Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Even The Stars Albums Of The Year 2015 - 12 to 9


It's that time of year again when we reveal our favourite records of the year. There's been so many great albums made this year that not all of them could make the final cut and it's been a hard choice to whittle them down to just twenty. We continue our countdown today from 12 to 9.

12 : THE CHARLATANS - MODERN NATURE 


The fact that The Charlatans released their twelfth album Modern Nature was an achievement in itself. They are a band that has seen its fair share of adversity and tragedy, losing two members way too young including drummer Jon Brookes during the recording of this album, and, almost as an irrelevant aside to that, whose commercial star has risen and fallen along with so many of their 1990s contemporaries. Yet, they're still here and in Modern Nature, they've created an album that still has their indelible stamp all over it, but which may just be the best of their career.


From our review : "Whilst there's nothing as immediate as The Only One I Know or North Country Boy or those big hits with which they made their name in the 1990s on here, The Charlatans might have just pulled off their most complete album out of their bag with Modern Nature, even more astonishing a feat given the tragic events around its creation."

The Charlatans' official website can be found here. They are on Facebook and Twitter. Tim Burgess is also on Twitter.

11 : PAUL HEATON AND JACQUI ABBOTT - WISDOM, LAUGHTER AND LINES


Wisdom, Laughter And Lines is the second album since Paul Heaton reunited with his old sparring partner Jacqui Abbott from their days in The Beautiful South. After the slightly unexpected success of What Have We Become, Wisdom, Laughter And Lines is everything you'd expect from a Heaton-composed album, intelligent articulate and observational lyrics on a range of subject matters close to his heart combined with an unerring knack of delivering a tune that's both simple in execution but also an impossible to shift ear worm. It's a perfect title for the album too as the songs tell stories about life and love and politics, all shaded by Heaton's dark battered and bruised take on the world.



From our review : "Wisdom, Laughter And Lines is certain to cement the love that's felt for Heaton and Abbott. Despite the often dark and sometimes disturbing subject matter, it either grabs the listener with that unmistakable tone of Paul's voice or the beauty of Jacqui's or by the music that sits in direct opposition to the words it accompanies. No one else manages to quite achieve this."

Paul Heaton's website can be found here.  Paul is on Twitter here and Jacqui here

10 : PINS - WILD NIGHTS

PINS' second album Wild Nights is the follow-up to 2013's Girls Like Us. It's a more reflective affair than their debut but without losing any of the tension or passion, merging its post-punk spikiness with classic girl-group harmonies to create a cohesive record that's more ambitious than its predecessor.




From our review : "Wild Nights feels like it's a natural stop-off of a journey that PINS are taking. It's a progression from Girls Like Us, the sound of a band that's increasingly comfortable in their own skin with a message to convey yet at the same time creating something that's going to appeal to their loyal and steadily growing fanbase. It takes a few listens to immerse yourself in it unlike the immediate hit-and-run impact of their debut, but it reveals further depths with every play like all records that truly endear do."

PINS official website can be found here.  They are on Facebook and Twitter.

9 : BLACK CASINO AND THE GHOST - UNTIL THE WATERS RUN CLEAR


Until The Waters Run Clear is the second Black Casino And The Ghost album, following up on 2013's Some Dogs Think Their Name Is No, and it's a veritable pot-pourri of styles that holds the listener in its grasp as it leads you like a pied piper through a magical mystery tour. Black Casino And The Ghost are Elisa Zoot on vocals and piano, Ariel Lerner on guitar, Gary Kilminster on bass and Paul Winter-Hart on drums, but what they create feels like much more than the sum of those parts.



From our review : "Until The Waters Run Clear is a record made by a band with a million ideas to cram into fifty minutes and who manage to succeed in doing so without overburdening the songs. It's a record that reveals something new, takes another twist on every listen. It demands your focus and attention because there's so much going on, but once you've put it on, you won't be switching it off any time soon."

Black Casino and the Ghost's website can be found here and they are also on Facebook and Twitter.

Numbers 8 to 5 tomorrow.

Read about 20 to 17 featuring Air Cav, Minnie Birch, White Boy and Jemima Surrender here.

Read about 16 to 13 featuring Ghost Culture, Dexters, Frank Turner and The Lucid Dream here.
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