1. Esther Phillips 'From A Whisper to a Scream' (Kudu)
This album has a cover of Gil Scott Heron's 'Home is where the hatred is' which is probably one of my favourite songs ever. I've spent hours working out Fred Wesley's arrangements and her voice is so bruised with pain and suffering you want to burst into to tears...but I wouldn't of course...
I'm from Newcastle...
2. Arcade Fire 'Funeral' (Rough Trade)
This is such a stunning album. It's kinda dark in tone, but I find it really joyous at the same time. It's an amazing contrast which is why it's been stuck on repeat in my house for ages.
3. Sabu Martinez 'Jazz Espignole' (Allegre)
From a legendary percussionist, this is an amazing latin jazz album. Perfect music to put on while I read the Observer, drink coffee and pretend I'm a grown up.
4. Beck 'Sea Change' (Geffen)
A lot of people didn't like this album, and I thought it was a little bit bland after the aural pyrotechnics of 'Midnite Vultures.' But it massively grew on me, and there are some incredible, very subtle production touches on it which keeps my inner studio geek excited.
5. Prince 'Dirty Mind' (Warner Bros)
Choosing one Prince album is like choosing a favourite from your children (I imagine...) But this week it's Dirty Mind for me. Never has there been a more fitting album title.
6. Talking Heads 'Naked' (Sire)
Like Prince, this could have been any Talking Heads album. But I've always thought this album was under-rated. The single 'Blind' is a fusion of funk brass and african rhythms that shows the direction Mr. Byrne would take in his solo career. Having a conversation with him (while he couldn't look me straight in the eye) is one of the highlights if my life!
7. Cameo 'Cameosis' (Chocolate City)
It's a toss up between this and 'Knights of the Sound Table'... why don't we get album titles like that anymore? And why don't we get 12 piece bands in silver spandex doing super tight jams? This album was a great start to their career... and the red cod-piece was still to come...
8. Jamie Lidell 'When I Come Back Around' (Warp)
I love the way that he's experimenting with form and structure, while keeping this amazing soulful edge. It makes that really difficult balance seem effortless, which is how great music should come across.
9. Queens of The Stone Age 'Lullabies to Paralyze' (Interscope)
They are almost like the perfect rock band. They have the stories and the songs. Josh Homme's voice just soars over the guitars and super heavy drums. A lot of today's rock bands forget the heaviness is in the drums, not just the guitars... man...
10. Blondie 'Parrallel Lines' (Sire)
This is just the coolest pop album ever. There is nothing more you need to say.