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Albums of the Year 2017: Nick Mulvey - Wake Up Now | reviews, news & interviews

Albums of the Year 2017: Nick Mulvey - Wake Up Now

Albums of the Year 2017: Nick Mulvey - Wake Up Now

Also a year when Katy Perry suddenly hit one out of the park

Yes, wake up NOW

For the past few years my Album of the Year has leapt out at me, craved attention, stood out from the competition. With no disrespect to Nick Mulvey’s fine second album, that wasn’t the case in 2017. Many albums this year had vital, enjoyable music, but marred by much lesser songs. Especially notable in this vein were Katy Perry and Kesha, the best of whose albums, Witness and Rainbow, was rarely far from my car stereo, perfect 21st century girl-pop and sassy eclectic comeback material, respectively. However, neither boasted the consistency of, say, Beyoncé’s Lemonade of last year.

There were consistent albums. Swedish composer Matti Bye’s This Forgotten Land rewrote the book on piano instrumentals, surrounding each track in uncanny, otherworldly atmospheres; another Swede, Åsa Söderqvist, AKA Shitkid, gave us a great album of bolshy punk-pop entitled Fish; luxuriantly bearded German DJ-producer Acid Pauli brilliantly reimagined clubland percussion on BLD; and longstanding Bavarian techno don DJ Hell took listeners on a delicious, fascinating retro-synth journey with Zukunfstmusik. However, while consistent, none of these albums ended up receiving endless repeat plays round at my place.

So, in the end, it was a choice between south coast drums’n’electronics duo AK/DK’s ballistically enjoyable Suicide-go-psychedelic second album Patterns/Harmonics, and Brit singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey’s Wake Up Now. The latter, as you can see, drew pole position. It contains the songs “Mountain to Move”, “We Are Never Apart” and “When the Body is Gone”. That alone is enough to make it Album of the Year. They are songs to match the timeless greats that old men waffle about, from back when popular music had mythic status and countercultural impetus, in the time before screens. There’s a proper review here but, in short, it’s also an album dipped in mystic awe and wonder, far from the relentless irony of our spiritually parched age. Even when it’s flawed, it’s heartening.

For this writer, though, 2017 will forever be the year of Katy Perry’s “Chained to the Rhythm” single rather than any particular album. It is the best pop song since Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and, weirdly for such a mainstream tune, it fairly bleeds with pathos for this lost era we’re living through. In fact, I think I might just go and play it right now for the 470 millionth time. Merry Christmas.

Two More Essential Albums from 2017

Matti Bye - This Forgotten Land

AK/DK - Patterns/Harmonics

Gig of the Year

Ho99o9 at the Earache Stage at Glastonbury Festival

Track of the Year

Katy Perry featuring Skip Marley “Chained to the Rhythm”

It’s an album dipped in mystic awe and wonder, far from the relentless irony of our spiritually parched age

rating

Editor Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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