Top 50 albums of 2019: 50-41

50: Meatraffle – Bastard Music

Left field indie pop the will have you nodding along and scratching your head at the same time.

Listen on Spotify

 

49: Petbrick – I

Intense, loud and aggressive electronica. Like The Prodigy on steroids. Smashing.

Listen on Spotify

 

48: Gender Roles – Prang

High octane pop-punk with some seriously catchy hooks that’s just the right side of heavy.

Listen on Spotify

 

47: Plaid – Polymer

Intelligent techno straight out of the 90s. Reminiscent of Snivilsation/In Sides-era Orbital at points.

Listen on Spotify

 

46: Boy Harsher – Careful

Strong on ominous, brooding 80’s synth pop. If you liked the music in Stranger Things, you’re on to a winner with this.

Listen on Spotify

 

45: Petrol Girls – Cut & Stitch

Angry, feminist punk with a powerful message that cries out to be heard.

Listen on Spotify

 

44: Lonesome Shack – Desert Dreams

Edgy country blues and urban folk rock that is a lot kinder on the ears than you might expect from that description.

Listen on Spotify

 

43: Ifriqiyya Electrique – Laylet El Booree

Brilliant blend of traditional African music and metal that leaves you pondering ‘why have I not come across this before?’

Listen on Spotify

 

42: The Cinematic Orchestra – To Believe

More classy, emotive and enveloping tracks from these damn-fine purveyors of blissful grooves and soundscapes.

Listen on Spotify

 

41: Battles – Juicy B Crypts

Slightly off-beat synths that can be hard work at times but are ultimately rewarding. Almost dance-able at points.

Listen on Spotify

 

Coming soon – albums 40-31 in our best of the year countdown

The best albums of February 2019

1: Teeth Of The Sea – Wraith

Rating: 8/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

2: SPC EPO – Fifteen

Rating: 8/10Read full review

Listen on Bandcamp

3: The Specials – Encore

Rating: 7.5/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

4: Yak – Pursuit of Momentary Happiness

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

5: Modeselektor – Who Else

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

6: Ladytron– Ladytron

Rating: 7.5/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

8: Boy Harsher – Careful

Rating: 7/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

9: Health – Vol4 :: Slaves Of Fear

Rating: 7/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

10: Finlay Shakespeare – Domestic Economy

Rating: 7/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

7: The Young Gods – Data Mirage Tangram

Rating: 7/10

Listen on Spotify

Album review: Ladytron – Ladytron

Ladytron - Ladytron album cover

Borrowing heavily from new wave, 80s synth and a touch of 90s rave, Ladytron return after more than seven years with an incessantly catchy collection of electro-pop tunes that have that special something about them – in most places.

The self-titled Ladytron album takes a little time to hit its stride with Until the Fire enjoyable enough but failing to develop as much as you might anticipate. Conversely single from last year The Island, featuring huge 80s-style synths, manages to build just at the right moment to avoid you losing interest in the track.

Things get significantly better after this point with Tower of Glass, a catchy head-nodder with some intricate organ work and the vocals of lead vocalist Helen Marnie standing out in particular.

The upward trend continues with Far From Home, which starts off a little Human League but that addictive synth track and pop beat end up taking you somewhere else entirely.

Highlight of the album for me was Deadzone, which employs some great vocal structures and layers of atmospherics against an uptempo beat, building to a delicious crescendo.

At 13 tracks and 53 minutes long, this album isn’t exactly of epic length, but it did feel that the last few tracks could have been trimmed and you would not have noticed the difference. Had the album stopped with the moreish You’ve Changed everybody would be left very happy. As it is Horrorscope, The Mountain and Tomorrow is Another Day have some noticeable moments but feel a little laboured.

Bar that, this is a fabulous album and well worth listening to the first 10 tracks at least.

Release date: 15 February 2019

Rating: 7.5/10

Standout track: Deadzone

For fans of:

  • Goldfrapp
  • Boy Harsher
  • Gwenno

Listen on Spotify

01 Feb releases – Reviewed and rated

Here’s my view on what were the best albums released last Friday 1st February. There’s a fair few links to my fuller (though still not too long) reviews here too. There’s also a Spotify sample playlist so you can make you own mind up about the artists.

The Specials - Encore album cover

The Specials – Encore

The kings of Ska return to put the world to rights – and don’t we just need it.

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

Boy Harsher - Careful album cover

Boy Harsher – Careful

Strong on ominous, brooding 80’s electro pop. If you liked the music in Stranger Things, you’re on to a winner with this.

Rating: 7/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

Finlay Shakespeare - Domestic Economy album cover

Finlay Shakespeare – Domestic Economy

A fine slab of acid-infused electro pop that shows great promise for a debut album.

Rating: 7/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

Cherry Glazerr - Stuffed & Ready album cover

Cherry Glazerr – Stuffed & Ready

A competent and mature third effort from the LA post-punk trio.

Rating: 7/10 – Read full review

Listen on Spotify

White Lies - Five album cover

White Lies – Five

An enjoyable if unremarkable 80’s-influenced indie, post-punk opus with pop sensibilities. Reminiscent of so much but unable to build upon it influences.

Rating: 6/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

Unloved - Heartbreak album cover

Unloved – Heartbreak

Invoking the spirits of Motown and dreamy 60’s french pop while injecting a touch of modernity. Some really nice moments interspersed across this album.

Rating: 6/10

Listen on Spotify

Spielbergs - This Is Not The End album cover

Spielbergs – This Is Not The End

Indie punk with a touch of early R.E.M around the sides. Pleasant enough, but not pulling up any roots.

Rating: 5.5/10

Listen on Spotify

Girlpool - What Chaos Is Imaginary album cover

Girlpool – What Chaos Is Imaginary

A punk band exploring new indie direction – unfortunately not entirely successfully.

Rating: 5/10

Listen on Spotify

Beirut - Gallipoli album cover

Beirut – Gallipoli

Indie-folk with added brass. Strong overtones of The Smiths in both vocal and musical style. Doesn’t fare well by comparison.

Rating: 5/10

Listen on Spotify

Ian Brown - Ripples album cover

Ian Brown – Ripples

A plodding effort from King Monkey that aspires to classic Roses, but falls far, far short.

Rating: 4.5/10Read full review

Listen on Spotify

Within Temptation - Resist album cover

Within Temptation – Resist

Over-the-top goth metal with symphonic overtones. No doubt would do well as an ‘alternative’ Dutch entry on Eurovision. A worthy successor to Lordi.

Rating: 4/10

Listen on Spotify

New Music Friday 01 February – What to listen to

Another glut of new releases to work through. Of today’s debuts we see the likes of Ian Brown, The Specials and White Lies offering up some fresh material. I’ll review the best through the coming week and rate them all as I go along.

Ian Brown – Ripples

The Specials – Encore

White Lies – Five

Cherry Glazerr – Suffed & Ready

Finlay Shakespeare – Domestic Economy

Beirut – Gallipoli

Girlpool – What Chaos Is Imaginary

Boy Harsher – Careful

Within Temptation – Resist

Unloved – Heartbreak

Spielbergs – This Is Not The End