BRIAN BOYD

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

It was odd that Prince gave away his new album with the Daily Mail, odd that Madonna inked a lu­cra­tive con­tract with the Live Na­tion cor­po­ra­tion, odd that Paul McCart­ney signed to Star­bucks and odd that Ra­dio­head passed around the dig­i­tal busk­ing hat. Odd­est of all, though, is how the band of the year is Zep­pelin.

Big re­union gig, the back cat­a­logue all pol­ished up, all the songs avail­able on iTunes etc. The Led Zep for Slane ru­mour of­fi­cially starts here.

Zep also pro­vided one of the mu­si­cal high­lights of the year, al­beit in the form of Robert Plant’s album with Krauss – the su­perla­tive Rais­ing Sand. Gene Clark songs never sounded bet­ter.

Else­where, things took on a de­cid­edly Scan­di­na­vian feel. Fin­nish duo Ad­ja­gas re­leased the most crim­i­nally ne­glected record of the year. “Planxty meet Sigur Rós” ran the re­view – and yes, it re­ally was that good.

From Swe­den, Vic­to­ria Bergs­man re­leased Open Fields. Bergs­man is the best fe­male vo­cal­ist since Beth Gib­bons. And from Ice­land, the mag­nif­i­cent string quar­tet Ami­ina got all clas­si­cally post-rock on Kurr.

Else­where, the peo­ple be­hind Live Earth prob­a­bly put back the cause of sav­ing the world a good few decades with their atro­cious line-up and sanc­ti­mo­nious eco hand-wring­ing ear­lier in July.

And can I be the first to say that I’m al­ready so over the iblood­yPhone.

Led

Alison CDs of the year 1. Rais­ing Sand – Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Blue­grass meets Brum­mie Blues. 2. Lady’s Bridge – Richard Haw­ley. The indie Dean Martin. 3. Ad­ja­gas – Ad­ja­gas. Folk mu­sic, but not as we know it. 4. Kurr – Ami­ina. The an­ti­dote to new-age mu­sic. 5. Open Fields – Taken By Trees. The Nordic Nick Drake. Gig of the year John Fogerty at Wem­b­ley Arena. High of the year Mush­rooms at Glas­ton­bury. Low of the year Mush­rooms at Glas­ton­bury.

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