Best album of the year?

The 6000 miles… Best Album of the Year 2011 voting is in full swing. I say “voting” because that makes it sound vaguely democratic and democracy is good, mmmkay? In actual fact, I’m using the term “democratic” in the full Zimbabwean tradition – basically, what I say, goes, and if you wish to disagree, I’ll beat you with some sticks in the bush of Matabeleland.

And there are some strong contenders this year. The Streets’ Computers and Blues, Arctic Monkeys’ Suck It And See and now Kasabian’s Velociraptor!, from which this track Days Are Forgotten is taken:

 

I have gone on record (somewhere that I can’t find) here [Thanks Joe] as saying that the first five songs on Velociraptor!:

  1. Let’s Roll Just Like We Used To
  2. Days Are Forgotten
  3. Goodbye Kiss
  4. La Fée Verte
  5. Velociraptor!

are the best opening side (for those who can remember records and cassettes) to any album I can remember since October 1986: that month marked by the release of a-ha’s second album, Scoundrel Days, which had this line up on Side A:

  1. Scoundrel Days
  2. The Swing Of Things
  3. I’ve Been Losing You
  4. October
  5. Manhattan Skyline

See also, The Killers’ Day & Age, which came close, but which was let down  by the rather weak Joyride.

These tracks just work together. And they’re good. Sometimes with an album you want to skip a track or two, but not here. Musically, the combination of fast and slow, loud and soft (from tracks 3 to 4 on Scoundrel Days and the other way from 4 to 5 on Velociraptor!) is there in both cases. More on Kasabian’s Muse meets Beatles style when they pop out some more videos.

In the meantime, why not (carefully) stick down your thoughts on other contenders for this illustrious award in the comments below? Or maybe your thoughts on the best first five songs on any album. You may want to remember my Mugabesque approach to dissension, as described above.

  • Joe Hero
  • Rory

    Off the top of my head

    Modeselektor – MonkeyTown
    Bon Iver – Bon Iver
    Cut Copy – Zonoscope
    Panda Bear – Tomboy
    James Blake – James Blake

    Probably will be a different 5 if you ask me tomorrow.

  • Odd contenders for best of 2011, seeing as it doesn’t include any of the actual best of 2011, which are:

    PJ Harvey – Let England shake
    Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
    Bon Iver – Bon Iver
    Tom Waits – Bad as me
    Wilco – The whole love
    Lucinda Williams – Blessed
    Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know
    Cowboy Junkies – Demons: The Nomad Series, Vol. 2

    As for best 5 tracks to open an album, I’d pick the Floyd’s ‘Wish you were here’. It only has 5 (superb) tracks, so it wins.

  • Arctic Monkeys’ Suck It And See or Bon Iver

  • I’ve been resisting doing any hard listening to Bon Iver, but I can see that I’m going to have to give it a go.
    *sigh*

  • My top 3 in order..
    Steven Wilson – Grace for Drowning
    Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa – Don’t Explain
    Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know

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