Though we have had a tragic year in many respects we have been blessed with some excellent albums. The ranking was closer than ever this year, and there are many releases that deserve a mention, but here are Belwood Music’s top picks of the past 12 months based on album ratings: Continue reading
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
Post Punk | Ambient
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – The Boatman’s Call
This marked a major change for Australia’s darkest and most influential music icon. Moving away from the fanciful character driven post-punk of his origins, Cave instead adopted a more minimalist approach with more intimate and personal lyrics. The sombre piano balladry of tracks such as ‘Into My Arms’ and ‘People Ain’t No Good’ resulted in the album received universal critical acclaim.
Manic Street Preachers – The Holy Bible
This was the band’s final album before the mysterious disappearance of lyricist and guitarist Richey Edwards. As he was dealing with severe depression and various complications at the time the subject matter is suitably dark, including serial killers, consumerism, fascism and the Holocaust. It remains one of the boldest albums ever made and is a lasting legacy to Richey’s memory.
The Verve – Urban Hymns
To this day Urban Hymns remains one of the UK’s best selling albums, thanks in part to it’s hit singles ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ and ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’. Boasting some impressively complex sonic textures in dabbles with everything from orchestral balladry, feedback fuelled rock and vivid psychedelica. It stands as one of the best British albums of the nineties and regularly appears in lists of the best albums of all time.
P J Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
With an impressively eclectic back catalogue, multi-instrumental singer/songwriter P J Harvey remains one of the premier figures of the genre. Stories is often considered the high point of her career and earned her the 2001 Mercury Prize. She also won the prize in 2011 for Let England Shake making her the only artist to have won the prestigious Mercury Prize twice!