For what it’s worth, here’s my list of my top choices in music for the past year. Like I’ve often said, this year has been a little lean. I think that can be seen in the major music mags focusing on artists like Dylan, Cohen and Springsteen for many of their top choices. Can’t say I agree with any of those choices, having found all of them very mediocre.
Even my choice has a fair bit more main stream stuff in it than it usually does. Most of those mainstream choices are albums that I stumbled on and enjoyed prior to their popular fame. Oh well.
1. Kaiser Chiefs – Souvenir : I identified this album late in the year, but quickly found that I’d heard and loved most of the songs on it.
2. Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man : Channeling Kate Bush. And I love Kate Bush. Original, truly haunting, well produced.
3. Mumford & Sons – Babel : More of the same, but the same is pretty good.
4. Django Django : No, nothing to do with the movie. Winner of this year’s Mercury Award.
5. Joe Walsh – Analog Man : A great album both lyrically and musically by the ex-Eagle.
6. Calexico – Algiers : This band never stops amazing me. Classy music with just the right touch of Mexico.
7. fun – Some Nights : Yes it sounds just like Jellyfish, but catchy and interesting. A guilty pleasure.
8. Of Monsters & Men : Great album as long as you don’t hear them live. The strange vocals that she pulls off on recording don’t come across as well live.
9. David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant : A whole new sound for Byrne, with good use of horns. Lively and original.
10. Walk The Moon – I Want : First half a lot better than the second half.
11. Lana Del Ray – Born To Die : So sexy. Like Amanda Lear or Marlena Deitrich.
12. Beach Boys – That’s Why God Made the Radio : Whatever you think of the Beach Boys, there are solid new songs on this album. Brian Wilson is a genius.
Honorary Mentions: Neil Young, Imagine Dragons, Band of Horses, Kathleen Edwards, The Magnetic Zeros, Patrick Watson