2011 Playlist - Volume 2

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20 Dic 2011, 19:09

6. No Light, No Light - Florence + the Machine
From album Ceremonials



It was hard to imagine how they would follow up Lungs, but they did, and it feels like all involved turned the volume right up. It’s relentless! Massive drums, layers and layers of vocals, choirs & organs. This track is the absolute standout, especially the spine-tingling outro, where the choir in particular makes its presence felt. It feels like an exorcism and, while exhausting, is also a thrilling listen.

7. The Words That Maketh Murder - P J Harvey
From album Let England Shake



This year’s Critics’ favourite, without question. How many “end of year” lists have you seen where this features in the Top 5, if not at the top? It’s a startling progression for Polly Jean, with her trademark heavier guitars mixed into the background and the autoharp, along with her higher pitched voice, right at the centre. Folk songs comparing our country’s past glories with its present. There are many highlights but this, along with The Glorious Land and All And Everyone, is my absolute favourite.

8. Edge of the Moon - Tori Amos
From album Night of Hunters



While I swooned over the evocative song titles (Shattering Sea, SnowBlind, Star Whisperer, Nautical Twilight), I was not, and am still not, sold on duets with her daughter. While there’s no denying the smokiness and character of Tash’s young voice, I don’t particularly feel like listening to it. However, that doesn’t stop this being a great, adventurous album. I don’t pay much attention to the narrative form – I am all about the songs, of which this is my favourite, particularly the uplifting, waltzing final one and a half minutes, one of my favourite musical moments of the year *swoon*.

9. Save Me - Gotye
From album Making Mirrors



After my initial excitement at discovering that Wally had released a new album and – even better! – was having great commercial success at home in Australia, my fervour waned for the record. It’s a perfectly good album but, for someone that immersed themselves in its predecessor Like Drawing Blood (i.e. me!), this feels like a retread. That’s not a bad thing, but it loses some of its impact, as I prefer the older record. That said, Save Me is wonderful, a worthy successor to the stellar Night Drive. Maybe I just need to give the whole thing more of a chance...

10. Live Those Days Tonight - Friendly Fires
From album Pala



This song is evidence of the power of the single as a still-powerful marketing tool, at least where I’m concerned. I’d read many a review of this album, lauding its brilliance, but I still wasn’t convinced – time and money is precious, you know. So, I bought its lead single, which did the convincing. This is a juddery headrush of a song, all tribal beats and New Wave vocals. The album has similar standouts (Blue Cassette springs to mind) but rarely scales the heights of this single.

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