Since 2012 is coming to a close end, what are your favorite albums of the year so far?
a couple that stand out for me :
Anathema – Weather system
Anglagard – Viljars oga
Beach House – Bloom
Exitmusic – Passages
Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music
Maserati – Maserati Vll
Metz – Metz
Passion Pit – Gossamer
Torshe – Harmonicraft
Worm is Green – Glow
Some contender that need more of my attention:
Big Big Train – English Electric pt. 1
Enslaved ; RIITIIR
Gallows – Gallows
Gavin Harrisson &05Ric – Circles
Sigur Ros – Valtari
Squarepusher – Ufabulum
What did you enjoy the most? Suggestions? Hidden Treasures?
I almost never know a thing for the given year until halfway through the next one, so I’m pretty uninformed. The only big standout for me so far was the new Godspeed You Black Emperor album. I’ll list some releases that I’ve enjoyed so far this year though:
Beach House – Bloom
Passion Pit – Gossamer
The Music Tapes – Mary’s Voice
Clams Casino – Instrumentals 2
Araabmuzik – Electronic Dream 2
TNGHT – TNGHT
Death Grips – The Money Store
Death Grips – No Love Deep Web
Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City
Freddie Gibbs – Baby Face Killa
Joey Badass – 1999
Purity Ring – Shrines
Grimes – Visions
Ghibli – Rare Pleasures
Flying Lotus – Until the Quiet Comes
Skeleton Lipstick – Glows Then Melts
How to Dress Well – Total Loss
Perfume Genius – Put Your Back N 2 It
Sky Ferreira – Ghost
Dum Dum Girls – End of Daze
Jessie Ware – Devotion
Julia Holter – Ekstasis
Bat for Lashes – The Haunted Man
Angel Olsen – Half Way Home
Grizzly Bear – Shields
Daniel Rossen – Silent Hour/Golden Mile
Lotus Plaza – Spooky Action at a Distance
Wild Nothing – Nocturne
DIIV – Oshin
Chromatics – Kill for Love
Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind
Lower – Walk on Heads
Eh, lot’s of fun releases this year for me, but only one album that really stuck. But I seem to never be able to discover those until much later. I just haven’t listened to much ‘serious’ stuff so far. Thank you for your recommendations though.
Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream
ROBLEY AND ELOI: You guys Pitchfork readers by any chance? Or pop matters? Love the token metal album shoved into those lists ;-) I used to like Enslaved a lot in the 90’s when they were black metal. After 2005 or so i must admit they lost me.
Top 5 favs in alphabetical order:
GYBE ‘’Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
Mars Volta ‘Noctourniquet’
Neurosis ‘Honor In Decay’
Swans ‘The Seer’
Scott Walker ‘Bish Bosch’
Deftones ‘Koi No Yoken’
Dinosaur Jnr ‘I Bet On Sky’
Down ‘E.P 1’
High On Fire ‘De Vermis Myteriis’
Katatonia ‘Dead End Kings’
Killing Joke ‘MMXII’
Jason Lytle ‘Dept.Of Disappearance’
Paradise Lost ‘Tragic Idol’
Prong ‘Carved Into Stone’
Sigh ‘In Somniphobia’
Sun Kil Moon ‘Among The Leaves’
Tiamat ‘The Scarred People’
Woods ‘Back Beyond’
Probably over half my list is from Pitchfork’s best new music, and I hate it lol. The thing is that I don’t like Pitchfork or their reviews, but at the end of the day, they do recommend some great new stuff. So, ever since my old favorite site got shut down, I’ve been driven to Pitchfork and mediocre blogs, none of which I really care for.
It’s left me severely disadvantaged with more serious and off-base releases though.
Damn, I forgot the new GYBE!
As for Pitchfork, I read it from time to time, like Popmatters (I also like Drowned in Sound and Sputnick music), but I think the only pitchfork reccords here are Beach House and Exitmusic. I also like checking the compilation of Album of the Year and Progarchive. But in the end, a lot of these bands have just been favorite of mine for some times…
(not in order . . .)
Agnostic Hymns and Stoner Fables — Todd Snider
Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance — Patterson Hood
Wrecking Ball — Bruce Springsteen
Americana — Neil Young and Crazy Horse
Tempest — Bob Dylan
Port of Morrow — The Shins
Kill My Blues — The Corrine Tucker Band
Thankful N’ Thoughtful — Bettye Lavette
A Thing Called Divine Fits — Divine Fits
Fear Fun — Father John Misty
^^NOt into Swans Matt?
Surprised nobody has mentioned that albuim yet. it’s colossal!
Not saying The Seer isn’t good, but I still haven’t made it all the way through.
^^yeah, it’s a lot to take in, but it feels more like a Swans album than the last album did. It’s like a continuation of Soundtracks For The Blind, at least in terms of ambition and scope.
Either way, Gira is one of America’s best singer-songwriters imo. He is endlessly inventive, and has pushed the boundaries of the format more than just about anyone i can think of right now.
Carolus Rex (Sabaton) anyone?
And how about Celtic Woman: Believe?
1) Tempest – Bob Dylan
2) Blunderbluss – Jack White
3) Wrecking Ball – Bruce Springsteen
4) Charmer – Aimee Mann
5) Babel – Mumford and Sons
Metz-Metz- Far and away #1 for me and the biggest surprise
Tame Impala- Lonerism
Grizzly Bear- Shields
Dum Dum Girls- End of Daze
Ty Segall- Twins
Frank Ocean- Channel Orange
Neil Young & Crazy Horse- Psychedelic Pill
Bob Dylan- Tempest
Ty Segall- Slaughterhouse
Neil Young & Crazy Horse- Americana
Nas- Life is Good
Ty Segall & White Fence- Hair
The Shins- Port of Morrow
Japandroids- Celebration Rock
Sleigh Bells- Reign of Terror
Moonrise Kingdom soundtrack, especially the Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra tracks.
The closing three-song suite on The Beach Boys That’s Why God Made the Radio.
Mondo – Electric Guest
I didn’t know Swans made a comeback.
Wow, I just wrote an article about that. My top picks for 2012 released albums. Please check this out!
@Eloi MV: Cool list!
When I want recommendations, I don’t ask for recommendations. I ask “What are your favorites.”
Because the odds are way higher that I’ll like what you like than that I’ll like what you think I’ll like.
Pepe Deluxe – Queen Of The Wave
Auktyon – Yula
Frankie Rose – Intersteller
Wadada Leo Smith – Ten Freedom SUmmers
Grimes – Visions
The 2 Bears – Be Strong
Mi and L’au – If Beauty Is A Crime
Ewert and the Two Dragons – Good Man Down
Screaming Females – Ugly
Dr John – Locked Down
Haha, I would have shot the shit with you metalheads 5-6 years ago, but I’m totally out of the loop now (for music in general, but especially metal/____core stuff)
@ Eloi MV:
Torche – I listened to that first album, but I will always be more of a Floor man
Enslaved – Man, haven’t really listened to those cats since Below the Lights. I think I even bought Isa, but just never listened to it
Converge – Oh man, I really am out of it, I had totally forgotten that they had come out with a new one. Thanks for reminding me. Though I have been a bit lukewarm on them since You Fail Me
Neurosis – I respect Neurosis, but they’ve never been one of those bands that I’m really in the mood to listen to
Swans – I just can’t listen to any Swans/Angels of Light/etc anymore. I’ll still pop in Children of God once in a blue moon, but in general, it’s just way too much of a downer for me these days
Deftones – New Deftones!!! I still haven’t bought it, but liked what I heard. A new Deftones album is always reason for celebration
Wow, The Gathering, Down, Killing Joke, Prong, Tiamat, Paradise Lost, and Sigh. Those are a lot of names I haven’t thought about in a long time. :) Speaking of which, I see both Anathema and Paradise Lost in this thread. Is My Dying Bride no longer valid?
Anyways, I love these year end lists of music. It helps me keep half a foot in the door of what is worth listening to, name recognition if nothing else
CAPTAIN: ‘The Seer’ is an incredible album. As for the rest mentioned, yeah, most of those bands are still going. The new Paradise Lost is their best in years. Killing Joke have released 4 killer albums in a row. They are in top form right now. As for My Dying Bride, their new album is quite good too. i just forgot to mention it :-)
These are just listed in the order that they come to mind. I have many more to hear.
The Mountain Goats – Transcendental Youth
Lana Del Rey – Born to Die / Paradise
Japandroids – Celebration Rock
First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar
Ben Folds Five – The Sound of the Life of the Mind
Grizzly Bear – Shields
Tom Tykwer – Cloud Atlas (Music from the Motion Picture)
Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
The Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten
Father John Misty – Fear Fun
Craig Finn – Clear Heart Full Eyes
The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter
Titus Andronicus – Local Business
Nas – Life is Good
Taylor Swift – Red
Sleigh Bells – Reign of Terror
Cursive – I Am Gemini
Odd Future – The OF Tape, Vol. 2
Most of the ones I listed are indie rock or electronica, but Ten Freedom Summers is a five hour improvisational jazz album.
Has anyone else who follows sites like Metacritic been feeling that critics have been getting worse and worse? Now it seems like all they like is average albums by people who’ve previously made great ones. All the indie mags are going Rolling Stone.
A couple years ago there was a lot more congruency between my favorites and the critical favorites than there is now.
“A couple years ago there was a lot more congruency between my favorites and the critical favorites than there is now.”
^ A sure sign of approaching middle age ;)
I don’t know what the critics are doing any more. I read Pitchfork once a month, for curiosity, and that’s about it.
I didn’t listen to any albums from this year, so I’ll post my favorite songs from 2012 (because everyone wants to know, I’m sure). I’m always 2 or 3 years behind on albums. I think the only one I listened to all the way through is Poor Moon’s self-titled debut, but that’s just because we were seeing them live and I wanted to be more familiar with their stuff.
Songs of 2012:
Divine Fits- My Love is Real
Hey Marseilles- Elegy
Wax Taylor- Time to Go
Dinosaur Jr.-Watch the Corners
Guided By Voices- The Unsinkable Fats Dominos
Poor Moon- Heaven’s Door
“Has anyone else who follows sites like Metacritic been feeling that critics have been getting worse and worse?”
Agree, but that’s because there isn’t much around anymore. Critics are desperate. esp rock critics. Deep down they know that nothing is really happening nowadays, so most of the bands they praise are either older bands, or newer ones that are emulating old ones.
If rock really was ‘progressive’ and ‘forward thinking’, nobody would take much interest in what the old bands are doing. That’s how it was 20 years ago.
“Agree, but that’s because there isn’t much around anymore. Critics are desperate. esp rock critics. Deep down they know that nothing is really happening nowadays, so most of the bands they praise are either older bands, or newer ones that are emulating old ones.”
Jesus, thank you. I was starting to think that I was the only person who thought this. Anytime I tell somebody I don’t think there is really anything exciting going on in rock, they seem to think that I am just being difficult, or pretentious, or a complainer or something. Then they’ll start listing either new albums by older bands, that really are nothing that special, or new bands that are generally emulating older bands.
I’ll use my double post to ask if those people who listed Torche (Eloi MV and J&K) are familiar with Floor. Floor was the band two of the members of Torche were in before Torche. They put out two albums, but the second one is more Torche-y. Anyways, IMHO, that second album (it’s self-titled), is better than anything by Torche. Not that I dislike Torche, but that Floor album is just heavier, doomier, gnarlier, and sloppy-in-a-good-way-er. I remember playing it at work one day, and a (non-metal) co-worker walked back and was like “Dude, WTF is this? It sounds like Black Sabbath mixed with Jane’s Addiction.” And I was like ‘Holy $%*#, that’s exactly what it sounds like!!!"
It may go without saying, but for maximum effect, play at ear-deafening volume (or at any rate, the louder the better)
“Jesus, thank you. I was starting to think that I was the only person who thought this. Anytime I tell somebody I don’t think there is really anything exciting going on in rock, they seem to think that I am just being difficult, or pretentious, or a complainer or something. Then they’ll start listing either new albums by older bands, that really are nothing that special, or new bands that are generally emulating older bands.”
The problem for me is that most of them aren’t doing anything interesting with their influences. At least in the late 80s/early 90’s, before it was ‘cool’ to ape the 70’s, we had Danzig, Monster Magnet, Kyuss etc, who were putting their own spin on old styles and sounds. Sure there were derivative hacks like Lenny Kravitz, but compared to much of what passes for retro rock today, he is actually quite good! or at least his first two or three albums were anyway.
I’m just barely familiar with Torche—I’ve only listened to them on Youtube, and mostly songs from Harmonicraft—-but that Jane’s Addiction Black Sabbath comparison for Floor seems spot on. The same tension between sounds is there in Torche as well, but more on the Jane’s Addiction side.
Well, there are some older bands that really are still putting out great stuff. Tom Waits’ Chicago was my #1 last year.
But if you look at the kind of stuff scoring big scores on places like metacritic. Kendrick Lamar. It was hyped up, and hyped up, and hyped up, and almost reviewed based on the hype and not based on the fact that it’s pretty much slightly above average rapping about having lots of anonymous sex with submissive women.
I do think there’s some exciting stuff coming out of indie bands, and I think Frank Orange’s album was justly hyped, but the ones the critics seem to seize onto are like, hey, I’m whining with a shrill awkward voice over buzzy droning beats.
I try to give at least one listen to anything that gets really good reviews or anything somebody says is their favorite album of the year on acclaimedmusic.net’s or metacricket’s forum. Lately the forums have yielded far more albums I end up liking than the critics.
Depends on what you like, but yeah, I think there’s a fair amount of established artists who still manage interesting stuff fairly regularly. Waits is a good example of this. The two albums Neil Young released with Crazy Horse this year have their moments. The stuff Dylan is releasing these days in kind of an interesting afterlife for American popular musical forms. Spoon and Wilco are still interesting when they’re working together. Drive-By Truckers are pretty great. He’s better known as a producer these days, I guess, but the stuff Joe Henry has recorded for Anti I think is quite good . . .
^^Agree with that. Hell man, I had Scott Walker and Swans in my top 5 for the year; Walker has been going since the 60’s!
Agree with Jirin on Kendrick Lamar. I also think it’s interesting how sites like Pitchfork give a free pass to misogyny in rap providing that it’s actually ‘enjoyable’.