Twin Shadow - CONFESS
Twin Shadow’s (AKA George Lewis Jr.) second album CONFESS continues the same mid 80’s influenced direction as his first FORGET with the only difference being higher production values meaning Casio sounding keyboards and the Linn drum type percussion gives way to modern day mechanization. The result is less endearing less haunting than the first but the songs are equally good. When something is heard for the second time perhaps the novelty has worn off a bit. That being said, while FORGET was one of the best albums of 2010, CONFESS is also likely to make the best of list for 2012.
The Crookes - HOLD FAST
The Crookes find themselves in a similar situation. Their debut album CHASING AFTER GHOSTS was one of the best albums of 2011. For the follow-up HOLD FAST, the songs are less complex and have less atmosphere. This is still a very good band and they seem very relaxed here. I’m looking forward to their next record.
Noel Gallagher - NOEL GALLAGHER'S HIGH FLYING BIRDS
One release I missed from 2011 but sought out after an excellent performance at Coachella was the first solo album by Noel Gallagher NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS. This is a superb record – Gallagher’s best record since Oasis’s second album WHAT’S THE STORY, MORNING GLORY? And perhaps his best group of songs ever. Exquisitely produced with lots of strings and brass and big, big tunes such as Everybody’s on the Run, If I Had a Gun, AKA....Broken Arrow, and Stop the Clocks. Considering the quality of Oasis’s last couple of records before they broke up and how good this record is, I frankly hope that Noel continues on as a solo artist.