41. Wilco ”â The Whole Love (dBpm)
Opener ”ËArt of Almost’ is the wildly distorted, piano-and-shredding-led sound of Wilco bursting from the skin of alt country comfort like the xenomorph in John Hurt’s chest. From here the album diversifies and clambers across genres without losing the unique brand of genius in instrumentation that sets Wilco apart as indie deities, before closing with the twelve-minute, most beautifully tired song of 2011, ”ËOne Sunday Morning’.
42. Gil-Scott Heron & Jamie xx ”â We’re New Here (XL Recordings)
It’d be easy to include the late hip-hop pioneer Gil-Scott Heron on sentimental grounds alone, but this is a genuinely brilliant album. 2010’s I’m New Here may have been a return to form for the great poet, and it’s to the credit of the man from the overrated xx that his production actually improves the record.
43. Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds ‘Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds’ (Sour Mash/EMI)
Noel smartly emerged from the debris of Oasis with an album that saw him grow up with his audience with a series of crafted, melodic songs.
44. Tune-Yards ”â W H O K I L L (4AD)
Utterly disconnected and rambling, it’s amazing that Merrill Garbus manages to find any kind of melody in the noises that Tune Yards manage to create. A wonderful car crash cacophony of sound from instruments as far removed from traditional rock as imaginable, it’s as far from the middle of the road as you can get.
45. Beady Eye ‘Different Gear, Still Speeding’ (Beady Eye Records LTD)
Gallagher Junior released the first Oasis album and it was a fine collection of songs that somehow managed to incorporate a beautiful naivity to their post Beatle melodies. Flavours of George Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass’ and Beatle solo outings were the hallmarks of this underrated album.
46. Wild Beasts ”â Smother (Domino)
Sometimes it’s nice to just settle down and be quiet. With shimmering, intertwining guitars, pianos and vocals, Kendal’s Wild Beasts have put together a beguilingly sparse soundscape. There’s a sense of foreboding and classical references throughout too, reminiscent of Moon Safari or Music has the Right to Children.
47. Magazine ”ËNo Thyself’ (Wire-sound)
After more than a two decade gap Magazine re-emerge like nothing as happened. Tight yet experimental songs are as spiky as ever and Devoto’s lyrics are near genius.
48. Lee Scratch Perry ‘Nu Sound And Vision’ (On-U Sound)
”ËNu Sound And Version’ sees a brace of today’s musical innovators let loose upon some of Perry’s previous works, the majority of which were released individually and are now trading hands for way too much money, but are now compiled together for the first time. This is essentially a remix album; however what elevates this from other remixes is the careful thought On-U Sound have obviously put into who they let loose on the mixing desk.
49. Janes Addiction ‘The Great Escape Artist’ (Parlophone)
You really get the feeling that they nailed what they were hoping to achieve with textures and the Floyd-y, gothy, post-punk sound. I’ve waited 20 years for this album and finally I got it. The LA kings came back and got their crown.
50. TV On The Radio ”â Nine Types of Light (Polydor)
It’s the end of the world as they know it, but Brooklyn’s finest proprietors of danceable indie music have never felt so fine. Having previously sang of a “Golden Age coming ”Ëround”Â, this sun-drenched, illuminated record illustrates that for TVotR it’s definitely here.
51. Jez Kerr ‘Numb Mouth Eat Waste’ (Higuera Records)
Kerr’s band A Certain Ratio have been recognised as a key post punk influence with their industrial funk. On this solo outing Kerr has flavours of this but also a sprightly pop touch.
52. Obake ‘Obake’ (Rare Noise Records)
This is like being pummelled, the bass which plumbs deep ravines is initially to the fore, but gives way to a semi spoken guttural vocal ”â the pace is slow, we are well into the genres of both doom and drone metal here, however the treated multi layered guitar elevates the track to a living breathing entity; there is no let up.
53. TV Smith Coming In To Land
More great songs and spittle flecked passion from former Adverts frontman.
54. Amebix ”â Sonic Mass (Amebix Records / Easyaction)
First release for 24 years from the key UK band who combined punk and metal and laid the foundations some argue for black metal, sees them as noisy and intense as ever.
55. Balaclava ‘Crimes Of Faith’ (Southern Lord)
“Crimes Of Faith”Â when stripped down would be hardcore punk, and a particularly nasty intense version at that ”â to this Balaclava have added elements of extreme and doom metal; the result being a sound that ranges from sludgy, crust-ridden dirges to restrained ominous melodies to very brief moments of blistering triumph.
56. EMA – Past Life Martyred Saints (Souterrain Transmissions)
The spirit of The Velvet Underground and Nico haunts the world of alternative music in the way that the spirit of Butlins haunts Michael McIntyre. Nowhere is it more evident than in this urgent, surging, panicked record from yet another great female singer-songwriter looking to be more than just a Joni Mitchell clone.
57. New York Dolls ‘Dancing Backwards In High Heels’ (Blast Records)
Leaving behind their rock n roll swagger and delving into the classic bands girl group of sixties invasion roots this is the best New York Dolls album since their comeback.
58. Social Distortion ‘Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes’ (Epitaph)
By taking their music back to the blues based roots of early punk Social Distortion rediscovered their focus and scored their first top ten album in the USA.
59. Bethia Beadman ‘Made Of Love’ (Roselie Records/Madman)
Crafted yet dark songs that swoon and swoop with sexuality, sensuality and their own voodoo that wanders in the same territory as Nick Cave and PJ Harvey but with a very definite sense of their own originality.