Music of 2012
As of March 31st. (That means no Daniel Rossen, Zammuto or Chromatics I downloaded today :<)
It’s hard having a unified opinion of a period of music, specially nowadays. Even for someone who’d try to focus on a distinct kind of sound, it’s very troublesome trying to recognize trends or the alikes. So I’ll refrain from trying. 2012 has started great for me, refreshingly even (well, music-wise, at least); being able to reach out to great stuff at armlength is very exciting, and the good stuffs just keep coming.
Each album I’ve listened has been great. Seriously, I tried ranking them and felt so bad about putting any at the bottom because they are all outstanding, like Django Django’s Django Django (say this outloud) or Sharon Von Etten’s Tramp. I haven’t disliked any of them.
My least favorite record, according to my ranking, is Norwegian electronic artist Hanne Hukkelberg’s Featherbrain. I think it’s a fantastic record, from my first listen, but I haven’t really gotten into it. I barely remember what it was like, I recall being stunned by some interesting moments, however. Then, Madonna’s MDNA felt good but wasn’t impressive; aside from “Girl Gone Bad”, which is now one of my favorite Madonna songs, it may not have lived up to my expectations.
My only big disappointment this year has been Die Antwoord. I was very excited about TEN$ION because I thought “I Fink Ur Freaky” rocked, but now even that track has tired me and nothing else in their album pleases any of my campish sluggish demands.
There’s been lots of great singles released, one of my favorites is Rhye’s “Open”. Honestly, all I know about Rhye is that they are new and amazing. “Open” is such a good song that I wouldn’t even be mad if whatever I’m anticipating from them wasn’t as good. It’s sensuous, of course, but in the most gentle way possible. Watch:
My “ranking” as of March 31st (ordering tentative):
6. Albums which haven’t really grabbed my attention and deserve more recognition:
Hanne Hukkelberg - Featherbrain
Madonna - MDNA
Sharon Von Etten - Tramp
fun. - Some Nights
5. Albums that I liked and heard more than once:
Todd Terje - It’s the Harps EP
Trust - TRST
Django Django - Django Django
The Man - Open Your Heart
4. Cool stuff:
John Talabot - fin
Schoolboy Q - Habits & Contradictions
Sleigh Bells - Reign Of Terror
Chairlift - Something
3. Potentially/occasionally fascinating:
Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
First Aid Kit - Lion’s Roar
Burial - Kindred EP
Lana Del Rey - Born To Die
2. Definitely outstanding:
Beach House - Bloom
s / s / s - Beak & Claw EP
Julia Holter - Ekstasis
1. Top fucking tier forever:
Perfume Genius - Put Your Back N 2 It
BIG BANG - ALIVE
Grimes - Visions
Bonus: Best compilation album ever:
Goldfrapp - The Singles
Overall, fantastic albums. Given some time, I bet Kindred EP by Burial will be growing on me a lot. It’s not exactly a sneaky album but it can get under my skin and make me feel overwhelmed if I pay it some attention. “Ashtray Wasp” is definitely one of the best tracks of its kind.
I’ve been on and off about whether or not I like either Lana Del Rey’s and Nicki Minaj’s albums. However, I’ve kind of enjoyed them a lot, so I based their positions on that. I feel like there’s a lot to love in Roman Reloaded, even if I hate a chunk of the songs at a given time, and Lana’s unique vocals paired up with some solid compositional skills make Born To Die an addictive listen, occasionally.
I haven’t listened to First Aid Kit’s The Lion’s Roar and Beach House’s Bloom as much as I should have. Both are beautiful albums, filled with extraordinary moments. That’s the way I feel about Julia Holter’s Ekstasis, except that I have payed much more attention to Ekstasis than to the other two (maybe it is its tunefulness that has sparkled more interest in me). These female vocalists are incredible.
January, February and March, you’ve been very rich. I’ll post some thoughts on my top three albums briefly.