Monday, January 01, 2007

UK Blogger Albums Of 2006 Poll Results

Another year done and dusted, and time for the second annual Sweeping The Nation UK Blogger Albums Of The Year Poll, wherein we asked a bunch of UK-based bloggers for their favourite albums released in Britain this year and collated them into a big list. Nearly double the number of participants as last year took part, and with little chance of a repeat of last year's result, where Funeral was a mile ahead of Illinois which was a mile ahead of Silent Alarm, you'll see that the field was wide open, a remarkable 166 different albums getting a mention. Chief music bloggers among those voting, some of whom even know they've contributed to this list, were 17 Seconds, Abstract Boy, Delete As Appropriate, Domino Rally, Fire Escape Talking, funfunfun, ireallylovemusic, Just Gimme Indie Rock, Me And My CDs, No Ripcord, No Rock'n'Roll Fun, Nothing But Green Lights, Parallax View, Silent Words Speak Loudest, Talent In A Previous Life, The Art Of Noise, The Daily Growl, The Indie Credential, The Runout Groove, The White Noise Revisited, Torr, Who Knows Where Thoughts Come From and Yer Mam!. Thank to you all those people and the normals that also contributed, and it's too late to change your mind now as we've got a rundown to do:

50 TAPES N TAPES - The Loon
49 HOWLING BELLS - Howling Bells
48 MOGWAI - Mr Beast
47 GRIZZLY BEAR - Yellow House
46 YO LA TENGO - I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
45 GRAHAM COXON - Love Travels At Illegal Speeds
44 MORRISSEY - Ringleader Of The Tormentors
43 JEREMY WARMSLEY - The Art Of Fiction
42 PET SHOP BOYS - Fundamental
40 THE SPINTO BAND - Nice And Nicely Done
39 AMY WINEHOUSE - Back To Black
38 SONIC YOUTH - Rather Ripped
37 THE DRESDEN DOLLS - Yes, Virginia
36 THE FLAMING LIPS - At War With The Mystics
35 ¡FORWARD RUSSIA! - Give Me A Wall
34 MUSE - Black Holes And Revelations
33 LIARS - Drums Not Dead
32 SNOW PATROL - Eyes Open
31 LUKE HAINES - Off My Rocker At The Art School Bop
30 WORKING FOR A NUCLEAR FREE CITY - Working For A Nuclear Free City
29 DESTROYER - Destroyer's Rubies
28 THOM YORKE - The Eraser
27 LOVE IS ALL - Nine Times That Same Song
26 THE DECEMBERISTS - The Crane Wife
24 KEANE - Under The Iron Sea
23 CSS - Cansei De Ser Sexy
22 JARVIS - Jarvis
21 BELLE & SEBASTIAN - The Life Pursuit

Turning tail from Rilo Kiley's alt-pop, Lewis heads for the dark heart of country, Saddle Creek crew backing leading to gorgeous folk and gospel-laced Americana of the highest quality
Video: Rise Up With Fists!!

19 ISOBEL CAMPBELL & MARK LANEGAN - Ballad Of The Broken Seas
An odd triumph for an odd combination, but it's not so much Lanegan as a grizzled Lee Hazlewood that stands out as much as main writer Campbell's flowering into darker folk corners
Video: Ramblin' Man

18 ABSENTEE - Schmotime
Sporting a sozzled heart of darkness and in Dan Michaelson a voice of pure grit, a semi-misanthropic Silver Jews-esque meld of Anglicised alt-country and distorted guitar-pop
Video: We Should Never Have Children

17 BEIRUT - Gulag Orkestar
Zach Condon's examination of Balkan folk music could have gone wrong, but his carefully nuanced voice, fanfare brass and an ability to treat joyousness and heartache much the same
Video: Postcards From Italy live

16 THE RESEARCH - Breaking Up
Cheap keyboards, stripped down drumkits and a cap-wearing singer named Russell The Disaster - yes, it's indie, but it's an indiepop delight of canny hooks, wry humour and warm breakup tales
Video: Lonely Hearts Still Beat The Same live

15 SCOTT WALKER - The Drift
Ubercomplex arrangements maintain Walker's position well outside standard 'alternative' references and inside the avant-garde eviscerating pop melodies. Features slab of meat as percussion
Video: Jesse

14 REGINA SPEKTOR - Begin To Hope
Not just another quirky singer-songwriter, Spektor rises above the crop with carefully idiosyncratic melodies matched with smart songs and lyrics that are personal and abstract alike
Video: Fidelity

13 THE YOUNG KNIVES - Voices Of Animals And Men
So there was somewhere for post-punk revivalism still to go, mixing the spiky guitars with psychedelic touches, vocal interplay and foremost bleakly humorous tales of suburban life
Video: Here Comes The Rumour Mill

12 NEKO CASE - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
The sometime New Pornographer's heart has always been in affecting country noir, coming across like a more vulnerable, bittersweet relative of Emmylou Harris, emotive and excellently drawn
Video: Maybe Sparrow on Letterman

11 GUILLEMOTS - Through The Windowpane
Ambition's not the half of it as Fyfe Dangerfield puts himself at the centre of an cavalcade of eerie orchestrattions, life affirming twisted pop and all jazz-indie-outre points between
Video: Trains To Brazil

10 THE KNIFE - Silent Shout
The Dreijer siblings' enigmatic synthpop continues heading outwards, electro as imagined by Chris Cunningham fronted by Karin's heavily filtered vocals, attempting with no small amount of multilayered success to turn synthpop into the spookiest of genres
Video: Silent Shout

9 FINAL FANTASY - He Poos Clouds
Owen Pallett evokes the eight schools of Dungeons & Dragons through the medium of loops and a chamber quartet. Come back, it's an ambitious, emotive and ultimately winning examination of loneliness and dislocation
Video: He Poos Clouds

8 THE LONG BLONDES - Someone To Drive You Home
Pulp infused with the spirit of Blondie is the common, glib reduction, but it bears itself out as frazzled riffs and disco rhythms work off brash, wry, cultural referencing advice and observations borne out by Kate Jackson's seedy charm
Video: Once And Never Again

Interesting to see this rubbing shoulders with more high profile favourites. Some call it twee, but the Greenock outfit shrug off inevitable Belle & Sebastian comparisons with dark folkpop, soaring strings and lurches into post-rock
Video: Pretty In A Panic

6 HOT CHIP - The Warning
Alexis Taylor's very merry men made the leap from cult concern to radio bothering with a set of sublime, intelligently constructed and not exactly heavy-handed electro-R&B-punk-funk which manages the usually unlikely feat of humanising and emotionalising dance music
Video: Over And Over

Sing, harpist! Sounding much like its cover, whether cloaking intently personal songs in metaphor and arcane language, working in Van Dyke Parks' baroque orchestration or cutting to the bitter quick of delicate harp and unique voice, it's like nothing else
Video: Sawdust And Diamonds live

4 CAT POWER - The Greatest
Chan goes to Memphis and finally gives getting rid of her demons a good shot, not without a great deal of internal laceration. Her warmest surroundings yet bring the best out of Marshall's voice even as she concerns herself with regret, starkness and even hope
Video: Lived In Bars

3 CAMERA OBSCURA - Let's Get Out Of This Country
Just about leaving the shadow of that other indie Glaswegian outfit behind, their third album set the controls for the heart of Phil Spector, Shadow Morton, Jimmy Webb, Glen Campbell and, yes, Lloyd Cole and came out with contrasting, shadow-in-sun lyrics and melodies alike
Video: Lloyd I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken

2 THE PIPETTES - We Are The Pipettes
Yes, really. We'll show you the ballot breakdown if you want. And at least it's just about explainable, a band almost tailormade for a cult following debuting with a slinky, sassy album of hooky, knowingly retro nearly pure harmony-laden pop songs with witty modern lyrical concerns
Video: Pull Shapes

1 TV ON THE RADIO - Return To Cookie Mountain
The poll leader from day one. A band that genuinely have no obvious direct peers, this is the best demonstration yet of their ability to mash together tons of influences and whatever studio noises they see fit with haywire soul preacher vocals and an almost avant-garde approach to proper band constructs. Visceral, inventive and a worthy winner in a mixed up year.
Video: Wolf Like Me on Letterman


Mr Rossy said...

Wow, what an awsome list !!
I think tv on the radio have come out on top this year, should of got more attention, but they seem to be no. 1 on alot of peoples poles, great album.

Gosh, so many good records, lets hope 2007 will be as good!!

Ben said...

Splendid stuff - as all your end-of-year posts have been. Don't know how you manage to post so much quality in such a short space of time - makes me feel embarrassed by my own feeble efforts... (SWSL album list still to come...)

And I'm naturally delighted to see that you're venturing back into the world of football blogging - just what's needed when many of the other decent football blogs seem to have died off.

Phill said...

Did the Yeah Yeah Yeah's get disqualified or something?

Simon said...

A surprisingly low equal ninetieth, in fact (well, even we're not working out individual positions after a certain water mark)