Best albums of 2016: Death is not the end

2016 yeah-ah! Remember, the year when everyone died and also the year everyone discovered mortality? Losing David Bowie, Alan Vega, Prince, George Martin, Leonard Cohen or George Michael was very sad indeed as a few of them were really young but probably also has it meant a part of our youth was vanishing. I remember not being something new as such sad news in the past already occured with artists such as John Lennon, Jeff Buckley, Johnny Cash, Kurt Cobain, Elliott Smith, Lou Reed or George Harrison. Listening to their music on a regular basis is probably the best way to keeping the flame alive. Death is a weird topic in Western civilizations as we keep on doing as if it were nonexistent although this is the only sure thing…I advise for those interested by this very festive topic to read the first pages of Karl Ove Knausgaard memoirs’ “A Death in the Family”.

On top of being the year everyone died, it has been also the year everyone published records. For some reasons, I had more time than usual to listen to (almost) all records that went out this year if one considers my reviewing perimeter is confined within the pop/rock/soul/hip hop/metal/r’n’b perimeter. I am humble enough to recognize there is somewhere an amazing jazz or blues record I am not aware of but this is also probably true for a great record made by an Italian, Malian or Brazilian band. There are so many musicians in the world and so many ways to discover them with streaming platforms or the resurgence of records’ stores that this is getting frustrating sometimes.

So after death and frustration, let’s bring the good news! This was a really fantastic year in terms of records and new music and it has been more difficult than ever to keep a shortlist. A few usual favourites of this blog are not amongst the chosen few either because they are just out of this Top 15 or because their records was below expectations despite being good. In other words, it has been a great year for hip-hop and r’n’b genres and De La Soul, Chance the Rapper, Kendrick Lamar, A Tribe Called Quest, Kanye West, Solange or Franck Ocean 2016 records are also super-recommended. Same for a few indie rock favourites such as Shearwater, Bob Mould, Mark Kozelek, Wilco, Okkervil River, Teenage Fanclub or Pixies. As usual, I tried to stay as close to the end of the year as possible…but probably not enough as a new Run The Jewels album has just been available two days ago and a new Nine Inch Nails EP yesterday!

Anyway, always difficult to make choices but I guess that is the beauty of such lists. I had enough time this year to put on a ranking amongst my selection so here we go in reversed order. For those who did not get it, it means #1 is my record of the year!

Image result for biffy clyro ellipsis#15 Biffy ClyroEllipsis The main reason this record is here is probably that I live in the UK and that this band is really massive here. Biffy Clyro is a Scottish band made out of the twin brothers Ben and James Johnston on drums and bass and of Simon Neil on guitar and voice. On top of being known for playing bare-chested and being full of tattoos, their music has been evolving throughout the years from grunge metal to a kind of Scottish Foo Fighters. Not the most subtle music ever but it is soooooo good to shout out loud these anthems. Best stadium-rock record of the year!

Image result for sunflower bean human ceremony #14 Sunflower Bean – Human Ceremony Sunflower Bean is a young trio from Brooklyn and 2016 saw the release of their debut album. This record is a grower has one says and this band has a perfect sense of melody mixed with an exciting in-your-face attitude. If Liz Frazer from Cocteau Twins and Kurt Cobain from Nirvana had made a record together, it would be quite close to Sunflower Bean’s sound.

Image result for kanye west the life of pablo #13 Kanye West – The Life of Pablo This record has been probably too long and complex to make in a year that was a bit tough for Kanye West. After second thoughts, all years are tough, different and weird for Kanye… The reason why this record is not higher in terms of ranking is indeed probably due to the fact it requests many more hours of thorough listening to get over it. The reason why Kanye West is once again in our best of the year is named “Ultralight Beam”. This is the song opening the record and is one hell of a tune.

Image result for michael kiwanuka love and hate #12 Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate Michael Kiwanuka is a young British singer songwriter from Ugandan origins. After a very promising debut album in 2012 and great shows in a soul/folk tradition, he eventually faced a few difficult years looking for his real musical talent and trying to be at peace with his cultural background. After being closed to leave the music industry, he came back stronger and not afraid to show at the same time new ambitions but also happy to embrace any kind of music he likes. The results are really astonishing as one goes from one track sounding like Pink Floyd to another more related to black protest song a la Curtis Mayfield.

Image result for xiu xiu plays the music of twin peaks #11 Xiu Xiu plays the Music of Twin Peaks Of course, we Twin Peaks fans are all very much excited to discover in 2017 what Season 3 will be, directed by David Lynch himself…but that is not the reason this album is here. Xiu Xiu is a Californian band lead by Jamie Stewart and their music has always been complex to say the least. Here they succeeded to keep their weirdness to reshape covers from the series and the movie “Fire Walk With Me” whilst respecting the beautiful sense of melodies these songs hold. One of the most fascinating, frightening and powerful records one could find in 2016.

Image result for red hot chili peppers the getaway #10 Red Hot Chili Peppers  The Getaway “The worst band in the world”, “a cartoonish band”, “their best material is behind us” and so on… These are the articles one could find in reviews about the latest album by RHCP. This is totally untrue and shows how this is difficult sometimes for bands and their work to be really listened to. Thanks to the extraordinary production of DJ Danger Mouse, this is their best record for a long time and a few songs are really on par with their most famous ones (“Dark Necessities” for instance). This is also the first album in which Josh Klinghoffer succeeds in being himself and shows his guitar creativity without one having to remember his amazing predecessor John Frusciante.

Image result for meilyr jones 2013 #9 Meilyr Jones – 2013 This LP is the highest ranked debut album in our list and comes from a young Welsh singer. My best description of his music would be to mention Neil Hannon and his band The Divine Comedy if they still had the flame and kept on doing exciting records… The first track of this album called “How to recognize a work of art” is the best example of what a single should be nowadays. To put it differently, if you do not want to sing out loud or clap your hands, you are probably already dead (and I should have added you in my introduction). Click for concert’s review.

Image result for beyonce lemonade #8 Beyoncé  Lemonade A record from a major maturing artist, mixing all kind of music and sounds, not afraid to grab political topics such as the role of the black woman in Africa, being very much at the peak of visual and sound production, having prestigious guests such as James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, Jack White or The Weeknd? Indeed and even better than it looks like.

Image result for palermo hollywood biolay #7 Benjamin Biolay  Palermo Hollywood Would Benjamin Biolay be more famous out of French-speaking countries if he were to sing in English, like Christine and the Queens did this year with a new English edition of her album? Probably not and not sure I would like it to happen… I was a bit afraid to read that he recorded this LP in Argentina as this is not always a good idea to mix different styles. No risk here as this record is as Argentinian as The Wings’ “Band on the Run” was Nigerian when they went to Lagos to record it. Beautiful as always and as usual a very thin line between production and emotion.

Image result for radiohead a moon shaped pool #6 Radiohead  A Moon Shaped Pool Quite a bit unexpected I must say as although I found the recent experiences of their members always rewarding, I had more or less abandoned hope in listening again to a traditional great Radiohead album. I was entirely wrong as this album is probably one of their best, mixing urgency, poetic themes and more importantly super exciting music. Good also to hear more than usual the great sounds of the underestimated Colin Greenwood on bass. Take the time to discover this new album and you will be immensely rewarded.

Image result for kevin morby singing saw #5 Kevin Morby  Singing Saw Sometimes a good singer makes a new record and one can feel he has stepped up and is now part of the greats. It happened in recent years with bands or artists such as The War On Drugs or Kurt Vile for instance. Kevin Morby’s first albums were really good but this one has an extra je-ne-sais-quoi, mixing super exciting guitar music with great lyrics. If Bob Dylan were in his 20’s today and had started directly with electric music, he would not sound that different from Kevin Morby. Click for concert’s review.

Image result for nick cave and the bad seeds skeleton tree #4 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds  Skeleton Tree Nick Cave has been a sort of old companion as I have been buying his records and listening to his music for thirty years now. Unless having a heart of stone, one could only share the indescribable pain he and his spouse had last year when they lost a son. Despite a few songs already written and produced before this tragic event, this album is all about this loss. It may be of course quite harsh sometimes to listen to but one must recognize this is a fascinating record and one of his best works. With lots of very long songs and more drones and loops than usual, it might surprise those familiar with a Nick Cave sound but the effort is really recommended.

Image result for field music commontime #3 Field Music  Commontime This is another fantastic record from this band of brothers from Newcastle and probably a blessing and a curse for them as one gets used easily with quality stuff. I have already wrote a few posts on this band, in particular throughout my review of the end of the road festival. Let’s be more specific here: Field Music are the best unknown band of our times and every record is an incredibly exciting piece of music, mixing british pop sound, Prince and Steely Dan. Now get this record!

Image result for iggy pop post pop depression #2 Iggy Pop Post Pop Depression To put this record under the name of Iggy Pop only is quite an injustice as he himself recognizes that this is the work of a real band with Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys) on drums and Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age) on bass. But the real architect of this album is the great Josh Homme, leader of Queens of the Stone Age and main man on guitar and vibes here. Legend is that he received a text from Iggy asking “I think we should make a record together”. After a couple of days of uncertainty and pride, Josh replied also by text “I think that would be beautiful”. And beautiful and exciting and moving and funny and…name it it is! They all gathered secretly in the Rancho de la Luna studio in the Joshua Tree, California area and polished these fantastic nine songs. The best Iggy Pop record since “The Idiot” and “Lust for Life” 1976/77 Bowie era. Iggy pop made it quite clear that it would be his last traditional rock album and tour. If such were to be the case, one of the most beautiful human beings on earth has left us with a record to cherish. No better way also to end up a record (career?) with the wise lyrics taken from “Paraguay”, the last song on the album: “You take your motherfucking laptop/And just shove it into your goddamn foul mouth/And down your shit heel gizzard/You fucking phony two faced three timing piece of turd/And I hope you shit it out/With all the words in it”.

Image result for david bowie blackstar  #1 David Bowie Blackstar I swear I did not want to put this album as my album of the year as it looked a bit obvious… Blackstar has been the first record I bought this year as I got it on the 8th of January at the excellent New York Rebel, Rebel record store. This is also in NY that I got the sad news of the morning of the 11th of January and I do recognize that the way the late great man organised this record as a farewell piece of art might be over controlled. But I am pretty sure this record would still be ranked as such if David Bowie was still alive. First the music is super fresh through it and I have never heard so-called jazz musicians be used in such a “non-jazz” way on a “non-rock” record. Donny McCaslin on saxophone is particularly amazing. But the real stars of Blackstar are the songs and the melodies. Has there been a better song this year than “Lazarus” with its moving lyrics, free jazz style and The Cure influences?  I know this is difficult to listen to this record out of context but to me it stands as an immense piece of exciting musicRECORD OF THE YEAR!

 

Here we go then for 2016. Probably not my most original list ever but these records were those that brought me the most emotion and excitement this year and as a reminder this is the criteria for this list rather than any cultural or trendy meaning. Please react if you feel like it and whip me harshly for any significant record I may have missed in this Top 15!

Other voices’ (websites, magazines, records stores, etc…) Top 10. David Bowie and Franck Ocean everywhere!

  • Mojo (music mag): 1.David Bowie Blackstar 2. Michael Kiwanuka Love & Hate 3. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Skeleton Tree 4. Lambchop FLOTUS 5. Leonard Cohen You Want It Darker 6. Iggy Pop Post Pop Depression 7. Franck Ocean Blonde 8. Paul Simon Stranger to Stanger 9. PJ Harvey The Hope Six Demolition Project 10. Heron Oblivion Heron Oblivion
  • Uncut (music mag): 1.David Bowie Blackstar 2. Radiohead A Moon Shaped Pool 3. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Skeleton Tree 4. Leonard Cohen You Want It Darker 5. Ryley Walker Golden Sings that have been Sung 6. PJ Harvey The Hope Six Demolition Project 7. Sturgill Simpson A Sailor’s Guide to Earth 8. Anohni Hopelessness 9. Teenage Fanclub Here 10. Beyoncé Lemonade
  • NME (formerly great, now free weekly junk): 1. The 1975 I like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it 2. Kanye West The Life of Pablo 3. Christine & the Queens Chaleur Humaine 4. Skepta Konnichiwa 5. Kaytranada 99.9% 6. David Bowie Blackstar 7. DIIV Is the is are 8. Iggy Pop Post Pop Depression 9. Chance the Rapper Coloring Book 10. Franck Ocean Blonde
  • Rough Trade (London, Nottingham and Brooklyn stores): 1. Iggy Pop Post Pop Depression 2. Anderson .Paak Malibu 3. Margo Price Midwest Farmer’s Daughter 4. Mark Pritchard Under the Sun 5. Charles Bradley Changes 6. Anohni Hopelessness 7. Thee Oh Sees A Weird Exit 8. Angel Olsen My Woman 9. Powell Sport 10. Car Seat Headrest Teens of Denial
  • Fopp (UK stores): 1. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Skeleton Tree 2. David Bowie Blackstar 3. Christine & the Queens Chaleur Humaine 4. Mogwai Atomic 5. Bat for Lashes The Bride 6. Brian Eno The Ship 7. Field Music Commontime 8. King Creosote Astronaut meets Appleman 9. Lambchop FLOTUS 10. Skepta Konnichiwa
  • Greg Kot (Sound Opinions radio DJ #1): 1. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Skeleton Tree 2. Franck Ocean Blonde 3. Jamila Woods HEAVN 4. Michael Kiwanuka Love & Hate 5. Anderson .Paak Malibu 6. PJ Harvey The Hope Six Demolition Project 7. Drive-By Truckers American Band 8. Chance the Rapper Coloring Book 9. Solange A Seat at the Table 10. David Bowie Blackstar
  • Jim Derogatis (Sound Opinions radio DJ #2): 1. Savages Adore Life 2. TEEN Love Yes 3. La Femme Mysteres 4. Sneaks Gymnastics 5. The Gotobeds Blood//Sugar//Secs//Traffic 6. Honeyblood Babes never die 7. Jenny Hval Blood Bitch 8. Drive-By Truckers American Band 9. The Handsome Family Unseen 10. Beach Slang A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings
  • Pitchfork (music website): 1. Solange A Seat at the Table 2. Franck Ocean Blonde 3. Beyoncé Lemonade 4. David Bowie Blackstar 5. Kanye West The Life of Pablo 6. Chance the Rapper Coloring Book 7. A Tribe Called Quest We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service 8. Anohni Hopelessness 9. Angel Olsen My Woman 10. Radiohead A Moon Shaped Pool
  • Paste (music website): 1. David Bowie Blackstar 2. Beyoncé Lemonade 3. Car Seat Headrest Teens of Denial 4. A Tribe Called Quest We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service 5. Mitski Puberty 2 6. Radiohead A Moon Shaped Pool  7. Angel Olsen My Woman 8. Lucy Dacus No Burden 9.Bon Iver 22, A Million 10. Franck Ocean Blonde
  • Les Inrocks (French mag): 1. David Bowie Blackstar 2.La Femme Mystere 3. Franck Ocean Blonde 4. The Lemon Twigs Do Hollywood 5. PNL Dans la légende 6. Kanye West The Life of Pablo 7. Leonard Cohen You want it Darker 8. Drake Views 9. Alex Cameron Jumping the Shark 10. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Skeleton Tree
  • Time Out (London free weekly) : 1. Kanye West The Life of Pablo 2. David Bowie Blackstar 3. Solange A Seat at the Table 4. Skepta Konnichiwa 5. Kaytranada 99.9% 6. Anohni Hopelessness 7. Christine & the Queens Chaleur Humaine 8. Franck Ocean Blonde 9. Beyoncé Lemonade 10. Chance the Rapper Coloring Book
  • The Guardian (UK daily newspaper) : 1. Beyoncé Lemonade 2. Franck Ocean Blonde 3. David Bowie Blackstar 4. Kanye West The Life of Pablo 5. Solange A Seat at the Table  6. Anohni Hopelessness 7. Rihanna Anti 8. Christine & the Queens Chaleur Humaine 9. Skepta Konnichiwa 10. Radiohead A Moon Shaped Pool
  • Noise Magazine (French bimonthly magazine) : 1. Dinosaur Jr. Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not 2. Cult Of Luna & Julie Christmas Mariner 3. Perturbator The Uncanny Valley 4. Iggy Pop Post Pop Depression 5. Preoccupations Preoccupations  6. Nothing Tired Of Tomorrow 7. David Bowie Blackstar 8. Neurosis Fires Within Fires 9. Savages Adore Life 10. Oranssi Pazuzu Värähtelijä

Best of 2013 : Top 20 !

2013 was one of these years… Every year is great when you are a real music fan as there are reasures to discover in pop, soul, rock, metal, hip hop,…any style. But 2013 was special and I had to put apart excellent records that would have been here other years (hello My Bloody Valentine, Iron & Wine, Franz Ferdinand and many others…). Difficult as well for newcomers to join the crew so good were the more famous artists who had been there forever and/or made unexpected comebacks.

Albums

 

Album of the Year – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds “Push the Sky away”

 Nick Cave has made so many great albums that a new one is sometimes seen as “another excellent Nick Cave album”. That was my reaction at first and although I liked it a lot, it became slowly but surely my number one throughout the second part of the year. Amazing songs, great lyrics, less guitar, more melodies, Warren Ellis more and more present as lieutenant…and that’s it. We have with Nick Cave an amazing musician and singer, who keeps a very humble attitude and tends to simplify his art with age (as many great painters did in the past) so discover him if not done yet and cherish his music.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Paris Zenith 2013, holding hands

From Paris, November 2013 concert

The rest of my top 20 (by alphabetical order)

  Arcade Fire“Reflektor” Arcade Fire have been back in 2013 and the least one can say was that indeed difficult to miss them being back. Lots of hype around the name (they took the fake “The Reflektors” tag to play here and there), around their new sound (more rhythm thanks to LCD Soundsystem James Murphy), around their mystery guests (hello again David Bowie)… but at the end of the day how were the songs and the LP? Well,…good enough to be in this Top 20 but probably not as good as their previous LP’s “Funeral” and “The Suburbs”. They remain though one of the most interesting bands of our times, the way they are looking for new ways to do music is refreshing (despite the quite irritating marketing plan around it) and with the song “Reflektor” they had an amazing hit.

 Arctic Monkeys – “AM” The little boys from Sheffield are now mid-20’s adults living in California and AM is already their fifth (!) LP. I hesitated a bit before putting this album as well but not anymore after a few recent listening as such powerful and melodic their music still is. For those who love at the same time Brit-pop and stone-rock (me!), this album is a must (and quite well ranked everywhere in the UK).

 David Bowie“The Next day” What can I say except that 2013 was a weird year with the totally unexpected come-back from such a great artist to the music biz but as well amongst the world of the living whereas my indestructible other idol Lou Reed left us in October… The 8th of  January in particular had been an important day with David Bowie showing to the world a new single the day of his 66th birthday and the fact that a new LP was to arrive in March. The Next Day is a superb album, as good as the last ones he had done in the early 00’s and with the usual great partners, such as for instance Toni Visconti at the production wheel or Gail Ann Dorsey on bass. Amazing 10-minute remix of “Love is lost” from James Murphy (again!) available on the limited edition of the album mixing typical LCD Soundsystem and a few musical phrases from “Ashes to Ashes”.

Image result for bill callahan dream river Bill Callahan“Dream River” A new LP by Bill Callahan might be the equivalent of new Woody Allen or Coen Bros movies : very regular in production, you go there more by habit than will, it sounds or looks familiar at first sight or listening but then you realise that these guys are real masters in what they do and that their art is always on top of the rest. No revolution here in Bill Callahan’s music but very humble and funny lyrics with beautiful melodies and a very crafted way to make it sound modern. If you do not know yet this artist, “Dream River” is the album to start with.

Image result for wise up ghost Elvis Costello and the Roots“Wise Up Ghost” I tend to be suspicious and to freeze my enthusiasm when two of my favourite artists from different horizons join forces to make music together as this is often deceptive. Fortunately the association of Elvis Costello with what might be the best hip-hop band of the last fifteen years has given beautiful results. The strength of this album is that both these artists collaborate on a kind of “intermediary” music (say neither rock, nor hip-hop) giving what could be the Tamla Motown sound of today. The most unforecasted collaboration of the year for a very recommended album.

 Mikal Cronin“MCII” One of the rare newcomers in this Top 20 list, Mikal Cronin is a young American part of the Ty Segall garage-rock frame. However, his music is more balanced than the rest of his fellow friends with a mix of folk sensitivity and indeed sometimes heavier garage-rock sounds. Melodies are superb throughout this album, which explains its presence in our Top 20.

 Daft Punk“Random Access Memories” Like Arcade Fire, Daft Punk‘s return has been precisely prepared and implemented and one could feel concerned about what was really at stakes. But who cares when the music is so good… and so different vs. what the band had done before. To make it short, let’s stay that Daft Punk went with this record from the numeric to the analogic age with subtlety, envy and creativity. You have been dancing and listening to “Get Lucky” for almost a year now so I will not dare tell you that this single is indispensable and probably the best hit song since Gnarls Barkley “Crazy”. What makes this LP so amazing as well is the way the band and their guests managed to get the best from each others. The real master of this album by far is the fantastic drummer Omar Hakim ; he is the one keeping this heartbeat rhythm throughout the album and making it the work of robots starting being human. (almost) #1 record of the year…

 Darkside“Psychic” Darkside is a project held by the American-Chilean dance music producer Nicolas Jaar with the (great) help of guitarist Dave Harrington. Together, they do produce fantastic electro music, succeeding to make it sound at the same time very fresh and very 70’s. This is probably not by chance that their project’s name is a part of Pink Floyd most famous album. I personally had an amazing experience when I saw them live at the Paris Pitchfork festival so euphoric and dreamy their music is.

 Junip“Junip” Junip is a Swedish trio lead by semi-famous pop/folk singer José Gonzalez and this album is their second LP after “Fields” in 2010. They clearly played tougher with this album, not in the sense that they suddenly starting making death-metal guitar riffs but more in the fact that they mixed their usual beautiful folk songs with new repetitive rhythms not far from those made famous by 70’s German bands (CAN, NEU!, etc…). A real grower too as each new listening make this album better and better.

 Mark Kozelek and Jimmy Lavalle“Perils from the Sea” One of the four (!) LP’s offered this year by the great Mark Kozelek and all surprisingly fresh and different (one is live “at Phoenix Public House Melbourne“, one is a covers LP “Like Rats” and the other one is a collaboration with US band Desertshore). This one is for me the best of the four probably because Mark Kozelek had not been involved in such fresh sounds for years. Jimmy Lavalle is more famous as leader of electro-pop band The Album Leaf and one can feel all what he brought to this collaboration. Red House Painters fans will find Mark Kozelek’s voice as beautiful as ever but probably in more dynamic and smiling environment (do not get wrong, I am the #1 fan of his usual depressive songs…).

 Laura Marling“Once I was an Eagle” Laura Marling is a young 23-year old British singer and this album is already her 4th album (!). I guess I never talked about her before in this blog whereas her music has been a constant pleasure for years now. She put herself in danger here by letting her UK band behind her to record this album in Los Angeles with new musicians. But I would tend to say that the real star of the show is her in all her records so impressive is her maturity and voice for such a young lady. The first four tracks of this record are a kind of post-break up suite when one can really feel the 3 am mood of serene hope after difficult times. If these comments remain unclear, think Laura Marling as the Joni Mitchell of our times, no less.

 The National“Trouble will find me” The National are really getting better and better with each release. This might seem too affirmative a sentence in relation to their last LP’s that have been regularly in our best of’s of former years but this album is a good as all previous ones regarding chords and arrangements but probably stronger in terms of melodies and emotion (“happy/sad”). If you are familiar and attracted to their music, you really should catch them on stage. I saw them live twice in 2013 and this has been every time an amazing moment.

 Nine Inch Nails“Hesitation Marks” Another excellent come-back as the band was on infinite hiatus since 2009 but it looks like the different very good projects Trent Renznor was having on a parallel side were not rewarding him enough compared to the thrill of being back on record and on stage with his main band Nine Inch Nails. Very long and deep album which will request many listening to get over all its treasures. Same as for The National with Nine Inch Nails ; if you like them, seeing them live is a must.

 Prefab Sprout “Crimson/Red” Talking about comeback, this one was probably the most surprising of them all. Of course, there had been a few albums since Prefab Sprout’s great years (basically the 80’s) but more often these good records were recordings from the past. This is not the case with this new album which has been made alone by Paddy McAlloon. After many serious health issues, he is looking now like an old wise man with long white hair and beard but his songs (and voice) are that of a young man in his late 20’s in love. Probably the most moving album of the year.

 Queens Of The Stone Age“…like Clockwork” Amazingly enough, it had been six years since the previous QOTSA album and one did not feel such a long time due to their leader Josh Homme’s presence in many projects. However, he had disappeared for a few months in 2012 as he faced a surgery that did not go well and had a near-death experience. After double-thoughts about his career and the meaning of life, the big man came back to what he is famous for : music that rocks like hell ! Well, sort of as this album is probably the most melodic and quiet one and should bring new fans to one of the greatest bands of our times.

 Trentemøller“Lost” Our favourite Danish dance artist/producer has been back recently with this very good album which did not make a lot of noise amongst the specialists. This is a shame as one can find the post-punk mixed with electro kind of music for which he is so good at (say This Mortal Cole with a Daft Punk Vibe…). Many great guests as well on this LP, including Mimi Parker from Low.

 Kurt Vile“Wakin on a Pretty Daze” This blog’s author is quite a fan of Kurt Vile and I have seen him live twice this year. What makes this young man so good and above the rest of all the fine American rock writers? Probably the way he has of not playing 100% of the biz game and being naive at the same time. Musically speaking, those who like their songs long and repetitive as in the best Neil Young LP’s will get love at first sight with Kurt Vile.

 Kanye West“Yeezus” You all know Kanye West, one of the richest musicians ever, with an ego the size of a continent, his celebrity-life, his ridiculous videos, the way he talks to the media basically about …anything. But this is not the Kanye West I like ; the one I know is one the greatest artists of all times, making fantastic albums in a row, always changing style, inventive and creator of superb melodies. This LP was tougher after the first listening (almost sounding like the NY 70’s band Suicide for those familiar) but deserved attention as this was as good as his best work. Funny as well to hear Daft Punk on many tracks playing dark and scary electro whereas they chose soul sounds for their own LP.

 Yo La Tengo“Fade” Another great LP from Yo La Tengo with as usual the same beautiful split of cool ballads and furious saturated rock songs. Having seen them live this year was as great as before and having the honour to get a 5-minute chat with them at the Paris Pitchfork Festival made my year. In this sad 2013 year where our rock master disappeared, there is no better band as Yo La Tengo to bear the Velvet Underground sounds.

Other top 5’s :

  • New Musical Express (UK weekly mag.): 1. Arctic Monkeys “AM” 2. Kanye West “Yeezus” 3. Queens Of The Stone Age ”…Like Clockwork” 4. Foals “Holy Fire” 5. Savages “Silence Yourself”
  • Uncut (UK monthly mag.): 1. My Bloody Valentine “mbv” 2. David Bowie “The Next Day” 3. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds “Push The Sky Away” 4. John Grant “Pale Green Ghosts” 5. Laura Marling “Once I Was An Eagle”
  • Mojo (UK monthly mag.): 1. Bill Callahan “Dream River” 2. Daft Punk “Random Access Memories” 3. David Bowie “The Next Day” 4. Arctic Monkeys “AM” 5. John Grant “Pale Green Ghosts”
  • Paste (US web mag.): 1. Phosphorescent “Muchacho” 2. Mikal Cronin “MCII” 3. Foxygen “We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic” 4. Janelle Monae “The Eletric Lady ” 5. Deerhunter “Monomania”
  • Pitchfork  (US website): 1. Vampire Weekend  “Modern Vampires Of The City” 2. Kanye West “Yeezus” 3. Disclosure “Settle ” 4. My Bloody Valentine “mbv” 5. Danny Brown “Old”
  • Les Inrockuptibles (French weekly mag.): 1. Arcade Fire “Reflektor” 2. La Femme “Psycho Tropical Berlin” 3. Daft Punk “Random Access Memories” 4. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds “Push The Sky Away” 5. Jagwar Ma “Howlin”
  • Magic rpm (French monthly mag.): 1. Aline “Regarde Le Ciel” 2. Phoenix “Bankrupt!” 3. Minks “Tides End” 4. La Femme “Psycho Tropical Berlin” 5. Arcade Fire “Reflektor”
  • New Noise (French bimester mag.): 1. Jessica 93 “Who Cares” 2. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds “Push The Sky Away” 3. Fuck Buttons “Slow Focus” 4. Ventura “Ultima Necat” 5. Marvin “Barry
  • Sound Opinions (US music podcast)   Greg Kot’s 1. Parquet Courts “Light Up Gold” 2. Chance The Rapper “Acid Rap” 3. Allen Toussaint “Songbook” 4. Darkside “Psychic” 5. Savages “Silence Yourself”     Jim DeRogatis’ 1. Savages “Silence Yourself” 2. Parquet Courts “Light Up Gold” 3. Chance The Rapper “Acid Rap” 4. Foxygen “We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic” 5. Lorde “Pure Heroine”
  • Fargo (Paris records store): Top 2013 records in no particular order
  • Ground Zero (Paris records store): Top 10 in no particular order
  • Other Music (NY records store): Top 30 in no particular order

Reissue of the Year

Nirvana “In Utero” Much more than “Nevermind” or “Unplugged”, “In Utero” was Nirvana‘s masterpiece. No need to argue beloved readers ; this is a fact ! This magnificent box-set include 3 CD’s of the original album with the mix we all know plus mixes of what it could (should?) have been plus a lot of alternate versions and a tremendous MTV live show (also including as a DVD) which shows all the power of the band and the genius Kurt Cobain was. Read in particular the letter that producer Steve Albini wrote to the band to convince them to work with him to understand what love of music is about.

Music Movie of the Year

Dave Grohl “Sound City” Very moving and energizing movie from Dave Grohl explaining how such a great studio Sound City, California was (home of many historical records such as Fleetwood Mac “Rumours” – great reissue as well this year by the way – and Nirvana “Nervermind” for instance), how it slowly got less famous vs. new technologies and how he bought the mixing desk and brought it back to life. The music is extraordinary throughout the movie and there are many guests bringing back this place to life. Watching in particular Paul McCartney with the surviving members of Nirvana or Josh Homme playing with Trent Renznor is a must. Watch the movie and buy the album.

TOP 100 Artists/Bands of all Times : 21-25

I can’t believe we are now entering the Top 25 of our list but it seems to be true… Enjoy this new chunk of “five”.

25. Elliott Smith

 from : Omaha, Nebraska, USA / first great sounds : 90’s / style : “White Album” kind of songs / essential albums : Either/Or (1997) , XO (1998), Figure 8 (2000)

Eternal sadness… That is the feeling one gets when thinking about how talented and emotion-driven Elliott Smith was and how his death at too young an age of 34 was a real waste. Elliott Smith started on the music in post-grunge band Heatmiser before soon realizing he should express himself solo. His first LP’s were excellent but he really took a step higher with the three-above mentioned albums which you can listen to again and again. His style was a kind of beautiful post-grunge folk with lots of Beatles influences. I had been lucky enough to see him live but the most awkward and surreal moment of his career was probably when he went singing “Miss Misery” during the 1998 Oscar awards Ceremony as he had been nominated for best song for the Gus Van Sant movie “Good Will Hunting“.

24. Kanye West

 from : Atlanta, Georgia, USA / first great sounds : 00’s / style : further than hip-hop / essential albums : Graduation (2007), 808s & Heartbreak (2008), My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)

One could easily describe Kanye West as a self-oriented egocentric man in a music business far out from this blog’s world. Well, this might be partly true but Kanye West is far more than this. First, he has been famous in the hip hop business for a long time through his production skills. Second, he his a genuine music fan and amazingly had-working man, having many projects under his banner. Third, his own music is amazing in sounds, energy, styles but moreover in sensitivity. Listen again if not done yet to our 2010 record of the year and show me a better piece of music made in the last ten years…

23. Nirvana

 from : Aberdeen, Washington, USA / first great sounds : 80’s / style : Cobainism / essential albums : Nevermind (1991), In Utero (1993), Unplugged in New York (1994)

I was in my early twenties when the Nirvana wave happened, was a real fan of the band…but never saw them live, making it one the great disappointment of my musical life. The story is quite known : young talented musician gets a totally unexpected success, hass constant stomach pains, falls heavily into drug addiction and does not manage to go over his pain of living such a life. But please go beyond the myth : at first, Kurt Cobain was one of us punk and pop rock fans (as can be read in his diaries where he used to do hundreds of lists about his love of such good bands as Young Marble Giants, The Marine Girls, The Meat Puppets, etc…). And Nirvana’s music ! What a never-ending pleasure (and let’s not forget the roles of Krist Novoselic on bass and the mighty future Foo Fighters leader Dave Grohl on drums) and what songs !

22. Teenage Fanclub

 from : Glasgow, Scotland / first great sounds : 80’s / style : Pop rock with an edge / essential albums : Bandwagonesque (1991), Grand Prix (1995), Songs from Northern Britain (1997)

Probably the less famous band in our Top 25, Teenage Fanclub has been a constant pleasure for more than two decades now. This is a band of three songwriters and singers (Norman Blake, Raymond McGinley and Gerard Love – what great names!) and their music has been a mix of American power pop (hello Big Star) but with a strong Northern Britain sensitivity and a love for Neil Young-ish guitar solos. Does not it sound like heaven ? Well, it is indeed and you should really dig into their music production as their songs are really amazing.

21. R.E.M.

 from : Athens, Georgia, USA / first great sounds : 80’s  / style : the American Smiths / essential albums : Murmur (1983), Reckoning (1984), Fables of the Reconstruction (1985), Lifes Rich Pageant (1986), Document (1987), Automatic for the People (1992)

Buck, Berry, Mills, Stipe. Athens, Georgia. Yes, I spent hours when I was young reading these names in magazines and LP’s covers’ notes. R.E.M. and The Smiths were really our bands in the 80’s, meaning they were ones of the few to give guitars and poetry in a world where money, fame and inauthenticity were the rules to follow (can I hear anyone saying what’s the difference with now?). All members were keys of course in the band but one has to admit that what made the band different from the pack was on one side the words and great voice of Michael Stipe and on the other side the rock jiggling guitars sounds created by Peter Buck, a man to knows quite well the history of rock’n’roll ! I recently listened again to all their albums thanks to a specific issue of Uncut and (re)discovered the perfection of their first albums on the label I.R.S., making this first period their moment in time. They aged quite gracefully but lost a lot when drummer Bill Berry chose to stop at the end of the 90’s. Thanks guys anyway for such fantastic music and live shows!

Austin City Limits Festival 16th to 18th September 2011 : My Top 10 shows

A dream come true for your host. Austin City Limits is a festival that had been created ten years go in 2001 and whose line-up has been one of the best for a few years. It takes place every year at the end of the summer (well, winter lasts for one month in South Texas…) in Zilker Park very near downtown and has many qualities on top of its line-up : cooler audience in the world, between 30 and 35 degrees C° every day, the pleasure in attending shows bare-feet in the grass, a Waterloo Records temporary store, ecology-friendly (I did not see one soda bottle or a beer glass on the ground for three days…) and even ladies speaking the language of signs in front of the stage during a few shows for those who needed it. I saw 24 shows during this three-day marathon and you will find below my subjective Top 10. But here are first a few pictures of the festival to get in the mood, including all shows I saw but not in my Top 10 (although a few of them were great such as The Antlers, Charles Bradley, Gomez or Phosphorescent for instance). Oh, and Christian Bale was there too…

ACL 2011 - Entrance Day

#10 – Joseph Arthur : a long time since I did not see Joseph Arthur live. He had been “discovered” by Peter Gabriel at the end of the 90’s but always managed his career the way he wanted, making it a bit difficult to follow among his many projects. He played ACL on the way he does it best, i.e. alone with his acoustic guitar and a foot-sampler to get rhythm and loops and allowing the audience to hear his beautiful texts and melodies. And as he is a very talented painter too, he did a few of them while singing. Classy guy…

#9 – The Walkmen : Americana meeting Joy Division is the way I described this band to my mate before the show and I must say this is a quite good shortcut. The guys woke up at 4 a.m. as they were coming directly from another long distance US State whose name I forgot but still succeeded in opening greatly the Saturday session on the AMD stage. Excellent noirish but also entertaining band ; I was particularly impressed by the way their singer Hamilton Leithauser kept his suit during the show when temperature was around 40°C…

#8 – Twin Shadow : this band is the project of  George Lewis, Jr. (American guy born in Dominican Republic) and his music is a bit difficult to describe. Let’s just say he is friends with the band Grizzly Bear and that his music is a mix of 80’s British synth-influenced pop with a sonic and groovy edge. Anyway, the concert was really excellent and I strongly recommend his debut LP “Forget”to anyone. Please click on this link to see a nice HD movie of Twin Shadow playing in the studio.

#7 – Wild Beasts : coming from the U.K. and in continuous improvement since their first LP, Wild Beasts can be considered as sorts of cousins of the legendary band The Smiths such delicate and intelligent their music is. Add to this a groovy rhythmic section and two fantastic singers for the price of one with by Hayden Thorpe and Ben Little and you have one of the great bands of our times. That was our first opening show on Friday 1 p.m. and what a great band to start with!

#6 – TV On The Radio: ok, another TV On The Radio show for me and I could have chosen another band for this Top 10…but no. As great as always and even more than last time for me probably due to more weeks to get familiar with their last LP. A great audience atmosphere as well and realizing in the middle of the show the pleasure in seeing them in Austin…I had to leave before the end to get a decent view for Stevie’s show but no hard feelings guys…

#5 – Kurt Vile And The Violators : Kurt Vile is the new guy on whom we should bet in the years to come. 2011 has been a very prolific year with his new LP “Smoke Ring For My Halo” and him being more than a guest on albums from Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) and J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.). To describe his music in short, I would say this is not dissimilar from the style heard on acoustic songs from Nirvana’s Unplugged. Great melodies and crafted work but with a tension that can explode at every second. One of the best shows of the festival on the very nice Austin Ventures stage. And fine Orangina tee-shirt, Kurt!

#4 – Stevie Wonder : What a pride and joy to see Stevie Wonder perform with such a punch. You could feel in the audience that everyone was overwhelmed to see in form the great soul artist. He had lost weight vs. last time I saw him in Paris and as schedule was quite tight he did not do his usual 10-minute speech about love and all (only 5-minute ones…). Anyway, great covers from Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson (“The way you make me feel“) plus a huge part of his classics and in particular songs from his two master LP’s “Innervisions” and “Songs In The Key of Life” that everyone should own by law. Keep playing in such a way please great man…

#3 – Kanye West : Our 2010 record of the year artist was playing his last show in this formula. And what an ambitious show that was : arrival in a platform in the middle of the crowd (and very close to where we were standing!), around thirty classic dancers, a glorious stage wallpaper, lights everywhere and so on. But of course that would be nothing if the songs were crap which as you know is completely the opposite. Kanye is such a media personality today that this is difficult to judge and even so what would be the consequences for a multi-millionaire businessman? Well, I personally found a guy in love with music, with an amazing voice (something I had not realized before) and so happy to be on stage that everyone could feel as if they were very close to the stage. And always a nice feeling to see one of the greats on the peak of their forms. “Can we get much higher“? This will be tough after such a performance…

#2 – Arcade Fire : 8.30 pm. All stages are now over with bands and artists and last show of this 3-day festival starts on the Bud Light stage. What better and enthusiastic band to close a festival with than Arcade Fire? None today I guess… One of the most joyful shows I have ever attended and I am not sure I can find the words to describe the state of the crowd as well! Have a look at the set list and at the latest Zenith show as well but please go to see Arcade Fire next time you are in a position to do so and you will be rewarded.

#1 – Iron & Wine : Best show of the festival as far as I am concerned although that was the only one entirely under the rain (rain in Texan summer being something that wets and refreshes a bit your body and that is welcomed by local people!). As a reminder, Iron & Wine is the project name for Sam Beam and can be simply described as the most beautiful and subtile music that you will ever hear (no, really…). Sam being from Austin and proud father of five girls, seeing two of them dancing and applauding Dad backstage was a pleasure. For more on Iron & Wine, please have a look at his recent 4AD sessions and his interview/studio live songs on Sound Opinions (show #302).

So here you are, amazing festival full of authentic emotions and friendship ; basically what one is looking for in this 21st century life… ACL, see you probably in 2013!

2010 best records

Reminder of 2010 “Best of” list

Une liste élargie cette année tant la production musicale est de plus en plus riche, diverse et exceptionnelle.

Sur le podium, les USA trustent les médailles:

Cover (My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy:Kanye West)

Gold medal: Kanye West “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”

Everything you will love in one LP: style, references, melodies, joy, sadness – Kanye West is definitely one of the greatest. La fable du lièvre et la tortue adaptée à cette année musicale puisque cet album n’est sorti qu’en décembre même si la plupart des morceaux ont été disponibles au compte goutte tout au long de l’année. On peut penser ce qu’on veut du personnage très médiatisé (trouvez un autre artiste nommé cette année passée à la fois par G. Bush et B. Obama) mais le musicien est irréprochable. Un album digne des plus grands artistes des décennies passées par sa créativité, son ouverture musicale (est-ce encore du hip-hop?), des samplings impeccables (King Crimson, Gil Scott-Heron) et ses invités (Bon Iver!). Et surtout des mélodies magiques avec un côté de self-depreciation rare dans une époque plus éprise d’anecdotique que d’authenticité. Album of the year by far. (http://www.allmusic.com/album/my-beautiful-dark-twisted-fantasy-r2055009/review)

Cover (Transference:Spoon)

Silver Medal: Spoon “Transference”

Great Austin, Tx band delivers the goods once gain – when simplicity equals greatness. Un de ces groupes américains qui se construit et murit avec les années. On était un peu passé à côté des débuts de ce groupe qui existe depuis 1994 mais on se demande pourquoi car cette musique a tout pour plaire aussi bien aux amateurs de mélodies qu’aux afficionados du rock indépendant. Que des tubes en puissance dans cet album dans un monde idéal. Go for it! (http://www.allmusic.com/album/transference-r1691709/review)

Cover (High Violet:The National)

Bronze Medal: The National “High Violet”

One of the current best live band succeds in keeping its indie attitude but with more catchy melodies. The National est également un groupe qui se fait sa place petit à petit dans le panthéon des grands avec son dernier album. Les vertus d’une détermination et d’un self belief portées par un chanteur fascinant et des musiciens excellents combinées au fait de se retrouver un jour au bon endroit au bon moment. Ecoutez cet album, craquez sur la voix chaleureuse et suave de Matt Berninger et sur la musique au couteau du groupe, remontez dans les temps les albums des années précédentes et surtout allez voir ce groupe sur scène. (http://www.allmusic.com/album/high-violet-r1805201/review)

15 autres albums (par ordre alphabétique):

Arcade Fire “The Suburbs”

Our favorite Canadians are back to form vs. previous album with emotional lyrics. A tous les déçus de l’album précédent des Canadiens, le groupe répond avec une musique toujours enflammée mais plus sobre et des paroles basées sur le passage à l’age adulte. Welcome back guys.

Beach House “Teen Dream”

Weird and warm songs from this Lynchian Californian girl-boy duo. Les mélodies entrainantes de Victoria Legrand (eh oui, la nièce de Michel) avec les trouvailles musicales d’Alex Scally. Du David Lynch qui se baladerait sur les plages de l’Océan Pacifique.

The Black Keys “Brothers”

Still excellent blues-rock formula from Akron with fantastic songs. La cité du pneu (Akron) nous encaoutchoute encore d’un formidable album de blues-rock au plus près de l’os pour ce duo américain. Leur projet de l’année 2009 (Blakroc) qui mélangeait blues, soul et hip-hop a ouvert des horizons nouveaux à ce groupe qui a de plus en plus de groove dans sa musique. A signaler des performances live d’exception.

Field Music “Measure”

Amazing third LP from this band from Sunderland, England who will warm up XTC fans. Le Royaume Uni n’est pas oublié de notre sélection avec le troisième album des frères Brewis. Très ambitieux album d’ailleurs avec pas moins de 20 titres travaillés dans leur studio personnel de Sunderland. Un groupe qui devrait être énorme tant la qualité de leurs chansons rappelle celles du meilleur XTC. A découvrir.

John Grant “Queen of Denmark”

First solo LP from the former leader of the Czars played with the Midlake musicians. John Grant est l’exemple du miraculé incompris et déprimé devant ses échecs musicaux précédents pour lequel le mot seconde chance a un sens. Un magnifique album dans la lignée de ce que fait Midlake, c’est à dire un rock très 70’s soft mélangé à du pur Indie avec des textes au scalpel. Meilleur titre de chanson de l’année pour “Jesus Hates Faggots”.

Grinderman “Grinderman 2”

Old men rock! Nick Cave’s trash band better than ever. Grinderman est le groupe sans piano de Nick Cave dans lequel sa verve plus blues et trash peut s’épanouir au mieux. Quelle musique et quelle jeunesse. A signaler la créativité instrumentale de Warren Ellis, l’alter ago du bon vieux Nick. Pour réveiller le loup ou la louve qui dort en nous.

LCD Soundsystem “This is happening”

James Murphy’s influences from punk rock, Talking Heads, Brian Eno and Can put him almost in the podium. Nouveau disque exceptionnel de James Murphy et son groupe qui sera d’ailleurs sans doute le dernier sous cette forme. Tout ce qu’on aime dans la musique se trouve chez cet homme-là. A signaler les London Sessions disponibles chez tous les bons vendeurs numériques et en solo l’excellente bande originale du film Greenberg avec Ben Stiller.

Local Natives “Gorilla Manor”

Geeks rule the earth with great indie melodies! Sans doute le groupe qui pourrait disputer à Hot Chip le titre de groupe le moins sexy du monde mais de magnifiques mélodies californiennes pour tout ceux qui veulent prolonger toute l’année le sable de la plage qui reste dans les oreilles.

Massive Attack “Heligoland”

Trip Hop Bristol veterans reinvent themselves with great invited musicians. On n’avait presque oublié cet album mais sa réécoute l’a finalement fait préférer à celui de Gorillaz pourtant également excellent. La marque de fabrique de Massive Attack est toujours présente mais pleine de fraîcheur de nouveau grâce aux invités et notamment Tunde Adebimpe de TV on the Radio et Damon Albarn qu’on ne présente plus.

Janelle Monae “The Archandroid”

Amazing record from this young lady. What Jimi Hendrix would do if he were 20 in 2010. Eh oui, pas moins, une jeune artiste noire américaine qui mélange tout: hip hop, soul, R’B, rock psychédélique, pop, etc… Toujours un immense plaisir de découvrir de tels nouveaux talents. A signaler également une participation croisée avec Kevin Barnes sur cet album et celui d’Of Montreal.

Sufjan Stevens “All Delighted People EP/The Age of Adz”

The great man back from months of illness with more electronics influences than before. Certes, il a été absent quelques mois du fait d’une maladie rare mais en échange on récupère en 2010 deux albums pour le prix d’un même si le premier n’est pas censé être un LP complet… Tout n’est pas du niveau de Illinois dans ces 19 chansons mais il y a quand même des perles. A ne pas manquer en concert pour ceux qui le peuvent.

Teenage Fanclub “Shadows”

Latest LP by the Scottish Band, one of the all-time greatest. Ils prennent leur temps pour faire des albums et c’est tant mieux. The Beatles, The Byrds, Love, The Go-Betweens, XTC, Big Star, Teenage Fanclub, rien à rajouter.

Richard Thompson “Dream Attic”

New songs played live from the epic folk rock guitar player. La liste est diverse comme le montre la présence dans celle-ci de l’ancien leader de Fairport Convention, goupe anglais de folk rock des années 60 qui a pour ainsi dire inventé un genre à lui tout seul. Cet album plus qu’un autre car Richard Thompson met plus en avant ses talents exceptionnels de guitariste.

Warpaint “The Fool”

100% West Coast female group for one of the best debut albums of recent years. Certes, le fait qu’une des deux chanteuses soit l’ex-girlfriend de l’ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers John Frusciante (producteur de leur premier EP) augurait du meilleur mais pas autant que la profonde originalité de ce groupe 100% féminin. Un groove étonnant quand même très rock avec des voix magnifiques.

Neil Young “Le Noise”

Still young after all these years. Young and Lanois straight to the bone. Incroyable de pouvoir encore compter sur Neil Young en 2010! Un de nos 10 artistes préférés de tous les temps encore capable de sortir des disques importants. Un disque en pur solo avec un son de guitare incroyable trafiqué par le Canadien Daniel Lanois, producteur entres autres de U2 et Bob Dylan. D’où le jeu de mots du titre…

Egalement recommandés:

Owen Pallett, These New Puritans, Vampire Weekend, Yeasayer, Hot Chip, Broken Bells, Liars, Midlake, Gorillaz, MGMT, Shearwater, Caribou, The Fall, Paul Weller, Band of Horses, Drake, Best Coast, Interpol, Philip Selway (le batteur de Radiohead en solo), Robert Plant, Deerhunter, Swans, The Walkmen, Cee Lo Gren (le chanteur de Gnarls Barkley), Kid Cudi, The Roots et N.E.R.D.

Best of 2008

Vous étiez quinze puis deux cents et vous êtes désormais des millions (mais chacun si différent) à réclamer la liste. En ces temps de crise, que chacun reçoive un brot d’eau, un quignon de pain, une paillasse et de la bonne musique !
 
Une année bizarre musicalement parlant car de plus en plus de nouveaux groupes, d’autres à peine apparus qui disparaissent, plus personne qui n’achète des disques, des places de concert souvent à 120 Euro (à quand un emprunt spécial concert ?), le DVD qui n’assume plus son rôle de relais, etc.. Allez, on va pas rester sur des souvenirs tristos et rentrons donc dans le vif du sujet.
 
 
Album de l’année 2008
 
Cover (Fed:Plush)
 
Plush : Fed
 
Contrairement à l’an dernier, on a privilégié un album un peu hors du temps, fait par un dandy avec son monde à lui. Mais quel choc émotionnel dès les premieres notes de guitare qui se détachent ! Cet album a été réalisé par un certain Liam Hayes qui a notamment travaillé avec Will Oldham de Palace. On sait peu de chose sur le bonhomme et c’est d’ailleurs cette part de secret qui est excitante, un peu comme quand on découvrait autrefois un album au casque sur la platine pour la première fois. Ce n’est d’ailleurs même pas réellement une sortie de 2008 car il était sorti au Japon seulement dès 2002 mais n’est disponible dans nos contrées occidentales que depuis 2008. Un album ambitieux avec des arrangement magnifiques pour tous ceux qui aiment les artistes qui sortent du lot. Album of the Year!
Les 14 autres (par ordre alphabétique) :
 
Adem : Takes
 
De son vrai nom Adem Ilhan, ce Britannique vient de la scène électro avec notamment le groupe Fridge (avec le fantastique Kieran Hebden dont les disques solo sous le nom de Four Tet sont fortement recommandés). Mais ici c’est une voie différente et même accoustisque qu’il nous propose avec des reprises très personnelles de PJ Harvey, Aphex Twin ou encore Smashing Pumpkins. Le disque le plus zen de l’année.
 
Bon Iver : For Emma, Forever Ago
 
Mais oui, Bon Iver comme Bon Hiver in French ! Justin a tout plaqué dans la cité (groupe, amis, copine), a pris ce surnom (expression employée par les locaux quand il fait froid) et a noyé son spleen dans la vieille cabane paternelle perdue au milieu d’une forêt du Wisconsin (véridique !). Il nous a sorti un album très intimiste, à écouter autour de la cheminée. Et vive la musique triste !
Daniel Darc : Amours Suprêmes
 
On était passé un peu à côté du disque de retour de l’ancien chanteur de Taxi Girl et ses performances scéniques avait plus inspiré du respect humain que de l’enthousiasme musical. Et puis on tombe sur cet album dont on n’attendait rien mais dans lequel on prend tout. Des musiques toujours géniales de son compère Frédéric Lo à ses paroles toujours au couteau avec un grand sens des mélodies, on s’incline devant Daniel.
 
Death Cab For Cutie : Narrow Stairs
 
Ben Gibbard et son groupe Death Cab For Cutie (chanson du film Magical Mystery Tour de the Beatles) fait partie de ces musiciens du patrimoine américain qui vendent beaucoup de disques tout en vivant dans un relatif anonymat. Pourquoi donc plus cet album que d’autres ; eh bien sans doute pour la qualité des intros des morceaux et des ambiances dans lesquelles on s’installe (rien à voir mais les amateurs de The Cure sauront de quoi on veut parler…)
The Last Shadow Puppets : The Age Of Understatement
Difficile de ne pas retrouver Alex Turner des Arctic Monkeys dans notre palmarès. Cette année, suite à une amitié liée en tournée avec leurs groupes respectifs, il s’est uni à Miles Kane (The Rascals) pour cet album à influence Scott Walker ou David Bowie toute première période Decca avec l’aide de l’arrangeur des cordes d’Arcade Fire. Un projet enthousiasmant et une nouvelle réussite pour Alex Turner.
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks : Real Emotional Trash
L’ancien leader de Pavement a enfin retrouvé la formule magique de son ancien groupe (formule qu’il oublie d’ailleurs parfois sur scène…). Au menu : des mélodies magnifiques, des arrangements compliqués et surtout ce qu’on adorait chez Pavement, ce mélange de punk américain dans le format des chansons et de rock US des 70’s dans les solos de guitare. Welcome back Stephen !
 
 
Merz : Moi et mon Camion
Un disque totalement passé inaperçu et pourtant quelle merveilleux mélodiste. Merz est le surnom que s’est choisi le natif de Bristol Conrad Lambert et dans cet album il nous narre les différents déménagements personnels vécus ces dernières années (hence the title…). Un album dans lequel on se sent bien.
MGMT : Oracular Spectacular
Difficile de passer à côté de ce nouveau groupe américain en 2008 tant leurs chansons nous ont accompagnés dans nos lecteurs mp3, sur scène, dans les palmarès de fin d’année, voire même au générique de l’Euro! Mais une reconnaissance mérité tant ce groupe est inventif et doué. A suivre pour voir comment ils sauront gérer la hype qui les accompagne. Indispensable en tout cas cette année.
Portishead : Third
La plus grande suprise de l’année. Déjà, le fait qu’ils refassent de la musique 10 ans après. Mais en plus cette musique ! On craignait le trip trip-hop, genre disque à mettre en soirée quand on reçoit ses amis en musique de fond, soit la négation absolue de la musique, mais non point. Une intro en brésilien et tac c’est parti et ça dépote ; puis s’enchainent les morceaux fabuleux avec la voix de Beth Gibbons qui chante comme si sa vie en dépendait. A mettre en musique de fond si vos amis sont fans de Sunn O))).
R.E.M. : Accelerate
L’album qui a disparu de tous les classements de fin d’année… On l’a donc ré-écouté pour conclure que, oui, c’est bien le R.EM. qu’on avait découvert il y a plus de 20 ans, avec des arpèges de guitare, des morceaux de pur rock, la voix incroyable et mystérieuse de Michael Stipe.
Shearwater : Rook
Longtemps en balance avec Plush pour le titre d’album de l’année. Shearwater est un groupe américain dont le leader Jonathan Meiburg a une voix qui rappelle de manière troublante celle de Mark Hollis dans les derniers Talk Talk. On retrouve donc le côté américain très rock et libéré avec des plages plus européennes où l’accent est mis sur la voix et les ambiances. Un disque exceptionnel.
TV On The Radio : Dear Science
Quel plaisir de retrouver nos leaders de 2006 pour un album qui perd peut être dans l’expérimental ce qu’il gagne en sensualité. Des musiciens exceptionnels, des voix démentes et un producteur à la pointe avec David Sitek (cf. plus bas). Et toujours ce mélange indéfinissable entre les Cocteau Twins et la soul Motown.
Vampire Weekend : Vampire Weekend
2ème groupe de l’Est des USA le plus hype de l’année après MGMT, ces musiciens au look d’étudiants d’Harvard nous font un dosage savant entre rock US et rythmes africains sous influence Graceland de Paul Simon. Le disque qui nous a sans doute donné le plus le sourire aux lèvres cette année.
Kanye West : 808s & Heartbreak
Le seul qui reste dans la liste par rapport à l’an dernier est celui sur lequel on aurait le moins parié. Et pourtant, Kanye West nous livre un album qui est tout sauf du hip-hop, avec une voix travaillée à l’auto-tune et dans lequel il se met à nu suite à des événements personnels douloureux. Une suite de morceaux ni commencés, ni finis mais qui sont les plus attachants entendus depuis longtemps dans ce monde hip-hop où on préfère souvent mettre en avant ses dollars et ses décapotables plutôt que son vague à l’âme.
Tout près de cette liste (pêle mêle) :
-> les jeunes : Fleet Foxes, Born Ruffians, Black Kids, Glasvegas, Santogold, My Morning Jacket, The Black Keys, Gnars Barkley, Elbow, Foals, The Week That Was, Bloc Party, Peter Borderick (pour ceux qui aimeront Bon Iver), Friendly Fires (pour ceux qui aiment Talking Heads), School Of Language, Get Well Soon, Fujiya & Miyagi.
-> les vieux : Tindersticks, Paul Weller, Nine Inch Nails, Spiritualized, Deus, Beck, Leila, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Oasis, Mercury Rev, Aime Mann.
 
Meilleur DVD
Various : From the Basement
Le meilleur d’une émission de la TV anglaise dans laquelle on peut voir les musiciens jouer en live mais sans public. Des peformances exceptionnelles de Sonic Youth et Radiohead en particulier.
Meilleur Single
Midnight Juggernauts : Shadow
Ce morceau ou d’ailleurs n’importe lequel de l’album de Midnight Juggernauts, ce groupe australien découvert aux Eurockéennes de Belfort. Les fans de Justice ou Daft Punk adoreront.
Meilleur Coffret
 
The Jesus and Mary Chain : The Power of Negative Thinking
Un titre qui en dit long sur l’énergie qui animait les frères Reid de Glasgow à leurs débuts avec souvent des sets de 15 minutes montre en main qui finissaient en émeute. Mais sur le plan musical peu de groupes ont aussi bien intégré l’héritage du Velvet Underground. Un magnifique coffret de 4 CDs, bourré d’inédits et de reprises. Comme quoi, 25 ans après, on peut parler de The Jesus and Mary Chain comme de Jacques Brel.
Meilleure Compilation
 
 
The Smiths : The Sound of the Smiths 
C’est certes sans doute la 512ème compilation des Smiths mais c’est de loin la plus complète de toutes. Et quel groupe!
Reissue of the Year
 
David Bowie : Live Santa Monica ’72
C’est toujours émouvant de retrouver un artiste en plein phase d’ascension. C’est ce qu’était David Bowie dans ce concert resté pirate des siècles avant d’être proprement réédité pour le plaisir de nos oreilles.
Man of the Year : Tom Waits
Le plaisir et l’honneur de l’avoir vu enfin en concert dans nos contrées avec un spectacle époustouflant. Et également ce dique OVNI de reprises par Scarlet Johanson produit par David Sitek de TV on the Radio. Comme il le dit lui même, elle chante dans cet album un peu comme si Cendrillon avait pris trop de sirop contre la toux…
D’autres TOP 10
– NME (fanzine british) :
1.MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
2.TV On The Radio – Dear Science
3.Glasvegas – Glasvegas
4.Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
5.Foals – Antidotes
6.Metronomy – Nights Out
7.Santogold – Santogold
8.Mystery Jets – Twenty One
9.Kings Of Leon – Only By The Night
10.Friendly Fires – Friendly Fires
 
– Paste (best US mag.) :
 
1. She & Him – Volume One
4. Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever Ago
– Les Inrocks (more music please) :
1. MGMT : Oracular Spectacular
2. Fleet Foxes : Fleet Foxes
3. Vampire Weekend : Vampire Weekend
4. Santogold : Santogold
5. The Last Shadow Puppets : The Age Of The Understatement
6. Kanye West : 808s & Heartbreak
7. Portishead : Third
8. TV On The Radio : Dear Science
9. Sébastien Tellier : Sexuality
10. Bon Iver : For Emma, Forever Ago
– Mojo (Rock Bible Mag.) :
1. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
2. Last Shadow Puppets – Age of the Understatement
3. Paul Weller – 22 Dreams
4. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
5. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!!
6. Hold Steady – Stay Positive
7. Glasvegas – Glasvegas
8. Week That Was – Week That Was
9. The Bug (Kevin Martin) – London Zoo
10. Neil Diamond – Home Before Dark
 
– Pitchfork (best music web site in the world) :
01 Fleet Foxes – Sun Giant EP/Fleet Foxes
02 Portishead – Third
03 No Age – Nouns
04 Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours
05 Deerhunter – Microcastle / Weird Era Cont.
06 TV On The Radio – Dear Science
07 Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
08 M83 – Saturdays=Yout
09 Hercules and Love Affair – Hercules and Love Affair
10 DJ/rupture – Uproot

– Ground Zero (où acheter ses disques à Paris ?) : pas de Top 10 cette année mais un TOP 25 sans ordre. Allez voir sur le site et allez acheter des disques chez Ground Zero!
 
 
Pas de déprime en 2009 ; on sortira toujours quelques minutes de la morosité en se mettant un petit Led Zep à fond !
Bonne année à tous!
Stéphane

Best of 2007

Avant l’heure, c’est pas l’heure et de peur de rater l’album du siècle qui sortirait le 31 décembre dans l’après-midi, la liste 2007 a pris un peu son temps même si le choix s’est finalement imposé de lui même. Here we go! :
 
Album de l’année 2007 :
 
Cover (Sound of Silver:LCD Soundsystem)
LCD Soundsytem : Sound of Silver
 
Ils sont rares les albums qui s’adressent à la tête et aux jambes avec le même plaisir ; c’est pourtant ce qu’a réussi à faire James Murphy avec ce dernier album. Pour rappel, James Murphy c’est le boss du label DFA, producteur entre autre de The Rapture et New-Yorkais pur jus. Cet album, c’est un peu du Talking Heads grande époque de nos jours mais encore mieux (histoire de mettre la barre bien haut). A signaler également la sortie en CD de 45:33, l’album de commande de I-Tunes et Nike qui doit vous accompagner lors de votre jogging matinal – on se demande à quelle fréquence ! On a aussi beaucoup aimé la série de 45T du titre “All my Friends” avec des reprises du même morceau par Franz Ferdinand et John Cale, un peu comme à la grande époque des sixties où les groupes jouaient les morceaux des concurrents 15 jours après leur sortie. Album of the Year!
Les 14 autres (par ordre alphabétique) :
Cold War Kids : Robbers & Cowards
 
Un groupe qui a commencé par un site web avec ce concept des “Gamins de la Guerre Froide” et qui de fil en aiguille est allé vers la musique de jeunes. Premier album pour ce groupe US qu’on a vu notamment à Rock en Seine reprendre du Lennon version Platic Ono Band. Et accessoirement, meilleur début d’album depuis bien longtemps – les lecteurs de Nick Hornby se reconnaîtront…
 
Foo Fighters : Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
Alors oui, on reconnait qu’on aime bien parfois le rock bien lourd avec des cris de rebelles au milieu mais ce serait réduire Dave Grohl à quelqu’un de moins fin qu’il ne l’est réellement. Même s’il n’avait jamais déçu avec ses Foo Fighters au sortir de ses années de batteur d’un certain groupe de Seattle, on attendait toujours l’équilibre entre hymnes jouissifs chantés à tue-tête et ballades subtiles. Ce n’est plus le cas avec cet album, particulièrement bon à écouter on the road.
 

 

 

Iron and Wine : The Shepherd’s Dog
Qu’est ce qui fait qu’un album de tendance folk cool est plus enthousiasmant qu’un autre et finit dans le top 15 ? Pas grand chose, quelques bidouillages sonores et de belles histoires comme Samuel Beam les raconte si bien…

 

 

Kings of Leon : Because of the Times
 
Alors là, on n’attendait pas vraiment grand-chose de la fratrie Followil (pour mémoire, 3 frères et un cousin), ces quatre beaux mecs à l’histoire trop belle pour être vraie : fils d’un pasteur dans le Sud US profond. Et pourtant, quel album dément! Pour résumer, une sorte de Joy Division à la sauce Deep South avec une profondeur et une intensité géniales.
 
Jens Lekman : Night Falls over Kortedala
La surprise de fin d’année ; un Suédois qui après avoir fait quelques albums était retourné bosser dans un bingo (2 jours!) avant de s’y remettre pour un essai et on lui est reconnaissant. Un mélange de pop élégante et de Scott Walker.
Loney, Dear : Loney, noir et Sologne
Restons en Suède pour cette sortie de deux albums dans nos contrées cette année alors qu’ils étaient l’un et l’autre disponibles en Scandinavie depuis 2/3 ans. Une sorte de nounours qui chante des mélodies à pleurer et à siffler en boucle sous la douche.
 
 
Of Montreal : Hissing Fauna, are you the Destroyer?
Merci à nos correspondants de la Grosse Pomme de nous avoir recommandé ce groupe hallucinant dont le leader Kevin Barnes doit vraiment regretter de ne pas avoir pu concurrencer David Bowie au début des années 70 tandis que ses mélodies sonnent proches de la période glam et également tant son goût pour se travestir sur scène rappelle celui du grand David.
Queens of the Stone Age : Era Vulgaris
Un album un peu plus groove que les précédents pour le groupe de Josh Homme mais avec toujours ce son de métal chaleureux et répétitif dont on ne se lasse pas. ll n’y a pas des centaines de musiciens ou groupes importants par décade – Queens of the Stone Age fait partie des groupes qui resteront dans la petite/grande histoire de la musique. Voilà, c’est dit, non, mais.
Radiohead : In Rainbows
Alors, oui, ils ont sorti leur album par téléchargement seulement avec le prix qu’on veut et c’est une révolution, patati, patata,… Mais tout ça, on s’en foutrait si l’album était nul voire quelconque. Car ce qu’il faut retenir, c’est que cet album est peut-être leur meilleur. Et je parle d’un groupe qui a sorti The Bends ! Et OK Computer ! Une qualité mélodique incroyable, des sons simples mais magnifiques, bref battu d’un centième par LCD Soundsystem pour la place de n°1.
Gruff Rhys : Candylion
Plus que l’album de son groupe Super Furry Animals  (“Hey Venus!”), on recommande chaudement le deuxième album solo de leur leader avec des chansons en gallois, en anglais, en brésilien (enfin avec un accent gallois donc bizarre). Impossible d’être de mauvais poil en écoutant Gruff Rhys.
Kanye West : Graduation
On n’aime pas trop comment le bonhomme se la joue clinquant dans le Rap US mais dans son propre intérieur, Kanye West est un fan de musique qui sur ses albums chantonnent par dessus de vieux morceaux Soul déments avec un grand respect et une grande créativité. L’album sans doute le plus enthousiasmant du lot avec entre autre un sample de Daft Punk. A signaler aussi son boulot impeccable de producteur pour Common et son album “Finding Forever”
The White Stripes : Icky Thump
Ce n’est pas parce que Jack White et sa fausse soeur Meg sont moins hypes qu’il faut les oublier. Surtout quand ils sortent un de leurs meilleurs albums dans une année pourtant très riche en qualité. Une superbe synthèse entre leur volonté de modernisation et leur attachement éternel au blues.
Wilco : Sky Blue Sky
Déjà le 6ème album pour le groupe de Jeff Tweedy et un peu comme pour Jack White, sans doute leur meilleur synthèse entre rock US type Americana et leur volonté d’aller vers des choses plus expérimentales. De bien belles guitares sur ce LP et des paroles très justes sur les relations homme/femme
Saul Williams : Niggy Tardust
Plutôt que ses concerts impeccables avec Nine Inch Nails ou bien les albums sortis cette année – Year Zero et son petit frère remixé -, on aura surtout adoré Trent Reznor en 2007 pour l’album à quatre mains composé et joué avec le rappeur Saul Williams, mélangeant pastiches, reprises loufoques, mélodies pop, le tout dans une inventivité rare. Uniquement disponible sur le site de Saul Williams pour 0 ou 5 dollars.
Tout près de cette liste (pêle mêle) :
Klaxons, The Good, the Bad and the Queen, Deerhoof, The National, Grinderman (projet de Nick Cave), The Besnard Lakes, Blonde Redhead, Arctic Monkeys, Battles, Electrelane, Interpol, Band of Horses, PJ Harvey, Hushpuppies, The Soulsavers, Animal Collective, The New Pornographers, Beirut, Panda Bear, Fields, Gravenhurst, Sondre Lerche, The Weakerthans, Spoon,…
 
 
Bah, j’sais pas ou le syndrome Coldplay
 
Eh, oui, on ne sait toujours pas très bien quoi penser du 2ème album d’Arcade Fire (“Neon Bible”) : est-ce du Rondo Venezanio mélangé à du mauvais Dexys ou un vrai bel album emporté par le lyrisme ? Ou bien est-on moins sensible dès qu’un groupe devient trop gros et est trop attendu (cf. Coldplay dans le passé ?). Réponse dans 5 ans. A signaler aussi les relativement décevants 2èmes albums des groupes British suivants : Bloc Party, Maxïmo Park, The Rakes, Editors. Pas mauvais mais beaucoup moins bons que leurs 1ers albums.
Back from the Dead
 
Pas vraiment morts car jamais à la retraite mais pas tout jeunes non plus, nos vieux amis Robert Wyatt, Neil Young et Bruce Springsteen ont tous les trois sorti des très bons albums en 2007. En revanche, The Stooges, Dinosaur Jr., Smashing Pumpkins et Buffalo Tom étaient eux tous les quatre à la retraite depuis plus ou moins longtemps et ne nous ont pas décu pour les retrouvailles par des albums très dignes qui ont d’ailleurs comme but principal de permettre de les retrouver sur scène.
 
 
Meilleur DVD

 
Nirvana : Unplugged in New York
 
Enfin disponible en DVD – pourrait d’ailleurs être chaque année DVD de l’année s’il ressortait tous les ans. Comme disent les Meat Puppets invités pour trois morceaux par la bande à Kurt, “fucking Nirvana!”
 
 
 
Meilleur Single
 
 
Justice : D.A.N.C.E.
 
On aurait pu choisir d’autres morceaux de l’album avec la croix mais celui-ci s’impose naturellement avec l’originalité des choeurs d’enfant. On a mis un peu de temps à aimer Justice mais après quelques mois, on est définitivement conquis – Dance !
 
 
Meilleur Coffret
 
  
The Fall : Box Set 1976-2007
 
On ne remerciera jamais assez certaines coiffures touffues du Grand Est de la France de nous avoir re-connecté avec le groupe du grand Mark E. Smith, ses musiciens interchangeables qui bastonnent, ses ânonnements de voix incompréhensibles et ses sorties incessantes d’albums. The Fall a sorti un album cette année (“Post TLC Reformation!”) et Mark E. Smith a participé à une expérience techno avec les Allemands de Mouse on Mars (“Von Südenfed”) mais c’est ce superbe coffret peu onéreux de 5 CD’s qu’on retient. Une des influences principales de James Murphy et comme dirait le regretté DJ anglais John Peel au sujet de son groupe préféré : “The Fall, always the same, always different”.
 
 
Meilleure Compilation
 
  
Elliott Smith : New Moon
 
Comme si le regretté ami Elliott ne nous avait jamais quitté, cette compilation d’inédits nous ressort des morceaux magiques où sa voix feutrée nous donne toujours autant le frisson.
 
 
Reissue of the Year
 
  
Cowboy Junkies : Trinity Revisited
 
Petit rappel : à la fin des années 80, un jeune groupe alors amateur de Toronto rentre dans une église pour faire un album alternant reprises et morceaux à eux – certains ne s’en sont encore jamais remis et considèrent cet album comme un classique absolu. 20 ans après, ils reviennent dans la même église, accompagnés d’amis proches (Natalie Merchant, Ryan Adams, Vic Chesnutt) pour célébrer cet album et le rejouer dans l’ordre. La magie est toujours présente comme merveilleusement capturé dans ce CD/DVD.
 
 
Live Band of the Year : Daft Punk
 
 
En clin d’oeil au Alive 1997, nos Frenchies favoris sortent Alive 2007, soit l’intégralité du concert de Bercy en juin 2007. Une performance live de Daft Punk, c’est plus qu’une suite de morceaux, c’est un véritable travail créatif de remixes exceptionnels sur l’ensemble de leur répertoire. A signaler aussi la sortie en DVD d’Electroma, leur trip californien cinématographique avec références à Antonioni, Lynch ou autres Kubrick.
 
 
D’autres TOP 10
 
 
– NME (fanzine british) :
 
1. Klaxons – Myths Of The Near Future
2. Arctic Monkeys – Favourite Worst Nightmare
3. Radiohead – In Rainbows
4. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
5. Les Savy Fav – Let’s Stay Friends
6. Kings Of Leon – Because Of The Times
7. MIA – Kala
8. Biffy Clyro – Puzzle
9. The Cribs – Men’s Needs, Woman’s Needs, Whatever
10. Battles – Mirrored
  
– Paste (best US mag.) :
  
1. The National – Boxer
2. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
3. Bruce Springsteen – Magic
4. The White Stripes – Icky Thump
5. Feist – The Reminder
6. M.I.A. – Kala
7. Wilco – Sky Blue Sky
8. Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
9. Band of Horses – Cease to Begin
10. Iron & Wine – The Shepherd’s Dog
 
– Les Inrocks (more music please) :
 
1. LCD Soundsystem : Sound of Silver
2. Justice : Cross
3. Loney, Dear : Loney, noir et Sologne
4. Animal Collective : Strawberry Jam
5. Klaxons : Myths of the near Future
6. Kanye West : Graduation
7. PJ Harvey : White Chalk
8. Patrick Watson : Close to Paradise
9. Alela Diane : The Pirate’s Gospel
10. M.I.A. : Kala
 
– Mojo (Rock Bible Mag.) :
 
1. Radiohead – In Rainbows
2. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
3. Bruce Springsteen – Magic
4. Arctic Monkeys – Favourite Worst Nightmare
5. LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
6. The Good, The Bad & The Queen – The Good, The Bad & The Queen
7. The White Stripes – Icky Thump
8. PJ Harvey – White Chalk
9. Robert Wyatt – Comicopera
10. Kings of Leon – Because of the Times

– Ground Zero (où acheter ses disques à Paris ?) :
 
01. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM – SOUND OF SILVER
02. ANIMAL COLLECTIVE -STRAWBERRY JAM
03. FIERY FURNACES -WIDOW CITY
04. PANDA BEAR -PERSON PITCH
05. HANDSOMES FURS – PLAGUE PARK
06. DEERHOOF – FRIENDS OPPORTUNITY
07. BATTLES – MIRRORED
08. CARIBOU – ANDORRA
09. BERG SANS NIPPLE – ALONG THE QUAI
10. ELECTRELANE – NO SHOUTS NO CALL
 
– Pitchfork (best music web site in the world) :
 
 
01 Panda Bear – Person Pitch
02 LCD Soundsystem – Sound Of Silver
03 M.I.A. – Kala
04 Radiohead – In Rainbows
05 of Montreal Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
06 Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam
07 Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
08 Battles – Mirrored
09 The Field – From Here We Go Sublime
10 Burial – Untrue
 
Voilà, avant de conclure, un dernier mot sur les modes d’achat et d’approvisionnement de la musique à une époque où elle peut parfois être présente et disponible jusqu’à l’écoeurement. Pas d’envie de rentrer dans un pseudo débat économico-évolutif de société que d’autres feront mieux. Juste de rappeler qu’on peut être moderne et adorer la numérisation de la musique (site d’achat conseillé : e-music, le France Loisirs du rock indépendant) sans pour autant abandonner les vinyls et autres CD’s et continuer d’avoir envie d’aller acheter des disques chez Ground Zero à Paris, chez Sounds of the Universe à Londres, Other Music à New York ou encore Waterloo Records à Austin pour s’y sentir bien et avoir de vrais échanges musicaux avec des passionnés.
 
   
Alors, montez les amplis, faites sonner vos voisins et bonne année 2008 !
 
 
 
Stéphane