Absolutely nobody writes in to ask: ‘Norman - what fabulous, chart topping, pop-tastic long playing records are on your Christmas list this Yuletide ?’

  1. Snow Patrol - Eyes Open

    Pleasant enough. Why change a winning formula ? (see also R.E.M). Minor obsession with open and shut (Eyes Open, Open Your Eyes, Hands Open, Shut Your Eyes) and a nice contribution from Kate Bush Martha Wainwright on ‘Set The Fire To The Third Bar’.

  2. The Killers - Sam’s Town

    An unbelievable disappointment. The warning signs were all there but I chose to ignore them; PH’s disparaging comments, Brandon referring to this as The Killers ‘concept album’, the facial hair, the best music reviewer in the world likening ‘When You Were Young’ to Meatloaf.

    Even diehard fans advocate giving it time and a few listens. But with the possible exception of the title track, I can’t. What had the potential (‘All The Pretty Faces’) to be absolutely superb is simply tedious beyond belief and irritating.

  3. Nirvana - In Utero. More then 10 years old but still sounds fresh and is vastly underrated. Required listening to cleanse oneself after the above torture. ‘Serve The Servants, Heart Shaped Box, Rape Me, Radio Friendly Unit Shifter, Frances Farmer, Dumb, Pennyroyal Tea’. Click ‘Repeat’. Turn volume up.

    I must own up and admit that I only recently discovered there are hidden tracks in the minutes of silence in the run off. Oh the shame.