...was pretty poor, to be honest with you. i am not sure if it's just that the bands coming through are all really rather dull, or if the record industry has simply just given up, finding it cheaper and easier to re-issue than to find and release new stuff. my cousin Andrew shall argue that some "excellent" stuff was released in the year, but on what i have heard of it i shall have to disagree somewhat.
anyway, here's the best of the year from my side!
without doubt, the single most important music release of 2011 was one you cannot play on a stereo or "ipod" thing. you can, however, admire the brilliance of it.
a good deal of nonsense tends to get written about certain acts being "the best / most important British band since The Beatles". it has been spoken of in regards of The Stone Roses too. i'm not sure any act could be called that, really, but in respect of most important and influential on a particular generation, well, The Stone Roses sit quite well next to The Smiths in regards of that. the fact that the reunited band seem intent on making new music to be released in 2012 as well as doing a wide range of huge gigs makes their return all the more exciting.
as for the best new album released in the year, well, look no further than this one.
Kasabian seem to be the last band standing that actually cares for carrying on the magic of rock and proper, quality music to a new generation. Velociraptor! is one of the best albums i have ever heard, and i have heard quite a few. it's fun, interesting and just sheer quality, really. if you do not have it, get it.
2011 also saw the return of the brothers Gallagher to the album charts, apart of course. which of the two was the best? hands down, easily and something of a surprise to some the answer turned out to be Liam.
Beady Eye, effectively the last Oasis line up sans Noel, banged out a stack of great rock tunes. Different Gear, Still Speeding is a pretention free, unapologetic rock album, intended to be shouted along to and for fun to be had with it. Liam reckons the band will record and release a follow up in 2012, to quote him, "whether people like it or not". bring it on, i say.
and that's not to say that Noel's solo venture isn't worthwhile.
High Flying Birds is the most middle-of-the-road, inoffensive album to be recorded since, well, since probably Val Doonican or Roger Whittaker were last in a studio. Noel seems intent on a nice life sat with his guitar on a stool, strumming out mostly easy going songs and accepting plaudits and praise even if for the most part they are just for who he is, not what he's done. and yet the album is oddly addictive, giving one a compulsive wish to play on repeat. Noel can and has done better, whereas this will do let us hope the next one has a bit more to it.
beyond those, really it was the year of the re-release. the reissues of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Liverpool , the solo albums from Holly Johnson and Paul Rutherford, U2's Achtung Baby, Quadrophenia from The Who and to a lesser extent Nirvana's Nevermind quite frankly stood head and shoulders above all other "new" music other than what's listed here. a nod, i suppose, to the Manic Street Preachers go at a 'singles collection', but that could have been so much more than it was.
perhaps the future of music is to revisit and rediscover all that has come before. whereas that ensures quality vibes, i do find it sad if not tragic that the current generation really has no one iconic to latch on to and follow like those before.
i trust you all found some excellent vibes over the last year! dig what you dig!
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!