Top 5 of 2012 – Results.
Greetings! Having consumed twice my own weight in turkey, cranberry sauce and Quality Street chocolate, I return in festive spirits to summarise your 2012’s best musical outputs – thanks for all your votes and the help with choosing this year’s top 5 releases! Admittedly, these are quite predictable and I do realise this, but hey – votes are votes! I would have found this an utterly impossible task if I had to do it all by myself and besides, it saves you from having to put up with my own musical bias 😉
It was difficult to choose the one album that deserved to just make it into the list, as there were quite a few of them with the same number of threshold votes… which is where personal preference comes in. So here I present you with:
5. ‘Given to the Wild’ – The Maccabees.
Their third record sees the Maccabees exploring the darker valleys of sound, sweeping us across the canyon with a view onto the misty horizon. On the whole, a mild record with a few energetic references to the early Macs – ‘Pelican‘ and ‘Feel To Follow‘, to name but a couple. Regardless of the critics’ general opinion that this album offers more mediocrity than a rainy Monday morning, I personally find Given To The Wild indispensable in the car!
4. ‘The 2nd Law’ – Muse.
Every year, there is an album that either makes it or breaks it for the band. In 2012, this was Muse’s 6th studio album, one which bears the characteristics of… well, Marmite. Putting it into Bellamy’s own words: “christian gangsta rap jazz odyssey, with some ambient rebellious dubstep and face-melting metal flamenco cowboy psychedelia “. I probably needn’t say more, as most of you have already experienced this new venture of experimental sound and whether or not you approve of Muse’s unexpected direction change, one thing is for sure: The 2nd law is one hell of an album. ‘Supremacy‘ is quite a bombshell, clearing the way for a smoother ‘Madness‘, aka the “Supermassive Black Hole” of the album, if we’re going by the popularity scale. I don’t know; there’s an unhealthy dose of underproduced dubstep and all, but there are glimpses of hope! ‘Animals‘ has got to be the most beautiful track on the album – I’d say perhaps even up there with their best. Some welcome vocal features from Chris the bassist too. Sure, one hell of an album, though undoubtedly not their best.
3. ‘Babel’ – Mumford & Sons
Everyone loves a farmer. Everyone loves four farmers! Mumford and his band have returned this year with that tricky second album, offering us a dose of their trademark banjo and raspy vocals. Admittedly, not too great a variation from their debut, but ‘Babel‘ is definitely an album everyone should own – just because it’s so easy to listen to, so honest, so… ah, I don’t know – I’ve reviewed it before, so if you fancy having more of a read: looky looky here! A well deserved bronze medal (:
2. ‘Beacon’ – Two Door Cinema Club
That preposterous album cover on my blog again – argh! Though one that rightfully steals the second spot on the Anomnom Top 5. The second album from the Irish trio brings us even more bouncy tracks and lyrics with a scent of maturity. Once again – I’ve reviewed ‘Beacon‘ in the past: link here., so have a read to save me from repeating myself if you feel like reading some more!
1. ‘An Awesome Wave’ – alt-J
Between me and you… I was really, really hoping this one would reach the top spot! ‘An Awesome Wave‘ is, by far, something special. It’s different. The awesome wave of slow beats, the unconventionally beautiful voice – just… everything in a nice, neat 14-track pile that will take a very long time to get boring. I don’t think I have ever written about alt-J. They are a quartet hailing from Leeds, taking a lengthy 5 years to release their debut album – evidently worth the wait. A downside to their music may possibly be the somewhat bland lyrics – but do not let that distract you from the generally “chill” quality of this debut release!