Monday, December 16, 2013

Best Of 2013: Readers Choices Part 4

Here is one last list before I post my picks for "Best Records Of 2013." This comes from my pal and Burning Wood supporter, John Dunbar.

10-And The Professors- Our Postmortem

Adam Levy of the Honeydogs created this side project to explore the chamber pop side of his writing. I look forward to further explorations.

9-Jules Shear- Longer To Get To Yesterday
After way too many years of hibernation, Jules released 2 discs of new material this year ( Shear/ Shazar was a top tenner until this one bumped it to 11).
Battling through the questionable production, Jules provides some of his strongest songs in decades.

8-Wesley Stace- Wesley Stace
John Wesley Harding changes his recording name to the one on his birth certificate. He's turned down the overly clever word play and turned up the personal confessional side. When a great songwriter gets even greater it's something to behold.

7- Kimberley Rew- Healing Broadway
Reminds me of the type of records Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds would release in their heyday. Very British; bluesy rockers, country-esque bouncers, a little music hall. Great songwriting, solid playing, it sounds like the Ex-Kinks, Ex-Katrina and The Waves and current spouses are having a grand ol' time making it.

6- The Odds- The Most Beautiful Place On Earth/ Game Face On
The reunited Canadian greats were supposed to put out a series of new EPs this year. Only 2 surfaced. Joining both of them on my Ipod has turned these 10 songs into one damn fine album.

5- The Fratellis- We Need Medicine

I loved The Fratellis, even beer commercials couldn't spoil it. When they broke up, I loved leadman Jon Fratelli's next, Codeine Velvet Club, and the album made. I really loved his solo album Psycho Jukebox. The Fratellis reunited this year and I love this album.

4-Bernard Fanning- Departures
This is his second solo album, and the first since the demise of Aussie legends Powderfinger. His previous album had a warm, rustic, folky vibe. On this one he wears his love of Bowie on his sleeve, as well as rocking out like his old band used to do so well.

3-Richard Thompson- Electric

Another album of outstanding songwriting and mind-blowing guitar playing, but this time with Buddy Miller overhearing the proceedings. It's easy to take him for granted: I certainly don't.

2- The Duckworth Lewis Method- Sticky Wickets
Another concept about cricket? Yes. Another masterpiece? Yes. Neil Hannon of Divine Comedy and Thomas Walsh of Pugwash bring back the magic. I've never seen a cricket match, yet I can't stop listening. Guest stars run from Neil Finn to Stephen Fry.

1-Euros Childs- Situation Comedy
Since the dissolution of Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, Mr. Childs has been putting out solo albums and one off projects (the great Jonny with Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake is a gem) at the rate of about 2 a year. All of them excellent without ever repeating himself. This newest one is his best yet. At times he sounds like Sparks if they were part of the Canterbury scene.


buzzbabyjesus said...

"At times he sounds like Sparks if they were part of the Canterbury scene."

I'm still wrapping my mind around this idea. To some the comparison makes it a record of interest, a "must have". Too me it falls under the category of "run away as fast as you can". I can handle The Canterbury part, but not with Sparks. Thanks for the warning.

It's been really interesting to see what others call their top ten.

It would be cool if there was at least one record worthy of our unanimous adoration.

Shriner said...

BBJ said:

"It would be cool if there was at least one record worthy of our unanimous adoration."

*Is* there even such a record in the history of recording? Revolver? Blonde on Blonde? Dark Side of the Moon? Exile on Main Street? Born To Run? Thriller? 1999? Rumours? Who's Next?

Those jumped out as *suggestions*, but some of them are not even in my personal top 20 of all time...

Anonymous said...

did not know there was a new Kimberly Rew album. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Great list. Almost entirely unique, yet all choices seem plausible. Didn't know about J Wes Harding's name change. Off to look for that now. Thank you.

A walk in the woods said...

The Odds - wow, I saw them open for Warren Zevon and then turn around and become his backing band for his main set in ATL in early 1992 in what will always remain in my TOP 10 CONCERTS no matter how many great shows I've seen since then. I had no idea they were still around though. I will check them out again!

Anonymous said...

I have "The Most Beautiful Place on Earth" CD and love it. Didn't know the second Odds EP was available. Can't find it anywhere online. Where did you get it?


William Repsher said...

I'm enjoying all these lists, but have to admit, they've inspired me to do what I've done since the dawn of the digital age: rush over to Emusic and cherry pick albums for tracks that grab my ear. Which is probably why I'd be hard-pressed to come up with a best-of album list, as I've lost the art of album listening and appreciation. Best-of tracks, maybe, but even then, I'd be picking stuff that I'm assuming would be predominately album cuts and not singles ... which seems to be the new paradigm. Doesn't matter if it's Track 8 and no one else gives a shit: I like what I like. But furthers the point BBJ was making, it makes it all that much harder to form any kind of consensus, or create an atmosphere where we can all recognize greatness, as we have in the past.

Still, managed to cobble together an informal, personal "best of" for Kimberley Rew, and compiled about 20 other tracks from this and previous lists! I've always been more a "song" than "album" man, but now I'm like a kid who picks out the "oats" portion of Lucky Charms cereal and just eats the marshmallow charms.

Anonymous said...

Craig Northey did an acoustic show in New York City on November 22. Not only was the show excellent, he had the new ODDS EP with him.


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