Friday, January 4, 2013

Audiophilia: Aaron's Picks of 2012

NOTE: This article was originally published by me on TheWebsiteOfDOOM.com

Unlike Michael, I haven't bought 80 albums this year. I've bought quite a lot, but not that much. And, when looking through the albums I got in 2012, it turns out only 6 of them were actually from 2012. In fact, most of the albums I bought this past year were from 2011. Go figure.

The good news though is that this low number makes my list much easier to compile. Here are the 6 albums I felt passionate enough to part with money for in 2012.

Two Door Cinema Club - Beacon

Beacon

If you live anywhere in the UK or Ireland you'll know Two Door Cinema Club as "that band who did the song on that advert on TV". The vast majority of their debut album "Tourist History" has been used on adverts or soundtracks of some kind. It was pretty damned popular. It remains to be seen if they can keep this sort of form up. This second album is not quite as catchy but it shows that the idea of guitar based indie pop isn't dead yet. A band to keep an eye on in the future.

 




The Shins - Port of Morrow

Port of Morrow

If I'm honest, I was a little disappointed with this. It's not a bad album by any means but I feel they've stagnated a little bit as a band which is especially strange considering nearly the whole line-up has changed. For a band that really stood out as being dynamic and interesting they've become one with a collection of similar sounds and a bland feel. There are still some gems to be found, so hope is not lost but I'm hoping for something a bit different next time round if I'm to keep the faith.

 


The Hives - Lex Hives

Lex Hives

If I had to pick a favourite of the year my gut decision would be this. If you've ever heard a song by The Hives then you know what they're about. There is no messing around. No artsy fartsy self expression. Unless the expression is "We're The Hives and we're here to rock you". Because that's what they do. Every time. Without fail. They haven't made a bad album yet and this just continues that streak. Bow down.

Play it at full volume or don't play it at all.

 


Fionn Regan - The Bunkhouse Vol.I: Anchor Black Tattoo

The Bunkhouse Vol.I- Anchor Black Tattoo

I'm a bit of a folk singer/songwriter junkie. If there was a button that makes me go all gooey and useless, they'd be pushing it. Fionn Regan is one of the best in the world at it and if you haven't gotten his debut album "The End Of History" then I'm not sure I could ever take you seriously on the subject. This is his fourth album but the first real spiritual successor in sound to that first one. A welcomed return.

Here is one of the songs from the album being played on a vinyl record on top a car in the countryside. It's pretty much the only way to listen to it.

 


Ben Folds Five - The Sound of The Life of The Mind

The Sound of The Life of The Mind

C'mon folks, Ben Folds Five are back. Of course I was going to get that album. If I'm honest, it's not their best album as it's a little hit and miss but it definitely grows on you and has that vintage BFF sound that you've been longing for. And, if you haven't seen this music video yet you've obviously been living under a rock the past year.

 


Brendan Benson - What Kind of World

What Kind of World

Brendan Benson has always pinned his Beatles influence to his sleeve but thankfully he has also more recently started to expand and show that this doesn't define him. With an approach to some bigger ballads and his time with the heavier Raconteurs under his belt, his musical palette is now much wider. Don't worry, there is still all those catchy 3 minute pop numbers in there but it's now not the whole album.

 


 And thanks to modern technology you can listen to all those albums in full using Spotify. JUST CLICK THIS LINK TO SEE THE PLAYLIST.