I still love albums. I buy them at a store. I consume every aspect of them and still believe in the power of a compete musical package. There is no greater statement in music than an album. The digital revolution has de-emphasized the LP and has put the focus back on singles. I appreciate a great song as much as the next guy (especially a one-hit-wonder), but I will always judge a band/musician by their full length.A great song can pay your bills, a great album can make you a legend.
As I noted in the Top Ten Songs of the Year list, it was a steady year for music. Nothing far and above but nothing atrocious. Rolling Stone named Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball their album of the year. Spin went with Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange. Pitchfork anointed Kendrick Lamar’s debut. None of those are anywhere near my Top 10. I get it though. Top 10 lists are divisive and ultimately say more about the author/publication than their own position. I’m not hiding my biases. These are my favorite albums of the year, not necessarily the most critically acclaimed or the ones that will earn me the most scene points.
Before we get to the winners, here are a some records that I really jammed this year that didn’t make the Top 10.
- Candy Coated Fury – Reel Big Fish
Ska pioneers return with best original tunes in a decade.
- Good Ol’ Daze EP – Noelle
- That’s Why God Made the Radio – The Beach Boys
Money-grab reunion actually produced decent tracks thanks to Brian Wilson.
- Local Business – Titus Andronicus
Solid, gitty punk; a little over my head.
- Even on the Worst Nights – Mixtapes
Non sequitur lyrics over great pop punk chords.
- Area 52 – Rodridgo y Gabriella
Sweet latin groves that make a great kitchen soundtrack.
- Let’s Start a Cult – Rustic Overtones
Short and straight forward concept record from Maine’s favorite sons.
- Cinco – Green Day
My own playlist. The ONE record Green Day should have released this year.
And now, the top ten…
10. Express Non-Stop – Alphabeat
My favorite Danish pop band. Fun, dancy and played with real instruments! What a concept.
9. Some Nights – fun.
Smart, hipster pop. Ruined by Glee and radio.
8. On the Impossible Past – The Menzingers
The record The Gaslight Anthem probably should have put out this year.
7. Picture Show – Neon Trees
Retro, yet fresh, topped with the greatest voice in rock today.
6. Yellowcard – Southern Air
The best live show of the year built on their new massive record. Longineu Parsons has officially ascended to the top spot of the drummer power rankings.
5. What’s Your Name? – USAUSAUSA
Would have been album of the year if they had more songs. Love, love, love.
4. Fly – Lettuce
Tight-ass Funk. As in the pocket at a group can get.
3. First Offense & Masked Intruder – Masked Intruder
EP and full length in one year. Was on these dudes a few months back and they’re already signed with FAT. I quit.
2. Hot Cakes – The Darkness
The combination of falsetto, tongue-in-cheek humor and shredded guitars made me love this record more than I probably have should in 2012.
1. Goldenheart – The Organ Beats
A giant step forward for the band. Cohesive, heavy and Noelle.