December 21st: Albums of the year 2014 (# 11 - 15).

11. Ryan Adams - Ryan Adams (Pax Am)
Well, Ryan Adams has always been a favourite of mine. After picking this album up again the last couple of weeks it seems that I really like it a whole lot more than I first thought. More of a return to the poppier songs on Gold and Easy Tiger than the nice and good, but a bit boring Ashes & Fire. The Ryan Adams on this self-titled album is an artist giving himself the new start he has been needing since discovering his health-issues with menieres disease a few years ago. There is a lot of good vibes this time around - hell, he even did a really great cover of Bryan Adams' 'Run to You' on a gig this autumn.

Favourite song: Feels Like Fire

12. Jenny Lewis - The Voyager (Warner Bros.)
It seems fitting that Ryan Adams produced a lot of this album since he holds the position over it, doesn't it? Still, the probably best song on the album was produced by Beck - 'Just One of the Guys'. I really don't know how much the producers has had to say though, Jenny Lewis has been one of the best songwriters of hooky, catchy pop-songs in the California-breezy-poppy-Fleetwood Mac-genre for years now. A really good album.

Favourite song:  Just One of the Guys

13. The Rails - Fair Warning (Island)
What do you get when you put Richard and Linda Thompson's daughter in a duo with her husband? A really great album in the vein of just those two mentioned of course. Kami Thompson has released a few albums on her own, but it's first this time around - with her beau James Walbourne (currently playing guitar in Chrissie Hynde's band), that she hits her stride. This is a modern take on the folk music the Thompson family always has been probably the 'first family' of. Definitely an album that deserves a larger audience. Island even revived their classic pink-label for the vinyl edition.

Favourite song: Send Her to Holloway.

14. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Wig Out at Jagbags (Matador)
Malkmus and his Jicks has tuned down some of their kosmische-jamming on this album and delivers some of the more Pavement-sounding songs of Malkmus' solo-career. Some jamming there is to be had of course, and who doesn't love the 'St. Stephen'-referencing guitar-lick in 'Cinnamoon and Lesbians'. On 'Lariat' he isn't even hiding it - "We lived on Tennyson, venison and the Grateful Dead..". It is Stephen Malkmus we are talking about, so there's of course a whole lot more of these kind of pop-cultural references hidden in the smart-ass rhymes. The stuff that legends are made of!

Favourite song: Cinnamoon and Lesbians.

15. Sugarfoot - Big Sky Country (Crispin Glover Records)
These Norwegians released my favourite country-rock album of the year. Lots of great steel-guitar, lots of great thumping bass playing and of course lots of really great songs. There are hints of The Byrds, hints of Flying Burrito Brothers and even an awesome Spirit cover. Just one of those albums that you feel that always has been there. It has that classic-feel of it.

Favourite song: Monday (I'll Stay Sober).