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Howzat!'s 2010 wrap continues …
ALBUMS OF THE YEAR
1. PERRY KEYES - JOHNNY RAY'S DOWNTOWN
It's bleak, it's beautiful and it's brilliant. The third
album for this Sydney singer-songwriter is the Redfern version
of Born To Run, a cinematic rock 'n' roll epic.
2. CHARLES JENKINS AND THE ZHIVAGOS - WALK THIS OCEAN
The addition of the amazing Davey Lane gave The Zhivagos
added muscle, and the result is a masterpiece, arguably
Charles Jenkins' finest album.
3. LAZY SUSAN - PLACES THAT MADE US
With a knack for turning the mundane into melodic masterpieces,
Lazy Susan - the Sydney version of the Icecream Hands -
delivered the pop album of the year.
4. BRITISH INDIA - AVALANCHE
Wonderful nervous energy, marvellous momentum and a great
guitar sound … my favourite rock album of 2010.
5. NICK BATTERHAM - SECOND LOVERS
The year's most pleasant surprise - an unexpected solo album
from this former Earthmen and Blindside member. A thrilling
mix of soul, folk, blues and dramatic pop. Nick also produced
Cordrazine's classic comeback, Always Coming Down.
6. BEK-JEAN STEWART - WINTER SUMMER SUBURBAN EXILE
The former Eva Trout singer gave us 11 heartbreaking and
heroic suburban stories. And every song sounds like an epic.
7. THE AUDREYS - SOMETIMES THE STARS
It copped mixed reviews, but this is an alluring adult contemporary
gem, highlighted by the beautiful voice of Taasha Coates
and the genius production of Shane O'Mara, the master of
8. UNDERMINERS - HEART PART OF YOUR MIND
The third Underminers album should have come with a warning
sticker: Adult Themes. An unsettling examination of growing
up and settling down.
9. TOBIAS CUMMINGS - A TROPHY
He might be too smart for the masses (when was the last
time a pop album mentioned Tiresias and referred to apotheosis?),
but Tobias takes the trophy for fine intelligent pop.
10. GEORGIA FIELDS - GEORGIA FIELDS
Some wacky instrumentation (ukuleles, power tools and toys)
never overshadows some vivid songs. A star is born.
11. REBECCA BARNARD - EVERLASTING
An exquisite album about the heroism of everyday life was
also one of the year's sexiest records, with Bec Barnard's
beautiful, breathy voice.
12. THE TIGER AND ME - FROM A LIAR TO A THIEF
A remarkable debut; part circus, part cabaret, with wonderful,
Howzat! knew that Maurice Frawley was a good songwriter,
but we didn't know just how good until we got the tribute
album, Long Gone Whistle, The Songs of Maurice Frawley.
There's never been a better local tribute.
OUR FIVE FAVOURITE SINGLES OF 2010
LILITH LANE - In My Fortress
SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR - One Long Week
AN HORSE - Camp Out
ROSS WILSON - I Come In Peace
JASON WALKER - Everybody's In Debt
No blockbuster homegrown hits in 2010. In fact, when it
comes to chart-toppers, it was a disastrous year for Aussie
acts. In fact, it took until the final week of the year
for a local single to hit top spot. This compares to three
local chart-toppers last year, two in 2008, and six in 2007.
Five Aussie albums went to number one (compared to six last
year, seven in 2008, and nine in 2007). No local album spent
longer than two weeks on top. Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP had
the year's biggest international hit with We No Speak Americano
going gold in the US (500,000 sales). The song topped the
US dance charts and went to number one in Austria, Denmark,
Germany, Switzerland and the UK. And Kylie made UK chart
history, becoming the first artist to have a number one
album in four consecutive decades (1988's Kylie, 1992's
Greatest Hits, 2001's Fever and 2010's Aphrodite). As for
radio play, The John Butler Trio's Close To You was the
most-played local song, according to The Music Network.
It comes in at three on their 2010 airplay chart (behind
Train's Hey, Soul Sister and Lifehouse's Halfway Gone).
The JB Trio and Powderfinger both have three entries in
the Top 100, which features 26 homegrown hits. Five of the
entries come from "new" artists: Amy Meredith (at 29), Michael
Paynter (38), Orianthi (39), Zoe Badwi (87) and Yolanda
Be Cool (100).
NUMBER ONE SINGLES
Guy Sebastian - Who's That Girl
NUMBER ONE ALBUMS
Angus & Julia Stone - Down The Way (two weeks)
The John Butler Trio - April Uprising (one week)
AC/DC - Iron Man 2 (one week)
Crowded House - Intriguer (one week)
Bliss n Eso - Running On Air (one week)
2010 saw some significant milestones: The Big Day Out celebrated
its 100th show. ARIA Hall of Famers The Church celebrated
their 30th anniversary. Even turned 16, The Meanies turned
21 and Inertia turned 10. Stephen Cummings got married.
FM radio turned 30. Ash Naylor turned 40, and Michael Hutchence
would have been 50. And AC/DC's tour coincided with the
30th anniversary of Bon Scott's death.
BRING ON 2011
There's a lot to look forward to in 2011, including Perry
Keyes' fourth album (word is it could arrive in August).
Ron Peno is hard at work on his eagerly-awaited solo debut,
and we'll also get solo albums from Adalita, Fiona Lee Maynard,
Tiltmeter's Andrew McDonald and Special Patrol's Myles Mayo.
The Life of Riley will turn Drapht into a hip hop star.
And we'll get new albums from Cold Chisel, Wagons, Even,
Skipping Girl Vinegar, Silverchair, Bobby Flynn, Delta Goodrem,
Marcel Borrack, Michael Meeking and James Reyne. And we're
looking forward to debut albums from The Hello Morning and
Ryan Meeking and the debut solo EP from former Epicure singer
Juan Alban. And, who knows, we might even get to see the
second album from the Spazzys. Another wish for 2011 - Stephen
Cummings inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. Finally.
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