Top 10 Albums of 2012’s Second Quarter

1.       Jack White- Blunderbuss

Jack White’s first solo record Blunderbuss has been one of the most anticipated albums of the year. It seems everything White touches turns to gold whether it is with The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, or the Dead Weather. Blunderbuss is thankfully no exception to this.  White is a genius and throughout this album you see how he very skillfully melds his many diverse influences into 13 unique tracks.

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2.       Alabama Shakes- Boys and Girls

If you took the Blues, Country, Soul, and Rock n’ Roll and then put them in a blender you’d get the amazing mix that is known as, Alabama Shakes. Alabama Shake’s is a great four piece from Athens, Alabama, and features soulful Vocalist/Guitarist Brittany Howard, Bassist Zac Cockrell, Drummer Steve Johnson, and Lead Guitarist Heath Fogg. They started very organically and wanted to obtain a certain sound that mixed James Brown and Ottis Redding with AC/DC and Led Zeppelin. What they got was a gritty, foot stomping, good time band.

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3.       Slash- Apocalyptic Love

Slash was the man with the top hat that saved the Music Scene in the 80’s with his signature Gibson Les Paul and Marshall combination. He and his band, Guns n’ Roses were at the top of the world, until Slash left the band to work on his various side projects. Not much was heard from Slash until 2004 when he started Velvet Revolver with members of; Stone Temple Pilots, Wasted Youth, and his previous band Guns n’ Roses.

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4.       Rush- Clockwork Angels

Initially thought of as a Canadian Led Zeppelin, Rush has proven over the last 38 years that they are much more than that. With the release of their new album, Clockwork Angels, Rush has also proven something else. That after 38 years creativity and musicianship can remain, and that they can yield a great product.

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5.       John Mayer- Born and Raised

Over the last twelve years the world has seen John Mayer go from relatively unknown singer/song writer, to one of the biggest artists of our time. How has he done this? Well I have to think it has to do with his musicianship that was honed at one of the finest music institutions in America, Berklee College of Music. These ‘chops’ have lead Mr. Mayer to share the stage with many prominent musicians including; B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck. It has also led him to various other projects including, The John Mayer Trio which was a blues trio featuring bassist Pino Paladino and drummer Steve Jordan. KEEP READING

 

6.       Storm Corrosion-Storm Corrosion

Starting in 2010 Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt and Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson have been collaborating on the joint effort that became Storm Corrosion. Storm Corrosion released their self-titled debut album yesterday (May 7th), and no surprise to me it is one of the most unique and technical albums I have ever listened to. Running at 47 minutes, Storm Corrosion is an impressive album, with six uniquely composed tracks.

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7.       Grace Potter -The Lion The Beast The Beat

Vermont exported one of their greatest talents in 2005 when Grace Potter and the Nocturnals released their debut album Nothing But the Water. Since then Ms. Potter and her motley crew put out three records and on June 12th they released their fourth studio record, The Lion the Beast the Beat. This album is an 11 track rock record that features mellow songs that still rock.

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8.       B.o.B- Strange Clouds

B.o.B’s song “Airplanes” was one of the biggest hits of 2010, and went quadruple platinum. This solidified the 23 year old rapper in the world of music. Recently B.o.B released a fifteen track albumStrange Clouds that features a great number of collaborations. The album also features tremendous production from various producers including Dr. Luke, Jim Jonsin, and B.o.B himself.

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9.       Brendan Benson- What Kind of World

On the same day that fellow Raconteurs’ band mate Jack White put out his solo debut albumBlunderbuss, Brendan Benson put out his fifth studio album since 1996.  The album is entitled What Kind of World, and is a collection of 12 tracks that vary from straight up country, to Benson’s early rock roots.

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10.   Of Monsters and men -My Head Is an Animal

Of Monsters and Men is a six piece from the giant isolated island of Iceland. More specifically they come from Garður, a small town of 1,452 people. The band itself consists of singer/guitarist Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, co-singer/guitarist Ragnar “Raggi” Þórhallsson, guitarist Brynjar Leifsson, drummer Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson, piano/accordion player Árni Guðjónsson, and bassist Kristján Páll Kristjánsso. Together they create an intriguing mix of pop and folk music.

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