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20 ~ Rachel Stevens: Come and Get It
None of this 'they must have been released in 2006' for me! If I played it a lot in 2006, then it makes the list. Tragically, the public didn't love this superior slice of electro clash pop as much as I did. I Said Never Again… is one of the seminal singles of the past five years and should've been follow up Crazy Boys is equally delightful. Rach even wisely bagged an Alexis Strum song, showing her good taste in writers.
19 ~ Girls Aloud: Chemistry
Girls Aloud proved that with the right songs you can make a career out of reality tv. Their third album was the best yet, featuring the schizophrenic Biology, the ludicrously genius Long Hot Summer and a gorgeous ballad in the form of Whole Lotta History (ignore the dreadful See The Day). Other album tracks Racy Lacey and Models should've been single and made this long player shine.
18 ~ Jason Mraz: Mr A-Z
Despite the fact that his live show at the Academy got cut short and his encores of Geek In The Pink and Wordplay never got played, Mr Mraz's sophomore set was a wonderful mix of witty lyrics wrapped in perky pop tunes and poignant post 9-11 songs of hope and devotion. Life Is Wonderful is a gorgeous tune and his rare outtake from this cd – I'm Yours – soundtracked my civil partnership back in June.
17 ~ Gavin Mikhail: Like Normal People Do
So so much more than a Daniel Powter wannabe, Gavin is your every day guy who just happens to know how to write amazing pop songs that make the spirit soar and put optimism into your daily life. Stellar single Brave is a hit just waiting to happen and tracks like Back for More and Catch Your Fall just percolate with radio readiness. Indeed, this album would be perfect for one of those ubiquitous music show winners and so much better than a lot of the dross that they put out.
16 ~ Nerina Pallot: Fires
Originally released in 2005, it wasn't until this year that her sophomore set caught the imagination of the public. Suddenly Everybody's Going To War had a nifty remix and was all over radio, tv and billboards. Other tracks on the album were equally as elegantly constructed such as Geek Love, Learning to Breathe and Damascus. Plus songs like Idaho, Sophia and All Good People just sparkled with the ability to hook their refrains into your brain and get you through the bad times.
15 ~ Shayne Ward: Shayne Ward
It all started so well. That's My Goal was actually quite a good winners single for the X Factor and Shayne certainly did look quite foxy with his buzzed head and a nifty line in suits and shirts. Plus he'd performed lots of contemporary upbeat songs on the live shows so his album should be a relevant treat. It was only ok – the years highest placed disappointment, Shayne's voice and (yes I'm shallow) sheer sexiness raised it up to the point where the ballads shone through and the uptempo tracks showed real portential. And it's impossible to beat his amazing vocal on Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
14 ~ Jamelia: Walk With Me
The perfect follow up to Rachel Stevens Come And Get It opus was recorded by…Jamelia? And what an utter revelation it was. I had previously written off little Jamrag until the sugababes-esque Something About You came along and did it better than the most recent incarnation of the Babes have ever done. Beware of the Dog turned out to be one of the best pop songs of the year, while Window Shopping mixed camp, kitsch and chart appeal. Yes, this was one album that was destined to under sell and be hugely loved.
13 ~ The Upper Room: Other People's Problems
They started off the year as one of the more promising new groups, mixing bittersweet lyrics about small town life with beautifully crafted melodies and crystalline choruses. All Over This Town and Black&White were throwbacks to the Lilac Time 80s, sweetly bypassing the electronica revival. The album was packed with hit worthy tunes, but by the end of the year with radio not biting and tensions in the band, it sadly seems all over. I'm still down with OPP though and hope to hear more in some format or t'other!
12 ~ The Pipettes: We Are The Pipettes
Welcome to the years most fun album. They don't have the best voices in the world, and the Puppini Sisters certainly knew how to harmonise better. They do have incredibly contaigious songs that were intent on getting people on their feet and making them have a good time. Their live shows ramped up the enjoyment factor and tunes like ABC, Pull Shapes and Judy were dynamic and lovely in the extreme. The title track however, remains an exquisite exercise in hand clapping goodness and lunacy not seen since the hey day of TheB-52s.
11 ~ Paolo Nutini: These Streets
Winning the war for my heart, Paolo ended up kicking dirt in James Morrison's face and surprising me by coming up from behind and gently rocking me into submission. Title track and Last Request (as well as Rewind) proved that Paolo could so swoony moments of reflection and uncertainty alarmingly well for someone of such young years. He could also rock out with the best of them on tracks like the upbeat Jenny, Don't Be Hasty. His voice seemed to belong to another person, but his heart was on the line and he seemed less refined and less polished than James Morrison. Ultimately it made him the far better performer.
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Posted by Paul 1:59 PM  

1 Comment:

  1. Zeon said...
    Uhm, Girls Aloud's third album is Chemistry...

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