Eddy Says

Eddy Says: Xfm Remix Album Of The Year

By | Published on Monday 17 January 2011

Crystal Fighters

Every year, I pull one album out of the annual pile, and earmark it as Xfm Remix Album Of The Year. The last two years have been made easier by the fact that each period was marked, for me – and remember this is a deeply personal thing – by two albums that each towered above the rest.

Last year it was Calvin Harris’ ‘Ready For The Weekend’. I remember making the call on Twitter at the beginning of September. I recall The Streetlife DJs, amongst others, picking me up on this by saying” “Dude… it’s only September”, but I was so sure Calvin’s second album would not be beaten, and the rest of 2009 proved me right.

Choosing my favourite album of 2010 was properly hard, though. There was no one outright winner, no one album that soared above the rest, but there were, for me, some astonishing records there.

These New Puritans wonderfully British effort was a definite contender, and Everything Everything’s startling debut caught my ears, too, and at one point I felt sure that Ou Est Le Swimming Pool should take the accolade, for their incredible debut.

The depth of songwriting and talent on display on that record is huge and remains an incredible legacy laid down by Joe, Caan and Charlie, that poor, unfortunate, brilliant boy. Actually, it was an amazing year for perfect electro-pop. While Ou Est Le Swimming Pool so bravely picked up the pieces post-Chaz, Fenech-Soler geared up to release their debut.

And if the criteria for ‘Remix Album Of The Year’ was the leap a band made between their first play on my show and the subsequent release of their album, then those lovely chaps from Fenech-Soler – who grew up near the home of our beloved Secret Garden Party – would win it hands down. Their musical style is effortless and their sense of musicality is sublime. More hooks than an abattoir, but rather than slit your throat and hang you up, they hug you and ease you into a hot-tub full of snowdrops and jasmine blossom.

With so many contenders to choose from, I had to think harder about this than ever before. But, in the end, I decided to hand this unofficial, eventless, trophyless and cashless award to a band who, for me, just edged it through sheer originality. Crystal Fighters got their heads down and made a record that is unique and dazzling in its originality. There is nothing out there like Crystal Fighters. And, not content with making an album every bit as brilliant as Fenech-Soler and Ou Est Le Swimming Pool’s, and the others I’ve neglected to mention here (the full list is on my Bombs Of The Year playlist on my Facebook page), they took those songs on the road and played a merciless schedule of live dates all over the world.

I saw them in Barcelona, and at home several times. I saw them transform from a quirky and interesting live band, to full on sex gods, proper poster fodder. They became a life-changingly brilliant live act, with an album that more than lives up to the flesh and blood show. So much so, they left me with no choice but to declare Fenech-Soler and Ou Est Le Swimming Pool’s equally brilliant debuts as joint second place, just, so that the Crystal Fighters album could be my overall winner, for me the finest work of this wonderful and heart breaking year. Until you own all three of these records, then I’m sorry to say your collection is incomplete and ever shall remain so.

Happy 2011, I have a good feeling about this year…

X eddy