Bob's Top 10 Albums of 2012
I can't believe I almost let this year draw to a close without popping out a "Best of" list. It was a rather limited year for concerts and movies for me, but thanks in part to a network of friends that purchases (never pirates) and shares music, I feel like I was relatively entrenched in music this year. This list represents my favorites.
10. Glen Hansard - Rhythm and Repose: This album has a special significance to me because I got it shortly after the death of our dear friend's son Hayden. This collection of songs about hope, despair and love became the soundtrack to a very difficult period of the year. Favorite Track - This Gift
9. Smashing Pumpkins - Oceania: I can't tell if I'm making this pick for nostalgia sake or if I legitimately consider this one of the years best albums. I'm sticking with it for the sole reason that it pumped me up for yard work this summer. Favorite Track - Violet Rays
8. The Shins - Port of Morrow: I thought I was off these guys. I saw a very mediocre show of theirs and then became a little disenchanted with James Mercer's snarky pretentious nature. But this CD proved that I just can't quit em. Favorite Track - 40 Mark Strasse
7. Ben Folds Five - The Sound of the Life of the Mind: Always a favorite of mine, BFF hadn't released a new album in 13 years and I had kind of written the group off as done. Not so fast. This album has a little bit of everything, from uptempo anthems to beautiful, heartfelt ballads.
Favorite Track - Hold That Thought
6. The Mountain Goats - Transcendental Youth: Of all the albums on this list, this one was the most recent addition so it hasn't had the favor, or disfavor, of being listened to quite as much. That being said, I love the energy of this CD and lyrically its fantastic. It probably took a spot away from The Japandroids, so you be the judge if I got it right. Favorite Track - Lakeside View Apartments Suite
5. Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls: Maybe I am missing it, but I don't see this album ending up on many lists for best of the year, and I can't figure out why. Finally their live cult status has hit the masses and I think they capture it perfectly. Favorite Track - Rise to the Sun
4. Jack White - Blunderbuss: I have been wanting to jump on the Jack White bandwagon for some time, and despite having a few Raconteurs tracks, I never really went for it until this year. It paid off, as this album is one of the most unique and brilliant of the year.
Favorite Track (Maybe of the year) - Hypocritical Kiss
3. Of Monsters and Men - My Head is an Animal: Another album that I haven't seen on many lists is this one, an extension of the EP they had released a year earlier. This album is overflowing with sing along melodies and concert anthems. I cannot wait to see how they follow this up.
Favorite Track - From Finner
2. Grizzly Bear - Shields: This is an incredible album, rich with unique sounds and complex musicstry. At points this sounds like it could be a side project of the Beta Band, My Morning Jacket & The National. Probably not for everyone, but its definitely for me. Favorite Track - Yet Again
1. Passion Pit - Gossamer: Much like beer, if you come out in the summer and I enjoy you, there is a solid chance I'll be talking about you for a while. This album dropped right at the peak of my summer and became a staple for trips to Rhode Island, The Jersey Shore & Long Island. It is a feel good CD start to finish, but not to the extent that it can't be taken seriously. Its fun, and better than that, it's great. Favorite Track - Constant Conversations
Honorable Mentions: Milo Greene/Milo Greene, Japandroids/Celebration Rock, John Mayer/Born & Raised, Marillion/Sounds That Can't be Made