Pretty Green

Top Britpop Albums Of 2012

Miles Kane – First Of My Kind EP:

First of my kind EP CoverLord Curduroy Review: The lead song bodes well for Miles second album, but what was he thinking with a Tom Jones cover? It’s dreadful. Night Runner with it’s simple lyrics, and poor mixing is a song better left for the dustbin of Miles otherwise great stable of songs.

Lady K Review: I agree that the title track is a strong effort and an all around fun song that certainly pays tribute to Miles’ mod style. Night Runner is conversely a poor effort and bleeding hell, that chorus is annoying.

Top Songs: First of My Kind

Dodgy – Stand Upright In A Cool Place:

Stand Upright in A cool place album cover

Lord Curduroy Review: The album is a bit too reflective for my liking and what my perception of Dodgy’s sound was.  A gem is to be found in “What Became Of You” but I wasn’t on board with the rest of the album. I’m not sure what the band wanted old fans to think after so many years away. It’s good songwriting because it’s Dodgy, but that groove based-carefree sound wasn’t there.

Lady K Review: In their old age, Dodgy seems to have abandoned the pop sensibilities that made me love songs like “Staying Out For the Summer” back in the long, long ago. This album explores everything from hippie folk music to psychedelic stoner rock. It’s more Beatles than Kula Shaker.

Top Songs: What Became Of You, Tripped and Fell.

Gaz Coombes – Here Comes The Bombs:

Gaz Coombs Here Comes The Bombs

Lord Corduroy Review: The album sounds more like a clutch of leftover Supergrass songs without Mick and Danny. There some good and some bad and truly lazy drum machine but you’ll mostly recognize what other songs these sound like. If you like the grass then you’ll like this; fairly simple.

Lady K Review: Overall, I was quite pleased with Gaz’s first solo endeavor. However without the rest of the ‘grass, the music lacks the quirky fun that I am so used to. It still sounds like Supergrass — just less playful, but perhaps that’s just a sign of all of us getting older.

Top Songs: White Noise, Simulator, Break The Silence, Hot Fruit

Martin Rossiter – The Defenestration of St Martin

Martin Rossiter The Defenestration of St Martin

Lord Curduroy Review: There are movies that become seminal yet miss on critical success such as office space. Albums too like The Stone Roses. This album falls into that category. It won’t make Martin a millionaire but you’ll enjoy it all the same.  As a Smiths fan it’s a bit too navel gazing for my own tastes. As a Gene fan it’s also a bit too navel gazing too. But that doesnt diminish the heartfelt piano lounge love affair music this album is.

Lady K Review: This is my favorite release of 2012. Like Martin Rossiter said to Drowned In Sound, it should probably come with a complimentary Prozac prescription but isn’t that what made all of us love Gene in the first place? Martin still writes genuine, raw, emotional ballads. These truly are the songs to make grown men cry.

Top Songs: Drop Anchor, No One Left to Blame, Three Points On A Compass

St Etienne – Words And Music:

Album cover of Words and Music
Lord Curduroy Review: Same old St. Etienne making the same old teenage love lost 80’s derived dance pop songs and we still fall for it.

Lady K Review: While yes it is still the same old St. Etienne, this is a fun record. Songs like “Tonight” and “I’ve Got Your Music” capture the feeling that we music fans experience and thus keep coming back to bands like these. It’s 90s style dance pop with Sarah Cracknell’s saccharine vocals. Don your feather boa and go-go boots and dance along.

Top Songs: Tonight, I’ve Got Your Music, When I Was Seventeen

Graham Coxon – A+E –

Graham Coxon A+E Album Cover

Lord Curduroy Review:  A+E wont exactly win new fans but then again Graham doesn’t operate like that. This is yet another album testing out new sounds but not new neccesarily song structures. The ADD intro track of “Advice” sets the tone of the entire album and show the magic is there even if a bit out there to find.

Lady K Review: A+E showcases Graham’s affinity for American indie rock (hello, Pavement) with hard guitars while also venturing into some weird territory (yes, even for Graham).

Top Songs: What’ll It Take, Ooh, Yeh Yeh

Paul Weller – Sonik Kicks:

Paul Weller Sonik Kicks Album Cover

Lord Curduroy Review:  You have to hand it to a man who tries new sounds even at his ripe age of 53 and still manages to make sound pretty darn good. The album reaches in places and falls a bit out of order in spots from Dub to english teaside breakfast sonnets, to Disco to acoustic sing alongs. There’s also a few blips and bleeps and over-production but don’t let that mar your experience. I’d love to hear a less produced recording of this album.

Lady K Review: What did I just listen to? To me, this album is all over the place but good on Weller for doing something different. That Dangerous Age is fun. I couldn’t stand Green. This record is not what I expected at all.

Top Songs: That Dangerous Age, Dragonfly, Be Happy Children

Cast – Troubled Times:

Cast Troubled Times Album Cover

Lord Curduroy Review: John Power has a formula and is damn good at it. Though slightly less accessible now, it’s 15 years later and he can still crank it out. The songs leans safe but a good safe. Seemingly trying to capture the magic of old songs on See That Girl it doesn’t exactly miss but won’t exactly blow you away either. Cast still suffers the dilemma of sounding better live than they do recorded. …And still somewhere Lee Mavers is probably stewing at how prolific and awesome John Powers is while releasing nothing of his own.

Lady K Review: What can I say? It sounds like Cast. There’s nothing new and earth shattering here but it’s not a bad record either. These are solid songs. “Time Bomb” sounds like it could have been released as a single in 1995.

Top Songs: See That Girl, Troubled Thoughts, A Boy Like Me.

Spiritualized – Sweet Heart Sweet Light:

Spiritualized Sweet Heart Sweet Light Album Cover

Lord Curduroy Review: What Jason Piece can do with so little vocal range is astonishing and this time around he’s nearly half-dead yet pops out this gem of an album. Only the best can drop a 9 minute single and have it sound amazing. Putting together all his best output from the past 15 years into something uniquely Spiritualized and fresh is rad. If you like the brighter side of J’s output then you’ll love this album – I did.

Lady K Review: Still kind of weird and “out there,” this does showcase the lighter side of Spiritualized. It definitely harkens back to the older Spiritualized — “I Am What I Am” calls to mind the old single “Come Together” with the chorus of female back up singers. The album features a wide variety so there’s something for everyone.

Top Songs: Hey Jane, I am what I am, Heading For The Top Now, Freedom, Little Girl

Jake Bugg – Jake Bugg:

Jake Bugg Album Cover

Lord Curduroy  Review: The new, nu, neu, newish? Britpop sound. His brand of pop-folk mixed with the best of Ashcroft and Lee Mavers puts him at the top of the 2012 pile without doubt. Had it been released a year and gone against Beady Eye, Arctic Monkeys, or Noel Gallagher it would have been harder to claim it because the album misses on a few songs near the end of the album. Lyrically simpler but vocally similar he’s probably tired of the Dylan comparisons. It’s hard not to make them as a guy up there with only his guitar. Lets see some more arrangement and time spent with a solid producer to beef up a good sophomore effort.

Top Songs:  Lightning Bolt, Two Fingers, Taste It, Seen It All