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2004 Year End Best Of

Minion Name:
  Indoor Miner  
  1. Irish Blood, English Heart by Morrissey. From that delectable plucky intro to the sheer defiance of the lyrics, this - the record that kickstared the Moz comeback - is a glorious return to form. And let's not forget that silly Hawkwind-like noise that drops in mid song for no apparent reason.
  2. Lola's Theme by Shapeshifters. Just the type of dance record I like: great pumping bassline and a catchy chorus.
  3. Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand. It's been discussed before, but I just love the way this record is a game of two halves. You think you know what you're getting and then a minute in, it totally changes when a stomping bridge suddenly takes you to that killer riff.
  4. First of the Gang to Die by Morrissey. The new There Is A Light or Girlfriend In A Coma. In other words, Moz has returned to his fascination with Death Pop in the Leader of the Pack-type tradition. And he does it so well - forgive him his bullet/gullet rhyme; "Hector was the first of the gang with a gun in his hand, the first to do time, and the first of the gang to die" is my chorus of the year. And that of my 6yr old, too!
  5. We Fenced Other Gardens With the Bones of Our Own by The Liars. "We're doomed, we're doomed!!" creases me up every time. I just wish Dads Army star John Laurie was still here to cover it!
  6. I Have Forgiven Jesus by Morrissey. Forget the contentious title, this is a great song and not just Moz being provocative. In fact, this is my fave track on the excellent You Are The Quarry album, but not quite as good a *single* as the first two. Still, I love the Moz take on Craig David's Seven Days - "Thursday is pathetic" intones Steven Patrick, no doubt still smarting from TOTP being moved to a Friday all those years ago. On a more serious note, I reckon this contains his finest vocal performance since I Know It's Over. There's some real spine-tingling moments as the track reaches its climax.
  7. Flamboyant by The Pet Shop Boys. The PSBs return to what they do best bymaking PSB's singles rather than trying to sound like Oasis did a couple of years back. In fact, this is my fave PSBs single in years, but sadly no-one else seems to give a toss now.
  8. Personal Jesus by Marilyn Manson. This Depeche Mode song is obviously becoming something of a standard. First Johnny Cash gets *inside* the song, and then MM turns it into an excellent glam stomp. Obviously one of those songs that suits all sorts of treatments. Let's just hope that Will Young keeps his dirty mitts off it.
  9. Let Me Kiss You by Nancy Sinatra. Frank's little girl just pips Moz at the post for the best version of this song. Sounds like the type of 60's pop classic of which Morrissey is such a fan.
  10. Toxic by Britney Spears. Sneer all you like, boys'n'gals, Britney has delivered a pop classic here. Admittedly, even I - who knows little shame when it comes to pop music - had to put away a few prejudices before I could make this purchase!!

Let Me Kiss You by Morrissey
For Lovers by Wolfman feat. Pete Doherty
Transition by The Longcut
Lost in the Plot by The Dears

The Hounds of Love by The Futureheads
Why Don't You Find Out for Yourself by The Killers

  1. Faking the Books by Lali Puna. It's been my fave all year and it was going to take something special to pip it at the post. Great electro production, great toons and delicious girly vocals!!
    Stand out track: Grin & Bear.
  2. You Are the Quarry by Morrissey. Best Moz album in at least ten years. The beautiful crisp production becomes him and there's some of his best lyrics in a long time.
    Stand Out Track: I Have Forgiven Jesus.
  3. Margerine Eclipse by Stereolab. Another of my old faves return to form. This is delicious with some of their best melodies in years - my fave Stereolab LP since Emporer Tomato Ketchup.
    Stand Out Track: Margerine Melodie.
  4. Satan's Circus by Death In Vegas. I thought the last one was disappointing coming after the excellent Contino Sessions. This is a total change in style: Krautrock from moment one. It's hardly original of course and there are times when you have to remind yourself that it's not Kraftwerk, but I like this a lot more than the Krafties' last one.
    Stand Out Track: Ein Fur Die Damen.
  5. Abattoir Blues / Lyre of Orpheus by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Great 2 CD set, with some classic Cave songs.
    Stand Out Track: Easy Money.
  6. Smile by Brian Wilson. The record that took even longer than Wire's Read & Burn 3! Hard to say whether anything is worth that long a wait, but I'm glad it's with us, finally.
    Stand Out Track: Good Vibrations.
  7. This is the Shit by Roger. Released On Julian Cope's Head Heritage label, he claims to be involved only in the artwork. BOLLOCKS!! Even a casual Saint fan would spot his dulcet tones and fake American accent. Imagine Parliament meeting The Stooges and deciding to party. Or as it says on the Cope site - "Massive guitar solos, arena-sized choruses, 60% funk traditions sprinkled with 40% dessert spoon-sized Hagen-Daas dream toppings of novelty compost"! 'Roger you're the one, shoot me with your funky gun' indeed. Great fun.
    Stand Out Track: Overture.
  8. Franz Ferdinand by Franz Ferdinand. Loved and derided in equal parts, but I love those early 80's influences as well as their way with a tune.
    Stand Out Track: Take Me Out.
  9. Headgit by Githead. Surprsingly melodic mini-album from Wire's Colin Newman and friends. Great basslines, and vintage Newman melodies.
    Stand Out Track: To Have & To Hold.
  10. Drowning Cupid by The Orphins. Fans of early XTC will adore this album - as I said in my review, "it's as if Barry Andrews never left, and Grass and Dear God never happened!"
    Stand Out Track: The Car Song.

Sonic Nurse by Sonic Youth
The FUtureheads by The Futureheads
They Were Wrong So We Drowned by The Liars

  1. Unicorn by Tyrannosaurus Rex All of these are great re-issue jobs, with alternative versions.
  2. T Rex by T.Rex
  3. Zoology by Teardrop Explodes. Superb version of Camera Camera.
  4. My People Were Fair by Tyrannosaurus Rex
  5. A Beard of Stars by Tyrannosaurus Rex
  6. Pigs on Purpose by The Nightingales, plus bonus tracks like Paraffin Brain and Urban Ospreys.
  7. Amateur Wankers by The Prefects. It's great to hear Going Through The Motions again!
  8. On the Box by Wire
  9. Prophets Seers & Sages by Tyrannosaurus Rex
  10. Live '91 by Julian Cope
  1. JULIAN COPE at Stoke Sugarmill
  2. THE NIGHTINGALES at Shrewsbury Albert
  3. THE LONGCUT at Wrexham Talbot
  4. THE FALL at Manchester Bierkellor
  5. THE FUTUREHEADS w/ Mower at Wrexham Central Station
  2. FARENHEIT 911
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