Thursday, 24 December 2009

Andy's Really Good (and bad) Stuff 2009


Category - Generally excellent:

Dennis Wilson –Pacific Ocean Blue…a re-release of a long lost old album and better than anything Brian Wilson ever managed. Really.

Joe Bonamassa – The Ballad of John Henry…blues/rock guitarist with a voice like Paul Rodgers. That’s a good thing

U2 – No Line On The Horizon…it’s almost obligatory to knock them because they are so big and successful, but they never rest on their laurels. In retrospect, though, the “cover” of Pump It Up wasn’t the best introduction to the album

The Decemberists – The Hazards of Love…a prog rock concept album! (I bet that’s sold it to you)

The Low Anthem – Oh My God, Charlie Darwin…either hollering like Tom Waits with the accompanying pots and pans, or whispering the most wonderful ballads in the world

Richmond Fontaine – We Used To Think The Freeway Sounded Like A River…slow-burning Americana about life’s losers

Pearl Jam – Backspacer…their best album in years. A band having fun!

Florence & The Machine – Lungs…a joy from start to end, except for “Kiss With a Fist” which I unfortunately heard first and is just plain rubbish. That set us back six months in our relationship

Shearwater – Rooks…haunting, uplifting. Best Americana album of the year

Really good, but lacking a certain something:

Bat For Lashes – Two Suns…she’s mad, she is

Doves – Kingdom Of Rust…completely eclipsed by Elbow nowadays, aren’t they?

Various Artists - Dark Was The Night…veritable who’s-who of state of the art Americana

Wilco – Wilco (The Album)…people raved about it, but I think their best albums are behind them. Singer Jeff Tweedy is just too contented nowadays

Dan Michaelson & The Coastguard – Saltwater…biggest grower of the year

Bruce Springsteen – Working On A Dream…not his best, but still making worthwhile albums

Bill Callahan – Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle…kind of like mellow Nick Cave. And a bit Nick Drake

Them Crooked Vultures…thanks to CDWow it’s only arrived recently, so difficult to form a full opinion. It’s great, but there are already a couple of songs worth skipping

Broken Family Band – Please & Thank You…manners are important. Still think the threat to spit roast a Peacock at End Of The Road was the best joke any band made all year (apart from maybe the Muse album)

Soulsavers – Broken…gets a bit samey after a while

Placebo – Battle For The Sun…a welcome inclusion of brass, but last album “Meds” was better

White Denim – Fits…manic energy and invention, but could do with a few more choruses

Joe Gideon & The Shark – Harum Scarum…nowhere near as thunderous as live, but gets better as the album goes on

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit…the man who wrote all the decent songs and choruses in the Drive-by Truckers continuing to do what he does

Blitzen Trapper – Furr…stylistically all over the place, and loses the plot in the final third. Note to Rich: Features the song “Black River Killer”, so that’s all the required Americana boxes ticked!

Monsters of Folk…like The Traveling Wilburys

Very, very disappointing:

Muse – The Resistance

The Dead Weather - Horehound

Wild Beasts – Two Dancers

Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion…these last two albums are featuring in all of the music magazines best of lists – usually at the top. They’re both shite


Scott Weiland – Missing Cleveland, Beautiful Day

Shearwater – Rooks, Century Eyes, The Snow Leopard

Bat For Lashes – Daniel, Glass

The Broken Family Band – You Did a Bad Thing, Stay Friendly

Bon Jovi – Brokenpromiseland

Dan Michaelson – Now I’m I Coastguard

The Decemberists – The Rake’s Song

Eagles of Death Metal – Anything ‘Cept The Truth, I’m Your Torpedo

Florence & The Machine – Dog Days Are Over, Rabbit Heart, Drumming Song, Cosmic Love, You’ve Got The Love

Them Crooked Vultures – New Fang, Reptiles

Doves – Kingdom Of Rust

Pearl Jam – The Fixer, Unthought Known, Supersonic, Force Of Nature

Joe Bonamassa – Story of a Quarryman, Jockey Full of Bourbon, The Ballad of John Henry

The National – So Far Around The Bend

U2 – Breathe, Stand Up Comedy, Unknown Caller, Moment of Surrender

Sparklehorse - Revenge

Jay-Z – Empire State of Mind

The Low Anthem – Champion Angel, Charlie Darwin, To The Ghost Who Write History Books

Soulsavers – Some Misunderstanding, Unbalanced Pieces, Death Bells

Richmond Fontaine – Lonnie, You Can Move Back Here

Yeasayer – Tightrope

Placebo – Ashtray Heart, For What It’s Worth, Kings Of Medicine

Bruce Springsteen – This Life, What Love Can Do, My Lucky Day

Dennis Wilson – River Song

Wilco – One Wing

Bill Callahan – Eid Ma Clack Shaw

Sean Watkins – A World Away From This One

Thom Yorke – All For The Best


The Dark Knight – I know it came out last year, but I only got around to it on DVD this year…I’ve got stuff to do, you know!

Son Of Rambow

The Changeling

Body Of Lies


Baader-Meinhof Complex

Slumdog Millionaire

The Reader


The Wrestler…like watching a washed out David Lee Roth

Gran Torino


State Of Play

Looking For Eric


The Wave

The Damned United

In The Loop

Star Trek


Let The Right One In

Anvil – The True Story Of Anvil

I await your scorn and ridicule…



  1. Right that's just plain unhelpful. I'm not going to listen to all of that lot or indeed see that many films. I could really do with a couple of top 3's here please. Possibly a top 1 for Craig.


    oh and really J Zed did you buy that?

  2. Jay Zed doesn't need the money. I'll try and summarise for those with ADD

  3. Good To see Jo Bonamassa and the ballad of john Henry in there, really is a top album, and nice to see Springsteen getting a mention, he's still the dogs in my opinion. Though can I please ask Why, when you mentioned many top films, that Taken (I take it you mean the Liam Neeson number)got a mention? I really thought it was terrible, and Neeson could literally have been replaced with a piece of 2 x 4. Still, I suppose at Least Holly Valance Is still fit, so Maybe it was worth a watch. Good List mate, I best go put a turkey in the oven or something, all the best chaps...

  4. I mentioned Taken on the basis of an "it's so crap and unbelievable, its actually looped all the way around the spectrum of quality and re-emerged at the other side". Pretty much a perfect Friday night film. And Holly Valance is indeed still fit.

  5. And how come no CD's not even with elephant covers?