So it's finally coming up to Christams and I'm starting to feel a tiny bit festive. It's the album of the year time around here and I know that my favourites won't appear anywhere in the mainstream round ups. The best release this year by far was the Manu Chao produced album from Amadou & Maraim, Dimancha à Bamako. This is probably the most wonderful and rounded album I have heard in a long time. It doesn't matter what kind of mood you're in this album will brighten up your day. The problem is most English speakers have an issue with either lyrics in a language they don't understand or what has been termed "World" music. The production, playing and mixture of influences on this album just leave you breathless.
On another tip I discovered The Subways through my fabulous daughter. They remind me a little of the Undertones, in their choice of subject matter. Other great releases this year were from the likes of Electrelane, Moussu T e lei Jovens, Wilco, Neil Young, The White Stripes and the very wonderful Psapp.
Do yourself a favour this Christams, though, and go out and buy the Amadou & Mariam album. Spread a little peace and love and remember, children make Christmas so try and make some children this Christmas.