Monday, December 10, 2012

Favorite Albums of 2012

"Everyone's doing it."

Peer pressure. Normally it doesn't work to well on me, but in this particular instance what is the harm. I'm not trying to be the main stream media and actually report real news anyway. Oh wait...they are doing it too! 

The year's best lists. You know, lists like top celebrity moments, news stories, moving pictures, sports plays, science fiction novels, or teen pop star pranks. 

So I'm going to get in on the fun with a few as well. 

Today: my favorite albums of 2012. 
(The only qualifier to this list is that I purchased the album...there may be some out there that are indeed better but I haven't heard them through.)

Of Monsters and Men - My Head Is An Animal I could listen to this album over and over. The duel vocals, one male and one female, and the tunes evoking a rock, folk, and western-tinged attributes coming from Iceland. Out of nowhere, this album got more playing time during our June road trip than any other album. Can just afford a single? Get: "Little Talks" - you've probably heard this on the radio. Great song.

Jack White - Blunderbuss I like Jack White's music over the years, whether it be The Dead Weather, Raconteurs, or the White Stripes. This album, on his own, has all the elements of a rock album you want. Its a bit funky, definitely catchy, and simply rocks with different instruments taking a highlight across the album. This music is what I like to listen to when being creative or needing something I can engage with to stay awake while driving. Can just afford a single? Get: "Freedom at 21" or "Hypocritical Kiss" - the first is the sure to be a staple radio play, the second I love the keyboard!

Mumford & Sons - Babel (Deluxe Edition)The follow-up to their smash success may initially not seem to have as many hits on the first listen, the listen to it again and you'll soon realize its top to bottom a great album and I think I might just like Babel more than Sigh No More overall. Can just afford a single? Get "Hopeless Wanderer" - well, this song just gets me, or I get it.

Linkin Park - Living ThingsLinkin Park remains one of my favorite rock bands. Perhaps its their progression mirroring mine that make each album resonate with me, but I like their more recent stuff just as much as their earlier. The lyrics mean more than the simple angst as now there begins to be a sort of resignation and hope found together that doesn't lash out at others but finds a place for the things that matter in life. Yeah, I find this in Linkin Park. Can just afford a single? Get "Lies Greed Misery" if you want to rock out like early Linkin Park did...but if you are a bit more contemplative I listen to "Roads Untraveled" over and over again.

Band of Skulls - Sweet Sour.Unexpected find from a free single of the title track. The album was on an Amazon.com sale awhile back so picked it up and this group really grew on me. They can be very mellow but also speed it up. Another group with male & female voices. I think that is one of the trends in bands recently that I've been digging. Can just afford a single? Get "Sweet Sour" - the title track is worth it although "Bruises" has a fairly rhythmic rocking sound to it.

Shinedown - AmaryllisFull disclosure, I love Brent Smith's voice and have ever since I first heard ".45" years ago. So, as long as Shinedown pumps out true modern rock like they have on nearly every album (although The Sound of Madness got old in a way their other stuff didn't) then I like it. Amaryllis is solid, with rock songs sure to be played on the radio, in that way that ballads and full-out rock songs rotate on an album. Check it out if rock is your thing. Can just afford a single? Get "Enemies" - my favorite, cause I like the rocking side of Shinedown more than the ballad side.

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