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Masterpiece Release Please!

by Dan Clay Rating: Release Date:

Last year saw some truly sensational albums from the likes of The National and Arcade Fire among others, but with Radiohead limping along slightly with King of Limbs and REM now, after nearly 20 years, deciding to try and recapture their best form, who's actually going to release the album that come December will be on everyone's Top 10 lists. We could really do with a masterpiece right now.

R.E.M.

The band have decided that new album Collapse into Now is their best since Automatic, obviously not having heard New Adventures or Reveal. Early taster tracks show the folky mandolin has been dusted off, the harmonies are in their usual place and, with Out of Time as a strong reference point, they may just have a point.

The Strokes

Well, the New Yorkers' fourth album Angels arrives at the end of the month and taster single 'You're So Right' promises to showcase a darker side. The potential's certainly there.

Coldplay

After the success of 2008's Viva La Vida, Chris Martin and co have been working on their next LP, with the talented lead singer claiming it's almost done and that guitars will be the main feature. The Bends perhaps then? I think we'd certainly take that.

Elbow

Released this week, Guy Garvey and the Bury collective return after the sublime Seldom Seen Kid with their latest offering, Build a Rocket Boys! Early samples suggest it might be just as good.

Foo Fighters

Indie-rock fans will be rejoicing this year when the group's new album Wasting Light is released. Early taster 'Rope' suggests the same level of melodic rock we've become accustomed to. Will it go beyond that though?

The Shins

After James Mercer's side project Broken Bells received plenty of critical acclaim last year, many will be hoping The Shins' front man will be picking up his former baton after Wincing the Night Away's success. It's been nearly two years since the announcement of a different line up and plenty of lively songs in the bank. Will this year be the year they see the light of day? Let's hope so.

Fleet Foxes

So it comes down to Seattle's finest to build on the surprise success of 2008's eponymous album with Helplessness Blues in early May. Apparently "less poppy" than its predecessor, the title track taster certainly reveals that little has changed. That's a good thing by the way. Prepare to fall helplessly in love again when the other 11 are revealed.

Comments (11)

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Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde is already out there and is brilliant. Best not get me started on Coldplay though...

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There's already been a few really good albums so far this year, in my opinion:

Dam Mantle - First Wave
Seefeel - Seefeel
Toro Y Moi - Underneath the Pine
MEN - Talk About Money

Although I don't think there's been anything really amazing yet.

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A masterpiece eh? Well I'm not sure Coldplay are gonna produce one of those any time soon. The new Earth album is a bit of a masterpiece though and Billy Childish probably writes more masterpieces in a week than most artists will ever manage.....

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Money? I meant Body. Stupid brain always making me look bad.

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I dislike the use of the word masterpiece as it's overused to praise something which simply doesn't deserve the definition - I'd argue that neither Arcade Fire nor The National produced even remotely their best work last year, (both had some...

I dislike the use of the word masterpiece as it's overused to praise something which simply doesn't deserve the definition - I'd argue that neither Arcade Fire nor The National produced even remotely their best work last year, (both had some great moments though), nor would I say that any of the above bands have produced a consistently excellent album, with perhaps REM coming the closest back in the early to mid 80s - the only LP that I believe has come close though in recent years is Fever Ray's eponymous

anyway, rambling over - good stuff this year so far though:
Seefeel
PJ Harvey
Spokes
Yuck

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I think Murmur's pretty much a masterpiece.

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I guess the phrase masterpiece brings to mind a certain type of album, a word Q Magazine would use to describe every new Springsteen, Dylan and Young release. I mean the Butthole Surfers 'Locust Abortion Technician' is a bona-fide masterpiece but...

I guess the phrase masterpiece brings to mind a certain type of album, a word Q Magazine would use to describe every new Springsteen, Dylan and Young release. I mean the Butthole Surfers 'Locust Abortion Technician' is a bona-fide masterpiece but you don't hear people listing it alongside 'OK Computer' and 'Highway 61 Revisited'. The thing is it takes a certain type of album to become a masterpiece in the eye's of Q Mag et al, even if they do add a token Arctic Monkeys album now and again...

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The word masterpiece is bollocks really as you say. It's the usual suspects that we're always told are the greatest albums ever, OK Computer, before that it was Pet Sounds. If there's one album from this year that I can see being added to those...

The word masterpiece is bollocks really as you say. It's the usual suspects that we're always told are the greatest albums ever, OK Computer, before that it was Pet Sounds. If there's one album from this year that I can see being added to those lists, it's PJ Harvey - Let England Shake. It is a brilliant album and deserves the praise but it's a shame lazy journalists don't dig a bit deeper for the more obscure stuff.

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Dan, forgot to mention. You've used the word 'talented' when referring to Chris Martin. I think you mean 'wannabe Bono with bad hair and bad dress sense'.

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Bob, Bono with bad hair and bad dress sense. Isn't that just... Bono?

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