Thursday, December 20, 2012

We Out Here Tryna Function: The Top Albums and Songs of 2012

The Best Song Wasn't the Single: The Top 25 Albums of 2012
Listen to the There Stands the Glass playlist at Spotify.

1. Frank Ocean- Channel Orange
My initial attempts to resist this album were pure folly.

2. Christian Scott- Christian aTunde Adjuah
A sonic wormhole that connects 1965 to 2045.

3. Meshuggah- Koloss
I required colossal sounds to ameliorate the challenges of 2012.

4. Killer Mike- R.A.P. Music
AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, Fear of a Black Planet and Stankonia rolled into one.

5. Hilary Hahn & Hauschka- Silfra
To paraphrase Stevie Wonder, this is the music of my mind.

6. Pat Metheny- Unity Band
Everything that's good about Pat Metheny in one place.

7. Iris DeMent- Sing the Delta
The word "authenticity" was thrown around a lot in 2012.  DeMent is as real as it gets.

8. Kendrick Lamar- Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City
Smart and compelling, this great album raises the bar.

9. Lionel Loueke- Heritage
The Native Dancer of 2012 was produced by Robert Glasper.

10. Krizz Kaliko- Kickin' & Screamin'
Kaliko subverts the Strange Music assembly line to create a personal album about life as an outcast.

11. Lee Fields & The Expressions- Faithful Man

12. Gojira- L’Enfant Sauvage

13. Brody Buster Band- Will Die Young

14. Bob Dylan- Tempest

15. Esbjorn Svensson Trio- 301

16. Jack White- Blunderbuss

17. Robert Glasper- Black Radio

18. Making Movies- A La Deriva

19. Sly & Robbie- Blackwood Dub

20. High On Fire- De Vermis Mysteriis

21. Flying Lotus- Until the Quiet Comes

22. Slash- Apocalyptic Love

23. T.J. Martley- Meditations Vol. 1

24. XV- Popular Culture

24. Neneh Cherry & the Thing- The Cherry Thing

25. Steddy P.- Better Make Room

I'ma Show You How To Turn It Up a Notch- The Top 25 Singles of 2012
Listen to the There Stands the Glass playlist at Spotify.

1. Lil Debbie & Riff Raff- "Michelle Obama"
They're trolling.  (At least I think they are.)  I'm not.  (Or am I?)

2. Beach House- "Myth"
Helping me to make it.

3. Kix Brooks- "New To This Town"
Sometimes I get so very tired.

4. E-40- "Function"
It's harder than it looks.

5. Tracey Thorn- "Joy"
"Joy" is the best new holiday song in years.

6. Alabama Shakes- "Hold On"
"Come on girl- you got to get back up!"

7. Carly Rae Jepsen- "Call Me Maybe"
What's not to love about this slice of pop perfection?

8. Kasey Musgraves- "Merry Go 'Round"
A classic pain song.

9. Esperanza Spalding- "Black Gold"
The theme of self-respect is universal.

10. Eric Church- "Springsteen"
This one's personal.

11. Usher- "Dive"

12. Nicki Minaj- "Beez in the Trap"

13. The Weeknd- "Wicked Games"

14. Christina Perri- "Distance"

15. Twin Shadow- "Five Seconds"

16. Nas- "Daughters"'

17. Japandroids- "The House That Heaven Built"

18. Kellie Pickler- "100 Proof"

19. The xx- "Angels"

20. Stone Sour- "Absolute Zero"

21. Brandy- "Put It Down"

22. Carlos Vives- "Volvi a Nacer"

23. Elle Varner- "Refill"

24. Dierks Bentley- "Tip It On Back"

25. Scissor Sisters- "Only the Horses"

I conducted similar year-end surveys in 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006.  My favorite concerts of 2012 are listed here.  The picks of many of my Kansas City-based colleagues are published here.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)


bigsteveno said...

Are those your cassettes? That must be the only Ramones/James Brown C-90 in existence.

This list finally inspired me to get that Christian Scott album. Thank you so much. It's beautiful. I may have to try that Lionel Loueke album too.

Thanks for this blog btw. I learn stuff here I would never find out about otherwise.

Rick in PV said...

No love for my fave,"King Tuff," eh?

Happy In Bag said...

I just can't get past King Tuff's vocals, Rick. The songs and guitars are obviously superior, but every time that guy opens his mouth...

Yes, Steve, I still have hundreds of cassettes. The Ramones/JB combo defines my approach to this day. (I went with a photo of the tapes in part because I own physical copies of so few of my 2012 picks.)

Happy In Bag said...

And thanks for you kind words.

Rick in PV said...

Think of King Tuff as a modern Dylan, if that helps, HiB.