Another year has come and gone and so has the music with it. It was an interesting year filled with big promise and big whiffers (DMB, Springsteen &Dylan). It will also go down as the year which we can find the most overplayed songs, of possibly all time (Call Me Maybe, Somebody That I Use To Know, Gangnam Style) and even though I felt this year fell short of what 2011 had to offer, I was still able to compose a list of ten enjoyable albums.
It should also be noted that by no means is this a “best of” list. Music is so subjective that all “best of” lists should immediately be changed to a “favourites” list. The only way a “best of” list could be compiled properly, would be by albums sold, songs downloaded, or some other quantitative explanation. I have friends who I can sit down and listen to/enjoy an album with, then turn around and completely disagree with the next. That’s the beauty of music. Hopefully this list will provide a small taste of where I was, musically, this past year.
As a little extra special, I’ve also attached my favourite song from each album underneath each selection.
And with that being said…..on with the show.
The Beach Boys – That’s Why God Made The Radio
After 16 years apart, it doesn’t appear that the Beach Boys have lost their knack for fun, sun and the ocean. That’s Why God Made The Radio reminds us why we loved the boys in the first place. Dreams of the coast, engulfed in gorgeous, flawless, harmonies.
Green Day – Uno
Add a little more polish and a little more maturity but keep the fun. Green Day push aside the idea of concept and get back to what made them famous; the three minute pop-punk hook. It might not be as iconic as their ‘94 hit Dookie, but it sure is refreshing to finally hear them try.
Bloc Party – Four
After nearly breaking up, Bloc Party return with more energy, agression and truthfulness, not seen since Silent Alarm. Guitar heavy tracks, “Kettling”and “So He Begins to Lie“ add a welcomed rock element to the album whereas “Day Four” and “Truth” carry on with Kele’s ability to write an ear pleasing, soaring, melody.
Hospitality – Hospitality
Picture yourself laying in a wide open pasture, with freshly cut grass, and a warm August breeze lightly blowing, then you should have an excellent idea of what listening to this album is like. You’re all caught up in a beautiful dream like state, with a well lit haze hovering over.
Matt Mays – Coyote
Coyote is what a rock should sound like. After spending the past four years traveling North America, Mays shows that the ability to tell a story is an art not lost to him. Songs about women and war spread throughout the album, but in the end it’s all about keeping the faith.
Beach House – Bloom
On their new venture, Beach House continue on course with their air-trance sound. Keeping with the same formula that made their last album (Teen Dream) a hit, this duo sync together melodies and tones that gently emulate a light, peaceful, drug induced trip….so I’ve been told.
Japandroids – Celebration Rock
Who knew that two Canucks could pump out such a massive sound. On Celebration Rock, this Vancouver duo crank up the overdrive, send the attitude over the top and dig into the punk-rock past to come out with their best impression of what a Sex-Pistols/Replacements/NOFX amalgamation would sound like.
The Lumineers – The Lumineers
The Lumineers blew into town quicker than a twister swinging up tornado alley. The first infectious single Ho Hey, is just a small taste of what this Denver trio have to offer. The self titled album is loaded with an easy going folk vibe reminiscent of a more simpler time.
Muse – The 2nd Law
Following up The Resistance would prove to be difficult for most artists, but not Matt Bellamy and Co. The 2nd Law jumps right back into the world of fear, panic, and hope, seamlessly. Muse are arguably the biggest rock act in the world right now, and this album proves they have the chops to back that title up.
The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter
The Avett Brothers have been around for seven albums now, but are finally hitting their stride. Combining their love of folk, and pop with their bluegrass routes, The Carpenter is a solid album that won’t distract you from what your engaged in, but is catchy enough to be remembered.