Albums Of The Year 2009

Acoustic Ladyland – Living With A Tiger
A triumphant punky jazzy funky classic with teeth.

Biffy Clyro – Only Revolutions
No band can straddle heavy metal and pop like Scottish band Biffy Clyro.

Deadmau5 – For Lack Of A Better Name
Ushered in a brand new superstar DJ.

Fighting With Wire – Man Vs Monster
The Northern Irish band’s debut reminded me why rock music rocks.

Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
A meticulously beautiful and timeless classic.

Isis – Wavering Radient
Mesmeric sludge metal to sink into.

Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
The Leicester band are truly and madly in their groove.

Marmaduke Duke – Duke Pandamonium
Surprisingly good from start to finish.

Mr Hudson – Straight No Chaser
In 2009, Mr Hudson deservedly went supernova.

Albums Of The Year nearly here

YULE have been mad not to have noticed that, in the words of Shakin’ Stevens: “‘Tis the season.”
As my Christmas present to you, tomorrow I’ll unveil my Top 10 Albums Of The Year 2009, revealing who is following in the footsteps of acts behind previous Albums Of The Year such as System Of A Down, Portishead, The Libertines, The Beatles and Arcade Fire.
You’ll also find out if anyone can join Biffy Clyro as double winners – groups in the running this year include Prodigy, Acoustic Ladyland, Mr Hudson, Maccabees and Jamie T, while Biffy Clyro themselves could make it a record three Albums Of The Year with Only Revolutions.
Plus there’s local interest too – both Late Of The Pier and Young Knives made the top 10 for 2008, and this year Kerfuffle, Kelpe and Wave Pictures have had albums out, and Mr Hudson’s drummer, Wilkie Wilkinson, is from Loughborough too!
You’ll also have your chance to vote which of my shortlist should be crowned Isaac Ashe’s Sound Advice Album Of The Year, which last year was awarded to Portishead’s Third.
The vote runs until midnight on New Year’s Eve.
So until then, let me take this chance to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Local drummer goes Supernova

A DRUMMER from Loughborough has hit the big time playing with rising star Mr Hudson.
Andrew “Wilkie” Wilkinson, 24, grew up in Nanpantan, and has played for local acts including punk band Wester and the Loughborough Grammar School Big Band.
However nowadays Wilkie more commonly shares a stage with top international stars – such as Kanye West, Amy Winehouse, Calvin Harris and Sting – as part of Mr Hudson’s band The Library, who scored a major hit with single Supernova earlier this year.
Wilkie’s work can also be heard on Mr Hudson’s current album Straight No Chaser, which has reached number 25 in the album charts.
He said: “I moved from Loughborough to London to go to art college about five years ago, where I met Ben (Mr Hudson) in a pub.
“I joined his band and played on the first album, A Tale Of Two Cities. It wasn’t a massive sales success, but musicians were basically telling each other about it.
“Kanye West ended up getting a copy, and then wanted to meet.
“It’s still frightening meeting all these stars, people like Kanye have such a big presence, even though offstage he’s quite a quiet man.”
• Mr Hudson, complete with Wilkie Wilkinson on drums, will be returning to the East Midlands to play The Royal in Derby on November 13.

Mr right

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MR HUDSON
has come a long way since his stunning 2007 debut, A Tale Of Two Cities.
Although he previously had a slight hip hop influence, for Straight No Chaser the singer songwriter has relegated his backing band, The Library, to the background, and started mixing in the company of the likes of Kanye West and Jay Z – and has also ditched his more acoustic roots for autotune and synth.
He’s also developed a potty mouth too – I suppose that’s what happens when you hang out with rappers…
Luckily under this new production gloss, which is reminiscent of West’s 808s And Heartbreaks, Mr Hudson’s talent for crafting unbelievably emotive songs soaked in bathos remains – tracks like the massive Supernova, Time and There Will Be Tears send shivers down the spine.
And there’s future chart toppers here too, such as Kid Cudi collaboration Everything Is Broken.
Straight No Chaser should go straight onto your shopping list when it comes out next Monday.

Baying for Hudson

ONE artist who I’ve been impatiently waiting for new stuff from is Mr Hudson, whose debut album with The Library, A Tale Of Two Cities, was one of my Albums Of The Year 2007.
He resurfaced last year in a collaboration with Kanye West on his album 808s And Heartbreaks, and it seems that working with the rap superstar has heavily influenced his new work.
Minus The Library, Mr Hudson’s new single, Supernova – a sparse hip hop track that swells with emotion by its close – is now upon us.
It took me by surprise knowing his piano-based origins, but it’s quickly lodged itself in my brain, and I simply can’t wait for the full LP, Straight No Chaser, later this year.
And if you want to hear a snippet for yourself, there’s a free mix mp3 of some of the tracks available here.