Normally come the end of the year I've long since forgotten which albums I should be considering for album of the year - not because they're forgettable but more because time is such a confusing thing, some albums I seem to have had for years only came out months ago. So this year I thought I'd be really clever and write a blog entry everytime an "Album of the year" contender found it's way into my collection, then I'd have a nice collection I could peruse and make a reasoned decision for which album gets the top spot.
Now that was a bloody waste of time because suddenly there's one album that is standing head and shoulders above anything else on the list. One album that is mind-blowing in its ambition and astounding in its realization. One album that has shouldered its way to near (if not at) the very top of my all time list (although of course saying that three days after its release may be a little premature).
I'd read far too much about Joanna Newsom's new album Ys (Amazon US | Amazon UK) that I was worried that all the hyperbole surrounding it might just be too much for any album to manage. The superlatives were all justified. It sort of worries me that I am in agreement with so many people, because that happens so rarely but maybe this time it's just because Ys is an album that transcends the boundaries that normally separates "me" from "them".
This is an album to be alone with, this is one you need to live with inside your head. It doesn't deserve the ignorant comments of people wround you who aren't listening to it just hearing it. This has affected me like no other album since The Hounds of Love (Amazon US | Amazon UK). I think that this may be the first truly (or nearly) perfect album of the 21st Century.
See the also rans