The Specs’N’Rugs 2017 Album Top 5

It’s the time of year when the annual lists are compiled, be it best song, best album, best book, best film. You name it, there will be a ‘Top 5’ of it. So, rather than be left behind, I’m going to join in the fun with my Top 5 albums of the year.

As You WereIn fifth place, because after one play, I can only manage to listen to two tracks more than once, it’s Liam Gallagher with ‘As You Were’. The stand out tracks for me are ‘For What It’s Worth’ and ‘Wall Of Glass’. The rest are just meh.

 

Kicking Up The DustIn fourth place, the latest release by Cast. ‘Kicking Up The Dust’ was a long time in waiting – I made my purchase via the Pledgemusic website sometime last year – but worth the wait when it arrived at the end of April. I received a signed copy (as did every purchaser) and it’s had regular play ever since. Stand out tracks for me are ‘Do That’, ‘Paper Chains’ and ‘Baby Blue Eyes’.

 

Crack UpIn third place, purely due to the need to listen carefully, and sometimes I’m not in the mood to listen carefully, is the long awaited Fleet Foxes third album, ‘Crack Up’. Six years after the release of it’s predecessor, this album is a step forward in musicality, songcraft and song titles that are difficult to remember! My favourite tracks are ‘Naiads, Cassadies’, ‘Third of May/Odaigahara’ and ‘Fools Errand’.

 

Who Built The MoonIn second place, with it’s boombastic sound, is ‘Who Built The Moon?’ by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Only released at the end of November, it has come close to the top spot in my countdown, but not quite achieving the pinnacle. Which is not to say that this lacks anything – in another year, it would be at the top – on the contrary, tracks like ‘Holy Mountain’, ‘Fort Knox’ and ‘The Man Who Built The Moon’ are absolutely amazing played obscenely loud.

 

Pure Comedy 2And the best album of 2017 as far as I’m concerned, is by far and away ‘Pure Comedy’ by Father John Misty. Seriously, how amazing is this album? Melodically and lyrically streets ahead of anything not in my top five, I seriously struggle to pick out favourites, but in order to continue the pattern of this post, I’ll try to. ‘Total Entertainment Forever’, ‘Ballad Of The Dying Man’ and probably ‘The Memo’ are just three of the albums outstanding tracks. And to top it all off, I saw him perform these songs live in November. Oh yes I did!!

 

 

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The Saturday Shuffle – Week 11

Another Saturday means another shuffle extravaganza is upon us. Thanks to the magic of technology, I’m actually busy doing something else right now, but here are the five tracks my phone shuffle threw up this week (not literally, of course)…

  1. Grown Ocean – The Fleet Foxes. Another of my favourite bands, the Fleet Foxes are just brilliant. This is the last track from their second album, ‘Helplessness Blues’, and it’s a treat.
  2. The World Tonight – Paul McCartney. Remember when it was the cool thing to mock Mr McCartney for ‘selling out’? Well, the Beatles Anthology thing came along and the next year, we got his ‘Flaming Pie’ album full of groovy tracks like this.
  3. Simple – Nick Harper. More of the magnificent Mr Harper. This is a simple song about simple stuff. It’s a little over-produced (I’m a sucker for his live act), but still a great song.
  4. Across The Universe – The Beatles. Carrying on with yet another brilliant song, this is one of John Lennon’s spiritual tracks written during the Rishikesh stay when they were all seeking a meaning to everything. There is a sub-standard cover version currently doing the rounds on a Samsung advert.
  5. Return To Sender – Elvis Presley. Remember the days when you had to write a letter to people in order to tell them things? Well, this is a song about writing to that special someone, only for the damned letters to come back to you, unopened. Call it unrequited love, or maybe just a crap postman…

And that is the end of that. With the start of the football season now upon us, this is the last shuffle for the time being – my Saturday afternoons will be filled with avoiding football…