"Temporality is part of the truth" -- Chuck Klosterman

Monday, December 26, 2011

Best Music 2011: The Sticktoitiveness Awards

This particular list began over the summer when I realized how much I was enjoying the new Duran Duran album. I really haven't listened to any new Duran Duran since "Ordinary World" in 1993. But All You Need Is Now sounded to me like the album that should have followed Seven and the Ragged Tiger.

After the pleasant Duran Duran surprise, over the next few months these albums dropped from other 80's alumni. None of them are recreating any hit sounds of the past, and they're not breaking much new ground here, either. They are not regaining a once-held popularity, or you all would have heard of them by now. However, they all deserve some accolade for persevering through the years and still creating some great, memorable music.

Without further ado, The Sticktoitiveness Awards go to:

Duran Duran, All You Need Is Now

If you don't know who these guys are, then never mind. You can go back to your Drake and Rhianna.

Erasure, Tomorrow's World

Erasure has been releasing music consistently for nearly 30 years. This is their eleventh or twelfth album, depending on how you count. None has deviated much from their hit formula perfected on 1988's The Innocents: dance pop hooks, synthy keyboards, and melody, melody, melody.

Kate Bush, 50 Words for Snow

I'd say she's kind of the the original indie queen, having made quirky-cool music since the seventies. She's basically only released two records in the last twenty years, but this was worth a long wait. Mostly piano ballads about snow and cold and winter, it even contains a lovely duet with Elton John. Pretty, quiet tunes for a deep December day.

Peter Murphy, Ninth

Once the front man for another classic goth band, Bauhaus, the quality of his solo work has suffered at times. This album is less goth and more blues, full of heavy rock riffs, like old Iggy Pop.

Skinny Puppy, Handover

I just recently bought this album, so I have yet to digest it, but from the first listen, it's better than their last two albums that are sort of considered the second incarnation of SP. This is quieter, more melodic and atmospheric, a little less screechy industrial. Still, Skinny Puppy will never be considered mellow.

Thanks for joining me on my musical tour through 2011. It's been fun for me. Maybe next year I can get a few others to join up.


  1. Wow. I never even realized that most of these people were still alive, let alone recording. I'd have sworn that Duran Duran disbanded and retired decades ago. And I could have sworn I heard that Peter Murphy was dead. Him and Kate Bush. I guess the rumors of their demise were highly exaggerated in my mind. (grin)

  2. I'm impressed with some of these people. I can't believe Duran Duran still makes music. And regularly making music for 30 years? That's incredible.

  3. @ shelly: Me, too. Could you tell?

    @ darev: The funny thing about Duran Duran is that they pretty much look exactly the same today as they did in 1986.

    @ McKenzie: Some might say they wouldn't want a band basically making the same music for so long, but I'd rather listen to new Erasure than any newer crap by "classic" rock band like Aerosmith or the Stones.