It won’t be long now before someone posts an Album Of The Year thread which will quickly be filled with lists littered with names of bands that simply have to be made up… to be followed shortly after by hilarious lists of made up bands.
But in this giddy excitement over the new, a sober voice will state – in the manner of the modern-day Chinese premier warning against haste in assessing the impact of the French Revolution – that the only safe way to pick a 2017 Album Of The Year is to wait a few years, just to be sure.
This otherwise appealing idea is rendered somewhat fanciful on a site where the demographic means that “crazy new beat” you’re grooving to is less likely to be coming from your Rega than from the grim reaper knocking at your door.
So, in the spirit of calm reflection but at the same time acknowledging the irrefutable reality that your sense is, at every moment, ebbing away like the air from a punctured tyre, I thought I might ask these questions about your favourites of last year..
(1) Which album’s greatness did you fail to grasp?
Here I am referring to something you knew and liked* but whose brilliance you only grew to fully appreciate over the last year
My own answer to this question is Kano’s Made In The Manor. Oh, it scraped into my top 10 alright, but it’s just got better and better ever since, it’s continuing presence on my stereo not at all hindered by a Glastonbury appearance both joyful and triumphant.
(2) Which album you declared great have you hardly listened to at all in the succeeding year?
My answer to this is Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker, one of those records that arrives heavy with importance, pushing it up “best of year” lists, but which sits on the shelf and is seldom revisited. (You might think the black cloud of the great man’s death is the greater inhibiting factor here, but – unlike the Laughing Gnome Hitmaker – I have and had no real attachment to Mr C).
Well, I’ve shown you mine – how about you show me yours?
*Some may prefer to mention something they missed entirely and it would be Canutish of me to try to stop you.
Here’s a flavour of Mr K from the summer: