Best Albums of 2012

I’m always absorbed in music. There are innumerable ways to experience art in sound, so of course it’s impossible to quantify the quality of an album – although sites like AOTY are helpful as a general guide. This list is mostly personal preference, but with an ear to recommend both popular and obscure (mostly rock and jazz) albums to other music lovers. I have more to share about that, but let’s get to the list(s) first…

Top 6 Albums of 2012

Read more Best Albums of 2012

Best Songs of 2012

A YouTube playlist of my favorite videos and/or songs released in 2012. I generally prefer the studio tracks, but a few of these are live versions, mainly because there is no official studio version on YouTube. Also, in some cases, I enjoy the official video better than the song itself, and vice versa.

Best of 2012 YouTube playlist

A few of these YouTube videos will not play on mobile platforms. I’ve attempted to make the same list on Spotify (also embedded below), although not all the songs are available there, either!

A “Best Albums” post (which requires a lot more thought) is forthcoming by the end of the month.

Embedded playlists after the jump… Read more Best Songs of 2012

Last chance to see Led Zeppelin: This Tuesday

Before I get to my quick review, I’m happy to report that it’s not too late to see Led Zeppelin “live” (on the big screen). U.S. cinemas will be doing a reprise of the 2007 reunion concert, originally released in theaters on October 17th, this Tuesday (November 13th, 2012) at 7:30 p.m. I’m sure there will be other special showings throughout the world from time to time by the end of the year, as well. Check the official listings in your area.

Led Zeppelin, O2 Arena
Audience member photo, Led Zeppelin, London, 2007, by Paul Hudson (CC BY 2.0)
Read more Last chance to see Led Zeppelin: This Tuesday

A few album ratings – Part 5

********** 10
Charles Bradley – No Time for Dreaming (January 2011)

********** 10
Enigma – MCMXC a.D. (December 1990)

********* 9
Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel… (June 2012)

********* 9
The Head and the Heart – The Head and the Heart (April 2011)

********* 9
John Fogerty – The Long Road Home: The Ultimate John Fogerty/Creedence Collection (November 2005)

********* 9
George Thorogood & the Destroyers – Greatest Hits: 30 Years of Rock (May 2004)

********* 9
Bill WithersLive at Carnegie Hall (November 1972; recorded October 6)

********* 9
Oscar Peterson Trio with Milt Jackson – Very Tall (1962)

******** 8
Chilly Gonzales – Solo Piano II (August 2012; on par with Solo Piano, vol. 1, as Gonzales, 2004)

******** 8
Antony and the Johnsons – Cut the World (August 2012; recorded live September 2-3, 2011)

******** 8
Toadies – Play.Rock.Music (July 2012)

******** 8
Joanna NewsomHave One on Me (February 2010)

******** 8
Elsiane – Hybrid (May 2007)

******** 8
Aimee Mann – Lost in Space (August 2002)

******** 8
Fine Young Cannibals – The Raw & the Cooked (1988)

******* 7
Linkin Park – Living Things (June 2012)

******* 7
Teen Daze – All of Us, Together (June 2012)

******* 7
Pilotpriest – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (June 2012)

******* 7
Puscifer – “V” is for Vagina (October 2007)

******* 7
Us3 – Hand on the Torch (November 1993)

Part 1 (March 11, 2011)
Part 2 (July 26, 2011)
Part 3 (January 11, 2012)
Part 4 (June 11, 2012)

In the past six months, I’ve mainly been scrobbling music through MOG and iTunes on my phone. Below is a fairly accurate list of my top artists in that time period (in parenthesis: number of times I’ve listened to tracks by that artist).

********** (206) Fiona Apple
********* (193) MUTEMATH
****** (131) Rufus Wainwright
****** (131) Lisa Marie Presley
***** (110) Charles Bradley
**** (90) Pilotpriest
**** (82) Silversun Pickups
**** (82) William Fitzsimmons
**** (77) Toadies
*** (74) Gotye
*** (73) Enigma
*** (72) David Guetta
*** (72) Led Zeppelin
*** (65) Andrew Bird

A few album ratings – Part 4

********** 10
Rufus Wainwright – Out of the Game (2012)

********* 9
David’s Lyre – Picture of Our Youth (2012 February)

********* 9
A Winged Victory for the Sullen (2011 September) – Project by Adam Wiltzie of Stars of the Lid & Dustin O’Halloran

********* 9
Gotye – Making Mirrors (2011 August)

********* 9
Carbon Based Lifeforms – Hydroponic Garden (2003 June)

******** 8
Lisa Marie Presley – Storm & Grace (2012 May)

******** 8
Bonnie Raitt – Slipstream (2012 April)

******** 8
Andrew Bird – Break it Yourself (2012 March)

******** 8
Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball (2012 March)

******** 8
Rihanna – Talk That Talk (2011 November)

******** 8
Metronomy – The English Riviera (2011 April)

******* 7
John Mayer – Born and Raised (2012 May)

******* 7
Garbage – Not Your Kind of People (2012 May)

******* 7
Silversun Pickups – Neck of the Woods (2012 May)

******* 7
The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond (2012 March) – The Civil Wars, Taylor Swift, Kid Cudi, Maroon 5, Miranda Lambert, etc.

Part 1 (March 11, 2011)
Part 2 (July 26, 2011)
Part 3 (January 11, 2012)

In the past six months, I’ve mainly been scrobbling music through MOG and Spotify. Below is a fairly accurate list of my top artists in that time period (in parenthesis: number of times I’ve listened to tracks by that artist). It’s been a couple of years since I’ve posted about finding and researching music online; I’ll have to write an update on that soon.

********* (181) MUTEMATH
****** (117) David’s Lyre
***** (113) Rufus Wainwright
***** (113) Foster the People
***** (111) Justice
***** (111) A Winged Victory for the Sullen
***** (101) Beastie Boys
***** (96) Andrew Bird
**** (87) Wilco
**** (85) Loscil
**** (82) William Fitzsimmons
**** (79) Robyn
**** (70) Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
*** (62) Rihanna

A few album ratings – Part 3

********* Bon Iver – Bon Iver

********* Adele – 21

********* Tori Amos – Night of Hunters (The Sin Palabras instrumental is exactly the same, just without words. Just as good to hear it this way.)

********* Foster the People – Torches

********* Metric – Fantasies

********* Parachute Musical – Kill It Cut It Down

******** Wilco – The Whole Love

******** MUTEMATH – Odd Soul

******** Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials

******** Justice – Audio, Video, Disco

******** Little Dragon – Ritual Union

******** King Creosote and Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine

******** Paul Simon – So Beautiful or So What

******* Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I feel like I should enjoy Fleet Foxes and Youth Lagoon more, but they just haven’t grabbed me (yet).

Part 1 (March 11, 2011)
Part 2 (July 26, 2011)