We’re almost halfway through the year (cue comments like: “doesn’t time fly?” and “Christmas only seems like yesterday”) and if previous years are anything to go by, I’ll probably have forgotten what’s already happened so far when it comes to looking for my favourite album of the year in December.
So, herewith an ongoing (i.e. may be updated at any time) recap of the early contenders, in no particular order.
Delta Machine – Depeche Mode
Classic “back to their roots” stuff from Gahan et al. Much improved on their recent offerings. Really good. Really, really good.
Diary – The D.O.T.
My goodness, but this has been taking up a lot of airtime in my car. It’s one of those albums where you actually hope for traffic so that you can get to listen to it a bit longer. Don’t Look At The Road and Blood, Sweat And Tears (brilliant video here) are particular favourites, but it’s all so very listenable. And I think I will do that right now while compiling the rest of this post.
Random Access Memories – Daft Punk
It took a lot to get me to even listen to this. Hyped things usually have to be hyped for a reason and thus, I tend to avoid them. In addition, as someone who caught the tail end of disco first time around, I have a completely understandable pathological hatred for all things disco.
But wait. This is updated, experimental disco, with busy electronic bits decorating it. And it’s just ever so slightly mad. Even “serious” songs like Touch have an element of self-deprecation about them. It’s fun, and for that reason, it’s rather addictive.
In A Time Lapse – Ludovico Einaudi
Yeah. Incongruous, I know. But Ludovico slipped this one in early on in the year and it’s typically classy. And while some might argue that it’s typically typical as well, do I really have to take the time to explain once again that there’s really no need to fix stuff what ain’t broke? It follows on perfectly from 2009’s Nightbook, and there’s definitely a place for this calming, take-me-away-from-the-madness music in my life (probably more often than I’d like to admit). Here’s the video for Walk, a perfectly representative piece from the album.
Of course, all of the above could pale into insignificance come October, when the new Morten Harket offering is due to be released. Once again, he’s teamed up with Swedish producer Peter Kvint (Andreas Johnson, Britney Spears) and recently described what they’re doing as
…possibly the best stuff that I’ve ever done.
which, when you’re a fan of the other stuff that he’s done, sounds rather promising.
But, in the meantime, what did I forget? What else should I consider?
Your suggestions are more than welcome (terms and conditions apply).
UPDATE: New Pet Shop Boys album next month is surely set to complicate things further.