My Albums of 2012

It’s been a funny year for new music, not many of the old artists bringing new records out (just re-releases and re-markets) and a awful lot of new music from big contemporary artists being pretty ropey and second rate. The nastiness of X-Factor  & BGT still pervades the UK airwaves and TV…..shudders….

Still there have been some interesting events and I have to thank @thisismyjam and the enthusiasm of the users for introducing me to artists that had passed me by before. So in no particular order, here are a few high points from 2012.

Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man In The Universe

Stunning comeback album for a soul legend.  Assisted by Damon Albarn & Richard Russell. www.bobbywomack.com 

Tame Impala – Lonerism

These discovered through This Is My Jam. Psychedelic tinged indie from Australia. They must have absorbed a lot of prog and more than a little Hawkwind to sound like this.

Dinosaur Jr – I Bet On Sky

The third album from the fully reformed Dinosaur Jr. The formula still works but this album even had keyboards. Played this a lot when it came out.

Sun Kil Moon – Among The Leaves

Another Jam discovered band. There are a lot of American artists hanging out in the folk field. These guys stand out though. Particularly liked the first album but this is from the 2012 album of the same name.

Neil Young – Psychedelic Pill

Neil back with Crazy Horse. Following up on the Americana album. A double album of long jam based songs. Maybe patchy but classic Horse.

Grizzly Bear – Shields

This kept showing up on my Amazon page as ‘recommended for you’. Once I looked it up I understood why. This the opening track is excellent.

Heavy Blanket – Heavy Blanket 

I was really excited when I heard about this. Instrumental jams by J Mascis and two school friends, pre Dinosaur but re-recorded for this. Just noise, great noise though…

David Byrne and St Vincent – Love This Giant

A wonderful oddity, DB, Annie and a brass band. How could that ever work? This is my favourite track from the album. I ended up digging out the Knee Plays album after this came out.

Bob Dylan – Tempest

Bob came back with this his 35th studio album. Now in his seventies this is as dark as it gets. Utterly poetic, obviously deeply researched and referencing the history of humankind. I have played this endlessly, trying to pick through the themes. The opening track is the lightest lyrically but he undermines it with this cruel video about a stalker getting beaten up in the name of love or lust. The only one that You Tube has and probably soon to disappear.

Patti Smith – Banga

Another poet who really just gets better & better. Banga is a brilliant record that covers so much ground across many years. This song written for Johnny Depp who also plays on the album.

 

So there you go. A quick trawl through the thousands of hours of music I have been playing over the last year. I hope you found something you like and maybe something new.

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