In November 2019, Real Gone reached its ten year anniversary of being online. To celebrate, we shared thoughts on ten albums we loved from that decade. That list came with two strict rules beyond becoming favourites: each year had to be represented by one album and each album had to in some way have helped our site to become more established.
As we reach the end of the year, it’s time to look back more broadly on some of our favourite albums of the ’10s; albums that have kept us listening for pleasure long after the reviews and coverage have been completed. If you’re a regular visitor to Real Gone, lots of these names will be familiar by now, but we hope this time for looking back helps to reconnect with a couple of old favourites, or find you a new one somewhere along the way. [Full reviews & streams can be found by clicking on the individual titles.]
Given the position Real Gone finds itself in at the end of our fifth year online, it might seemed clichéd to say it, but ever year seems to get better and better. It’s been another brilliant year for discovering new music – particularly releases from underground and DIY bands, but also for discs from a couple of old favourites. Culled from hundreds of albums to grace our stereo this year, presented below is a quick look at ten of our favourite releases, as well as a round-up of the more notable of the rest.
2014 was an absolutely great year for music from DIY bands or releases distributed through independent labels. There was so much great music this year that Real Gone found that just one free sampler just wasn’t enough!
A free sampler containing tracks from ten different metal bands can be found here. For those who’d like a few free gems from other genres – rock, pop, punk etc – in ‘Idiots & Idols’ we’ve got a similarly top-notch collection for you!
Singer-songwriter Edward O’Connell released his debut album in 2010 to unanimous approval from power pop/retro pop aficionados. As for the world at large, the album did indeed remain ‘Our Little Secret’. While all of the influences were worn blatantly upon his sleeve – literally, too: the front cover parodied Nick Lowe’s ‘Jesus of Cool’, the rear paid a gentler homage to Tom Petty’s ‘Damn The Torpedoes’ – O’Connell’s gift for melody shone brightly through each of the album’s songs and the love for his forebears couldn’t be any more flattering.
Packaged in sleeve featuring a great homage to Nick Lowe’s solo debut ‘Jesus of Cool’, this release by Edward O’Connell has a sound which is almost timeless. Its songs could have been recorded at any point after the mid-eighties and performed by anyone aged between 25 and 60.
If you’re a fan of Tom Petty, it’s likely you’ll find an instant affinity with this album’s opening number ‘Acres of Diamonds’, since it could have been pulled straight off his ‘Full Moon Fever’ record. Granted, O’Connell may be wearing an influence on his sleeve here, but the end result is expertly delivered. With a crisp sound, all ringing guitars and retro-pop hooks, it’s unlikely that if this fell into the hands of Petty the end result would have sounded any better. ‘I Heard It Go’ features a similar sound, but is slightly more upbeat; it’s catchy chorus and slide guitar part evokes parts of George Harrison’s ‘Cloud 9’ album (again, it’s that Jeff Lynne produced Wilbury sound which begs the comparisons).