Welcome to Uncut’s annual Review Of The Year. Across a special 31-page section in the magazine, we’ll run down our Top 75 New Albums, Top 30 Archive Releases, Top 30 Films and Top 20 Books. I’m pleased to report that the 49 contributors who took part in this year’s poll voted for a total of 431 new albums and 198 archival releases. These feel like remarkably healthy statistics – indicating that despite the challenges of the past 12 months, a lot of good music has made its way into the wild. Tied up with the poll, you’ll find new interviews with The Weather Station, Cassandra Jenkins, John Murry, Mogwai, Can’s Irmin Schmidt, Ryley Walker, The Beach Boys, Dry Cleaning and The Coral – all of whom have enjoyed a productive 2021.
Without too many spoilers, I’m especially pleased to welcome Tamara Lindeman back into the pages of Uncut. After gifting our subscribers a unique Weather Station CD at the start of the year around the release of Ignorance, it’s deeply satisfying to revisit Tamara and her exquisite album again at the year’s close.
What else? We hear from Robert Plant and Alison Krauss as they prepare to Raise The Roof, witness Feist debuting new music, catch up with Jonny Greenwood’s latest projects and discover the secrets of Jason Isbell’s new studio album. There’s also the small matter of our cover star: Bruce Springsteen, who returns this month with two very different releases. Eagle-eyed readers will have spotted by now that this issue comes in a bag housing three gifts: a map of Springsteen’s America, a Springsteen Collector’s Cover and a 15-track Best Of 2021 CD. Huge props to Peter Watts and to our art editor Marc Jones for the brilliant job they made of the map and to Tom Pinnock – who I fear I don’t thank enough for his consistently excellent work every month on our free CDs.
Meantime, enjoy the issue. And let us know what you think of our end-of-year polls. What were your favourite albums of 2021, then? What did we miss out from our lists? Please drop us a line at email@example.com and let us know what you think.