As we move into the second half of our deep dive into the finest records of the past ten years, things certainly haven’t gotten any easier. At many times this list became a real battle between head and heart; between the records with a profound personal connection and those that hold great influence and importance in the wider scheme of things. After much soul searching we’ve struck upon the right balance between the two for our final look at the best albums of the decade. (If you missed part one, you can check it out here) Continue reading
Despite being one of the worst batches of nominations in recent memory, this year’s Grammy Awards went better than expected… for the most part. David Bowie picked up posthumous awards for best rock song, rock performance and alternative album. Cage The Elephant won the pitiful pool of nominations for best rock album for their latest release Tell Me I’m Pretty. What was expected to be an endless stream of awards for Beyoncé ended up being clean sweep for Adele, picking up album of the year, song of the year and record of the year, as well as pop album and pop performance. She dedicated her award to Beyonce (and broke it, ‘Mean Girls’ style) in a moving speech. Performance wise the night was marred by technical issues, most notably when James Hetfield’s microphone wasn’t working during Metallica’s performance of ‘Moth Into Flame’ with Lady Gaga. By far the best performance of the night was surprisingly Bruno Mars’ tribute to the dearly departed Prince.
This year’s Glastonbury seemed doomed to fail. With traffic chaos, some of the worst mud in the festival’s history and even BBC coverage being affected by the EU referendum broadcasts it would have been an easy bet to back it being an utter shambles. Instead the world’s greatest festival managed to pull it off and maintain high spirits on the farm and accomplish record breaking viewing figures. Here’s a brief roundup of the best of what BBC iPlayer’s “Glastontelly” has to offer. Continue reading
The British songstress has been announced as the Saturday headliner for this year’s Glastonbury festival, joining Muse and Coldplay on Friday and Sunday respectively. Following the success of her globally successful album 25, this will be her first festival performance. She announced her involvement during a concert at London’s O2 arena, although she has previously stated her reluctance to play at Glastonbury due to the large crowds. There has been some criticism around whether her music fits in with a festival format, but you can’t deny that she will be a unique headliner.
Britain’s foremost music awards have drawn to a close once again. Adele was far and away the big winner, picking up Best British Female, Best Album, Global Success and Best Single for ‘Hello’. There were some well deserved wins from James Bay and Tame Impala who won Best British Male and Best International Group respectively. Sadly Coldplay won Best British Group and Justin Bieber won Best International Male, continuing his meteoric rise from sinfully awful to plain mediocre. There were some pleasant surprises as Bjork won Best International Female and Catfish & the Bottlemen beat James Bay and Jess Glynne to win British Breakthrough Act (even though technically speaking they shouldn’t have been nominated as they didn’t release any new music in 2015). Top actor Gary Oldman gave a stirring speech in memory of his close friend David Bowie and Lorde gave a rendition of ‘Life On Mars?’ with Bowie’s backing band. Although not an obvious choice for a tribute, it was arguably the finest performance of her career and one of the highlights of the night.
Adele – 21
With the incredible 21, Adele suddenly became the most important woman in music. It would take me several paragraphs to list all the accolades and records it has broken. It has already become one of the best selling albums of all time and the singles ‘Rolling in the Deep’, ‘Set Fire to the Rain’ and ‘Someone Like You’ became worldwide number one hits.
Arctic Monkeys – AM
After being one of the first bands to come to fame via the internet, they released the fastest ever selling debut album and soon became heralded as the greatest British band of the generations. Several albums down the line they went one better and combined their trademark Sheffield wit, slick Californian production and a newfound confidence to create their greatest album yet.
Amy Winehouse – Back To Black
Following her tragic death, Winehouse became the latest addition to the infamous 27 club. Her short lived, but hugely influential, music career has had a profound and lasting effect on modern music. Her final swansong Back To Black has already become a classic and features the singles ‘Rehab’ and ‘Tears Dry on Their Own’.
Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
Canadian band Arcade Fire have crafted what may be the finest album of the 21st century thus far. The band’s bittersweet letter from the suburbs is grand and complex but still pulls you in with the warmth and familiarity of home. A compelling tale of life on the edge, searching for hope; it is pure, ambitious and simply magnificent.
There’s been some excellent music this year, and as Belwood Music is rapidly approaching it’s first birthday it seems like a perfect time to hold the first ever annual awards. There are dozens of artists that are thoroughly deserving of praise, but I’ve chosen to narrow down the awards to 8 categories. Continue reading
It’s been an amazing year, and it’s time to look back on the best of what 2015 has had to offer. It’s been a particularly good year for new artists as debut albums take up half of my top ten, beating some bigger acts such as Tame Impala and Foals who deserve an honourable mention. So without any further ado, here are the best albums of the year based on Belwood Music’s ratings. Continue reading