Matt’s Top Ten Albums of the Year 2012

Top 10 Albums Matt

During the turbulent year of 2012, many of my favorite bands released albums. Needless to say I was stoked on the likely outcome of adding to my growing list of favorite albums from these bands. However with one or two exceptions I found that my favorite albums of the year came not from my favorite acts, but from bands and artists who I had listened to infrequently or never before. 2012 was a weird year to say the least.

1. On the Impossible Past – Menzingers

This is it. This was my pick for album of the year. After wading through the muck and mire I concluded the The Menzingers’ third album was the best record of the year. Packed with lots of catchy angst riddled punk rock songs, this record somehow managed to turn in a fresh sound with an old formula. The real hook of this album however was in its concept album presentation. All the songs connect to each other in some way yet there isn’t a clearly defined story. The thread is there but it still lies in ambiguity which is another appeal. Every listen yields a new clue. Go grab this record and sing along to it immediately.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWTZj2FqJMU&list=PL17BB659127FF1D96&index=6

2. Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Your Anger – River City Extension

This record has a timeless feel to it. It’s great for lengthy car rides or any long activity. This record harkens back to classic seventies folk and country rock albums that sound tracked days spent in vans riding across the country aimlessly. I choose to rate this record so high in my countdown because of the sheer strength of the melodies of this record. Also they are a lot of fun to see live.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRTA_pKjyis

3. Coexist – the xx

I was really excited when I first heard the xx were releasing a new record. Their first record has been on constant repeat since I discovered it. Its ideal music for most occasions: driving, dancing, sleeping, studying, lamenting upon relationships past and just relaxing with friends. Clearly this is a very versatile band and on the new album they do not disappoint. It’s the logical continuation of the first album and will be sure to entertain you as it did me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nW5AF0m9Zw

4. Self Entitled – Nofx

This is another awesome Nofx record. Not much different than the others and I’m very happy about that. They stuck with their formula on this one and it paid off. I suppose the high ranking is more indicative of how much I love 90s skate punk and Nofx then anything else. This record has awesome riffs, great lyrics that will make you smile, laugh, think about the world and you can even connect it to your relationships. It’s everything you could want out of a Nofx record.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFfVedQmo-4

5. Floral Green – Title Fight

Title Fight, are truly something special. These musicians are in their early 20s and continue to inspire me each day with their awesome songs. They take another page out of the 90s alt rock book for this release yet manage to evoke an extremely original sound that only hints at the influence.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9qx8hnxlR8

6. The 2nd Law – Muse

My co host’s favorite band gets better with each release. Supremacy sounds as if it was written for a James Bond film and I anticipate it’s usage in some blockbuster film. Madness is another outstanding song on here. The tune mixes r&b with electronic influences and pop. Surprisingly it turned out to be my favorite muse song and of my favorites of the year. The album has no steady genre bouncing all over the place and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lN607gpo_x0

7. Blunderbuss – Jack White

Jack White’s first solo offering was nothing short of solid. I suppose I was in a nostalgic funk this year as so many of my favorite records have this old timey feel to them. This record is no exception. Filled with gritty blues riffs and poppier grooves, this record is sure to satisfy any White Stripes fan as well as just general rock fans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Okgoj2Xxa04

8. Handwritten – Gaslight Anthem

Handwritten is a wonderful album with wonderful music and “45” is my personal favorite song of the year with howl not too far behind. I pretty much love everything this band does and would’ve been surprised if this was any different. The formula doesn’t stray too far from their customary sound but who would really want it to anyways?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoKUjs6VEbI

9. Write Me Back – R. Kelly

I partially included this album on the list for variety but mostly for the awesome grooves that accompany this cd. I was not a fan of R. Kelly’s music before hearing this cd, but I certainly enjoyed these songs a lot. They have a classic throwback sound riddled with hints from the 70’s and early 80’s ala Kool and the Gang. This is just a fun record for fun times and it stays pretty light and fun.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyhH0d7uj-4&playnext=1&list=PL1E67CE256B496593&feature=results_main

10. Sports – Modern Baseball

@chl03k was the song that snared this records spot on my top ten. There are plenty of weird punk songs with folk influences mixed with indie guitar parts that I go wild for. I had never heard of this band until this record but I’m glad I have now. The acoustic moments are where this record truly shines.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLC17CBOf0Q

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