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Best Of: Charles Martel’s Top 10 Albums of 2011

posted December 20, 2011, 8:07 am by dscanland | Filed Under Editorial, Top Albums | comment 1 Comment

Tags: Yuck, Pickering Pick, True Widow, Waterboys

Top Albums of 2011

This week we are going to take a look at all of our reviewers Top 10 album picks of the year. Please pipe up down in the comments with any that we may have missed or if you don’t agree with any of our picks.

Today we have our rookie reviewer, CharlesMartel from the UK take a look at his favorite moments of 2011.


  • “Wither” by True Widow
  • “I Didn’t Know Your Rivers Flowed” – Pickering Pick
  • “Ignite” – Raveonettes
  • “Get Away” – Yuck
  • “Down by the Water” – Decemberists


  • “As High as the Highest Heavens and from the Centre to the Circumference of the Earth” – True Widow Not surprisingly, my top albums of the year reflect in a large part my top songs of the year. True Widow have merged shoegaze and stoner rock into a dense, thick sound which comprises elements of black metal and drone too. Nothing quite like this has come out since Jesu’s second album, and even that falls short of the majesty of this.
  • “Tiger Balm” – Pickering Pick In a totally different style, Pickering Pick’s first commercial release has a lot to commend it. Songs full of grace and passion, with tales of love, loss, faith and forgiveness, this is truly a great album of the solo singer songwriter genre and deserves to be more widely heard.
  • “Yuck” – Yuck Yuck’s debut brings back memories of the early nineties US indie explosion. Some catchy songs with a lo-fi production, this is an album which grows on you the more you hear it.
  • “An Open Door” – Soft Kill Soft Kill have come out with a different kind of retro, post-punk retro. Without sounding stale or derivative, they have managed to make the sound their own.
  • “A Hazy Relish” – Vito Genovese Vito Genovese is still unsigned and yet his album, “A Hazy Relish” shows great maturity for someone still in his teens. Layers of sound over a distinctive voice and some great lyrics make this one to watch out for.


I got the chance to see one of my all-time favourite bands, the Waterboys, at the Barbican, early in the year. What a concert! Mike Scott still has the power and passion in his voice which few others have been able to match. Playing songs from his newer albums, the biggest cheer of the night was for “The Whole of the Moon”, of his outstanding eighties classic, “This is the Sea”.


Adele – what a voice!!!!!! I would not have thought that a 21-year old blue eyed soul singer could come up with something so mature. Her voice has a smoky richness about it, and her songs, drawn from her own experiences surpass the late Amy Winehouse in terms of depth and resonance. I hope she can go onto better things yet.


“Helplessness Blues” by Fleet Foxes was the biggest let down of the year for me. Now I know I sometimes appear contrary, knocking bands and albums which others (often many others) regard as classics, but this was well short of the mark. Good American folk rock. should be able to make you experience this on different levels, to hear the fire crackling and smell the wood chips. But this has drawn all the passion and authenticity out and thrown it away. Sure it is well crafted, it just isn’t very interesting.

Best reissue

The Rolling Stones have been knocking around for nearly 50 years now, and during their career they have put out some stupendous albums. Often overlooked is the seventies classic, “Some Girls” which was reissued late in the year. Remastered and with bonus tracks, this brings back some memories and reminds everyone that the Stones could outdo almost everyone when they put their mind to it.


One Response to “Best Of: Charles Martel’s Top 10 Albums of 2011”

  1. Profile photo of Ben Oliver Ben Oliver on December 20th, 2011 9:04 am

    True Widow are from Dallas, really dig em!

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