With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

Mayhem’s – Top 20 Albums of 2021 December 1, 2021

I don’t often put together the best albums of the year list, but I do love a good list so here are my favourite albums of 2021. What were yours?

  1. ‘Delilah Bon’ – Delilah Bon – An absolutely sublime, sassy debut from Lauren Tate’s magnificent, impassioned alter ego. This has been my album of the year since I first heard it
  2. ‘Shout Out! To Freedom…’ – Nightmares On Wax The perfect late night chill album that you can listen to anytime
  3. ‘Blue Weekend’ – Wolf AliceAn album that proves Wolf Alice continue to grow and are becoming an iconic British band
  4. ‘All In’ – Apollo JunctionThese Leeds lads smash that difficult sophomore album myth out of the park with a total belter
  5. ‘The Myth of the Happily Ever After’ – Biffy Clyro – Biffy are for me perhaps the best band on the planet right now, yet another great release proves it
  6. ‘Happier Than Ever’ – Billie EilishA fantastically accomplished album from a talent that will be around for a lifetime
  7. ‘The Yearbook’ – Baby QueenNot many bands care as much about their fans as Baby Queen, but they are so much more than caring, they really are a stunning band
  8. ‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club’ – Lana Del Rey – Probably Lana Del Ray’s best album so far, I loved this after one spin
  9. ‘The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows’ – Damon Albarn – Uber polymath Mr Albarn proves once again how wide ranging his abundant talent stretches
  10. ‘Discover Effortless Living’ – BullA fine debut album with echoes of the best of 60s rock from one of York’s greatest bands
  11. ‘Carnage’ – Nick Cave and Warren EllisIt’s Cave and Ellis, what more does one need to say, a truly awesome collection.
  12. ‘Not Your Muse’ – CelesteJazzy, modern R&B, fabulous tunes and most of all a voice that encapsulates so many beautiful emotions
  13. ‘She Walks In Beauty’ – Marianne Faithful and Warren EllisThis has been essential late night listening for me, it is soothing, mindful and close to perfect
  14. ‘We Live Here’ – Bob VylanAn incredibly powerful political album from a band that has got this far without the backing of a huge corporation
  15. ‘21st Century Love Songs’ – Wildhearts The Wildhearts are back baby, with one of their best albums
  16. ‘Amazing Things’ – Don Broco – An album that captures everything that is great with current rock and is showcased by an underlying pop sensibility
  17. ‘The Crippling Space Between’ – Carol Hodge – Another flawless album from the supremely talented wonderful human being known as Carol Hodge
  18. ‘Passions’ – Thirst Dom White steps up from the drum stool to release a beautiful album that is grandly cinematic in its scope
  19. ‘Who Am I’ – Pale WavesIs there anyone that doesn’t love Pale Waves, this set establishes them as one of Blighty’s best bands
  20. ‘We’re All Alone In This Together’ – DaveSharp, passionate, caring, honest and with a large side order of vitriol, Dave tells it like it is expertly

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Skeleton Tree – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds September 11, 2016

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:49 pm
Tags: , , ,


The sixteenth album from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds was released on 9th September 2016. One thing that you can say about Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is that they are never dull or boring, the new album ‘Skeleton Tree’ proves that point. There is much despair, anguish and torment in most of the records eight tracks. All the lyrics on the album are written by Nick Cave and as usual the music was composed in tandem between Cave and Warren Ellis. While none of these lyrics are written in the first person I wonder how much of the lyrical content is drawn from the tragic accident that saw his 15-year-old son die last year. According to most reports though some of these songs may have been recorded before the death of his son.


The production from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis is clean and fresh and the music is sparse and at times desolate giving a marvellous platform for Nick’s complex lyrics which sometimes step from the depths of complexity to become clear and simple. Opening track “Jesus Alone” hits you like a sonic assault on all of your senses. Cave transcends the rock star mould, he is a true artist. As with many of his songs God gets a few mentions; there is a line in “Jesus Alone” which hits hard and calls out on people to question religion, well in my opinion it does; ‘You believe in God, but you get no special dispensation for this belief now’.


“Girl In Amber” is one of the most haunting songs of loss that I have heard in many years, I was moved immensely by it. The opening line, ‘Some go and some stay behind’, drags you in to a desperately sad combination of music and lyrics. If this track fails to move you then I suspect that you weren’t listening or you have an ice-cold heart. For me “Anthrocene” contains some of the finest lyrics Nick Cave has ever written. In someone else’s hands this song would come across as a depressing dirge, but backed by the immaculate Bad Seeds Nick Cave turns it into a beautifully crafted song that tears at every one of your emotions. “Anthrocene” will work as a standalone poem too. The word itself is, I think, derived from the Greek for what might be translated as new man.


The most soulful vocal on the whole album, and the vocals are excellent throughout, is provided on “I Need You”. This is another emotionally wrenching ballad where the lyrics seem almost conjoined with the music. How can you fail to be moved by the simple starkness and darkness of the line “Nothing really matters, nothing really matters when the one you love is gone”? Danish soprano Else Torp provides a haunting vocal on “Distant Sky”. The album’s title track and closing song “Skeleton Tree” feels more hopeful than anything else here. With its closing repeated line “and it’s alright now” left me in a relatively uplifted mood.


This album is among the most beautiful that I have ever heard. It is one that you should take the time to sit and listen to with no distractions. In my opinion it is a big contender for album of the year and I can see it topping many end of year polls. If you love Nick Cave then you will clearly take this album into your soul. If you are new to Nick Cave or haven’t listened to him and the Bad Seeds much then this isn’t a bad place to start becoming more acquainted with him.


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