Top Albums of 2017. Nos 2 & 1.

Number 2. Sleaford Mods – English Tapas.

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Sleaford Mods could easily be seen as a band that do the same thing and yet get away with it but there has been an evolution in their sound. English Tapas, their first for Rough Trade Records has a lot of elements that are Sleaford Mods trademarks: the ranty lyrics, the anger, the rhyming couplets, the homemade feel of the music but there’s a more electronic slant this time round, which definitely doesn’t mean the music is dancier but it is a slightly more accessible album when compared to previous efforts but Sleaford Mods still have not sacrificed anything and remain a politically charged band.  At the moment there’s some politically charged bands but I think that Sleaford Mods are the best of the bunch.

Number 1. Jarvis Cocker and Chilly Gonzales – Room 29

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I love it when an album takes me by surprise and this did. Think of it. A concept album about the 29th Room of the Chateau Marmont by pianist Chilly Gonzales with Jarvis Cocker writing the lyrics. Such a thing, as the proverb goes, tickles my fancy. Not only that but the album was recorded at the Chateau Marmont and in Room 29 as well! HA.

Room 29 consists of piano pieces with Cocker singing over them. Sometimes there’s some other instruments in the mix but it’s mostly a piano based affair. If this sounds boring, you’re wrong. Not since Pulp (in fact Salome could have been on This is Hardcore) has Cocker’s lyrics been this sharp and funny. There’s Cocker’s famous character descriptions (Mark Twain’s daughter Clara, Howard Hughes) wry observations ( Belle Boy, Ice Cream as Main Course) and oddities (the whole album). Plus there’s Gonzales’ piano playing, which I enjoy.

This album is more suited for a lazy Sunday or an evening but it needs constant replays for full appreciation and Room 29 got tons of those in the last nine months. Probably the strangest album to be my fave for 2017 but I think it’s a well deserved one.

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