This is it! We made it! This year is over, and these are my top albums of the year. I hope you were entertained, maybe found a new artist you didn't know, and will join me again in 2012 for many more great tunes as the blog enters its third year. Now hurry up and check this, then go enjoy your evening!
The King Of Limbs
We waited for years after their last album and finally "Lotus Flower", followed by a further seven tracks of Radiohead genius. Sure, it might not have been their greatest album ever, but it was still awesome and was easily good enough to make it near the top of the charts even if it did feel a little abruptly truncated. I'm pretty sure we won't have to wait as long for the next one. I hope not anyway.
At this point I think everyone in the world has heard of these guys, and if not they're probably beyond help. I don't think this would be the album to win over too many new fans, per se, as it's basically just another minor evolution of their expansive electronic ideas that they've explored since their landmark album "Kid A". Either you're into this stuff or you aren't, and if you're not you should be, because this is the best band in the world. End of story.
Morning Mr. Magpie
Little By Little
I have to admit I wasn't really into Justin Vernon's deput LP, but this one had me captivated as soon as I heard the first single "Calgary", one of the best songs of the year. Actually there are several songs in this album that would be in the running for that title.
Most impressively, this album has taken the same haunting lyrical songwriting style but added layers and layers and layers of sounds, all blending into one masterful musical painting that will have you in fits over its utter majesty. Just check out the live performance below and see the amazing collection of multi-instrumentalists that have been put together and you'll know what a special album this is. He even drafted a certain Colin Stetson to help out a little on the saxomophone. Say no more.
I had a good laugh when Pitchfork described Aaron Jerome as a "journeyman". Talk about being wide of the mark. Anyone who was into progressive electronic music even a bit would have known him before this album came out, and there was a ton of anticipation for his debut LP. To say he delivered would be an equally derisive understatement.
This album not only has my favorite song of the year, "Wildfire", but also ten other absolutely killer tracks that bridge the gaps between house, dubstep, and everything in between. The mixes are perfect, the vocals are seamless, and what we have here is an introduction into the future of electronic music. The bar has been set very, very high indeed. Enjoy.
Trials Of The Past
Does anyone else find it interesting that the last three albums on this list all were self-titled albums? I think it just ties in with the overall theme of the year, one of experimentation and introduction to new sounds. All of these artists will, I'm positive, go on to even bigger and better things so it's extremely exciting to introduce you to Alabama Shakes, hands down the most exciting newcomers of the year. I posted a stunning live performance a week or so ago, and here are the other three songs on the EP you should be getting your hands on pronto.
I Found You
On Your Way
Happy new year!