Yes folks, it’s December 31st, so it’s time to look back upon the past year and declare what I regard as my favourite albums of the year. I know you’re all waiting with baited breath to read what I liked… so here goes – my top 7. Why 7? Why not? And, as is customary with these things, they’ll be in reverse order.
7. Alejandro Escovado – Street Songs Of Love
Only discovered this guy this year, worked through his back catalogue before this doozy was released. Really think this is the best of his output. Brilliant songs, played with passion. If you like classic era Bruce Springsteen, you’ll love this record. Just good, old fashioned rock music with a little bit of heart.
6. Bruce Kulick – BK3
Bruce used to be guitarist for Kiss. This is his solo record full of special guests, such as Gene Simmons, the late Doug Fieger, and John Corabi. Great guitar parts, as you’d expect, but the songwriting holds up too. Love it.
5. Neil Young – Le Noise
YES! Neil Young is back, and this record rocks! Love it when Neil just plugs in the guitar, hits overdrive and cuts loose. Nobody does this style of music better or classier than him. Can’t go wrong with a bit of Neil Young in your playlist.
4. Retribution Gospel Choir – 2
Distorted guitars, huge riffs and soaring harmonies… fantastic record from a band I’ve never heard of before this record. It’s a crime this didn’t get a little bit more of a push from the mainstream media, but such is life. Workin’ Hard may be my favourite rock song of the year.
3. Slash – Slash
The best songs are the ones that shouldn’t work – the Fergie track, the Paradise City remake, the track with Adam Levine – but the absolute killer track on here for me is Starlight, with Myles Kennedy… surprised me, as I couldn’t get into the Alter Bridge record at all. Next Slash record should just be Fergie and Myles singing for him.
2. Black Country Communion – Black Country Communion
Glenn Hughes? Joe Bonnamassa? Jason Bonham? Derek Sherinian?Yes please! It’s as epic sounding as you think it should be… Glenn Hughes voice is still incredible, and it soars and climbs all over this record. The songs are better than the usual supergroup collaboration, and Joe Bonnamassa reins in the widdly tendencies that blues guys have to absolutely OWN this record. Get it, listen to it, love it.
And my favourite record this year:
1. The Union – The Union
Hands down, THE best record I’ve heard all year. I kinda dreaded this… starting a band from scratch after Thunder is no mean feat, there will always be comparisons. I think The Union could surpass them. Luke has never sounded better on guitar and backing vocals, and Peter Shoulder? The man is a stone cold legend in the making. What a voice! This record is what it would sound like if the blues and classic rock and hard rock all headbutted each other. “Saviour” is the most beautiful piece of music I’ve heard all year, and should have been all over TV and radio, and engrained in people’s brains. Seriously, just get this record and bask in it’s glory.
So there we go… hopefully, you’ll either have heard some of these records, or go and check some of them out. Either way, this is the last post of 2010 – so have a Happy Hogmanay, and a prosperous New Year! Slainté!