2012 was one of the best years for music by far. This was the year of comebacks and return to forms for many bands. We saw some surprisingly awesome albums from bands I hadn't thought of in years, along with some great ones from some veterans in the music world. Here is my top 20 of the year. Happy new year guys! Can't wait to see what 2013 will bring!
#20 The Cult - Choice of Weapon
A great rock record! On this record, the band has found their true sound after years of mediocrity. Yes, this is the best record since Love many years ago. Ian Astbury still has his trademark range and Billy Duffy continues to be one of the best guitarists today. Listen to this record along with Love and Sonic Temple, it is right on that level of greatness.
Notable tracks: For The Animals, Elemental Light, The Wolf
#19 - Green Day - Uno, Dos, Tre
Yes, these are actually 3 albums but to be honest, there is a lot of filler on all these albums. This ended up making my top 20 because between all that, there is a tight, decent album in here. The band returns with 3 new albums, all released within about 2 months of each other. This band has been extremely prolific as of late, also working on the American Idiot broadway play and a documentary. There are many classic Green Day classic songs, with other ones sounding like homages to their heroes The Clash, blues, and even country sounding songs. There are also songs that have a bit of a 60s vibe to them, which recalls their other group Foxboro Hot Tubs (we need a new album someday guys) While not the masterpiece albums like Insomniac, Dookie, or Nimrod are, it is good to see Green Day is a band that is getting harder and harder to pin down.
Notable tracks: Nuclear Family, Lazy Bones, Sex Drugs and Violence
#18 Bat For Lashes - The Haunted Man
Notable tracks: Marilyn, All Your Gold, Lillies
#17 My Dying Bride - A Map Of All Our Failures
Notable tracks: Kneel Till Doomsday, Hail Odysseus, Like A Perpetual Funeral
#16 Garbage - Not Your Kind of People
Notable tracks: I Hate Love, Felt, Blood For Poppies
#15 Silversun Pickups - Neck of The Woods
Notable tracks: Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings), The Pit, Here We Are (Chancer)
#14 Blaqk Audio - Bright Black Heaven
Notable tracks: Faith Healer, Bon Voyeurs, Fade To White
#13 Soundgarden - King Animal
Notable tracks:Been Away Too Long, Blood on the Valley Floor, Halfway There
#12 Assemblage 23 - Bruise
Notable tracks:Crosstalk, God is A Strangely Absent Father, The Last Mistake
#11 Bob Mould - Silver Age
Notable tracks: The Descent, Silver Age, Star Machine
#10 Smashing Pumpkins - Oceania
Notable tracks: One Diamond One Heart, My Love Is Winter, The Celestials
#09 Matt Skiba and the Sekrets - Babylon
Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio returns with this album, a sort-of follow up to 2011's This Addiction. This record is a true rock record, though Matt has said he was influenced by postpunk bands on this record and it shows. The album is full of nice synth harmonies and lyrically it touches on familiar grounds:demons, bloody hands, etc.. If you were a fan of Matt Skiba's side project Heavens, this is the record for you. This is somewhere between an 80s goth rock album and pop punk. Good mixture of songs.
Notable tracks: Olivia, Voices, Falling Like Rain
#08 Propagandhi - Failed States
Notable tracks: Note To Self, Unscripted Moment, Cognitive Suicide
#07 - Rush - Clockwork Angels
Notable tracks: Clockwork Angels, The Anarchist, Headlong Flight
#06 - Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas
Notable tracks: Show Me The Place, Darkness, Going Home
#05 Marilyn Manson - Born Villain
Notable tracks: No Reflection, Flowers of Evil, The Gardener
#04 - Dead When I Found Her - Rag Doll Blues
Notable tracks: Rain Machine, No More Nightmares, Mirrors
#03 - Swans - The Seer
Notable tracks: Mother of The World, The Seer, Song For A Warrior
#02 - Men Without Hats - Love in the Age of War
Notable tracks: Love In The Age of War, Head Above Water, The Girl With the Silicon Eyes
and #1 album of the year, this should come as no surprise. This was, for me at least, the most highly anticipated album this year.....
#1 Dead Can Dance - Anastasis
Notable tracks: Return of the She King, Amnesia, Kiko, Children of The Sun
Here are a few albums that didn't quite make it, mostly because they fell slightly short or I haven't had the chance to completely hear every track, nevertheless, here it goes!
Joey Ramone - Ya Know
Last solo album recorded by the late Ramones frontman.
Cradle of Filth - Manticore and Other Horrors
The British extreme metal band's 10th studio album. This album brings some punk inspired riffs and is hailed as one of their best.
Autumn's Grey Solace - Divinian
The etheral/shoegaze/dreampop band's seventh studio album. This band has been extremely prolific and remains one of the best band's on Projekt Records, which remains at the forefront of wonderful ambient/darkwave/shoegaze music. This album continues the band's knack for dreamy soundscapes and otherworldly sounds. Excellent.
OFF! - OFF!
Former Black Flag and Circle Jerks frontman Keith Morris returns with perhaps the shortest album of the year, clocking in at about 15 minutes long. Fans of Black Flag and Circle Jerks rejoice. This brings back some oldschool hardcore and it feels like the 80s never left.
Unto Ashes - Burials Foretold
The apocalyptic folk band's 8th album, this album features many diverse instruments such as cello, bagpipes, French horn, dulcimer, hurdy gurdy. A nice mixture of Renaissance and medieval themes, and instrumentation. I also love the vocals of Michael Laird, Natalia Lincoln, and Ericah Hagle all meshed together. Projekt Records strikes again! Check out their covers of Apoptygma Berzerk and Van Halen.
Dan Adriano in the Emergency Room - Hurricane Season
Solo album from Alkaline trio covocalist and bassist Dan Adriano. Good acoustic album, mostly about feeling lonely while on tour. Decent effort. I'm still more of a fan of Matt Skiba personally.
The Birthday Massacre - Hide and Seek
The fifth album from Canadian gothrock/synthrock band The Birthday Massacre. A bit of a darker album for the band, inspired by unsolved mysteries. Lead singer Chibi developed polyps during the recording, which altered some of the vocals on some tracks. Good album, though it could have been longer.
The Offspring - Days Go By
Good album, killer tracks. The woah woahs have come back, which is always nice. The band rerecorded Dirty Magic, originally on their Ignition album for this one, but California Crusin might be the worst song the band has ever recorded. Still a good album, just skip that song.
Lana Del Rey - Born To Die
I really like her vocals and her throwback to 60s music. As much flack as she has gotten, I think she's immensely talented and this is a good album.
Killing Joke - MMXII
Jaz Coleman at his most crazy, doomladen prophecies, it's a new Killing Joke album, what more do you expect? Decent release, still seeing what's next for these guys.