The way I figure it, this might just be the last opportunity I have this calendar year to present you with a Tu(n)esday! Next Tuesday is Christmas and the one after that is the first day of 2013. Well, if we survive December 21, that is.
Wow. Where does the time go?
So, how about for our final Tu(n)esday of 2012, I give you my Year-End Best-Of (YEBO) Albums list?
I know I said I didn't think it would be possible to give a full top-10 ranking in order from lowest to highest, but, upon further reflection, I actually can! So here it is from 10 to 1, my YEBO Albums list!!!
10. Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten
I'm pretty new to this band having read about them, I believe, from my friend @amysphere on Twitter. They're a very solid rocking band from the Jersey Shore area who count among their influences the original Jersey rocker, Bruce Springsteen. Think of this as a modernized version of Bruce's early work but with a more punk feel to it. Good stuff.
9. Matt and Kim - Lightning
It's always a good year when Matt and Kim put out an album's worth of their feel-good power pop awesomeness. Lightning is yet another solid album from the NYC duo although I agree with many critics that it does seem like a step back from their previous album, Sidewalks. However, I'm not going to go so far as to call it bad, like so many of them did.
8. Marilyn Manson - Born Villain
I've known of Marilyn Manson for many years. I knew the big radio songs he released and the controversy he endured. But I never actually listened to a full album of his until this year's Born Villain. And I was hooked! I even went so far as to pick up all his previous studio albums, that's how much I loved it.
7. Purity Ring - Shrines
I feel as though I actually listened to nearly half of this album on the radio and loved all the tracks, and, yet, I never picked up the whole thing. Electronics-laden music with a willowy female voice accompanying it. Right up my alley. So when I finally did get the full album, I was prepared to love it, and I did. Doesn't happen often.
6. Sleigh Bells - Reign of Terror
Stupid XM teased us with tracks from this album for nearly half a year (or so it felt) before it finally dropped on us with its sonic attack. How I love the unrelenting attack of Derek Miler's guitar and Alexis Krauss' voice. I only wish I got to hear more of them at Pitchfork this year. But I really had to hold my spot at the other stage. Stupid split stage festivals.
5. Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory
This was one band I did hear very well at Pitchfork even if the weather wasn't playing nicely enough to let them continue for very long. I think I covered Cloud Nothings pretty well in my Pitchfork recap, so I'm just going to link you over there if you're so inclined.
4. Tanlines - Mixed Emotions
Here's a band and album I reviewed in an earlier Tu(n)esday, so please click and read!
3. Tame Impala - Lonerism
This album caught me completely offguard. I had heard one, maybe two, tracks from it on the radio and never had any intention of actually picking it up. And then my buddy Eric loaned it to me and I was immediately hooked. Comprising a mix of the more ethereal sounding tracks by The Flaming Lips along with just about anything put out there by Grizzly Bear and even incorporating a bit of the psychedelic late 60s stuff by The Beatles, this band has put together a very solid, atmospheric album that I've had on regular rotation for a couple months now.
2. Bob Mould - Silver Age
I love Bob Mould. I truly do. And I love this album. To hear him return to guitar rock is just a blessing. Thank you for making this a great year, Bob. Truly, thank you. I only wish I could have made you my top album of the year. So close. But that honor goes to...
1. Japandroids - Celebration Rock
As if my earlier Tu(n)esday recap of Celebration Rock wasn't enough, let's just say that in six or seven months of listening, my enjoyment of this album has not waned an iota.
Honorable Mention EPs
I love EPs. In many cases, I love them even more than full-length LPs (albums). They have to be more carefully crafted because an artist or band must use only a handful of tracks to convince people to listen to them or look forward to their upcoming LP. So we, the listener, get three to five songs all of which are generally really good. Even though I think most EPs are better than LPs, I still tend to list them separately in my YEBO Albums list. Why? Not sure. Maybe just because it allows me to include more music in my post. Who really can say?
Atlas Genius - Through the Glass EP
I don't know why, but I feel like I must've heard an EP's worth of songs from Atlas Genius this year. I'm not correct, however. Turns out that there are other bands with similar names and the one actual Atlas Genius track, "Trojans," saw a metric ton of playtime over the course of many months. But, even after all those months, I still love the song. I also now really enjoy the other two tracks, "Symptoms" and "Back Seat." I highly recommend it.
Capital Cities - Capital Cities EP
If I could get over my aversion to listing EPs and LPs together, I can pretty much guarantee that Capital Cities EP would rank very high. Like number 3 high. Fantastic indie electronic rock that is lead off by the single "Safe and Sound." This five-track EP is worth every penny.