Saturday, December 22, 2012
2012 has been a long and grueling year and, for the most part, I'll be happy to see the back of it. On the positive side, there has been a ton of great music coming from all over the globe. This year my list of fav'rits features entries from Mali and Manchester, Perth and Portland, New York, New Zealand, Sweden, South Africa, and points elsewhere. So here 'tis, my 40 faves with few words about the top finishers...
1. Mark Lanegan Band - Blues Funeral (4AD)
See my prior review. I know most of the year this would end up in this spot.
2. Patti Smith - Banga (Columbia)
May be her best album in 30+ years.
3. Tame Impala - Lonerism (Modular)
Antipodean retro-psych deliciousness, part 1. Occupied the stereo at work for months.
4. WhoMadeWho - Brighter (Kompakt)
Arty, Scandinavian, crooner-faced synth rock of the highest order
5. Menomena - Moms (Barsuk)
Portland's indie art-rock kings keep getting better. Their best and most accessible rekkid to date.
6. Toy - s/t (Heavenly)
Horrors-approved, spacey, psychedelic, shoe-gazey, kraut-rocky, atmospheric taste sensation.
7. Metric - Synthetica (Mom + Pop)
Their best in years. Somehow manages to be epic and intimate at the same time.
8. David Byrne & St Vincent - Love this Giant (4AD)
Horn-driven, cross-generational meeting of the art-rock minds. Fabulous.
9. Pond - Beard, Wives, Denim (Modular)
Antipodean retro-psych deliciousness, part 2. Perth, Western Australia is on fire.
10. Violens - True (Slumber Land)
Gorgeous synth and guitar dreamscape.
11. Barry Adamson - I Will Set You Free (Central Control)
12. Sharon Van Etten - Tramp (Jagjaguwar)
13. Lee Ranaldo - Between the Times and the Tides (Matador)
14. Amadou & Mariam - Folila (Nonesuch)
15. Bobby Womack - The Bravest Man in the Universe (XL)
16. Madness - Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da (Cooking Vinyl)
17. Jah Wobble & Keith Levene - Yin & Yang (Cherry Red)
18. Neneh Cherry & the Thing - The Cherry Thing (Smalltown)
19. Crocodiles - Endless Flowers (Frenchkiss)
20. The Time and Space Machine - Taste the Lazer (Trik)
21. Paul Weller - Sonik Kicks (Yep Roc)
22. Gary Clark Jr - Blak and Blu (Warner Bros.)
23. First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar (Wichita)
24. thenewno2 - The Fear of Missing Out (Hot)
25. Spoek Mathambo - Father Creeper (Sub Pop)
26. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Meat and Bone (Mom + Pop)
27. Jimmy Cliff - Rebirth (UMe)
28. Graham Coxon - A+E (Parlophone)
29. Rocket Juice & the Moon - s/t (Honest Jon's)
30. Allah-Las - s/t (Innovative Leisure)
31. Magazine - No Thyself (Wire-Sound)
32. The Jim Jones Revue - The Savage Heart (Play it again Sam)
33. The Bats - Free All the Monsters (Flying Nun)
34. Laetitia Sadier - Silencio (Drag City)
35. Public Image Ltd - This is PiL (PiL)
36. The Soundtrack of Our Lives - Throw it to the Universe (Yep Roc)
37. Norah Jones - ...Little Broken Hearts (Blue Note)
38. The Raveonettes - Observator (Vice)
39. Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs - Long Distance (Transdreamer)
40. Cat Power - Sun (Matador)