Susan Omand looks back over Year 3 of Educating Omand and chooses her top five albums...
Find the full list of albums for Educating Omand: Year 3 here
Another year has come and gone and 2020 has been weird in so many ways, hasn't it? One constant for me though, and something that helped to keep me going, has been listening to music. As ever, my Educating Omand list, thanks again this year to David Ames, has given me a lot of different music to discover. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone, not always successfully, and has broadened my musical horizons as well as letting me appreciate in more depth some of the bands I had discovered in previous years. Heads have been banged, nodded and wobbled, vocals have been lauded, lamented or ignored and, generally, a good time has been had; there haven't been any utter travesties this year that I can remember either!
Before I get to my top 5, some honourable mentions (Oh and, for the record, I’m not including the Jamie Cullum album in this tally because I already knew and loved it):
Twelve Foot Ninja – Silent Machine - “Another Educating Omand album another raucous metal… bossa nova track?!” Yes, this one surprised and delighted in equal measure. Good fun and hilarious music videos.
Yellowcard – Ocean Avenue – “it kind of lived down to the very low bar I had set being somewhat wallpapery pop punk … and then the fiddle kicked in.” When an unexpected fusion works, boy, it really works.
Protest the Hero – Volition “This is an album to put on and sit between the speakers and just “appreciate” it for a few tracks.” A bit full on to listen to the whole thing at once but worth your attention in fits and starts.
But on to the main event and, in proper pop-picker [oh that dates you – Ed] reverse order, here’s my top five albums of Educating Omand: Year 3.
5) Bring Me The Horizon - Sempiternal
“the thing that captured my attention from the off was the melange of rhythms that really should clash horribly but just… work. It’s jazz by any other name and is brilliant.”
“what if you put Eminem in front of the LSO and the Symphony Chorus, with a side order of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop?”
“He wields instruments and twines tonality in the same way that modern artists create with a palette knife to produce works which, on the surface, are sumptuous, rich and beautiful, interesting and intriguing, drawing the attention to closer inspection.”
2) The Dear Hunter - The Meaning of, And All Things Regarding, Ms. Leading
“You know when you get to the end of a really good film and you’re utterly exhausted by the drama of it all? That’s what The Dear Hunter Acts albums do for me.”
“I sat, motionless, open-mouthed at the utter artistry that flowed from the speakers. It’s like nothing I have ever heard before.”
So that’s my Education in “music that I missed out on after the 80s” over for another year. I wonder who my tutor for Year Four will be? [*stage whispers* - Ed] What? Oh, they’ve planned something different for me next year? [*nods* *more stage whispers* - Ed] I’m going on a GAP YEAR?!
I’d better start packing then. See you next year!
Album cover images - Amazon