NMW: Top 20 Albums of the Year Part 1 (20-11)

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The Big News
It’s that time of year music lovers, time for the end of the year lists! This is round two, featuring the first installment of my Top 20 albums of the year, numbers 11-20, the first year with such an expanded list. This is the fifth year of this list. The first two editions (2013-14) were published when this site was called 8th Circuit (8CN) which dissolved into internet ether during the change over from 8CN to Overmental… so I can’t link to them. How ‘bout we start by reviewing the last four winners of album of the year.


David Bowie, Blackstar, Columbia


Public Image Limited, What the World Needs Now, PiL Worldwide


Jolie Holland, Wine Dark Sea, Anti-


Neko Case, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, Anti-

Supplemental Rules

2014: The Neil Young rule: Cover songs and records cannot make the list. Instead, great cover songs are listed under Special Consideration section.

2016: The Blackstar rule: If you die you cannot make the list unless you are named overall album of the year.

Special Consideration

Two great covers record that caught my attention this year. Not sure if they would have made it on to the actual list, but they were still wonderful.
Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer, Not Dark Yet, Silver Cross Records

Motorhead, Under the Covers, WEA

Honorable Mention

Mount Eerie, A Crow Looked at Me, P.W. Elvrum & Sun

Not a whole lot I can say about this record. It’s about the death of his wife from cancer. I only listened to it once, couldn’t take anymore of it. One of the most terrifying things I’ve ever heard. The honorable mention here is not a slight on the record. I just can’t consider it in the same way I do other records.

(21) Ryan Adams, Prisoner, PaxAmericana Recording Company

The List

20. Creeper, Eternity in Your Arms, Roadrunner

Caught them at Warped Tour. Dug ’em.

19. Alt J, Relaxer, Atlantic

The overall leader, and the most enigmatic album of the year. Had two songs on top ten songs list.


18. Valerie June, The Order of Time, Concord Records

17. Morrissey, Low in High School, BMG

16. Oh Sees, Orc, Castle Face

15. Sodastream, Little by LIttle, Sodastream Music

14.Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile, Lotta Sea Lice, Matador

13. All Them Witches, Sleeping Through the War, New West Records

12. John Zorn, Midsummer Moons, Tzadik

11. The Tiger Lillies, A Cold Night in Soho, Misery Guts

A top twenty list of mine in which the goddamn TIger LIllies are not included in the top ten? The rest of the list must be very, very good. Tune in next week.

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