Miracle Fortress, ‘Miscalculations’

Miracle Fortress

In Rainbows and Sound Of Silver were all well and good, but the best album of 2007 was, of course, Miracle Fortress’s Five Roses. The Canadian Prince Rogers Nelson – as no one has called him until now – Graham Van Pelt did it all himself, lovingly concocting a modern Beach Boys album set to shimmering bucolia (you know what I mean, sounds like a heat-hazed summer meadow) with, improbably, a devastating hook in every song. It was almost too perfect to sell. So it didn’t.

Four long years later, only endured by playing Five Roses at least once a week, Van Pelt is back with a new album Was I The Wave? that looks set to make a mockery of Adele’s chart feats. It’s a rather more electronic affair that I’ll be reviewing for millions of pounds in the next day or so, and ‘Miscalculations’ is the killer single. Actually, ‘Raw Spectacle”s the single – or “free download”, to give it its accurate title – but Van Pelt should see sense soon enough. You see, it had Junior doing a spontaneous hula dance which, as we’ve seen over the last five years, is the interpretive equivalent of holding up a card marked ‘Hit’. And about as successful as Jukebox Jury predictions ever were too. Hit!

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Florence And The Machine, ‘Dog Days Are Over’

Florence And The Machine

Yes, I fibbed. I played the industry tart last night and went along to the BRITs launch at the Roundhouse, so it seems only fair to stick around in 2008 for a few minutes to laud Critics’ Choice award winner Florence. Her vocals were mixed way too high – not quite such a treat when your voice leans towards the old banshee’s wail – but nothing could spoil this storming number. Flo bashed the drum Bat For Lashes-style while harp trilled prettily alongside. Whether she’ll hit the commercial peaks of last year’s CC winner Adele is another matter altogether, but she’s sure to be a whole lot more interesting.

Junior was acting the arse this morning, rabbiting baby talk back at me whenever I asked a question. To give her the benefit, she was possibly trying to include little Junior 2 who writhed rhythmically on the rug while big sis did a ludicrous high-tempo dance. It’s the kind of record that should make you lose your inhibitions, whirling wildly to each burst of energy. Either that or you’ll just hate it.

Where are you then? Pick a year, any year, except 1969, 1973, 1977, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.