Modern Pop Is Rubbish
So Stuart Maconie reckons the golden age of pop is now, does he? Well, I see his point, but for the first time in many years – perhaps ever – I just haven’t been able to put together a top ten albums of the year, because I can’t find ten I like. My initial conclusion from that is, naturally, that I’ve just become a grumpy old reactionary, but it’s equally possible that 2007 was just rubbish for new recorded music. I went to the best list of lists of top albums of the year and found very little decent stuff which I’d forgotten about. Sure, it was nice to have Bruce back with the E Street Band, but I wasn’t that inspired by the albums you could have written into these lists before they were released, such as Radiohead’s In Rainbows and Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible. Even Hvarf/Heim by Sigur Ros, which did enthuse me, wasn’t their best.
Lots of the published top albums lists come from American sources, who are lucky enough to get to include releases like Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black because they got that a year later than we did. Otherwise, the outstanding feature of the lists was their eclectic nature – hardly any album got on more than a small handful of them. Consequently, the proportion of the recommended releases which I actually heard was smaller than ever, probably, and not because I spent any less on new music.
I should put a word in for Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Out Of The Woods by Tracey Thorn and Awkward Annie by Kate Rusby, all of which improved my year. But just to make a point, my album of 2007 is the remastered reissue of Steve McQueen by Prefab Sprout, one of the finest albums of all time, and allowed in here because it was accompanied by a CD of all-new acoustic versions which are quite sublime.