Published on January 1st, 2013 | by Michael Harris0
Audiophilia: Mike’s Picks of 2012
I bought/legally downloaded/actually purhased over 80 albums this year. Most were very good. This was a very difficult list to make.
No particular order, only numbered for clarity.
1) Allo Darlin’ – Europe
Like their first effort, the best word I can describe Allo Darlin’ with is ‘happy’. If you don’t mind the lack of apparent depth, definitely give them a listen because its a good time. Cute songs, that usually cheer me up.
2) Jack White – Blunderbuss
He might be the most talented musician alive today. I hate him for it.
3) Blood Red Shoes – In Time to Voices
Following a trend, I seem to be listening to a lot of folk-indie bands led by female singers. Its a damn good album though.
4) Delta Spirit – Delta Spirit
I really can’t pinpoint what makes me listen to this album so much. I just really like it. Super indie, sometimes super poppy, but nobody else sounds quite like them.
5) Good Old War – Come Back As Rain
As part of my continuing musical education I’m moving way into a country/bluegrass/folk mood. Lots of good albums came out this year. Out of the group I could have picked Old Crow Medicine Show or The Avett Brothers but Good Old War just had a more unique sound.
6) Jesca Hoop – The House That Jack Built
She kinda came out of left field. Found her by accident and just fell in love with this album. I don’t know what else to say. Just listen to it.
7) Michael Kiwanuka – Home Again
Could have come out in the early 70’s smooth soul movement and would have fit right in. Straight outta Motown, this one.
8) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist
Lots and lots of good hip-hop came out this year. And of course, I had to pick the white guy. Actually, easy racial jokes aside Macklemore puts some heartfelt, and pretty damn heartbreaking lyrics over Ryan Lewis’ superb beats. Incredible album for only being a sophmore effort. I passed over P.O.S. for this album which is a damn hard thing to do for an avid P.O.S. fan.
9) The 2 Bears – Be Strong / Staff Benda Bilili – Bouger Le Monde!
I was looking everywhere for this years GRUM, for an album that made me want to dance. The closest I came was narrowed down to these two and only one is at all understandable by me. Both are brilliant
10) Milo Greene – Milo Greene
Album is on my top 10 because it is both amazing and incredibly painful. A lot of emotion tied up in this album for me, just because of stuff that was going on in my life when I first heard it…then heard it many many more times.
1) Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE
I really almost didn’t put this one on the list. I didn’t listen to it as much as any of the others. It wasn’t my groove. It was a good album and its acclaim is likely well deserved and I can’t deny the impact its had, but it just wasn’t my favorite of the year.
2/3) Jimmy Cliff – Rebirth / Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man in the Universe
Two legends released albums this year. It was a good year to revive. Neither of them were perfect but they are both worth trying out.
4) First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar
Two lovely nordic ladies making melodic tunes. I like it.
5) Keane – Strangeland
Phitzy will hate me, but I really liked this album. Despite his chubby face, it was a very enjoyable album.
5) Maximo Park – The National Health
Catchy as hell and just a solid album. I wish it had something to put it over the edge.