Saturday, January 05, 2013

Top 5 listens for 2012

Top 5 listens for 2012
(the album above has nothing to do with anything except horrible album covers)

2012 was a different year for my musically   I found myself listening more to the records and artists below than new stuff.  There were several releases i looked forward to in 2012 but were not able to keep my attention like the following.

Mumford and Sons - Babel.  I probably had "I Will Wait" stuck in my head for a month, only to be replaced by "Ghosts That We Knew".  All other songs are just as incredible.  Banjo, acoustic guitar and tons of guts is how I would describe this release.  When I first got it I wondered if I needed any more UK hillbilly music in my life, but in retrospect I did!  Shows you more people can make good music with banjos besides Taylor Swift (haha).  I was trying to think of a good category to put this into thinking it too unique to just be labeled indie but it hit me that really these guys are the remade 1980's band Dexy's Midnight Runners.  Sheesh.

Flyleaf - New Horizons. Since is was not a fan of Memento Mori I wasn't sure I'd immediately like NH, but I fell in love with this back to (Flyleaf) basics recording.  Lacey's vocals were as refined as ever (I'm thinking shouting angelic whisper) and lyrics were stepped up a notch too.  Saving Grace could be a worship anthem at any church and Broken Wings.....Love Song to Jesus.  Bummer Lacey is leaving the band, dont know if they will be the same.

Rush - Clockwork Angels.  Didn't know what to expect and honestly probably wouldn't have given this record much respect if I hadn't seen them live to a sold out crowd.  The experience and excellence was awesome after 19 previous studio recordings was really evident.  This band is not tired, nor boring.  CA is a concept record that no one can do like Rush.  Its a tale of an old man looking back at his journey against the machine, against the odds and against the villainous watchmaker (doesn't really put fear in your heart does it) but hey, its a record (and a book, but thats another story).  5 of the 12 songs are in the 7 minute range and none of the boys lets up musically.  Geddys voice is on point, Alex's rifs are tight and Neal, oh Neal  you never cease to impress, musically or lyrically.  CA is a must listen to any classic music lover, any former Rush fan and anyone interested in a sci-fi steam-punk story (btw, the CA concert was younger than the Owl City concert I went to a couple months earlier, but there were thousands of teenagers in attendance playing air-drums).

Muse - The 2nd Law.  Musical excellence and innovation.  Yes, there are songs on this release but there is rock opera, aria and  experimantal euphony.  Its heavy, its light, its passionate, its more.  It starts off with in your face rock and roll (loud, gutar solos and 4:4) and takes you through sonnet and ends with ethereal.

Jack White - Blunderbuss.  Long awaited, much anticipated and over delivered.  I'll take Jack however he comes (White Stripes, Raconteurs, (barely) Dead Weather) but the solo Jack was like peanut butter proving once and for all that jelly is optional.  With more instruments than I could define and songs styles all over the place and stellar JW penning, this recording is diverse, tight, eclectic and phenom.


U2 - U22.  This was a release of the best songs from the 360 tour.  What made it better was that it was fan voted.  Cool recording.  Had some flash back moments from the actual concert.  The songs didnt flow like a studio record would have but to have new material from a legend was great.  Songs of note; Magnificent, Stay (faraway so close). All I Want Is You/Love Rescue Me and Moment of Surrender played INCREDIBLY well live (more than just a band playing their usual songs), and MLK/Walk On was a treat.  Plus little known songs like Out of Control and One Tree Hill, wow.

Honorable Mention

Toby Mac - Eye On It
P.O.D. - Murdered Love
Matisyahu - Spark Seeker
Owl City - The Midsummer Station

----------Bonus vids from above bands-------

This one from Flyleaf, watch the first 20 secs.  Wow.  Listen and you will know why D Crowder recorded it as a worship song.
JW - upside truth
This one from Jack White has no words to describe, although I'll leave it at a math problem.  JW+U2=Awesomeness (its also the music for the trailer of The Great Gatsby)
U2 extras 1  2  3 4

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