My Top Albums of the Year…

Posted: 03/01/2011 in Uncategorized

#1  Cathy Davey – The Nameless

The Nameless is undeniably Cathy Davey’s finest album to date – no small accomplishment when the incredibly high standard of its two predecessors is taken into consideration. Finally commercial success has caught up to her widespread critical acclaim, with The Nameless going straight to the top of the Irish charts upon its release in May. What Cathy Davey has achieved with this album is remarkable. Calling it ‘eclectic’ just doesn’t go far enough – across thirteen tracks she portrays an astounding diversity, all the while maintaining her own trademark sound as the common thread. ‘Little Red’ has become a firm fixture on the Irish airwaves, and is sure to feature heavily in Songs of 2010 lists across the board. But beyond the all-conquering lead single is a veritable selection-box of musical delights – from eerie epic title track ‘The Nameless’ to the militant brilliance of ‘Army of Tears’, the beautifully crafted ‘Bad Weather’ to the dreamy refrains of ‘Universe Tipping’ to the stunning ‘Lay Your Hand’. Musically, vocally, and lyrically The Nameless is near flawless. 55 minutes of pure unadulterated Cathy Davey goodness.

Recommended Tracks: Do I HAVE to pick just three?! Fine. ‘Army of Tears’, ‘Universe Tipping’, ‘Wild Rum’

#2 Villagers – Becoming A Jackal

Sold-out tours, a seal of approval from a certain Mr. Holland, and a chart-topping and widely acclaimed album in the form of Mercury Music Prize nominated Becoming a Jackal – to say that 2010 has been quite the year for Conor O’Brien is an understatement. One of the most eagerly anticipated debut albums of recent years, Becoming A Jackal not only justifies the hype which surrounded its release, but makes you feel guilty for ever doubting it, even if it was only for a split second. It is quite simply a stunning album, which captivates from beginning to end. From haunting opener ‘I Saw The Dead’ to the masterfully crafted ‘Ship of Promises’ and the heart-wrenching sentiments of ‘The Meaning of the Ritual’ – O’Brien showcases himself as both a dynamically innovative musician and an outstanding songwriter throughout. Becoming A Jackal is somewhat a masterpiece. Conor O’Brien may have set the bar incredibly high with this debut album – but he has also instilled confidence that this is but the beginning of something truly special.

Recommended Tracks: ‘I Saw The Dead’, ‘Home’, ‘The Meaning of the Ritual’

#3 Fight Like Apes – The Body of Christ and the Legs of Tina Turner

With The Body of Christ and the Legs of Tina Turner, Fight Like Apes have well and truly shattered the notion of the ‘difficult second album’. The Body of Christ… exudes all of the quirky charm which led us to fall for FLApes’ debut offering – but this time around, everything is that bit more polished. Interestingly, the album is not instantly loveable – it’s a grower, and definitely takes a few listens… But then the breakthrough happens; the realisation of its brilliance. The advances that the band have made lyrically are astounding – cryptic they may be, but this is Fight Like Apes: Now With Added Feelings – and it works. MayKay’s vocals are sublime throughout – but ‘Thank God You Weren’t Thirsty (Lightbulb)’ is a defining moment, as she switches from tender lament to venomous tirade with unwavering conviction. Pockets’ vocal coup on ‘Waking Up With Robocop’ is a revelation – where has that voice been hiding all this time?! ‘Ice Cream Apple F**k’, ‘Come On Let’s Talk About Our Feelings’, and the epic ‘Poached Eggs’ are practically made for the live stage, and will certainly become fast fan favourites as the band take the album on tour. A coming-of-age album from Fight Like Apes, and one which affirms them as a force to be reckoned with in Irish music.

Recommended Tracks: ‘Thank God You Weren’t Thirsty (Lightbulb)’, ‘Poached Eggs’, ‘Pull Off Your Arms and Let’s Play In Your Blood’

  1. Lucy says:

    what spookily predictions for the choice you made there – I love Cathy Daveys album – listened to it over and over and over. Villagers album is also fantastic, haven’t listened to the new Fight like apes – but really liked their first one – so guessing I’ll like that too. Hope they all perform at the awards

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Una Mullally. Una Mullally said: RT @ElaineBucko: My top 3 albums of 2010 (all Irish) are nomintated… Reviews of all 3 here: […]

  3. […] APES are, quite simply, the best live band in the country. Undeniably one of THE albums of 2010, The Body of Christ and the Legs of Tina Turner well and truly shattered the notion of the ‘difficult second album’ – and if you […]

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