I made a list of my personal 'the best' music releases last year so have decided to repeat the process for 2012. It is fascinating to do. First and foremost, it forces you to select, but in doing so to also realise just how much music was released [obviously, but phenomenally, this is only a fraction here] and also how much of that is a 'favourite' as well. And how much isn't. I reserve judgement, by the way, before this list is complete: there are a few releases yet to come out this month that I know I will like; and I have quite likely overlooked some that will hit me later.
For my own amusement, I will be reducing the whole list - whatever that becomes by the end of this month - to a top twenty. I didn't do this last year and thought I'd try the discipline. For any regular readers, I still have my Top Fifty all-time albums to finish. I never find this easy having so many 'favourites'....
There are a few questions at the end of this list, for those interested.
Aerosmith - Music from Another Dimension!
Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
Angel Snow - Angel Snow
Ash Grunwald - Trouble's Door
Bonnie Raitt - Slipstream
Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball
Cat Power – Sun
Cee Cee James - Blood Red Blues
Chris Robinson Brotherhood - Big Moon Ritual/The Magic Door
Chris Smither - Hundred Dollar Valentine
Cody ChesnuTT - Landing On a Hundred
Dan Bern – Doubleheader
Donald Fagen - Sunken Condos
Dry the River - Shallow Bed
Duke Special - Oh Pioneer
Dwight Yoakam - 3 Pears
Dylan LeBlanc - Cast the Same Old Shadow
Eric Bibb - Deeper In The Well
Eric Steckel – Dismantle The Sun
Father John Misty – Fear Fun
Field Report - Field Report
Grant-Lee Phillips - Walking in the Green Corn
Greg Brown - Hymns To What Is Left
Gregory Porter - Be Good
Grizzly Bear – Shields
Guillemots - Hello Land!
Habib Koite & Eric Bibb - Brothers In Bamako
Howlin Rain - The Russian Wilds
Iris DeMent - Sing the Delta
Jimmy Cliff - Rebirth
Joe Bonamassa - Driving Towards the Daylight
Joshua James - From the Top of Willamette Mountain
Joss Stone - The Soul Sessions Vol. 2
Kelly Joe Phelps - Brother Sinner and The Whale
King Creosote - I Learned From The King
Kurt Elling - 1619 Broadway The Brill Building Project
Lianne La Havas - Is Your Love Big Enough
Lionel Richie – Tuskegee
Loudon Wainwright III - Older Than My Old Man Now
Lucy Kaplansky – Reunion
Mark Eitzel - Don't Be a Stranger
Mark Lanegan Band - Blues Funeral
Martha Wainwright - Come Home to Mama
Mary Chapin Carpenter - Ashes and Roses
Matraca Berg - Love's Truck Stop
Mississippi Bones – Tracks
Muse - The 2nd Law
Neneh Cherry & The Thing - The Cherry Thing
Old Crow Medicine Show - Carry Me Back
Outlaws - It´s About Pride
Peter Hammill - Consequences
Rickie Lee Jones - The Devil You Know
Rival Sons - Head Down
Rufus Wainwright - Out of the Game
Ry Cooder - Election Special
Sena Ehrhardt- Leave The Light On
Simo - Simo
Simon McBride – Crossing the Line
Slash - Apocalyptic Love
Stone Machine - American Honey
The Beach Boys – That’s Why God Made the Radio
The Big Eyes Family Players & Friends - Folk Songs II
The Civil Wars - Barton Hollow
The Eastern Sea – Plague
The Parlor Soldiers - When The Dust Settles
The Jimmy Bowskill Band - Back Number
The Smashing Pumpkins – Oceania
The Tallest Man On Earth - There's No Leaving Now
The Temperance Movement - Pride [ep]
Tom Jones – Spirit in the Room
Ty Segall – Twins
Val McCallum - At The End Of The Day
Various Artists - This One's For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark
Willie Nelson – Heroes
ZZ Top - La Futura
- What are the surprise inclusions?
- What are the surprise omissions?
- What do you think will be my top album for 2012?
- What is your top album of 2012?
No need to answer any of these immediately. Ruminate. Listen. Decide. Reply.