Best Albums of 2012: version 2.0

Best Albums of 2012
Version 2.0 2.1 (January-June)
For previous years see
LPs
  1. Japandroids – Celebration Rock
  2. Shearwater – Animal Joy
  3. Damien Jurado – Maraqopa
  4. Dr. Dog – Be the Void 
  5. John K. Samson – Provincial 
  6. Gift of Gab – The Next Logical Progression
  7. Ben Kweller – Go Fly a Kite 
  8. Father John Misty – Fear Fun
  9. Andrew Bird – Break it Yourself 
  10. Bahamas – Barchords 
  11. fun. – Some Nights 
  12. Rocky Votolato – Television of Saints
  13. Dent May – Do Things 
  14. Sigur Ros – Valtari
  15. The Lumineers – The Lumineers 
  16. Matt Pryor – May Day 
  17. Matt Pryor – Still There’s a Light 
  18. Beach House – Bloom
  19. Sun Kil Moon – Among the Leaves 
  20. Brendan Benson – What Kind of World
  21. Great Lake Swimmers – New Wild Everywhere
  22. James Vincent McMorrow – Early in the Morning
  23. Craig Finn – Clear Heart Full Eyes
  24. Jack White – Blunderbuss
  25. For all the Girls (Drew Danburry) – For all the Girls
  26. Lyrics Born – Lyrics Born Variety Show: Season 5
  27. Rufus Wainwright – Out of the Game 
  28. Galactic – Carnivale Electricos
  29. Fanfarlo – Rooms Filled with Light

    EPs
    1. RA Scion – Beg, Borrow, Steal [Free EP]
    2. Damien Jurado – Maraqopa Sessions Blue/Red/Yellow 3×7″ series
    3. Rocky Votolato – The Let Go EP  
    4. Josh Ritter – Bringing in the Darlings
    5. Sam Means – Nona 
    6. Less than Jake – Seasons Greetings 

      Singles / 7 inches / Misc
      1. Iron & Wine – One More Try [single] b/t Trouble
      2. Blue Scholars – May Day [single]
      3. Jeremy Enigk – Last Rights [Damien Jurado cover] [Free Download from Seattle Times]
      4. Andrew Bird – The Crown Salesman [single] b/t So Much Wine
      5. Bon Iver – Towers [single] b/t Bruised Orange (Chain of Sorrow)
      6. Cold War Kids – Minimum Day [single]
      7. Beach House – Lazuli [single] b/t Equal Mind

      Best Albums of 2012: version 1.0

      Best Albums of 2012
      Version 1.0 (January-March)
      For previous years see
      LPs
      1. Shearwater – Animal Joy
      2. Damien Jurado – Maraqopa
      3. Dr. Dog – Be the Void
      4. Andrew Bird – Break it Yourself
      5. Gift of Gab – The Next Logical Progression
      6. fun. – Some Nights
      7. John K. Samson – Provincial
      8. Father John Misty – Fear Fun
      9. Ben Kweller – Go Fly a Kite
      10. Rocky Votolato – Television of Saints
      11. Matt Pryor – May Day 
      12. Matt Pryor – Still There’s a Light 
      13. Great Lake Swimmers – New Wild Everywhere
      14. Beach House – Bloom
      15. Craig Finn – Clear Heart Full Eyes
      16. For all the Girls (Drew Danburry) – For all the Girls
      17. Lyrics Born – Lyrics Born Variety Show: Season 5
      18. Galactic – Carnivale Electricos
      19. Fanfarlo – Rooms Filled with Light

        EPs
        1. RA Scion – Beg, Borrow, Steal [Free EP]
        2. Damien Jurado – Maraqopa Sessions Blue/Red/Yellow 3×7″ series
        3. Rocky Votolato – The Let Go EP  
        4. Josh Ritter – Bringing in the Darlings
        5. Less than Jake – Seasons Greetings 

          Singles / 7 inches / Misc
          1. Jeremy Enigk – Last Rights [Damien Jurado cover] [Free Download from Seattle Times]
          2. Andrew Bird – The Crown Salesman [single] b/t So Much Wine
          3. Bon Iver – Towers [single] b/t Bruised Orange (Chain of Sorrow)
          4. Cold War Kids – Minimum Day [single]

          Best Albums of 2009: January

          Best Albums of 2009
          Rather than compiling a huge list at the end of the year, not having enough time to do a good job, and simply throwing something together really fast, I’m going to start compiling my thoughts on albums over the whole year – month by month.

          January Edition

          Not much to report yet.

          1.
          J. TillmanVacilando Territory Blues

          Oops – did I jump the gun and put this on my 2008 list? I guess I got it early. Let me reiterate what I have already said about why I like this album. And I quote from my premature 2008 posting: J. Tillman has been putting out some great solo, singer-songwriter material for a few years. I found him via his current gig as the drummer for Fleet Foxes and form my bro-in-law McGreggor. His 2nd release of the year, I like this one better than Minor Works. The production value and sound quality isn’t quite as good as Minor Works, but thankfully, he didn’t lay down the countrified slide guitar as much. Top tracks are Firstborn, James Blues [download mp3], Barter Blues and Master’s House.

          2.
          Andrew BirdNoble Beast

          According to my wife, the cellist, Andrew Bird should be put into a different category of band, because unlike all of us run-of-the-mill musicians, Bird is classically trained in a “real instrument.” Namely, the violin. And boy can he play! He also can lay down a mean whistle. Noble Beast is standard Bird. I don’t see much here that departs too drastically from his previous releases – other than slight evolutions in his sound which came with Armchair Apocrypha as well. And, as with his other albums, I think it is fantastic, but only a few songs ever really stick with me. In this case, they are Oh No [download mp3], Nomenclature and Souverian.

          3.
          Coconut RecordsDavy

          I like Jason Schwartzman. I wish that he had never left Phantom Planet though. Not necessarily because I don’t like his solo gig – Coconut Records – but because Phantom Planet took a turn for the worse once he left. That said, I like his sophomore release as Coconut Records. It follows closely in the footsteps of Nighttiming and has come catchy fun tracks. Take note of Drummer, Any Fun [download mp3] and Wandering Around.

          4.
          Ben KwellerChanging Horses

          Oh Ben, Ben, Ben. I have such a love and hate relationship with you. I love one album, hate the next, love the one after that and now hate this one. Bummer. Why have you gone the way of the countryfried indie rocker trying to get in touch with his country-bumpkin roots?! As far as I’m concerned, here’s how I rate my Kweller catalog:

          Hello and Dizzy (Radish) – he was 13 years old, what do you expect?
          Restraining Bolt (Radish) – a good start
          Discount Fireworks (unreleased Radish material) – CRAZY AWESOME!
          Melange – good
          Bromeo EP – fair
          Freak Out its Ben Kweller – also good
          Sha Sha – Holy Delicious Batman!
          On My Way – blah!!!
          Sundress EP – a good recovery
          Ben Kweller (s/t) – a good return to goodness
          How Ya Lookin’ Southbound ? Come In… EP – ugh
          Changing Horses – double ugh

          The few tracks that I will keep on the album are Gypsy Rose, Things I Like to Do and Homeward Bound [download mp3].