Thursday, December 21, 2006

Punks Jump Up

The youngest Cole nonchalantly - and with the merest hint of insouciance - models a prize winner. Scritti Politti’s White Bread Black Beer is this humble website’s Album of the Year (2006). I informed D, on the Kingsholm terracing of all places, that WBBB was this year’s finest long playing record back in September to which he rather casually retorted, ‘Ah, there’s a long way to go yet’ or words to that effect. Well, he’ll be laughing on the other side of his face now. The Gartside fellow has pulled it off.

White Bread Black Beer really is a sweet record, full of personal reflections, tenderness, self-deprecation and mea culpas galore. It’s a clever recording too, packed with subtleties and nuances that only reveal themselves after several listens and I congratulate it for bringing a bit of patience and perseverance back into my listening life. Repeated plays really do harvest riches. To be frank, I’m just chuffed that someone I admired twenty years has returned, not with a clumsy reunion tour and a stewed, skewed greatest hits package, but with a fresh and vibrant piece of art that enhances a reputation and adds maturity, class and warmth to an already remarkable back catalogue. Bravo!

I know the music industry is waiting with bated breath so here’s my Top Five in full:

1. White Bread Black Beer – Scritti Politti
2. The Trials of Van Occupanther – Midlake
3. Ys – Joanna Newsom
4. Anti-Depressant – Lloyd Cole
5. The Avalanche - Sufjan Stevens

'Nothing by My Chemical Romance?' I hear you yell.

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