Welsh acts in end of year critics' lists
It's that time of year when music magazines publish their lists of the best releases of the year, and Welsh acts are popping up, albeit not in especially high positions.
In Uncut magazine, Jonny appear at number 36 in their top 50, with their self-titled album. Uncut say: "Euros Childs, once of Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, and Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake pooled their considerable songwriting resources for their best work in an age. Some of Jonny's songs sounded like lost children's TV themes; others had the easygoing poignancy that both artists have long been masters of."
In Q's top 50, Gruff Rhys appears with his Hotel Shampoo collection. They say: "Super Furry Animals man Gruff Rhys restricted himself to a three-week recording schedule to avoid his simple melodies being suffocated by studio experiments."
Kids In Glass Houses
It's been a slightly healthier year for rock music than indie, it seems. In Kerrang!'s exhaustive top 101 albums of the year, first up at 93 are Bastions with Hospital Corners. The magazine says: "They simply made an album every bit as dark, grim and oppressive as it is relentless, in your face and visceral."
At number 78 are Kids In Glass Houses with In Gold Blood. The Kerrang! verdict: "While its ingenuity risked leaving a few long-term fans scratching their heads, it was dazzling in its unpredictability. With the thrust and raw power of a great rock record, songs like The Florist saw the Welshmen abandon convention and finally spread their wings."
At number 66, The Blackout appear with Hope. "Hope... fizzes ambition born both of desperation and determination to fulfil all that potential. It does too: an inspired collaboration with Hyro Da Hero on Higher And Higher and a seemingly endless supply of slowburn rock anthems make this their best album yet," say the magazine.
Funeral For A Friend
Top spot for Kerrang! among the Welshies goes to Funeral For A Friend, at number 52 with Welcome Home Armageddon. The verdict: "Reinvigorated by personnel changes, they returned to a level of heaviness they hadn't displayed in years and, boy, did it suit them."
Although these are but three publications, it's not been a vintage year for Welsh music, it has to be said. That's no reflection on the quality of the works appearing in these lists, but simply that in previous years the sheer volume of releases meant that Wales batted above its average.
A combination of lack of major releases and bands that - not to put too fine a point on it - are on the downward slope of their careers, mean that it's difficult to see who's going to compete with the likes of Florence And The Machine, PJ Harvey, Coldplay or Mastodon.
Here's hoping that in 2012 the raft of inventive newer Welsh acts break through and magazines can view Wales once more with a little bit of the green eye.
Feel free to comment! If you want to have your say, on this or any other BBC blog, you will need to sign in to your BBC iD account. If you don't have a BBC iD account, you can register here - it'll allow you to contribute to a range of BBC sites and services using a single login.