Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ballots Cast: Best Comeback Album of 2013

The polls are closed. I want to thank everyone that participated in another one of my less than scientific endeavors. The top two candidates combined for more than a third of the vote. Since the Olympics are right around the corner, here are your gold, silver and bronze winners:

1. Prefab Sprout - 'Crimson/Red'
2. David Bowie - 'The Next Day'
3. Daft Punk - 'Random Access Memories'
3. Mazzy Star - 'Seasons of Your Day'

Others That Received Votes:
Franz Ferdinand - 'Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action'
Johnny Hates Jazz - 'Magnetized' (write-in vote)
Nine Inch Nails - 'Hesitation Marks'
The Ocean Blue - 'Ultramarine'
The Pastels - 'Slow Summits'
Primal Scream - 'More Light'

Now let's enjoy some of my favorites from the ballot. You'll see these again on my year-end lists next week.


Uncle E said...

Your readership has fantastic taste!

Echorich said...

I am so wow'd by the quality and immediacy of Crimson/Red! If the album had come out in the late 1980's I feel like it would have been hailed as lighting striking twice for the band as it is as good as Steve McQueen IMHO...
The fact is that is reflective of Paddy McAloon in 2013 and is one of the most complete and straightforward albums about age, history and experience that we are likely ever to hear from an artist.
2013 was a year of some amazing returns to form. Along with Prefab Sprout there is an amazing release from Kitchens Of Distinction in Folly - 19 yrs after their last release as a band, Bowie more on form than he has been in over a decade with The Next Day, Visage coming out of left field with an album more akin to their debut 30 odd yrs ago than anything the had released in between with Hearts + Knives. The list is much longer and I think I will dedicate one of my year end blog posts to just this subject.

Brian said...

Hey fellas. I don't know if it's because the three of us keep talking about it that I feel this way, but do you think Crimson/Red has been gaining some momentum? Then again it might be that we all seem to read the same stuff. Anyway, can't get enough Paddy.

Oh, and Echorich, I just listened to Kitchen of Distinction's recent stop to KEXP here in Seattle, and I see why you rate the comeback so highly.

Echorich said...

Well the fact that Crimson/Red debut in the UK Top 20, something that Let's Change The World With Music wouldn't have been able to achieve (sadly) even if the first 11 positions weren't occupied by Beatles reissues, shows the power of the album. It is a very complete album, marketed based on it's calibre rather than the novelty of it being a comeback, which was most of the marketing for LCTWWM. Now I loved the last album, and rank it highly but Crimson/Red is masterful.

Uncle E said...

I read an awful lot of music magazines, and really didn't read much on McAloon for a loooong time. Then, around the time Let's Change The World...came out he started doping some select interviews, talking about his vast archive of tunes, and being very frank about his illness. I'm one of the few people who really love Andromeda Heights, and Let's Change The World...seemed sub-par, for him anyway, especially the production. I pined for the return of Dolby. Echorich is so spot on when he says Crimson/Red would have been looked at as an equal to Steve McQueen had it been released in, say 1986/87. I've listened to it at least 20 times so far and the thing that stands out for me most is the absolute clarity of the man's voice! A fantastic, fantastic effort! As far as your question regarding the press, Brian, I think you may be right. PS seems to be getting column inches everywhere I look. I sure hope that translates to a higher profile for this album and I hope he sells loads! The guy deserves it! A real treasure.

Echorich said...

I think I went into Let's Change The World WIth Music knowing that it wasn't a fully produced work, but one which Paddy and Calum Malcolm felt complete enough to release. This knowledge allowed me to accept it for what was being offered rather than criticize it, as many did, for not being a 48 track protools production. I can only imagine if there was some Dolby production/post production magic sprinkled over LCTWWM what it might have become! But the product as completed and released has a very personal, inviting felling about it. It's focus on faith is rich, whether it be faith in God, music or love. Tracks Ride, God Watch Over You, Music Is A Princess and Sweet Gospel Music are just joyous and gorgeous. Finally listening to LCTWWM over and over, you can see how well it would have fit as a follow up to Jordan.