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James

James has written 62 posts for Blogjammin'

Tracks Of The Year 2011

I have enjoyed a great many tracks this year, so please be assured that these top 30 are not merely songs I have liked (in a gay Facebook way), but absolutely LOVE. 30. Thunder Bay – Hudson Mohawke  Who rules the Wonky roost? Who is the Aqua-crunk king? Err, I’m not sure… but however you … Continue reading

My Crooked Saint EP – To Kill A King (Communion Records)

8/10 It’s been a topsy-turvy year for royalty in the world of folk music, and for kings especially. After The Decemberists, newly kitted out in rural country garb, announced with their early 2011 release that The King Is Dead, the band then appeared to do a complete u-turn and resurrect the old bastard for their … Continue reading

Strange Mercy – St. Vincent (4AD)

9/10 “It’s a champagne year, full of sober months”, declares Annie Clark A.K.A. St. Vincent on mid-album highlight Northern Lights; a summation that might easily be applied to this attractive set of experimental pop songs which, when you dig a little deeper, is found to be harbouring a darkly brooding core. Take the track Surgeon for … Continue reading

Hysterical – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (V2)

5/10 I think, given 6 years of hindsight, it might be safe to say that Clap Your Hands Say Yeah weren’t really expecting the critical acclaim they received for their self-titled debut back in 2005. Because listening to the two rather unsure LPs that they’ve stuttered out since then, I get the sense of a … Continue reading

Velociraptor! – Kasabian (RCA, Columbia)

8.5/10 As a young lad I grew up worshipping dinosaurs and the very ground they stomped on and just recently, I’m delighted to say, I’ve been revelling in a giddy trip of childhood rediscovery. This past month has seen Jurassic Park come roaring back to the cinemas, the BBC unveil Planet Dinosaur, a show all … Continue reading

I’m With You – Red Hot Chili Peppers (Warner Bros.)

4/10 Well, how about it folks? Red Hot Chili Peppers, a band once famous for going on stage and wrapping socks around their nobs, are still gamely bashing out rock numbers in the 4th, yes 4th, decade of their existence. You’ve got to admire their stamina, if nothing else. I know this will come as … Continue reading

True Loves – Hooray For Earth (Dovecote Records)

7/10 Hopping onto the back of the electro-pop bandwagon that the likes of Metronomy, MGMT and Yeasayer have been busy boy-racing around the music scene in the past few years, Hooray For Earth nevertheless bring some freshly pimped synths to this psychedelic shindig. But it would be an injustice to dismiss them simply as exploitative … Continue reading

Ritual Union – Little Dragon (Peacefrog)

7.5/10 Many people – myself included – will probably know Little Dragon less for their own music, and more for what their music does when complementing the output of others. In fact, such is their propensity for collaborations recently, it’s tempting to assume that the title ‘Ritual Union’ is actually describing the band coming together … Continue reading

Helplessness Blues – Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop, Bella Union)

8/10 For Robin Pecknold and his Seattle-based folk band, the arduous making of Helplessness Blues has hardly been characterised by rising suns, Quiet Houses, and red strawberries in summertime. A quick glance at its title is enough to tell you that. But I guess a lot can happen in 3 years to change one’s perspective … Continue reading

Summertime Review 2011: Albums That Deserve A Shout-Out, Part 2

Part 2 in my round-up of albums Blogjammin has shamefully neglected to review this year begins with the highly-acclaimed new album from Wild Beasts: Smother – Wild Beasts                                  6.5/10 If ever you’re asked to provide a solid example of a band maturing as their career has progressed, I strongly recommend you use Wild Beasts. Smother … Continue reading

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