Tuesday, July 3, 2012

5 of the Best Albums of 2012 (Thus Far)

About a month ago, it felt like there was nothing good happening in new music.  The Indy/Alternative scene felt stale.  Anticipated albums from artists like Santigold, The Shins, and Tennis fell short.  It looked like it was going to be a very long summer. 

Thankfully, three recent releases show that the industry is doing OK, and we can have something fresh to enjoy on the iPod in the coming months:

Silversun Pickups:Neck of the Woods.  SSPU comes through again with a quality engagement of brooding alt-rock.  Fairly consistent with their previous efforts, this is a band that continues to bring the goods time and time again.  They are also incredible live.

Metric: Sythetica.  More consistent than previous Metric offerings, a majority of the album is very good.  You could not say that about previous Metric efforts.  While I get really sick of their politics (and their need to foist their opinions on their fans), I do enjoy their music. 

Rush: Clockwork Angels.  Yep, Rush.  For nearly 45 years (nearly as long as I've been alive) Rush has been cranking out their impeccable brand of cerebral rock.  While their style has ebbed and flowed through the years, their musicianship could never, ever be questioned.  That is clearly the case in their new album - arguably their best in at least a decade, maybe two.  How Rush is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame remains that institute's greatest shame.

2:54: Self Titled.  Ever since The XX came out years ago, I've been pining for a return to that brooding, dark alternative riff with a top layer of quiet female vocal.  2:54 nailed it.  From start to finish, this album rocks.  It's my favorite album of 2012 thus far. 

The Lumineers : Self Titled.  As I reported in my concert review of theLumineers, this is an incredibly talented band.  Their album is great across all tracks, and likely will be the soundtrack for summer 2012 for many.  As it should be.  Theirs is a superlative effort. 

Regardless of your musical tastes, check out any of the albums listed above.  You'll be impressed with what you hear.     

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