Thursday, December 13, 2012

Year in Review 2012- Top Ten Albums Part 1 (The Just Misses & Let Downs)

Another great year is finishing up for Rock The Body Electric and we wouldn't be a proper music blog if we didn't end the year with a "Best Of" list, so without further verbiage RtBE Presents it's first part of the Best of 2012 Top Ten Albums (The Just Misses & Let Downs):
In the instance that RtBE has reviewed the album either on the site or somewhere else we will link to that review and just give a quick summation.  RtBE worked with the Glide Team to give input on the their Top 20 so expect some overlap. Again the focus here is on full albums, not singles, but full releases you can slap on and listen to the all the way through.  

Today we are going to focus on the "Just Misses" of our top 10 and unfortunately the "Let Downs" released this year.  Here's hoping you like them, but also feel free to voice your opinion in the comments.  Expect installment 2 (#10-6) soon, but for now click on the jump:

Every year features a host of great albums and since we like the number 10 that's what we use (hey it it is a good round digit, what can I say?) but these albums are also really really solid; worthy of praise, your time, and hard earned cash. Buy all of them as this was a VERY good year for music and these albums are all top-notch, most years we would be happy with all of these disks in the top ten.  These are the honorable mentions, in no particular order (Except for the last which is the on):
Alabama Shakes-Boys & Girls
A solid first album from the Alabama group that shows they have talent and a front-woman who can be a superstar someday in Brittany Howard.  Really enjoyable roots filled blues rock and soul, not earth shattering or mind altering but its not trying to be.  
Galactic- Carnivale Electricos
The NOLA staple of all night parties put together their first Mardi Gras inspired release and it is a winner.  Their last two disks have really found Galactic hitting an all-time high by digging into the pure essence of their city.  Here's hoping they keep digging because there is a gold mine of good tunes down there.

Nu Sensae- Sundowning
This Vancouver trio has created some killer punk/noise rock on this disk.  It is engaging yet off putting, I love it when those two things clash.  A really solid release and the first one with their new guitarist Brody McKnight, lets hope there is more on the horizon.

My Darling Clementine- How Do You Plead?
Granted I am not a huge country fan, but this isn't today's country, far fucking from it.  This British couple put out some of the most authentic "country" music I have heard in sometime.  Really a throw back album in every way. 

The Chariot- One Wing

Woof an album that leaves both band and listener breathless, One Wing takes no sonic prisoners. The Chariot has crafted a unique, compelling, disturbing album and one that just attacks on all fronts. Rooted in punk/thrash/metal/hardcore the band takes multiple risks and not all of them work, but when they do, some glorious results can be found therein.    

Jimmy Cliff- Rebirth
It is great when an artist people have kind of counted out comes out with a new inspired release (more about that when we hit the top ten) and Jimmy Cliff has done that with RebirthTim Armstrong deserves some of the credit too as he produced the album and got the best out of the reggae legend.    

Craig Finn- Heart Full Eyes
While not up to par of a Hold Steady release there will always be a soft spot in my mind and heart for Mr. Finn and his first solo album is right up RtBE's alley.  Granted he may not be for everyone, but we love him here. Love him so much and this album has stayed in heavy rotation since the winter. 

Woods- Bend Beyond
A pack of Brooklyn space hippies who put out some engaging garage rock?  Sign RtBE up.  This disk has it's pluses, the retro spaced out sounds and jangling arraignments and only one minus to us, that is Jeremy Earl's vocal sound, but you may dig it.  Either way give the title track a listen below.

Corin Tucker Band - Kill My Blues
Here it is, Corin Tucker's return to rockin' form, 2012's Kill My Blues. After taking time off and putting out a "mommy album" the killer vocalist/guitarist put out this collection of danceable upbeat rock tunes.  Her crack backing band helps out immensely and catching them live is a must.  It sounds great to have a fired up Tucker back rocking the scene.

 Ruby Velle & The Soulphonic's- It's About Time
The best retro-soul album we have heard this year with a winning combo of singer and backing band.  Here's hoping it is just the beginning for this Atlanta based Soul/Funk/R&B group.

And the one that just missed the top 10 by an eyelash...
Band of Horses- Mirage Rock
Personally we love this disk, but in casting a critical eye towards all the releases we listened to this year BOH just missed out on the top 10.  Tracks like "How To Live" were some of our personal favorites, but when it came down to it, we just thought 10 albums were a bit better overall, feel free to tell us we were wrong...we may agree with you any minute now...      

Let Down's:
Now for the bad news...some Albums that let RtBE down...we had high hopes for dice.  These are by no means the worst albums of the year, they are just from artists RtBE like/respect that went a different route which we didn't particularity care for.  To each his own, but these were our choices for biggest letdowns of the year, and  be warned...we take down some giants with our choices...

Howlin Rain- The Russian Wilds
For a band that has tons of promise to work four years with an iconic producer and come away with The Russian Wilds it has to be a let down.  Not a horrific album, just a very underwhelming one, which sometimes can be worse for a group.

Dr Dog- Be The Void
We loved them live, and the songs from this new disk did play better then we would have thought, but overall this release was a regression for one of our favorite acts.  We were to kind on this disk in the review, no chance it is a 3 and half star disk in retrospect (2and 1/2 would be the right choice we think now).  Besides the first three tunes, we haven't touched it since.   

Neil Young and Crazy Horse- Americana
Take one of our favorite all time combos (NY&CH) and place them in the American Historical songbook and you should have a pure match made in heaven.  Well slow down Geronimo, this collection of tracks just reeks of toss off rehearsal material rather then an all-time classic album which the idea still makes me think it could be. 

Bob Dylan- Tempest
We gotta end with our hero unfortunatelyTalk about high expectations and underwhelming results.  All pre-album buzz was that Tempest was going to be a masterpiece and over-thinking critics still think it was, however there is one thing they all seem to the be missing...the songs just aren't all that fun.  Not that memorable 5 years will anyone go back to this disk? 

More in our Best of 2012 to come, including our top 10 so stay tuned. Agree? Disagree?  Let us know in the comments.

No comments:

Post a Comment