I come back from my voluntary hiatus just to share with my few loyal readers the albums that kept me company during this odd and awkward 2012. The rules are the same as last year, which means that the albums listed are not necessarily from 2012. Also a fair share of these albums are not the genres I used to review.
And here we go…
# 10 - Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
An honest, down to earth album that won many hearts (mine included) with its intimate setting and an incredible ability to make you feel isolated out in the wild, pouring your feelings for your loved one into this collection of amazing songs. Yes, everybody will think that you are probably just listening mainstream hipster music, but who cares anyway.
# 9 - Persephone’s Bees – Notes From the Underworld
Back in 2006 I remember listening to one particular song I liked, but it wasn’t until this year that I got my hands on a copy of this elusive album. By the second time listening this album I knew this was more than just your typical album worth one or two songs. Surprisingly powerful but with enough indie attitude to it. An album to keep on repeat for days.
# 8 – Boards of Canada - Trans Canada Highway
Another 2006 release, this is the last we heard from Boards of Canada (as of 2012). This is the kind of album that might get you high only by listening to it. It has a particular way of capturing your imagination and get you lost in an eargasm of analog synthesizers, but also expect a nice side serving of ambient downtempo. A taste of the futuristic old tunes by the always cryptic Scottish duo.
# 7 - Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
Yes, I am completely aware that this album was included in my list of favorite albums for 2011, but those of you who are familiar with this album will know that you can never have enough of it. One year later and it is still on my regular playlist rotation. Those last 3 tracks are the perfect climax for a decent rock album.
# 6 - Deftones – White Pony
I remember listening to Deftones on the radio 10 years ago and for some reason they never got my attention like they did this year. This album is prehistoric by almost any standard but still I found it to be the rebirth of my new found love for my rock side. Alternative metal + cryptic lyrics + trip hop influenced tunes equals the signature Deftones experience.
# 5 - Infant Sorrow – Get Him To The Greek
An excellent joke album by a non-existent artist. Yes, the eccentric Russell Brand is the voice behind this movie soundtrack, and the songs are just clever jokes, but surprisingly enough you get a feeling of satisfaction while listening to this. You almost wish that this project would have turned into a real band, but I guess the last thing the world needs right now is a real Aldous Snow walking among us.
# 4 - Röyksopp – Senior
It’s a shame that this album was not even close to Röyksopp’s previous album (which was an absolute joy to listen over and over again) in terms of popularity. And it’s a shame not because this album lacks the quality, but because it is the misunderstood, quieter sibling in the family. I found myself lost on unexpected journeys of discovery in this haunting place of trip-hop influenced downtempo tunes, and that’s something that can only be achieved with the help of the likes of this Norwegian duo.
# 3 - Boards of Canada – Music Has the Right to Children
I lost countless hours to this album during this year. It’s a very old release and I was the happiest bunny of them all when my physical copy arrived in the mail, because it felt like I was finally the owner of one of the most iconic releases by this band, and also the fact that I still like to buy physical copies of the albums I really like. Sure, some might argue that Geogaddi is better (I have yet to decide that), but for me this album represents one of the earliest entry points on my journey of self-discovery outside the mainstream music.
# 2 – The Mars Volta – De-Loused in the Comatorium
Oh yes, 2012 wouldn’t be the same for me without this 2004 release. This was a year of profound changes on my comfort zone and I was about to find out that just as the same time that this album caught my attention. Sometimes it feels like a reminiscent of days that aren’t here anymore, and some other times it feels like the calculated, self-contained chaos that it actually is. Personal memories aside, this is the perfect album for someone willing to get his feet wet on progressive rock.
# 1 – Deftones – Koi No Yokan
I’m a sucker for this band, I have to admit. The general perception is that the best Deftones album is and will always be White Pony, and I mostly agree with that. However, Koi No Yokan is more mature and I’m willing to risk my sanity saying that is also the pinnacle of years and years of refining the signature Deftones sound. But it doesn’t end there, there’s more to this album than just the sound, it is that uncanny ability to get you in a sort of inner trance. Pro tip: listen to the full album, not just the radio singles, you will be blown away.
Also there are a few albums that didn’t make the cut to the top 10 this year, but they get a special mention anyway:
Lana Del Rey – Born To Die
Geb.El – From a Distant Point of View
Thomas Lemmer – Relieve
Stripmall Architecture – Feathersongs for Factory Girls