Editor's Pick of New Releases, October 2010
Into October and still the schedules show no sign of slowing down - although December offers respite, clearing space for the X Factor to reclaim its number one spot. Or will it? Does anybody really care? Not when there are so many great albums to be listening to, no. And here are the very best - to these ears, anyway - of the last month that was.
Editor's Album of the Month
"An emphatic reminder of the importance of Britain's northern cities in the development of electronica, notwithstanding dubstep's status as a London genre. It is a Dare!, a Penthouse and Pavement, for modern times. Almost every song is awash with bleak atmospherics and an almost hymnal sorrow. Forlorn and spacious, this isn't dubstep, it's sadstep."
The Best of the Rest
Bring Me the Horizon - There is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep it a Secret
(Visible Noise, released 4 October)
Recommended by: Rock Show with Daniel P. Carter
"They've not done everything the easy way, but Bring Me the Horizon today stand at the very vanguard of the UK metal scene. This third album takes risks with confidence, and the end results are never less than startling."
Bellowhead - Hedonism
(Navigator, released 4 October)
Recommended by: Mike Harding
"With their delirious joie de vivre and compelling ability to radically reinterpret the tales of our past still very much intact, there's little sign of the Bellowhead juggernaut running out of steam just yet."
"Such is the exceptionally sparse nature of Agnes Obel's debut album that it slips by almost unnoticed lest you lend it a distraction-free, focused ear. It is highly advisable you do so: Philharmonics' deliberate arrangements are capable of some genuinely mesmeric turns."
"Where there are no words, there are rampaging thoughts, and Lucky Shiner is an album designed to provoke and instigate. It might mean looking a little further inward but there's always been a cold comfort in talking to yourself. Especially if you enjoy your own company the way Gold Panda does."
"This album arrives on the back of countless mixtapes and collaborations between its core members and the temptation for a lesser group would be to believe that they've done enough to impress purely on the back of getting noticed. As it stands, they've not only crossed over but given themselves the scope to impress even further in future."
The Walkmen - Lisbon
(Bella Union, released 11 October)
Recommended by: 6 Music Album of the Day
"Lisbon is a grandstand album, a conclusion of what The Walkmen have been striving for these last three years. It is a collation and culmination of their finest work in ages. Rather than a selection of scattered snapshots, this time we've got the bigger picture. And it's irresistible."
John Legend & The Roots - Wake Up!
(Columbia, released 18 October)
"The set is a masterclass in how to respectfully update and enhance classic music, and proves how vital and relevant 30-year-old music remains today. Indeed it's such a superbly executed package you don't really mind the fact that this talented songwriter only penned one contribution himself."
"The best thing about truly great long-players is that you get to spend many years of thrilled listening, trying to work out what something so rich, dark and powerful really, truly means. The Wants is one of those records. And there haven't been too many of those in a while."
"Nine songs and 47 minutes long, their album debut feels like wandering through desert plains and darkened streets, tumbleweed at your feet and in your brain. It sounds like the sky has slightly caved in. Come smash yourself against their rocks, you won't regret it."