Saturday, December 22, 2012

Top Ten of 2012

Top Ten Albums

  1. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange: People had expectations for this album after Nostalgia Ultra, but no one would have predicted this. The first half of the album is utterly flawless and yeah it falls off some after "Pyramids", but "Bad Religion" totally redeems it.
  2. Japandroids - Celebration Rock: Originally one of the records that I saw as the most over rated, but the more time I spent with it the more it grew on me. There was nothing that grabbed me like "Wet Hair" or "Young Hearts Spark Fire", but it is still a great record. Its also one of those records that reminds you of all the good times without being cheesy.
  3. The Ty Segall Band - Slaughterhouse: In a year wear heaviness came back into style, this was the best of the lot by a wide margin.
  4. Frankie Rose - Interstellar: I think its not an overstatement to say no one saw this coming. Frankie Rose had made nice jangle pop for past couple years, but I did not anticipate a new wave-y record with a song as incredible as "Pair of Wings".
  5. Alabama Shakes - Boys and Girls: The feel good story of 2012, plus "You Ain't Alone" is one of the few songs you hear and instantly want a booze-y live version stretching to "Whipping Post" lengths.
  6. Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music: If ever a year needed an album that was both paranoid and party it was 2012. Killer Mike and El Producto came up with the perfect sound for a year that had some high highs, but soul shattering lows. There is talk of a follow up EP - very excited to hear it.
  7. Action Bronson - Blue Chips: I am not sure if this deserves things placement or not. Its a solid mixtape, but I frequently am turned off by Action Broson. He can be overly dickish, crass, and misogynistic - but when a song works, no one does rap better.
  8. Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls: What a debut album! The back story threatens to override just want an awesome rock album this is. It take the best parts of bands like Drive by Truckers and cleans them up enough to create a party record both boys and girls can enjoy.
  9. Daphni - Jiaolong/Four Tet - Pink/Lone - Galaxy Garden: These three go together to capture a snap shot of the techno I was listening to in 2012. There were also EDM/Dubstep/Trao binges and some regrettable mixes posted here - generally in the attempt to get more page views. Really 2012 was a strong year for electronic music and these three will be albums I think of.
  10. John Talabot - Fin: Stunning. I first heard John Talabot's "Sunshine" it was a fun peice of baleric techno and something I kept coming back to. Then with each subsequent release I was a little less in love. So, I was a little skeptical when Fin was announced, but it ended up being one of the biggest surprises of the year.

Top Ten Songs
  1. Frank Ocean - Sweet Life: He said it all in the chorus "the best song wasn't the single"
  2. Chromatics - Lady: It was a tough choice between "Lady" and "Kill for Love". I didn't want to songs from the same artist on the list, so I went with "Lady" probably because of synths and drums on the track.
  3. Japandroids - The House the Heaven Built: The best song that Japandroids have written thus far. It just keeps building up and up and up and then it explodes. This is the soundtrack of a great night.
  4. John Talabot - So Will Be Now...: This is one of those late night songs. It captures the melancholy of the club and the feeling of being drunk and alone after a night out. Probably the perfect end of album/end of night song.
  5. Burial - Kindred: It has it as 5, but really its 4b. If "So Will Be Now..." is the sound of a great night, this is the sound of a depressing night. The sound of getting drunk alone at the bar, being ditched by friends, and having to walk icy streets at 3 Am while people make out at the bus stop.
  6. Ty Segall & White Fence - I'm Not Game: I had to choose a Ty Segall song, but how can you choose. I went with the first taste of what we would get this year. The first time I heard this song, I wasn't sure what the fuck was going on. By the third time I listened to it I knew I was in for a good year.
  7. EL-P - The Full Retard:
  8. Lone - Like a Child: Footwurk/Juke/Trap was the sound of 2012. It was corrupted by people like David Guetta and Tiesto, but Lone with Machinedrum reminds you how incredible it can be when done properly.
  9. Frankie Rose - Pair of Wings: Soft as silk and incredible imagery. This was one of those songs that got me through Oct/Nov.
  10. Diiv - How Long Have You Known?: These guys blew up and after the third time you heard this you knew that they would be huge.
  11. Passion Pit - I'll Be Alright: The first taste of an incredible follow up album. Passion Pit put it all out there this year - Alcoholism, Mental Illness, and everything else. If you could take it, the experience was transcendent.