Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My Top 25 Albums of 2012

This has been an amazing year in music for me. What with seeing New Mutltitudes, Langhorne Slim, The Lumineers, Josh Ritter, Bruce Springsteen, Samantha Crain, William Elliott Whitmore, First Aid Kit, Damien Jurado, and Sharon Van Etten, in addition to dozens of artists at FloydFest and another handful at Silopanna, I've seen more live performances this year than any other year of my life.

And of course, there were so many great albums released this year.  While I knew many of the artists with new albums, I found many of the albums through blogs to which I subscribe, and many more through my friends on TurnTable.  I got a bunch of them, and listened to many others thanks to the wonders of Spotify. This excess of access made it much harder to narrow my selections down to 25 albums than it was in previous years. In some ways, ignorance is bliss, as I remember not too long ago I felt that a Top 10 list was sufficient. Regardless, here are my favorite 25 from 2012.

25.  Field Report -- Field Report

24.  Avett Brothers -- The Carpenter

23.  Andrew Bird -- Break It Yourself

22.  The Lumineers -- The Lumineers

21.  Bob Mould -- Silver Age

20.  Beth Orton -- Sugaring Season

19.  Matthew E. White -- Big Inner

18.  Kathleen Edwards -- Voyageur

17.  Leonard Cohen -- Old Ideas

16.  Punch Brothers -- Who's Feeling Young Now?

15.  Chuck Prophet -- Temple Beautiful

14.  Lee Fields & The Expressions -- Faithful

13.  Of Monsters & Men -- My Head Is An Animal

12.  Langhorne Slim & The Law -- The Way We Move

11.  Jay Farrar, Jim James, Anders Parker, Will Johnson -- New Multitudes

10.  Audra Mae & The Almighty Sound

9.  Heartless Bastard -- Arrow

8.  Bruce Springsteen -Wrecking Ball

7.  Anders Osborne -- Black Eye Galaxy

6.  Various Artists -- Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan

5.  First Aid Kit -- The Lion's Roar

4.  Otis Taylor -- Otis Taylor's Contraband

3.  Damien Jurado -- Maraqopa

2.  Patterson Hood -- Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance

1.  Alabama Shakes -- Boys & Girls

Here's a playlist with a song from each of these albums:

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order):  ALO -- Sounds Like This; Black Prairie -- A Tear in the Eye Is a Wound in the Heart; Cold Specks -- I Predict A Graceful Expulsion; David Byrne & St. Vincent -- Love this Giant; Dr. Dog -- Be The Void; Dr. John -- Locked Down; Craig Finn -- Clear Heart Full Eyes; John Fullbright -- From the Ground Up; Great Lake Swimmers -- New Wild Everywhere; Michael Kiwanuka -- Home Again; Lord Huron -- Lonesome Dreams; Plants & Animals -- The End of That; Shovels & Rope -- O Be Joyful; Sonny & The Sunsets -- Longtime Companion; Sharon Van Etten -- Tramp

Lastly, while I didn't include live albums in my top 25, I wanted to give special mention to my favorite two live albums of the year -- Live From Alabama by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit; and Everybody's Talking by the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

1 comment:

Lorayne Cupero said...

I'm catching up! While I love your recommendations, I usually use these lists of yours to discover new artists. I already recognize....4! ;)