Although I claim to be a holier than thou leftie, there are some conservative impulses I just can’t budge, one of them being a rather straightforward, no-frills list of 7 songs which encapsulate 2008 for me. Yeah, I’m a party pooper, so what? Christmas is for schmucks anyway…
So in order…
Having critics on your side isn’t always beneficial for creative geniuses, not least of all for those who’ve had to grin and bare some appalling saccharine muck from rock’s Big Kahuna in the last 20 years. That’s why Midnight’s Another Day and its parent album That Lucky Old Sun feel like the casting away of a terrible burden, for Wilson, who has at last justified himself as something more than a corroding sacred cow, and for everyone else. Now we can say “nice one Brian” without having to bite our lips.
Another lost soul redeemed. Weller’s knack for separating himself from N.M.E./Q pleasing dirges and replacing the dreary karma with a collection of finely crafted adrenalin rush observations no 50 year has any right to conjure, puts him back to a pedestal the liggers and starfuckers of 1995 this time won’t be able to slither up. Invisible is the pick of an alarmingly good bunch.
David Hutcheon from The Times took this one to his heart during the summer, obviously hypnotised by its lilting strings, sweet, yet prompt and guttural harmonies. While not to be left standing, an acoustic heartbeat gently thumped away on the comforts of a cha’abi moderne lineage. As Hutcheon was swaying underneath a setting sun/rising moon combo, he wasn’t the only one with the swishing sounds of nocturnal sands brushing against his ears…
Something has never been (nor is going to be) resolved in post-colonial academia. The question, just what makes something Irish, has become so tiresome that guys like Messiah J. And The Expert do so much to give the nation a well deserved kick in the genitals, it actually wouldn’t matter were they from Ireland, Iraq, or anywhere else the donkey’s tail is pinned on to. All that matters is that Geography moves like a rattlesnake in a tornado and Ireland may at last be finding a penchant for groups who don’t need sob stories, goatees, and the approval of 98FM.
I first saw this guy at the Dun Laoghaire Festival of World Cultures in August in the company of a woman I would now rather forget. As for Fakoly, well, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
She now negotiates an uncertain middle ground the hyperbole of 2002 couldn’t have possibly imagined. A shame really, as the Tipperary singer-songwriter has yet to even hit her peak if classy material like this is anything to go by.
Because Of The Times is the album which preceded Only By The Night. Because this is by far the dirtiest pre/post-coital sonic frenzy you are likely to hear until Bon Scott stops being dead, you better accept that these hairy bums are here for the duration. In many ways they’re all the better for the abrupt end to critical idolatry, and a clearly visible media backlash, as without the frustrating binary to drive them, the hunger that sears right through Sex On Fire would surely have smoldered into dust.