By Philip Moreno
The best of the year list, dreaded words that I know our Editor in Chief is not fond of. Why would he be? Everyone has different tastes, and the amount of music coming out every week is overwhelming. Never the less, I will do my best in presenting the ten best albums that I believe came out this year.
2012, to me, represents an unique time in the music industry. Musicians are finding more and more ways to get their art to us. The new wild west online has given consumers of music new ways to listen to their favorite artists. Spotify, twitter, Itunes, Youtube all give us unbelievable access to artists and in turn give the artists a corridor to their fans that even two years ago was not there. All of this new access gave us one of the great moments of the year. Death Grips,a group whose sound borders all of hip-hop and alt-metal, were told by there label at the time, Epic that even thou they had their new album done it was not to be released until the spring of 2013. The Death Grips boys did not like that, so the album was leaked, by the band themselves, for FREE. Epic and the band then got into a pissing match where emails were shown and insults were hurled, all on Twitter. Something like this was not possible in the past. Without the need to print physical copies of an album the band could simply and unapologetic post the files online for all of the world to find. They have since been dropped from the label, but the exposure they received may have been worth it.
Now back to the title of the article. The desert island album. An idea that has launched thousands of conversations about thousands of albums. If you were stuck on an island, what would you listen to. In any given year you are lucky to have even one album be considered for the list. This year I believe we had at least five albums that would be on my list. I don’t remember a year like that since the early 90’s. So lets dive into my list and I will give a brief reason why they made the cut.
10. Soundgarden- King Animal
A return to the early 90’s sound is a relief for fans of the band. Every year we have reunions that go akimbo, but Chris and the guys have brushed away over 15 years of rust to put out an album that is an exciting new chapter in the story of one of the great American bands of the past 25 years
Newly signed to Kings of Leons label. These Nashville musicians have taken a garage sound and tightened it up into a burst of southern rock at its best. Best listened to while drinking around a campfire.
Not as scary as the long name suggestes this swedish metal band harkens back to the sounds classic Deep Purple. A refreshing sound in the land of heavy music
7. Titus Andronicus-Local Business
The follow up to an album based on the civil war was going to be a challenge. TA did it with an album full of angst and sounding what would have happened had Springstein fronted the
Clash instead of the E Street Band. The track “Food Fight” is on of the best of the year.
6. Best Coast-The Only Place
Bethany Cosentino has been placed front and center on this album. Her vocals have been pushed to the front, and the angst she presents draws you in to every song. Haunting, beautiful, and heartfelt, this album will be in heavy rotation in dorm rooms for years to come
5. Deftones- Koi No Yokan
My favorite hard rock/metal album in years. It spans the entire sound that the Deftones
are known for. Growling vocals can be found next to spacial soundscapes and neither seems out of place. After the loss of a key member, Chino and the rest of the guys have risen up like a phoenix and delivered their best album.
4. Frank Ocean-Channel ORANGE
The hype was there, but would the music live up? Yes. Yes. Yes. The song “Bad Religion” is the heartopping moment of the year for me, the rest of this masterpiece is loaded with Stevie Wonder type melody and a new type of soul music for the digital age. This album is timeless, and hopefully has launched the career of one of the defining voices of his generation
They were a hardcore band. Live, they are still a hardcore band. This album however is
the bastard brother of the Sex Pistols, “Never Mind the Bullocks” The attitude of this album oozes thru the speakers and kicks you in the teeth. Uncompromising and unrelenting, Ceremony are here to stay and they don’t care what you think.
2. Cloud Nothings-Attack on Memory
A perfect album. Eight of the most polished, crafted, and amazing songs to come out in
years. I found it last winter, tucked on the 4th page on the new releases on Amazon. I knew nothing of the band, except for the haunting video to the first single, “No Future/No Past” I started the album with no expectations, and left the album knowing I found a masterpiece. The Nirvana comparisons are out there, however, Cobain and Co. never came close to a complete piece of work like this. Live, this band is a force, with “Wasted Days” the highlight of the set. My hope is that some of you caught them in Holland, and that they visit us again next year.
1. Japandroids- Celebration Rock
So, how do you follow up an album like “Post Nothing”? An album that when it came 2009 was meant to be the debut/swan song from the two piece from Vancouver. After a
hospital scare and successful tour, David and Brian decided to make another record. And what a record it is. Starting and finishing with the sound of fireworks, the just over 30 minutes in between are full of songs that make you sing along, move your body and if your in your car, drive like a bat out of hell. I can not recommend this album enough. This maybe the best album of the 2000’s, only the Strokes-”This is It” comes close