Saturday, 22 December 2012

Quick Album Rundown for 2012



It's hard not to get down with the present state of music, when you've filtered out the cheap throwaway pop and binned the R'n'B the only guitar music on mainstream radio is depressing, slow paced "singer-songwriters" what a terrible genre that has become to stand for. While I have dipped in to that arena from time to time - and let's face it, the best music from most genres is worth listening to but please give me some more rock guitar singer songwriters.

All purchases this year have been of bands already on to at-least their second albums. I think that reflects two things, i) my lack of free time to search out new bands ii) the state of the record industry unwilling to back new bands. So on to the albums I have bought:

Muse - The 2nd Law

Muse continue on the route to becoming Queen. Not an easy task and some of their epic guitar tracks still exist on this album. I have spoken of my love of the track Survival before. Its lyrics may be simple and easy to write but they speak to me as a competitor and someone who likes to win.

Cosmo Jarvis - Think Bigger

Cosmo listens to my feedback and sticks to one genre on this album. Sadly it's more country and western than anything else. Not a bad album just not my cup of tea.

Reverend and the Makers - @Reverend_Makers

Given one star out of five by one past it and heading for extinction magazine you may be forgiven for thinking this isn't the album you were looking for. The band themselves admit the album opener was never due to go on the album. However the whole album has a similar feel. It's like the band left their political worries at home and went to Ibiza. There's still a guitar base but it's like they're trying to head towards a sound similar to The Prodigy. They never reach those highs but it works as an album and is uptempo throughout. Sadly their story telling isn't doesn't reach the heights of previous albums but it is one to own nonetheless.

The Vaccines - Come of Age

For me this is the best album of the year. Catchy, tight, cool. It has it all. I have to admit I thought they were from the US and I think this is where they lose some fans. They are creating a sound that they love but doesn't necessarily mark them out as band that was formed in West London. I don't really care where a band is from if they can make good music. They produced two cracking albums so far, now the pressure is really on for the third.

The Killers - Battle Born

A band that were the greatest slow growers of all time come back with another offering. Their debut Hot Fuss took critics and fans by surprise as it was released to low fanfares but by the end of the year of the following year everybody couldn't get enough. I don't think this album will be the same.

Spiritualized  -Huh? / Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Whatever the album is called it doesn't really matter. It's nice to have some new material from Spiritualized but it fails to reach the highs of Ladies and Gentleman or Let It Come Down.

The Maccabees - Given To The Wild

Having spoken to Schonberg about this band we've come to a similar conclusion. They songs all sound very similar. Not across different albums but each album is filled with songs very close related to each other. Inbreeding didn't work this time.

Keane - Strangeland

I bought this for my good lady with the added benefit of being able to listen to it myself. I've only listened to it a couple of times but nothing stood out for me.

Two Door Cinema Club - Beacon

Sometimes you need to hear more than one album from a band to get a full picture of them. This feels like I've learnt no more - and neither have they.

Call The Doctor - Hands Will Shake

Awesome album. Read the full review here.

So to sum up the year, I've really enjoyed The Vaccines and Call The Doctor, nothing else has really excited me.

Just as a quick after note there were some albums that passed me by where I have previously bought their material include:

Feeder, Rufus Wainwright, Dandy Warhols, Marina and the Diamonds, The Future Heads, Sigur Ros, The Hives, Passion Pit, Bloc Party, The Darkness, Animal Collective, The XX, Ben Folds Five, Greenday, Matt and Kim, Calvin Harris. They all released albums in the last year, can you believe it? Anyone buy any of these? Did you enjoy them? Let us know. I know +John Sills wasn't too impressed with The XX.

1 comment:

johnJsills said...

Completely agree with The Vaccines being Album of the Year'. It was one of those few that I listened to over and over and over again under I had to prise myself away.

Alabama Shakes and Alt-J were both up there for me, catchy in a different way and really compelling rhythmic sounds.

However, there is easily one stand-out album that I bought in 2012... The Best of Bowie! Admittedly not released this year (or decade), but it's absolutely superb. Nostalgia set in in 2012 - we also bought the Best of Marvin Gaye and of Will Smith, as well as old albums by Lauryn Hill, The Beautiful South, and Lightening Seeds!

If new music isn't taking your fancy, there's still plenty of old music to discover!