A few days ago, I attempted to create a “best of 2020” purely from memory. My oldest daughter was driving the Honda, and I was enjoying the thrill of the quickly-moving Illinois landscape out the passenger’s window. Honestly, at age 53, I should know better than to rely only on my memory, though, as a historian, I actually still have a pretty good one. But, no longer great. Just pretty good. Even as I was typing the list in the car, I knew I’d forget all kinds of great albums, but I tried it anyway. Pride and ego are funny things.
That list still stands (a few posts back), but I want to add some brilliant albums that I inadvertently failed to remember at the moment of writing.
Two albums this year get the spiritual successor to Talk Talk’s Laughing Stock award. First up is Tim Bowness’s extraordinary nuanced (so glorious), Late Night Laments, an album full of meaningful lyrics and sonic soundscapes that boggle the imagination. Bowness, unfortunately, gets overshadowed by his sometime writing partner, Steven Wilson, but, frankly, the two artists are equally extraordinary.
Following Bowness’s lead was the more recently-released Loma album, Don’t Shy Away. Again, incredible textures mixed with intriguing lyrics. Clearly, the band has spent a lot of good quality time listening to Talk Talk. Regardless, I owe Stephen Humphries (of the Christian Science Monitor) a huge thanks for introducing the band to me.
Nick D’Virgilio’s Invisible in an album full of surprises and full of soul. There’s conviction behind every word and every note. I wasn’t sure what to expect before the album arrived, but I fell in love with it on the first listen. D’Virgilio is also rock’s greatest living drummer, so I was especially pleased to be reminded that the guy is just incredibly talented in all kinds of ways.
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