Get In Line

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The second part of my list of favourite albums from last year continues with five acts that were already familiar to me from previous years. I’m a big fan of the debut album by Fleet Foxes and I was always going to like their second record. I don’t like it as much as their first one, however, and I have to admit that it’s taken me a while to get into it. It doesn’t have any standout tracks like White Winter Hymnal on the previous album, but it works well as a consistent collection of original songs and that’s why it makes it onto my list

I’ve also been following the Guillemots since their first album, mainly for the voice of Fyfe Dangerfield and the band’s sound. Walk the River is the title of their third album and it also makes it onto my end of year list

I only really got into Elbow when I heard their fourth album, The Seldom Seen Kid. At first, Build a Rocket Boys! didn’t grab me in the same way, but its charms have crept up on me as the year progressed

Tom Waits has released as many records as the rest of the artists on this list combined. Bad As Me was only released in October and was his first collection of new material since 2004, but it was obvious from even the first listen that it was a return to form for one of my favourite singer-songwriters

Long Player Late Bloomer is the 12th release by Ron Sexsmith and also represented a return to form for the Canadian songwriter. It’s probably the strongest set of his career and its combination of fine melodies, wonderful lyrics along with great performances from Ron and the band make it my favourite album on today’s list and a close runner-up to Anna Calvi for my favourite of the year

The first two songs below feature the two English bands on my list taking on a couple of pop songs. Elbow’s version of Destiny’s Child’s Independent Women and Guillemot’s take on Sam Sparro’s Black & Gold were both recorded for BBC radio. Tim Hardin’s Reason to Believe has been recorded by many artists since it first appeared in 1965 and it’s a nice fit for Ron Sexsmith. Ron’s fellow Canadian Feist has one of her songs made over in the style of Fleet Foxes by a band who are Not Fleet Foxes, but do a pretty good impression of them. Tom Waits’ version of Sea of Love originally appeared in the film of the same name in 1989 and that timely mention of cinema is enough to get me thinking about my favourite films of last year. I hope to post about them before too long

Independent Woman (Destiny’s Child cover) – Elbow

Black & Gold (Sam Sparro cover) – Guillemots

Reason To Believe (Tim Hardin cover) – Ron Sexsmith

I Feel It All (Feist cover) – Not Fleet Foxes

Sea of Love (Phil Phillips cover) – Tom Waits

The first part of Town Full of Losers’ Favourite Albums of 2011 is here