Best Albums of 2012…In My Opinion
Alright, so I’m gonna write/blog/rant/whatever about the best albums of 2012 in my opinion cause honestly there is already 10+ blogs about this subject and those 10+ blogs are all read a lot more than mine is. So… Also, I’m gonna try not to come off as snobbish as some of these blogs, even though I can be over music. But anyways, I’m not gonna list these in any particular order. They are just albums that I enjoyed over this past year. So…Here we go.
Oh Passion Pit, the band who has the singer that sings higher than any man should but its freakin’ catchy so who can blame him. This album is the followup to Manners which came out in ’09. This album is goes in a directional lyrically than their first. Gossamer lyrically is deeper and more mature where I feel Manners was more about having fun. However, the indie electronic pop element is still there full of 808 hits and synths galore.
Key Tracks to Check Out: Take A Walk, I’ll Be Alright, Constant Conversations, Carried Away, Mirrored Sea, Cry Like A Ghost, & Love is Greed
Alabama Shakes-Boys & Girls
Okay, I may catch some flak for this one from my friends. I have a love/hate thing for this band. I love their sound & their songwriting, & Brittany Howard I’m almost sure is Janis Joplin reincarnated. The hate is their sound. It’s Muscle Shoals 1960s. I hate how everyone came out saying that they have a new refreshing sound. To all of those people I have an Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett, or anyone else that has recorded in The Shoals to show them it has been done. But anyways, enough ranting. This album is catchy and the songwriting is great. Brittany singing about relationships in a bluesy whiskey drenched voice is nothing short of great. I defiantly would recommend checking them out just for a great Rock ‘N Roll album.
Tracks to Check Out: Hold On, I Found You, Hang Loose, Rise to the Sun, You Ain’t Alone, Be Mine, I Ain’t the Same, On Your Way
Ascend the Hill-O Ransomed Son
If you don’t know who Ascend the Hill is and you enjoy great worship music, stop reading right now and go listen to them. There a great band with a heart of worship. With this album the band returns with their ambient style of worship and skilled songwriting. This album is a little different sounding wise I feel. It’s defiantly heavier. I think that comes from touring with christian metal/hardcore bands from time to time and coming from a metal background. But also, you can get this album for free legally from a website called Come&Live.
Tracks To Check Out: So Good to Us, Great is Thy Faithfulness, Power in the Name of Jesus, Hear the Sound, Heaven Came Down
Best Coast-The Only Place
I fell in love Best Coast when they released Crazy for You. I fell in love with the quirkyness and cuteness of their singer, Bethany Cosentino. The songs are simple as well as the music but its what makes the band. Their surf rock sound is addicting and I’m sure anyone who listens to them can find a track that they like. So if your looking for a cool surf sounding indie pop record, check out Best Coast.
Tracks to Check Out: The Only Place, No One Like You, Do You Still Love Me Like You Used To
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band-Wrecking Ball
I LOVE BRUCE!!! It’s the bossman, how can you not love Bruce. But anyways, this album is great. The album makes you feel like there is still hope for America and Bruce has the answer on how to save it. Though the man is sitting pretty well in life, he still has a heart for the working man. I don’t know what more can I say about this album. Just check it out if your a Bruce fan our enjoy good music.
Tracks to Check Out: Death to My Hometown, Wrecking Ball, This Depression, Land of Hope and Dreams, Rocky Ground, Shackled & Drawn, Easy Money
Chromatics-Kill for Love
I’m going to be honest. I didn’t hear about this band till about the end of 2012. I’m a little upset that I’m just finding out about them cause they make some really cool music. Also, for the longest time I thought their singer was a guy who just sang really high. Well I guess I’m a sexist cause its a woman and she can sing. The album is dark and atmospheric which I love. Its a cool album and according to iTunes and a few other music providers this album was one of the top albums of the year. Shame its not up for a Grammy.
Tracks to Check Out: Into the Black, Lady, Kill for Love, Candy, Dust to Dust
Delta Rae-Carry the Fire
Lets take a walk down memory lane here for a second. It was about a two years ago I was a miserable education major in college. All I wanted to do is listen, make, and play music, and just be around that atmosphere. I was tired of the crap that was being played on the radio and was looking for something new and refreshing. Delta Rae was the band that did that for me. I saw them in a small club in Nashville Tennessee. Lets just say I thought I knew harmonies. But Delta Rae decided to re-educate me on the subject. If you ever have this band come anywhere close to where you live go see them. They will blow you away.
Tracks to Check Out: Holding on to Good, Is There Anyone Out There?, Morning Comes, If I Loved You, Surrounded, Dance in the Graveyards, Bottom of the River
The Digital Age-Rehearsals E.P.
This is the band that came out of the David Crowder*Band. DC*B was a great bands with great musicians and I’m grateful to see that the members are going off to do great things. Rehearsals is mainly cover tunes from DC*B and All the Sons and Daughters, but they add their little spice to them.
Tracks to Check Out: Buy the entire E.P.
Dylan LeBlanc-Cast the Same Old Shadow
Imagine yourself in a dark grimy bar. Depression all around you along with the other patrons and a sad country song playing throughout the room. Thats the atmosphere that Dylan LeBlanc with his followup to Pauper Field. The album is moody like Pauper Field with great songwriting.
Tracks to Check Out: Part One: The End, Diamonds & Pearls, Where Are You Now, The Ties That Bind, Cast the Same Shadow
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes-Here
I love Edward Sharpe. There a cool band. I look at them like the American version of Arcade Fire. On Here, the band keeps their hippie indie sound. But they also summon their inner Johnny and June sound. On numerous songs they trade male and female vocals.
Tracks to Check Out: Man On Fire, That’s Whats Up, Dear Believer, One Love to Another
There is a nice little website where up and coming bands can put their music up for free download called Noisetrade. Thats where I found Escondido. There a band out of Nashville I believe that play an alternative style of country that is fronted by a woman.
Tracks to Check Out: Get the entire E.P.
Gary Clark Jr.- Black and Blu
Gary Clark Jr. is the savior of the blues I just know it. If you don’t know who Gary Clark Jr. is by now, get out from under the rock your living and go listen to his stuff. He can shred on a guitar and can write a song that can back it up. He’s had a couple of E.P.s but this is first full length. I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s got in the future.
Tracks to Check Out: Ain’t Messin ‘Round, Bright Lights, Travis County, The Life, Please Come Home, Things Are Changin’, Third Stone from the Sun/If You Love Me Like You Say
The Gaslight Anthem-Handwritten
Alright, I’m gonna try not to come off as a fanboy because this is one of my favorite bands. But anyways, this their first album with a major label and you can defiantly tell. They hired the producer behind The Killers & Pearl Jam and I think he did a great job producing it. The songwriting on this album is a lot deeper and dealing with heavier subject matter. Failed Relationships, Family Issues, and Personal Issues. I’m just going to stop there so if your interested in checking them out you can see for yourself.
Tracks to Check Out: Handwritten, Here Comes My Man, Mullholland Drive, Biloxi Parrish, Desire, Mae, National Anthem
The Glorious Unseen-Lovesick
The Glorious Unseen are a band that I wish a lot of Christian bands would take notice and try to be like. Also, I wish they would get a lot more recognition than they do. But for this album they did the Kickstarter move to fund the album. The results is an amazing album. A heartfelt album dealing with depression and anxiety, and relying on God to see you through it.
Tracks to Check Out: The Love of God, You Have Ruined Me, Make Me a Child, Harp in My Heart, Brand New, Can a Nation Be Changed?
I had to put him on here. Yes he’s weird but he can write some crazy guitar parts as well as songs. He really shows out on his solo record and jumps all over the board when it comes to genres. Just showing how eclectic he is. So if your looking for a Bluesy, Fuzzy, Semi-Country album. Check out Blunderbuss.
Tracks to Check Out: Sixteen Saltines, Freedom at 21, Love Interruption, Blunderbuss, Hypocritical Kiss, I’m Shakin’
I loved this album. Its such a fun album and it’s so simple. Just two guys rocking out and not caring what people think. But with the fun riffing and grooves, there are some great songwriting skills. Probably my favorite line off the album is this,
“A Northern Soul In Southern Lands. Will Always Find Its Way to Southern Hands. You Kiss Away Your Gypsy Fears. And Turn Some Restless Night Into Restless Years.”
It’s a shame that this album was not up for a Grammy this year cause I believe it could have won one.
Tracks to Check Out: The Nights of Wine and Roses, Fire’s Highway, Evil’s Sway, The House that Heaven Built, Continuous Thunder
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit-Live From Alabama
This is one of the best live albums of the year. I only listened to two live albums this year I believe and this is one of them. I like Jason Isbell. I grew a love for him when I was living in Florence. He’s an amazing songwriter and great story teller. So if your into great guitar playing and songwriting check out this album.
Tracks to Check Out: Decoration Day, Danko/Manuel, In a Razor Town, Cigarettes and Wine, TVA, Dress Blues
Jude Moses-Jude Moses E.P.
This is a cool little E.P. from a cool guy. I had the chance to see these guys open up for John Mark McMillan in Birmingham and they were great. The guy walked out on stage in a sleeveless shirt, handle bar mustache, trucker hat, and a massive longhorn belt buckle. But he sang some beautiful music. The only thing that I hate is that the E.P. is so short.
Tracks to Check Out: Get the Entire E.P.
The Killers-Battle Born
The return of The Killers. It’s been way to long and Brandon Flowers album just wasn’t cutting it. This album shows a more mature side of the band. Their songwriting has gotten better and the musicianship is top notch.
Tracks to Check Out: Flesh and Bone, Runaways, The Way It Was, Here With Me, Miss Atomic Bomb, Battle Born
Melissa Helser & Jonathan David Helser-On The Shores
This was a beautifully written album. If I remember right, they did Kickstarter to fund this album. But Jonathan David Helser is an amazing songwriter. I’ve always wanted to do some of his songs during a worship service but I can never get anyone to ever commit to working on them.
Tracks to Check Out: Love Song, Faith is Rising, Wrecking Ball, Explode My Soul, Abba
I was super excited when I heard that mewithoutYou was going to release a new album. They released Ten Stories, an album mixed between their albums Brother, Sister & Catch For Us the Foxes. The album is based off a series of short stories about a train crash that was carrying a circus. Its a pretty cool concept album.
Tracks to Check Out: February 1878, Grist for the Malady Mill, Cardiff Giant, Aubergine, Fox’s Dream of the Log Flume, Bear’s Vision of St. Agnes, All Circles
The Modern Post-Grace Alone E.P.
This is the band that Dustin Kensrue created after Thrice disbanded. The band is based out of the Mars Hill Church. They give a different spin on some great classic hymns. Its defiantly worth taking a look if your a Dustin Kensrue fan, Mars Hill fan, or just a fan of good worship music.
Tracks to Check Out: Get the entire EP
Mumford & Sons-Babel
It’s so cliche that it’s on here but can you blame me? It’s good. Its really good. The music is pretty much the same but the songwriting, The songwriting is fantastic. The band has matured so much and you can tell on this album. But they could lay off the use of the word “heart” so much. It wouldn’t surprise me if they win Artist, album of, or any award of the year at the Grammys this year.
Tracks to Check Out: I Will Wait, Babel, Whispers in the Dark, Holland Road, Ghosts that We Knew, Lover of the Light, Broken Crown
Post-Rockers from Europe. Whats more to say. They create beautiful music even if the language is made up when they do sing. But if your looking for good music to study to, sleep to, read to, or whatever defiantly check out this album.
Tracks to Check Out: Just get the entire album
Two Door Cinema Club: Beacon
I use to wonder why everyone was crazy about this band. To me they sound like every other indie band. Delay driven guitar, quirky lyrics and a poppy sound. But then I heard This is the Life off of Tourist History and fell in love with the band. Beacon is just as good. Some of the most technical indie guitar playing I’ve ever heard. I really wish I could get some of their tones that they have.
Tracks to Check Out: Next Year, Wake Up, Someday, Sleep Alone, Settle, Beacon
The Wallflowers-Glad All Over
In my time in college I gained an appreciation for this band or anything that Jakob Dylan puts out. This was their first album in quiet sometime and they came back swinging. I’m upset that no one is really taking notice though. Its a cool album and T. Bone Burnett produced it.
Tracks to Check Out: Hospital for Sinners, First One in the Car, Reboot the Mission, Love is A Country, Have Mercy on Him Now, The Devil’s Waltz, Constellation Blues