My favourite record of the year bar none. The band go from strength to strength, and on this pleasantly understated record, the songwriting is stronger than ever...
2 The Divine Comedy: There goes the Knighthood
Neil Hannon is one of the best, and most consistent of our contemporary songwriters. He is by turns funny, poignant and sad, and I am a massive fan. That being said, I saw the band live about 12 years ago and they were horrid...
3 Ringo Starr: Y Not
Bizarrely, the Beatle least likely to score on the credibility stakes has been making some smashing records since he qualified for his free bus pass. There are some really smashing moments on this record - and remember he turned 70 this year.
4 Brian Wilson: Reimagines Gershwin
Basically does exactly what it says on the tin, but does it with lashings of aplomb and flair. The man is a true hero, and one of the few people in pop music for whom the overused word 'genius' is actually apt.
5 Gorillaz: Plastic Beach
The third, and in many ways the best installment from the cartoon band, who now feature half of The Clash. This was the soundtrack for my springtime, and what a spring it was..