Top 10 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012


Dic 10 2008, 21:27

Narrow Stairs
Weakest effort in the past 7 or 8 years, yet the bar was raised so high from Transatlanticism and Plans, still not a bad album.

Suicide Season
This album has grown on me alot, seeing as I used to always class Bring Me.. as complete shit. It's a good listen up to about halfway through.

Only By The Night
Well thankfully an improvement on Because Of The Times, but they were never going to match Aha Shake or Youth And Young Manhood, classic albums.

One of the Boys
Sorry but I loved this album, doesn't have a lasting impact though as such but is catchy as hell in some parts.

The Bedlam in Goliath
I had such high hopes for this album, and I was so dissapointed at first. But given time this really is a top album.

Uncle B
Okay so now we have lots of people jumping on the N-Dubz bandwagon, I'm suprised theyre not even bigger than they are every track here could be a single, really enjoy every song.

Where The Light Is - Live In Los Angeles
I wouldn't normally count live albums, but as you can tell from my listens I love every John Mayer release and he fits the best from each album on this 3 Cd live collection which is really brilliant.

Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust
Yes it was annoying just typing out the name of this album, but it's definitely worth a high place in the top 10. At first I was dissapointed with their departure and even now I prefer their earlier work, but this is stilla faultless album somehow, amazing.

Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
Probably in most people's top 10 so don't really need to explain. Thought they may be on a downhill slope follwing X&Y but this is a superb album in every way I could not stop listening to it for weeks when I first got it.

I just bought my favourite album this year off amazon, I can't wait 'til I actually get it. I could listen to this album over and over for hours, it is perfect. Though possibly only around my 15th favourite of all time given the mild year for music it has been.

Well it's the 31st of December again, and this year's music has done a big shit over last year's. Infact it's been the best for a good few years. There's probably a good 15 albums that could have easily made it, here's my pick.

Killswitch Engage (2009)
This album would have to go own as a let-down in my books, the bar was raised far too high from their previous effort 3 years ago which remains one of my favourite albums of all time. There are some powerful songs here, but Killswitch need a new approach for their next effort if they're to reach the heights of Daylight Dies.

Prior to this album, I would rarely listen to DGD, but in Happiness a perfect mix of screamo, rock and jazz have combined and it is a really catchy album.

You Gotta Believe - EP
Yep I'm gonna include E.P's merely for how good this one is, it's vibrant and extremely catchy, an album I could never get tired of, looking forward to this guy's next album.

This Is War
I billed this album as a sure-fire hit for number one album of the year, unfortunately it has it's let-down's in over-complex and slightly boring songs. However in Kings & Queens and Closer To The Edge are two amazing songs, worthy of song's of the year, if I ever get round to doing that.

Meet Me Halfway, At Least
Much like 'This Is War', the initial attraction to this album was it's lead single 'Friends Like These' a real anthem in my town, where this band originated, however the album didn't entirely live up to the hype of this one song, although it has it's high-points, it doesn't come close to their previous EP, 'They Call It The Easy Life'.

Battle Studies
A fantastic relaxing album which is a big step up overall from his two previous studio efforts, though it didn't quite hit the heights it had the potential to, it remains a solid album that I could listen to multiple times.

Similar to 'Happiness' in that this album provided a real attraction to this band, every single song on the album is catchy and well produced, it's a simple yet effective effort from these guys, who's live performance wasn't too shabby either.

Brand New Eyes
This album really propelled Paramore to new levels of success, and rightfully so, it's a mature effort, much better than Riot!, though still not as impacting as 'All WE Know Is Falling' for me. Seeing thousands and thousands of people chanting every word to the songs on this album in a sold-out Wembly Arena really hit home, it really is a great album.

Changes Of Atmosphere
Or joint 1st, as this album could easily have been, it's an amazing combination of jazz and rap from the french producer, a chill-out album which will never grow old, I had it down as an easy number one for this year until June 2009 which saw the release of...

Common Dreads
The album of the year, 'Common Dreads' from start to the finish the atmosphere created by this album is incredible, it is a big shout out to politics, and much like 'American Idiot' it's lyrics despite meaning little to me personally still carried the album through with some amazing song-writing and mind-blowing live performances.

Infact this was such the case that it has proved a real task narrowing my favourite albums down to just 10. There were let downs, especially in those bands I really expected to perform this year, Coheed, MCR and Chiodos to name a few. But anyway, back to business and here are my top 10 albums of 2010 :)

Played In Space: The Best Of Something Corperate
If I'm allowed E.P's, I'm allowed compilation albums right? Before this was released my knowledge of SoCo was limited though I had 2 of their previous albums, I never really caught on to them, this album is a great way to place them firmly in anyone's good books.

Never really knew what to expect from this, or for that matter how to get this album. Her performance of 'Homeland' was fantastic, so good I had to see it twice, her showing this year of Disalusion was weaker, so I'm holding on to this masterpiece of ambient songs and beautiful singing.

There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It, There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret
Bring Me can be a bit hit and miss with their songs, leading the albums to never fully reach their potential, indeed this was the case for this album which could easily have reached the top 5 had it not been for it's poor second half of the album in contrast to the incredible, dark, melodic first 5 songs here.

I would also put 2008 album of the year winners down as a dissapointment, with their final release. The first dissapointment was the fact that they announced it was to be a 7-track release, the second being, that anywhere outside of the top 3 this year falls short of 'Illuminate'. this album has it's moments, and when it does they are outstanding, how else could they get to 7? It is let down by minute long interludes though, which really have little place on the album.

The Last Word
Another E.P which really arose from nowhere, a discovery of this band in october, led me to downloading this E.P, and although only 4 songs long, it really struck me, this band has real potential.

All Our Kings Are Dead
My origins of discovering Young Guns stretch back to '08 when they were a small time act playing in the pub down the road, they never really struck me as anything special then, but with a bit of persuasion from my friends to have a listen, my opinion has been turned on it's head. So many awesome moments on this album, which didn't dissapoint live last week either :)

Another band that took a while to impress, the first E.P was on a friends recommendation, back when these guys were just starting out, since then I had ignored the mighty Emarosa. However you just can't ignore Johnny Craig's immense vocals and the band that supply some cracking melodies, a really strong effort from this band, an effort which unfortunately hasn't recieved the recognition it deserves from critics.

Yet again, a band that I didn't even know existed at the start of the year, however about half way through the year, I was recommended a listen and never turned back, one of the finest heavy metal albums of the past few years, this album is faultless and has a brilliant atmosphere about it.

Science & Faith
Yes I liked The Script before this release, I wasn't mad on them, I liked a couple of the singles from their debut, but this just blows them out the water. An amazing album, that really should be labeled as easy-listening, an album for any mood, containing fantastic hooks and chorus's that live up to all expectation

So here it is. Angels & Airwaves never fail to impress, but they also never fail to bring out album that can consistently boast a spot for album of the year, narrowly missing out in 2007 with I-Empire, this one had no competition from the moment it was released and I played it at 4am for the first time, a really amazing first listen, yet every listen after matches up to it. There is not a weak song on the album and I particularly love the musical interludes after some of the songs. Can't wait for their next effort.

Each year that I've added to this journal entry the amount of impressive releases increases and this year is no exception. I hadn't even decided by the end of the year which album I considered the best effort as it was so difficult, not sure if 2012 can match this...

The last album of the year I downloaded, it's normally the sort of music I'd turn my nose up at, being so faggy. But god-damn it's catchy and really well written. Not sure if it's an album that will last as such, but for the time being, it's a fantastic album

Mylo Xyloto
Although it doesn't quite live up to 2008's Viva La Vida there are still moments of Coldplay's brilliance dotted throughout the album, it's the first of their album's in which I've enjoyed individual songs over the album as a whole/

Young Pilgrim
I'd almost forgotten about Charlie Simpson before this release, rotting away in Fightstar, who for as much as I like them, were going massively downhill in my opinion. With this acoustic effort I believe Charlie is back to his best.

The most anticipated album of the past 8 years for me. My favourite childhood band finally back together with a release, many years after my stage of obsession with them. Although I always consider Blink an extremely important band to me, this album didn't quite do it for me. I think the case is that as Tom grew up with Angels And Airwaves I did too and can't go back to enjoying Blink the way I did.

Downtown Battle Mountain Part II
Although my listens don't necessarily show it, Dance Gavin Dance were probably my most listened to band of 2011, always on my phone ready to play, I saw this album in it's entirety live along with Part I, which helped get me even more into this band and I've been listening to them so regularly ever since. This album features the original and best line-up and doesn't disappoint.

Soul Punk
Much like Charlie Simpson, an almost forgotten artist for me, whittling away in a slowly disintegrating Fall Out Boy. This effort is nothing like anything you'd expect from Stump, but his Jackson-esque style and witty lyrics are far too catchy to ignore, in fact I haven't been able to ignore this since it was released, beyond anything I would have expected, impressed also with the fact this album was solely made and produced.

Paint It Golden
I remember hearing about Lydia's re-union (well, all 2 members) literally days before this was leaked extremely early. After Assailants, my hopes weren't high but this album lives up to my album of 2008, Illuminate. It's classic Lydia, beautiful music and inventive lyrics. I can't find fault in this album, really pleased that they're back on track with this effort.

Fools and Worthless Liars
Like many albums this year, this could be labelled a pleasant suprise, but it was so much more than that, without the screaming element that I felt worked so well I was amazed to find they had simply improved, with James's talent shining through. Another album I saw live in it's entirety and I'm so glad I did, it's definitely a classic for me.

Love Part II
It took a few listens and I was thinking at first that this album might struggle to get beyond 6th or 7th in my albums of the year, but I simply can't deny how good it is, as every AVA effort just seems to be, okay it's not quite Love Part I, but it comes mighty close, some fantastic songs and instrumental parts. Can't get enough of these guys.

I suppose this album really was always going to be my album of the year. It's addictive, powerful and original. I hadn't even heard of these guys going into 2011 but come out of the year having seen them and having their album on repeat for many parts of the year. I am yet to meet somebody who has called this a bad album.

So I've managed to keep this going for five years now, which by my standards is pretty god damn impressive. 2012 didn't provide the best year in new releases, in fact I spent a majority of my time listening to older material, but there were a select-few albums that made me turn my head and give it the ashley kirwan nod of approval. Here's ma top 10...

10.The Union of Crowns
Bury Tomorrow are a band I hadn't discovered until this latest release, however a select few songs, really stand out on this album which means it pipped Architects to this spot. The Maiden, Lionheart and the final epic song, A Curse are memorable songs.

9.Collide With The Sky
Pierce The Veil were always going to produce, this predicament was aided by the lead single 'King For A Day' (which really just drew attention to Kellin Quinn) they've yet failed to make a disappointing album, however they've never quite fully reached their potential. This album comes close however with a thunderous opening 6 songs, followed by a slightly less impressive second half of the album.

Well. who'd have thought it, never been a fan of Kesha, actually I kind of despised her before Die Young, which was too catchy to ignore, the rest of the album didn't disappoint either. Normally it would be the case that the album would full of fillers, this however is packed with catchy songs.

7.Born & Raised
My most listened to artist was always gonna reach the top 10 with a release, as with 'Heartbreak Warfare' it didn't quite hit the heights of his earlier work, however it did prove to be easy listening with the epic 'A Face To Call Home' somewhat saving the album at the last. I'd compare this to blink-182's 'Neighbourhoods' in that I feel maybe it is the work of the artist previously that I enjoyed...however blink have since blown this theory out the window...

6.Dogs Eating Dogs
...With their latest release a solid 5-song e.p which surpassed all my expectations, in my opinion the songs get better track by track and the first song ain't half bad. Perhaps if this had been released earlier in the year, it would have hit the higher spots, but it has been on repeat since it release in mid-december.

Don Broco's new recommendation was from a friend of mine, who's music taste I can always rely on. Now, I had of them beforehand being reasonably local and having turned down the chance to see them at a small intimate gig a year or two back. Big mistake, these guys are so talented and unique, quality album from start to finish.

4.Southern Air
This for me was one of the major surprises of the year. Downloaded it on the off-chance that there may be a couple of catchy pop-punk hits. Oh how I was wrong, this album is packed with them. I can happily listen to every song on this album, it lacks fillers, which is a nice change for a pop-punk album, especially proud of yellowcard for sticking to their roots, simply perfecting their sound.

Bones took me a long time to get into, having not paid young guns much attention since a disappointing live show, supporting their previous album, which I can't deny was an impressive album. But with this release, they have really out-done themselves. As with the previous, I was hooked for weeks and still refuse to skip a song of their's if it appears on shuffle :)

Love, Robot are incredibly underrated and talented band, who deserve more credit for the music they produce, granted it's still early days for them, but following my friend's recommendation i downloaded the album and haven't looked back since. All the songs on this album are catchy, punchy and beyond any expectation I could have had for a new band. Looking forward to some new material soon.

Now, The Blue Nile are (well, were) one of the most underrated bands of all time, the music they produce is just perfect, which is a given really, considering the lengthy gaps between releases. Eight years on from The Blue Nile's last release, lead singer Paul Buchanan has gone solo and produced one of my favourite albums of all time. On my first listen through, I'll admit I was disappointed not being accustomed to the pure simplicity of just Paul and a piano, with occasional effects thrown in. But all the way through to the last song After Dark, this album is faultless and thoroughly deserving of my number one spot this year :)


  • samlovesunited

    The Last Word is 5 songs you crazy guy! Love your paragraphs for the albums though :D

    Feb 13 2011, 20:30
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