaping. Read full review.

1. The Temper Trap - 'Conditions'
Dougal Mandagi's falsetto vocals are angelic, the melodies are exquisite and there's not much else to add - 'Conditions' speaks for itself. Read full review.

So, congratulations to the chosen few. In particular, my hat goes off to two bands; first of all Overspill Poets. By their own definition they are "the poor cousin" 0f the Top 10. One thing I will say is that if your immediate reaction to position Nº 4 was "Overspill Who?", then you should go straight to and check out the tracks from 'Thompson Falls'. Secondly, if you'll pardon the pun, I think the fact that Murcian boys, Second, have made it into an international Top 10 is quite a feat for a Spanish band. However, making the top 3 is no less than they deserve after a career spanning 12 years and 4 albums (and at the moment it's difficult to find a rival for them on the Spanish indie scene). 'Fracciones De Un Segundo' is quite simply a fantastic album - had it been released by a British band I'm sure the other NME would have raved (and this time with good reason). Still, you the learned reader know that the most reliable music opinion is here on the alternative NME (the continental one), so why not take my word fot it and can see what Second are all about by clicking here.

Lists are subjective and this one will hopefully stimulate some debate or, at least, make you check out a couple of bands you previously had no idea about. NME-Europe is proud of it (in fact, it's getting into the list idea, so the Top Tracks and Top Albums of the 00s lists are in the pipeline!), it's up to you to approve or not.


Nick C said...

Thanks. Glad you like it!