Swear I'm not Paul: List: Q Magazine's Top 50 Albums of the Year

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

List: Q Magazine's Top 50 Albums of the Year

Q Magazine's Top 50 Albums of the Year

Q Magazine is always a bit more poppy than the other magazines. Uncut is the one that your Dad can agree with, and NME is a bit more clued in with the Pitchfork hipsters. Q was always a fan of everything. And 2009's Best of albums list is no different.

50. Jarvis Cocker - Further Complications
49. Bob Dylan - Together Through Life
48. Ian Brown - My Way
47. Madness - The Liberty of Norton Folgate
46. Golden Silvers - True Romance

I bet this is the only list this year where you'll see Madness. Comeback of the year? Maybe. It lasted longer than Jacko anyhow. So far, the list is just a case of oldies adding to their already well-rounded back catalogues. Bob Dylan probably appears in this list every year. That Jarvis solo album is damn good though.

45. Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - Outer South
44. The View - Which Bitch?
43. Tinariwen - Imidiwan: Companions
42. Mariachi El Bronx - Mariachi El Bronx
41. Wild Beasts - Two Dancers

It's here that Q get those eccentric, not for everyone albums out of the way. Tinariwen will appeal to the world music crowd, and Mariachi El Bronx is some cult punk. Conor Oberst's latest is a patchy effort, with some great songs, but I don't really think it's one of the best 50 albums of the year.

40. Cheryl Cole - 3 Words
39. The Horrors - Primary Colours
38. Richard Hawley - Truelove's Gutter
37. Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport
36. Sonic Youth - The Eternal

Very strange to have Cheryl Cole and Richard Hawley on the same list, never mind Fuck Buttons or Sonic Youth. But thank God Hawley is ahead of Cole, rather than the other way around. I haven't listened to her album yet, but Q is the only (non-Heat/OK/New) publication that has given the album more than three stars. That Hawley album is glorious though.

35. Pearl Jam - Backspacer
34. White Lies - To Lose My Life...
33. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
32. Paolo Nutini - Sunny Side Up
31. Biffy Clyro - Only Revolutions

Dirty Projectors will be really high up the Pitchfork list (have you heard their collaboration with David Byrne 'Knotty Pine'? - fantastic), but Paolo Nutini is a Q only album. It's great if you're into Scottish soul pop. Pearl Jam is as good as most of their catalogue, and Biffy Clyro is a powerful rock album which could very well get plaudits from Pearl Jam fans.

30. La Roux - La Roux
29. Wilco - Wilco (The Album)
28. Bruce Springsteen - Working on a Dream
27. The Dead Weather - Horehound
26. Bat for Lashes - Two Suns

The latter two here will definitely make my list, and Bat for Lashes could well be high on it. Natasha Khan's 'Daniel' is one of the songs of the year, as is 'Cut Like a Buffalo' by Jack White's new band. La Roux is flavour of the year synth-pop, and Wilco's new one is a worthy attempt. Bruce Springsteen shouldn't be on here though, as it's his worst album of the decade.

25. Noah and the Whale - The First Days of Spring
24. Mos Def - The Ecstatic
23. The Prodigy - Invaders Must Die
22. The Low Anthem - Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
21. Jamie T - Kings & Queens

The Low Anthem made the list, but obviously the guys and gals at Q didn't really listen to the new Felice Brothers, as that album does the same thing so much better. Mos Def is a very strange one, it didn't really get much press attention, and I didn't think it was all that fantastic. Jamie T is one for the Brits only, I didn't buy into its schtick.

20. Fever Ray - Fever Ray
19. Monsters of Folk - Monsters of Folk
18. Mika - The Boy Who Knew Too Much
17. Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown
16. Empire of the Sun - Walking on a Dream

This is the we missed the bandwagon the first time. There's no other reason Mika, Monsters of Folk, and Fever Ray would be on here. Mika's new album is terrible in comparison to his last one, Fever Ray's is decent but is most likely here because they hadn't heard of the Knife before Jose Gonzalez, and Monsters of Folk isn't as good as the sum of its parts. Green Day has always been meh for me anyway. Empire of the Sun are a poor man's MGMT. Poor choices.

15. Dizzee Rascal - Tongue N' Cheek
14. Devendra Banhart - What Will We Be
13. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
12. Jack Penate - Everything is New
11. Doves - Kingdom of Rust

I haven't heard Devendra's new one yet, so can't comment on that. Grizzly Bear's is excellent in its genre. Doves are finally getting the credit they deserve thanks to Elbow's Mercury Win last year (that said, where's Speech Debelle on this list? It shouldn't be on it, but you'd expect it to be here.) Dizzee is another Mercury winner, and his new album is as good as anything he's done.

10. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
09. U2 - No Line on the Horizon
08. Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You
07. Muse - The Resistance
06. Arctic Monkeys - Humbug

The top ten started off so well. That Phoenix album is the best thing they've ever done and has brought them (quite rightly) into the mainstream. However, those U2, Arctic Monkeys, and Muse albums may well be the worst things all three bands have done. Particularly No Line on the Horizon. Lily's is a wonderful pop album though.

5. Manic Street Preachers - Journal for Plague Lovers
4. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
2. Florence and the Machine - Lungs
1. Kasabian - West Rider Pauper Lunatic Asylum

A decent if not phenomenal top five. Manic's new album was a fitting tribute to Richey Edwards. Animal Collective's album has lost impact since it was released at the start of the year - as time goes on, it seems to become more and more average - great album cover though. Of the top three, Yeah Yeah Yeahs is by far the best, but all are good albums. Just good though. Florence is well hyped, but just okay. Kasabian's is their best effort, but not the best album of 2009.

9 comments:

J said...

I still listen to MPP frequently and can't think of another album that hit me the way it did when it was released in January. U2, Arctic Monkeys, Wilco, Muse releases were all underwhelming on top of an underwhelming year in music in general.

Will said...

Interesting post, nice one. Dirty Projectors and Paolo Nutini next to each other? Just, weird.

Maurice said...

Pretty typical of Q really - try to cover all bases, then have someone known but mildly surprising as their no.1.

I'm glad it wasn't Arctic Monkeys, although i must admit their album was a grower. I'm yet to see Mika, Green Day (21st century Makeover version) Silly Allen or U2 get a bad review in that Magazine, and Muse earned exemption in their eyes due to their last album.

MPP is a big Meh for me. My two Favourites on their list are Mos Def & Phoenix, and i'm disappointed no one picked up on White Denim's superb Fits, My World by Lee Fields & the Expressions or my current Album of the Year - Let it Beep by Royal Bangs.

I feel it's still a bit too early for all this - there's a good 2 months of music yet to be released, including that Blakroc album which could certainly challenge the top of my list.

Isaac Ashe said...

Mariachi El Bronx is by a punk band, The Bronx, but is straight-forward mariachi music, not "some cult punk" at all.
I recommend it.

alex said...

No line on the horizon needed to show it's playfull side a bit more, there was some graet lyrics especially on stand-up comedy and breathe, but overall it tries to hard to please everyone. That's U2 for you. I still like it.

Maurice said...

Issac, are you the same Issac that went to Staffs uni with Jay & Moggy & Miranda?

Cole said...

Well said sir. I've given the Q list a slagging here:

http://martincole.blogspot.com/2009/11/underneath-and-unexplored.html

Q: 'Q is a music magazine for people who don’t really like music that much'. Discuss.

Isaac Ashe said...

Maurice - yes I am!
Is this a music blog or Friends Reunited?

Anonymous said...

Man... can't believe that The xx, Flaming Lips, Dinosaur Jr and Camera Obscura did not make this list...all had outstanding albums which should have easily found a place in Q's list...mind you, it says more about Q and how conservative a magazine they have become.