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The Best Albums of 2010: Andrew Mueller and Everett True

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Mike Diver Mike Diver | 12:07 UK time, Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Another day, another double dose of top fives for you, reader. Today, the pairing of Andrew Mueller - journalist, critic, author - and Everett True - formerly of NME and Melody Maker, latterly Plan B editor-in-chief and currently the core force behind Australian blog Collapse Board. Interestingly, both are writers who have dabbled in playing and recording music of their own - Mueller is vocalist with The Blazing Zoos, while True has released as The Legend! and fronts a couple of Brisbane bands. Find the albums they have covered for the BBC via the links next to their names.

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Andrew Mueller (reviewed albums)

Bruce Springsteen - The Promise
Springsteen's studio-floor sweepings circa Darkness on the Edge of Town are collated into something approaching masterpiece status with almost enraging insouciance. His version of Because the Night is better than Patti Smith's, as well.
Read the BBC review and listen to previews

Drive-By Truckers - The Big To-Do
Great rock'n'roll album by the world's greatest rock'n'roll band. Drive-By Truckers' quest to meld a thoughtful conscience and historical perspective with unreconstructed southern boogie is one of the more spectacular experiments of our age.
Read the BBC review and listen to previews

Corb Lund - Losin' Lately Gambler
Impeccably wrought old-school country by the scandalously under-rated Canadian songwriter. Lund's vignettes of people beaten hard by love, politics and/or circumstance are sparsely yet richly illustrated by the Hurtin' Albertans, his supremely articulate backing group.
The Corb Lund Band on BBC Music

Merle Haggard - I Am What I Am
Umpty-seven albums into his half-century-long career, Hag is increasingly infusing his impeccable instinct for deceptively simple songs with a sharp-witted orneriness. A baleful, hawk-eyed survey of the view from beneath a battered hat.
Merle Haggard on BBC Music

Paul Kelly - How to Make Gravy
Career-spanning book and box set by Australia's pre-eminent songwriter, a man whose name would be as well known as that of Springsteen if he'd been born American. Kelly's eye for the telling details of his country and the people who live in it is acute, his ear for the ringing tune peerless. A deserved monument.
Paul Kelly on BBC Music (external link)
The Blazing Zoos on MySpace (external link)

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Everett True (reviewed albums)

Agent Ribbons - Chateau Crone
Texan two-piece Agent Ribbons are the band of your dreams. A little bit of 50s doo-wop style, a whole lot of passion, a truck-load of genius harmonies, a smattering of Gothic ennui and a voice to call down the ghost of Johnny Ray with. Home-made. Hand-knit. Intimate. They tour vigilante-style in a Chevy Astro. They like to play dress-up. They love The Boswell Sisters and The Shaggs. They write songs about Pinocchio ('The Boy With The Wooden Lips'). They swoon like Clara Bow. Dame Darcy draws their covers.
(No BBC profile available)
MySpace (external link)

My Disco - Little Joy
There is the one simple trick that this Melbourne three-piece pull on their third album, repeatedly - and it's a devastating one. Restraint. Repetition. Repetition. My Disco understand that a wig-out isn't a wig-out until it's been pummelled into the ground, unmercifully - the longer the better.
My Disco on BBC Music

kyü - kyü
Songs engage with a fierce pop sensibility, all the while throwing in a mesmerising diorama of sounds and musical instruments: fluttering wing-movements and stuttering synth breaks and fluting woodwind and those stunning voices, cajoling and caressing and crying and begging and enticing.
(No BBC profile available)
MySpace (external link)

Mountain Man - Made the Harbor
Remember the scenes in Cold Mountain with the white Southern a cappella church choirs block singing, the cadences more important than the melodies? That approach resonates through the voices of Molly Erin Sarle, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig and Amelia Randall Meath, yet with something added. It's a solemn joy - you feel privileged to be listening.
Mountain Man on BBC Music

Tunabunny - Tunabunny
The greatest band from Athens, Georgia since Pylon; Tunabunny's half-songs are fuller than most songs around for the simple reason that they haven't had the spirit and imagination and inspiration bashed and bullied out of them.
(No BBC profile available)
MySpace (external link)

Collapse Board (external link)

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