Wednesday, December 5, 2012

2012’s Best Albums…According to The Music Maven

2012’s Best Albums…According to The Music Maven {Tillie Elvrum}.
Tillie Elvrum is a wife, mother, education advocate, music nerd, and all around Superwoman

The music world was very good to me in 2012.  Here are my picks for 2012’s Best Albums:

10.  The Whigs - Enjoy The Company

This band from Georgia never disappoints…just pure rock n’ roll.  Enjoy The Company isn’t as raw as their earlier efforts, it’s more polished and produced, but still very true to their sound.   I haven’t seen these new tracks played live yet, but it’s at the top of my To Do List for 2013.  
Standouts:  Waiting, Tiny Treasures, Staying Alive (gotta give props to anyone who can pull off an 8 minute song and not lose me)

9.  The Walkmen - Heaven

Heaven was an album I was really looking forward to hearing, and from the start there was a lot of buzz about how this album was unlike anything they’d done before.  The buzz was right on this one…Heaven is unlike any other Walkmen album and I have no complaints.  It’s a gorgeous album, but if you’re looking for “The Rat” or tunes like it, you’re not going to find it on this album…but it’s okay…embrace the changes.
Standouts:  Heaven, Love Is Luck, Line By Line, Heartbreaker

8.  The Lumineers - The Lumineers

This indie folk band is the best thing to come out of Denver in a long time…my apologies to fans of The Fray and One Republic.  There is something so pure and unassuming about this album.  Each song tells a story, and just like a good book, I like to get lost in their stories.
Standouts:  Ho Hey, Dead Sea, Stubborn Love

7.  Dry The River - Shallow Bed

The first time I heard this folk rock band I was brought to a standstill…the stirring vocals were so gut wrenching and beautiful,  and I knew I needed to get to know this band better.   Shallow Bed is the perfect combination of haunting lyrics and musicianship.  The song ‘No Rest’ has become one of my all-time favorite songs.
Standouts:  No Rest, New Ceremony, Weights & Measures

6:  The Chevin - Borderland

So, sometimes I’m a slow learner.  I had a lot of friends really into The Chevin and I gave them a casual listen…for whatever reason they weren’t the band I needed at the time.  But one night I checked them out on Letterman --  that performance was the equivalent of an atomic bomb going off in my little music world.  
Standouts:  Blue Eyes, Champion, Drive, Colours

5.  Mona - Lean Into The Fall

I was counting the days for this debut album to come out…Mona’s EP had me hooked from the start.  They’re young, wild, and their music shows it.  
Standouts:  Lean Into The Fall, Listen To Your Love, Teenager, Lines In The Sand, Shooting The Moon, Trouble On The Way

4.  The Features - Wilderness

This band has been around awhile and gives good show.  It’s great to finally see them getting some airplay on the radio – a much needed dose of originality over the airwaves.  
Standouts:  How It Starts, Another  One, Big Mama Gonna Whip Us Up Good

3. Jack White - Blunderbuss

This is probably the only album on this list that will make EVERY “best of” list…and rightly so.  I keep waiting for Jack White to put something out that doesn’t please me…hasn’t happened yet.  Blunderbuss is a bombastic, bluesy, rush of rock n’ roll.  It’s everything I expected from him.
Standouts:  Love Interrupted, Sixteen Saltines, I’m Shakin’, 
***Jack White did a cover of U2’s Love Is Blindness (released on the Sixteen Saltines single) that is in my opinion the best cover of any song, by anyone, EVER.

2.  Imagine Dragons - Night Visions

First, huge thanks to my friend, Trina, for being such a champion of Imagine Dragons…I owe you a bulk shipment of chocolates and olives.  When I saw that “Trina’s band” was coming to town I knew I had to see them.  The first few seconds into their set I knew I was witnessing something great.  I was so blown away that I went to see them a couple nights later.  

I saw Imagine Dragons 6 times in 6 months…small acoustic sets, half-filled clubs, and 2 sold out nights with AWOL Nation…each performance memorable.   Night Visions is a great debut album and showcases the very best of this band…tight harmonies, the catchy clapping/stomping thing they do so well, driving bass and percussion, beautiful guitar work, and the vocals…what can I say…Dan Reynolds leaves everything out there vocally.  Imagine Dragons were everywhere in 2012 and I’m fairly certain world domination is in store for 2013.  
Standouts:  Radioactive, It’s Time, Tiptoe, On Top of the World, Underdog, Rocks

1.  Bad Veins - The Mess We’ve Made

What can I say…I love this band from Cincinnati.  Bad Veins is Benjamin Davis and Sebastien Schultz, and this duo ruled my little music world in 2012.  The Mess We’ve Made is simultaneously retro and experimental…every time I listen I hear something new and interesting.  I love everything about this album -- the string arrangements, funky horn sections, and energetic percussion.  The lyrics and vocals are intimate on tracks like Doubt and Kindness, and soaring on Don’t Run and Child.  With a mix of upbeat and tender moments this album has set up permanent residence in my cd player.  The Mess We’ve Made is just so good from start to finish, and while it’s my #1 for 2012, this album will stay with me for a long time to come.
Standouts:  Chasing, Don’t Run, Nursery Rhyme, Dancing On TV (Check out the video for Dancing On TV – Chris Hardwick from The Nerdist makes a nice cameo)


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Tahir Khan |

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