It's not often that I speak in praise of a British monthly magazine end of year poll, but Uncut's latest offering isn't all that bad. At least they polled their writers for the January rather than the December issue as in the previous two years, although the rush to get the end of year lists decided before the year is out again makes for some notable omissions (Yeasayer, Burial, plus you would surely have expected them to include Levon Helm's 'Dirt Farmer').
That being said, LCD Soundsystem's 'Sound Of Silver' is a real curveball choice of album of the year for this nominally conservative magazine. The decision is carefully justified in the synopsis (which I'm guessing was penned by John Mulvey, the man behind their excellent Wild Mercury Sound new music blog). I had expected either The Hold Steady or Rilo Kiley to top the list. Other interesting and bold choices in the list include PJ Harvey at 3, Robert Wyatt at 6, Radiohead at 9, Bjork at 11, Battles at 12 (well done!), Panda Bear at 15, Feist at 19, Tinariwen at 33, Iron and Wine at 40. There are numerous omissions of course, but a Top 50 is simply never going to be broad enough (no jazz or hip hop, no modern composition, very little electronic music).
The list reflects the moribund state of British guitar music in 2007 - only Arctic Monkeys, Klaxons, Super Furry Animals, Manic Street Preachers and Maps make the cut (and I would argue that only one of those albums really merits a place anywhere near a top 50 of 2007).
Aside from a handful of truly silly selections (The Cribs, Babyshambles, Neil Young's 'Chrome Dreams II' which is really one great song in search of several more), this is the best list they've compiled for some time. They've certainly thrown down the gauntlet to Mojo.
I'm working on a Top 100 and a tracks of the year list, so blogging activity may be limited for a while. Anything I've not managed to write about yet will be covered with a decent synopsis in the lists!