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2012 was all in all a pretty disappointing year music-wise for me, I had high hopes for the 3 Green Day releases but I found them all subpar ("Dos" is the better of the three). Other lackluster releases from artists I admire included Everclear, Linkin Park, Keane, No Doubt, Yeasayer (wow what a misstep), Coheed & Cambria, Neil Young & Crazy Horse (though others seem to really love this one), Nada Surf, Iron Maiden, The Ting Things (4 years for that?!?), Andrew Bird, The Used, Peter Buck (Petey, quick word of advice, run your shit past Stipe before you drop another CD) & Bad Books.
But there were some very goods & even great releases in 2012 and in reverse "Casey Kasem" order they are:
25- The Whippoorwill by Blackberry Smoke. Whoever said southern rock died with the last Kings of Leon release is lying too you, pick this up if you don't believe me. Blistering stuff.
24- Mirage Rock by Band of Horses. They just continue to bring the beautiful. Not a departure from their previous stuff but if it ain't broke.
23- Attack on Memory by Cloud Nothings. Now this was a departure from the band's previous sound, and what a great one. Dark, in your face and awesome.
22- Reign of Terror by Sleigh Bells. Noise pop duo keep bringing the uh noise pop (duh). Track #6 "Comeback Kid" is like musical crack.
21- Master of my Make-Believe by Santigold. I love her and I want to marry her, she will just have to deal with my whole gay shit.
20- Neck of the Woods by Silversun Pickups. Not as great as the last CD, but still pretty fucking great. And props for telling Mitt Romney to stop playing their songs at his rallies.
19- Trespassing by Adam Lambert. The second best dance pop CD of 2013. A stupendous bounce back from his meh first release. Dude can sing!
18- Lonerism by Tame Impala. I originally thought this was inferior to their amazing debut CD "Innerspeaker" then I saw them play the new songs live in concert, went back home and re-listened to this CD and realized this was just as good and maybe even better...maybe.
17- Born to Die by Lana Del Ray. Yeah I saw the disaster of her appearance on SNL, it was dumbfounding. But in no way should that detract from appreciating this beautiful, haunting CD.
16- Port of Morrow by The Shins. Their best album since 2003's "Chutes to Narrow" (though there was just one in between LOL). But am I crazy for thinking that Mercer's best work is now Broken Bells?
15- King Animal by Soundgarden. Was soooo leery about this one. Had their time come and gone? Should they have just stayed broken up and not tarnish their fans memories? Well they didn't give a shit and thank God cause this CD is the bomb and I will get to see them perform these and their classic songs live in a small venue (The Hammerstein Ballroom) in a couple of weeks and I am insanely exited.
14- The 2nd Law by Muse. I have to say this CD is not their best by a long shot (That would be their masterpiece "Absolution") but an average Muse CD is still better than many other artists best. "Madness" is possibly my favorite single of 2013. And they are still the best live band on the planet.
13- Night Visions by Imagine Dragons. Powered by the great single "it's time", this indie bands debut is an alternative rock wet dream. Great soaring choruses and beautiful harmonies.
12- Coexist by The xx. Minimalist, sparse, melodic and gorgeous dream pop/rock. This CD proved that this band was no fluke.
11- Bloom by Beach House. Minimalist, sparse, melodic and gorgeous dream pop/rock. Hmmm that sounded familiar.
10- Believe by Justin Beiber. Hah! Just kidding, wanted to see if you were paying attention.
10- The Dark Room by Testament. This is not Justin Beiber! Best metal release in 2013 (though it wasn't that great a year for metal, James & Lars could spent better time than hanging out with Lou Reed. Stone Sour & Deftones had pretty good new CD's this year though) and their best CD in a very very long time.
9- The Only Place by Best Coast. This indie rock duo actually improved from their also great debut. This CD is a wonder of fuzzy, echo-y (is that a word? seriously did I just invent that?) and very pretty pop rock. Great songwriting and Beth Cosentino's voice hypnotizes me.
8- Unapologetic by Rihanna. THE Best dance pop release of 2013. If you can get "Diamonds" out of your head your a better man than me. This is incredible stuff, it makes you want to get on a dance floor and move. Now she really needs to kick Chris to the curb.
7- Not your kind of People by Garbage. Here was a new release from an old fave that did not disappoint, on the contrary this CD ranks with their very best.
6- Wrecking Ball by Bruce Springsteen. This guy had quite the busy year huh, when he wasn't helping to re-elect Obama and raising millions for Sandy relief, he put out his best CD in over a decade. Political, in your face, powerful, just an astounding work.
5- Channel Orange by Frank Ocean. His (semi) coming out has no bearing on my opinion of this brilliant CD. It is a staggeringly great work and the debut of a new musical force. He and Janelle Monae are the future of a new fusion of Soul/HipHop/R&B/Rock & Dance for the next generation.
4- Babel by Mumford and Sons. Like I said with Band of Horses, there was no change in the sound and there didn't need to be, just folky, gangly, banjoey genius. This CD is playing as I type these words and my head is bopping along to the music.
3- The idler wheel... by Fiona Apple (No way Im going to type out the whole title). I used to lament how it took Ms. Apple a million years between CD's but I guess it's just how her genius works. This is a challenging, brilliantly written, addictive piece of art and it stands both apart and alongside her previous, impressive body of work. I hope her dog is doing better.
2- Blunderbuss by Jack White. This crackling, explosive CD will get your air guitar fluids going. Just a great southerly, bluesy piece of Rock & Roll ear candy. I saw him live in New Orleans at Voodoofest just a couple months back and he tore the joint the...SHIT...UP! I was hoping once that the White Stripes would get back together but not anymore, he is more than fine on his own, buy this CD now.
The last 5 CD's are really all kind of tied for 2nd, I could have put them in any order really, but my favorite CD of the year does truly stand apart. And I never would have guessed that it would have, but it just blew me away when I first listened to it and still does to this day. And that CD is...
1- Oceania by The Smashing Pumpkins. Yeah, I know I know, but hear me out. This is not some Billy Corgan pretentious masturbatory, behold my genius piece. It is a behold my genius I am seriously wanting to get back to what made my music truly great piece. From the 1st track "Quasar" to the final track "Wildflower" this conceptual masterpiece (there are more songs to follow on later CD's) is one beautiful, grungy, melody dripping, mindfucking wonder. It is easily their (ok Corgan's) best work since "Melon Collie...". This and maybe Apple’s & Ocean’s CD’s are the ones I can say I have obsessed on this year. But this more than the others.
And that's all she wrote, please feel free to contribute what your faves of the year were, even a music junkie like me may have missed something and I am always interested to hear something new, whatever the genre. Again, thanks for looking.