Albums of the Year 2011

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1. Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know (Virgin) 09/09/2011

Laura Marling - A Creature I Don't KnowLaura Marling’s third album, ‘A Creature I Don’t Know’ shows her as an already accomplished  artist developing within her trademark folk roots, whilst bringing tinges of jazz to her sound. Marling is clearly in control throughout, and never more so on than first track, ‘The Muse’, where she ponders wanting a man, confused at what he might do for her. The vocal is ironic and the story is told as a series of questions and quips. Marling’s more folks roots are ever present in seminal ‘Salinas’ and ‘All My Rage’. Guitar is immaculate as you would expect from her first two outings, and the accompaniment is as rich or as minimal as the track allows. Continue reading

Albums of the Year 2010

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1.   The National – High Violet – (4AD) 10/05/2010

The National High VioletHigh Violet is the fifth album for The National, and has proven to be their biggest commercial success. Afters years of touring and TV appearances the world seems to have woken up to their genius. As with previous output, this is similarly sullen territory for The National. Matt Berninger’s characteristic stone faced warblings set the mood of the album perfectly, and musically we’re pushed around by bombastic percussion behind grinding guitars. It’s a heavy album, but one that’s surprising easy to engage with. Lyrical themes are of love lost, money owed and hard times – exactly the type of drama a soundtrack like this deserves. The whole album reeks of cool.

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