I am usually struggling to recommend seven albums in December but this year was different as full of interesting releases…and two great records which competed for the number 1 position. Stay tuned as I will publish very soon my traditional Top 25 of the best albums of 2020!
Album of the month: The Avalanches – “We Will Always Love You” – Everything…but good! – This is only the third album from this Australian band but their best in my opinion. First 2000 “Since I Left You” LP was a sampling classic (but a bit difficult to enjoy) while sophomore 2016 “Wildflower” did not leave much trace. This new record is a different story and although its 1h & 11minutes of music will need more listening sessions, I can already feel its greatness. Having as guests on your own record people like Tricky, Johnny Marr, MGMT, Neneh Cherry, Samanda Maitreya, Mick Jones, Perry Farrel or again Leon Bridges (just a snapshot of the list of invitees…) should not work but trust me, it does! Every track has tens of ideas without losing the melody element or dance attitude. A great record to close the year with.
Runner-up: Paul McCartney – “McCartney III” – Pop Rock – I guess the man needs no introduction… Being in a position to listen to an interesting record from a 78-year old musician who basically invented pop music as we cherish it today is something which should almost consider as a reward… The “III” title was thought on purpose as the two previous ones (“I” released in 1970 and “II” released in 1980) were made in the same circumstances: in a home-made studio, Paul playing almost all instruments and without any restrain regarding ideas. This is indeed full of interesting sounds and a few songs are quite…weird (hello “Deep Deep Feeling“) while many other ones are pure McCartney’s, sounding ageless and beautiful.
- Also recommended:
- Louis Philippe – “Thunderclouds” – Baroque Pop – A very welcome come back from Philippe Auclair, who is as good in making mini rock symphonies as he is in writing about British football!
- Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Lounge – “Doug Carn – Jazz Is Dead 005” – Jazz – Another great record in the “Jazz Is Dead” series, inviting this time fantastic Hammond organ player Doug Carn.
- Kid Cudi – “Man On The Moon III: The Chosen” – Hip Hop – A new Kid Cudi record is always an event and this new release is no exception
- Ryan Adams – “Wednesdays” – Pop Rock – Selecting this unexpected record may look controversial… The music is beautiful though.
- Various Artists – “Rough Trade Stores – Counter Culture 20” – Pop Rock – Great (and long) annual compilation for our Rough Trade stores’ friends, who made the world a better place during this tough year.
- Lest we forget: album of the previous month – Ólafur Arnalds – “Some Kind Of Peace”