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Albums of 2017, the Half-way Point

Okay, it is July, and in about 5 months I will be winding up another year of music.  It is time for the mid-year rundown of what I have found so far: the stuff that is good, the stuff that is not so good, the stuff that should be good but fails, and this year a list of the stuff I missed from previous years.

My music discovery process derives from all manner of sources: recommendations from friends, blurbs from various websites/review sites, accidents, and for the first time *cough*Spotify*cough*, via its weekly Discovery list, which does deliver up some interesting and unusual suggestions, especially given that I do not much stream, so its analysis of my tastes is necessarily limited.

Every year I seem to run a theme – some genre or style of music that tends to dominate my listening.  I’m not really sure why that is or how it happens.  Last year it was largely industrial electronica and ethnic-based post-rock; this year is Old Fogey Year – discovering the music of well-established outfits I heretofore ignored because I thought I didn’t like them.  It seems the older I get, the less of a music snob I become.  That is probably a good thing.

So here is the list of contenders so far, in reverse order of interest, with a brief capsule review. You may notice a certain…theme to some of the album titles.  Naturally, this order is subject to revision at any time.  And I will just note: So far my albums of 2017 were released long before 2017.  I just found them this year.

Continue reading Albums of 2017, the Half-way Point

The Albums of 2014: Nos. 10 to 6

So here we are, the albums that made the cut for the year…

Number 10

Sounds Like the End of the World:   Stages of Delusion

Sounds Like the End of the World is a 5-piece instrumental post-rock outfit, recently formed, from Gdansk, Poland. I had never heard of them, until one of them (or maybe their manager, I forget) popped up in my Facebook chat with a link. So I checked them out and pretty much liked what I heard.

They tend to play at the more sedate end of post-rock, and that tends not to be my favourite part of the genre, but they can turn on the heavy when they want to, enriching the guitar/bass/drum sound with keyboards which adds an nice textural element to their sound. However, after a while it does begin to all sound similar, and I find that my attraction to the music depends on my mood. Sometimes it does not work, and sometimes it does. For that reason the album was in and out of the Top 10 like a yoyo, until I finally decided that it really is more satisfying to listen to than the other contender for the spot. And I certainly enjoy it more than most of the stuff I have heard this year.


Continue reading The Albums of 2014: Nos. 10 to 6