Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Most Listened to Albums of 2012

Father John Misty - Fear Fun: The Best Album of an Uneven Year

Here are the albums I thought about a bit this year.  A lot of good-sounding stuff, but not much thrilling stuff.  Father John Misty's Fear Fun was the only album that, for me, could compete with some of the best albums from the last few years.  Looking to 2013, though, I’m excited about the new album from Thom Yorke (Atoms for Peace) and the new album from Junip ( I LOVED their first one), and hopeful about the new album from Eels . . .

TOP 10 (or top-whatever) lists are odd creatures.  As I was trying to put a list together, I found that my list of top albums, albums I thought were “the best” was a different list than the list of albums I listened to the most.  First, here are some of the albums that I listened to that are making a lot of top then lists:

Frank Ocean – Channel Orange

Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel…

Jack White – Blunderbuss

Cloud Nothings – Attack On Memory

Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan

Tame Impala – Lonerism

El-P – Cancer For Cure

And of course, there was an album from The Boss, too.  But I didn’t like any of them, not even a little bit.  Actually, I enjoyed Taylor Swift’s Red more than any of these albums.  Taylor Swift came out with a pretty good album, for what it is.  When I went to make a top ten list, I found that some of the albums I was trying to put there were albums I really didn’t listen to all that much, but instead were albums that I thought were good, even as I didn’t really like them all that much.  So, instead, here’s a different kind of list.  These were the ten albums from 2012 I listened to the most, and that I’m still listening to:

Father John Misty, Fear Fun

Angus Stone, Broken Brights

Amy Cook, Summer Skin

Hospitality, Hospitality

The Lumineers, The Lumineers

Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill

Ian Hunter, When I’m President

Aimee Mann, Charmer

Beach House, Bloom

David Byrne & St. Vincent, Love This Giant

Rounding out the top twenty or so of albums I listened to, here are some albums fro 2012 I liked, or even liked a lot, but didn’t go back to as much as I thought I was going to (though some of them, I’d say were “better” than some of the ones I went back to more often [for instance, I know intellectually that the Leonard Cohen album is better than the Neil Young & Crazy Horse album, but I don’t listen to it as often]).  Anyway, these are some good albums, well worth checking out:

Bob Dylan, Tempest

Dinosaur Jr., I Bet On Sky

Elephant Micah, Louder Than Thou

Glen Hansard, Rhythm & Repose

Jason Lytle, Dept. of Disappearance

Jay Farrar, et al, New Multitudes

Kathleen Edwards, Voyageur

Kopecky Family Band, Kids Raising Kids

Lambchop, Mr. M

Leonard Cohen, Old Ideas

Moonface, With Siinai

Of Monsters and Men, My Head Is an Animal

[I just realized that I forgot to put David Wax Museum on there. Put them on there somewhere.] Rounding out the recap of my listening habits of 2012, were some albums I thought at first I was going to like, I even thought I was liking them a lot, but that I never really could get myself all the way through without turning to something else. 

Andrew Bird, Break It Yourself

Beth Orton, Sugaring Season

Calexico, Algiers

Cat Power, Sun

Damien Jurado, Maraqopa

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Here

First Aid Kit, The Lion’s Roar

Fort Atlantic, Fort Atlantic

Great Lake Swimmers, New Wild Everywhere

Lee Renaldo, Between the Times & the Tides

Memoryhouse, The Slideshow Effect

MV & EE, Space Homestead

Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Americana

Norah Jones, Little Broken Hearts

Perfume Genius, Put Your Back N 2 It

Porcelain Raft, Strange Weekend

Sarah Jaffe, The Body Wins

Sharon Van Etten, Tramp

Spiritualized, Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Trampled By Turtles, Stars and Satellites


At 12/12/2012 2:41 PM, Blogger David Grove said...

Blunderbuss disappointed me. I thought, "Jack White is boring me. Amazing."

I need to try that Dinosaur Jr.; I like the old stuff.

At 12/13/2012 5:00 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Jack White! People keep telling me I should like him. On paper, I should. But then I come up to the actual albums, and loose interest. I kind of like some of the WHite Stripes stuff, but not a whole album.

Damien Jurado's Maraqopa was one I thought for sure I was going to love, but I never listen to it all the way through.

At 12/13/2012 9:22 AM, Blogger David Grove said...

Ever hear The Go? I was in a vintage record shop in Detroit when the hipster behind the counter played some stuff that reminded me of The Stooges' Raw Power. I asked him what it was--I'm not one to strike up conversations with strangers, so I must've really liked it--and he told me it was The Go. They're on youtube, and there's footage of them in an old documentary about Detroit garage bands. You can see Jack White smoking among the other boys in the band.

At 12/19/2012 3:50 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

John---did you check out Grizzly Bear (Shields), The Walkmen (Heaven), or Alabama Shakes (Boys and Girls)? They were all top 10s for me that I listened to a ton, and that would seem to be aligned with what seem to be your tastes...

At 12/19/2012 8:01 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

I thought for sure Father John Misty would have made more lists than it did. And I seem to be all alone with Amy Cook, too.

That is to say, yeah, I gave them a listen, but I just didn't go with them much. Grizzly Bear is interesting. On paper, I SHOULD like them. But on paper I should have liked a lot of things I don't care for.

On the other hand, I am liking Lord Huron a lot more than I thought I did. I don't know how I missed it. SO maybe some of these other albums will come back to me.

The Walkmen. Yeah, I liked their last one a bit, but didn't get the enthusiasm up for this one.

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