My top albums of 2020 – and some other music that got me through it

2020. An inarguably shite year. But one of the things that emerged early on as a small salvation was the continuing stream of music releases. The live scene may have been completely shuttered – my last gig was the fantastic-as-ever Meursault on 13 March, a show like many around that time which shouldn’t have been […]

My top 15 albums of 2019

I’ve always listened to a fair amount of new music, but Spotify has probably just amplified that in recent years. Every new album in the world, give or take, is there, tantalisingly at your fingertips. The old problem with streaming is the lack of connection to any of these records. Albums have to work a […]

Mourning the Alien

The last thing the world needs this week is another Bowie tribute. Least of all from me. I didn’t know him when he still had aspirations of working in musical theatre in the ’60s, I wasn’t present in the Hansa Tonstudio during the making of Low, I don’t have a story about his reclusive New […]

My top 10 albums of 2014

I recently helped to compile the WOW247 list of the 25 best albums of 2014 based on the votes of the music writers, and just to prove it wasn’t (completely) skewed towards my personal preferences, it’s that time of year when I share my personal top 10 here. Honourable mentions for albums that didn’t quite […]

Top 10 albums of 2013

I came up with my top 10 of 2013 about a month ago, as part of this epic WOW247 feature. The temptation to tinker with the rankings has been defeated by general festive laziness, so here’s the original. I wonder if any of these would have made your list? 10. Omar Souleyman – Wenu Wenu […]

This mess he’s in? Why Thom Yorke should pay heed to PJ Harvey

Thom Yorke and Polly Jean Harvey were born one year apart, and separately they have risen to the very top of the critics’ darlings list of British musicians over the past two decades with consistently intelligent, restless albums. The king and queen of indie, if you prefer journalistic shorthand. Like every other person in the country […]