1. Alabama Shakes -BOYS AND GIRLS
Soulful, swaggering and dramatic like James Brown meets late 70’s Stones. It was classic sounding but not dated and featured some of the year’s best tunes and most impassioned vocals from lead singer Brittany Howard.
2. The Vaccines -COME OF AGE
Excellent second album from the acerbic Brits was probably this year’s most consistently melodic album. Terrific combination of tuneful garage punk and classic rock influences like the Kinks all delivered with gleeful bitterness.
3. Red Kross – RESEARCHING THE BLUES
Great comeback for Red Kross with some of the best songs they’ve done in years. Not as consistent across the entire album as the two albums I had at number one and two but the highlights are sensational.
4. Father John Misty -FEAR FUN
Former Fleet Foxes drummer Josh Tillman performing under the moniker Father John Misty crafted a strange musical feast that sounded more like a cross between The Beatles, The Grateful Dead and late 70’s pop crooners than Fleet Foxes. Contained one of the year’s best indie singles, “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”.
5. Mark Lanegan Band – BLUES FUNERAL
Former Screaming Trees frontman delivers another dark, muscular record of swamp blues and hard rock. His deep resonant voice has never sounded better and this album contains some of his best songs of recent times.
6. Bob Dylan – TEMPEST
The master continues his fine run of form since his renaissance with ‘97’s “Time Out of Mind”. These days his shredded voice is such a monstrous growl that it makes most death metal singers sound like Vienna Choirboys but his darkly humorous songs seem to suit this death rattle voice.
7. Tame Impala -LONERISM
The best Aussie album of the year. This record took the mid-60’s Beatles-style psychedelic template of their debut “Innerspeaker” and blew it up into a full blown sonic acid trip. Track for track the songs weren’t as tuneful and assured as those on “Innerspeaker” but it contained some terrific numbers and some fascination experimentation.
8. The Men -OPEN YOUR HEART
Mostly instrumental rather than regular songs but contains some terrific hard rock and punk.
9. Devin -ROMANCING
Devin looked like some sort of coiffured pop idol but he channelled the early rock’n’roll spirit of Elvis and Gene Vincent into this chaotically energetic record.
10. Django Django -DJANGO DJANGO
Maybe overpraised by some but this ambitious, atmospheric record from the young Brits contained a fascinating mix of musical styles and strong pop song writing.