THE WAVE PICTURES - A Season In Hull
How do I describe it? This album has literally seduced my soul. I must have listened to it more than a hundred times over the past month, and I'm still feeling dizzy about every fucking second of “Slick Black River From The Rain” and its final lyrical punchline. They used to sound like a cross between Orange Juice and Monochrome Set, now it's all laidback melodies, sharp lyrics (seriously, what an eye for detail these guys have) and the word 'crocodile' used here in different context in three different songs. "Don't Worry My Friend" could be their best ever. That song is worse than cocaine. 10/10, A+/A+, whatever.
IGGY POP - Post Pop Depression
I'm as shocked as anyone else, but this is Iggy Pop's best album since late 70s. Focused songwriting, powerful Bowie-esque vocal performances and, completely unexpectedly, one of his greatest vocal hooks ever in "American Valhalla". Elsewhere, "Chocolate Drops" is dangerously playful and "Paraguay" has one hell of a coda. Great record. Seriously. Queens Of The Stone Age are just bloody awful, so it's nice to have another Josh Homme-produced album that is this good. 8/10
WUSSY - Forever Sounds
'What happened to the one that I adore? She killed hundreds, maybe more". I've said this before, but Wussy is Robert Christgau's best (and only) gift to the world. Admittedly it was one of his snotty reviews that made me dig out the brilliant, brilliant Funeral Dress. Best thing about Forever Sounds is how much great songwriting there is behind the murkiness and the noise. Keep discovering. Oh and the Big Lebowski-inspired "Donny's Death Scene" is beyond gorgeous. 8/10
EMMY THE GREAT - Second Love
Early days, but as of now Second Love is my pop album of the year. The opening "Swimming Pool" charmed me in, and the record barely let go. Gabriel Bruce guests. The style is there. Beautiful homogenous sound, too. And the melodies that reach amazing heights on "Social Halo". In an ideal world people would dump Lana Del Rey for stuff like this. 8/10
VIOLENT FEMMES - We Can Do Anything
The reviews haven't been flattering, but that's just fucking unfair. We Can Do Anything sounds like they never went away, and I mean that in the best way possible. Catchy, quirky, well-written. Honestly, the only problem with the album is that it's badly frontloaded and the final four songs let it down slightly. Still, you can't deny what came before. "What You Really Mean" is a beautiful Dylan-esque aberration and "Issues" is the best combination of awkward and glorious I've ever heard. 7/10
P.S. Oh, and Robert Pollard's new album is reliably good, The Coral's latest is disappointing and kendrick lamar has released something or other.