My top 10 albums of 2012
Well, it's that time of year again. As 2012 comes to a close, I will make my contribution to the countless other year-end lists.
It was a pretty good year for music, but it has become painfully clear to me in the last few weeks that I missed quite a few releases.
However, we must not forget that 2012 also brought us the tragedies "Call Me Maybe," "Gangnam Style" or any number of travesties by Justin Bieber, Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, or countless other "popstars." Ick.
In any case, here are my top 10 albums of 2012:
Green Day: "¡Uno!"
As sick of Green Day as I was following their "American Idiot" album/tour/Broadway show and their disappointing follow-up, the ageless punks have rekindled my love for them. At just over 41 minutes, it's good for a short road trip as long as you don't have kids in the car. There is loads of swearing, as there should be. ¡Viva Green Day!
Favorite track: "Kill the DJ"
Jack White: "Blunderbuss"
As upset as I was when I heard The White Stripes wouldn't be making any more music, I figured any solo album that Jack White released would be pretty good. I was right. He throws a lot into the blender on this one, and it tastes delicious.
Favorite track: "I'm Shakin'"
Muse: "The Second Law"
Muse is somewhat of an enigma to me. They continue to bewilder on their new album. IN part I can't get enough of them, but another part of me just wishes they would rock it out like the old days. This album does the latter pretty well.
Favorite track: "Madness"
The Lumineers: "The Lumineers"
I discovered this band very recently, and have a feeling I'll be listening to their debut album a lot in the coming weeks. Nothing fancy, just good acoustic tunes with some added ambience. I look forward to their future releases.
Favorite track: "Stubborn Love"
Soundgarden: "King Animal"
The band that helped make grunge famous in the 1990s came back and did what they do best. The lineup that last released an album in 1996 exceeded my expectations by releasing a good old, kick-ass rock album with no frills.
Favorite track: "By Crooked Steps"
Mumford & Sons: "Babel"
The second album from everyone's favorite Amish-looking folksy Englishmen, there were no surprises with this one. More of a sequel to their 2009 debut album "Sigh No More," it makes me want to grab some friends and sit around a bonfire with some good whiskey and an acoustic guitar.
Favorite track: "Lover of the Light"
The Killers: "Battle Born"
I've liked The Killers since their debut in 2004, and this was their first album since 2008. Though perhaps not quite as accessible as their first couple albums, it's a great mix of styles with some soaring choruses and big ideas.
Favorite track: "Deadlines and Commitments"
Bruce Springsteen: "Wrecking Ball"
There aren't too many artists that can remain relevant 39 years after releasing their debut album, but The Boss is one who does. While addressing timely topics with typical Springsteen flair, this album hits on all cylinders.
Favorite track: "Shackled and Drawn"
Deftones: "Koi No Yokan"
I knew it would be hard for the Deftones to outdo their 2010 release "Diamond Eyes," but I had no idea it would match, if not exceed that album. A killer album from beginning to end, this one definitely has some staying power, and will stay in my music queue for the foreseeable future.
Favorite track: "Tempest"
Chevelle: "Hats Off to the Bull"
All right, so this album was technically released in December 2011, but it didn't grab me until well into this year. As well as being a really well-rounded rock album, it also contains my favorite song of recent memory, "The Meddler." If you like rock music and haven't heard that tune yet, I strongly recommend it. I can't seem to get enough of it.
Favorite track: "The Meddler"
Are there any songs or albums that you couldn't get enough of this year?