2001 Top Five

Originally posted to Grapevine.com

I could lump the first four together at 1= but someone would doubtless complain :-)

1. Marillion - Anoraknophobia

Marillion have almost always made consistent, coherent albums and this, whilst not quite matching up to Brave or Afraid of Sunlight, is still easily my most regularly-played album of the year. Pick a day and almost any of the tracks could come out on top.

2. Elbow - Asleep In The Back

Excellent, diverse debut from Manc band who've been around for ten years. It shows.

3. Ash - Free All Angels

Superb songwriting. Great mix within their own heavy-pop style. Poss fave track of the year in Burn Baby Burn - first thing I've regularly pogoed round the room to since No Rest. Special award for best backing vox.

4. Radiohead - Amnesiac

Developing the avant-jazz style first seen on Kid A, this offering consolidates the move into innovative territory (Guy Berger would disagree) with a distinctly 21st century album, highlights being Pyramid Song, You And Whose Army? and the enchanting Life In A Glasshouse.

5=. PJ Harvey - Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea

Never been a particular fan in the past but this has some good songwriting and a variety of atmospheres. Thom Yorke's contributions work well.

5=. Muse - Origin of Symmetry

Not a patch on Showbiz, with the emphasis sometimes seemingly more on experimentation than actually making the tracks work to their best potential. Is rescued by the quality of the better tracks and Matt Bellamy's continuing ability to be an utter bastard.