Category Archives: Lists

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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Our Top 10 Albums of 2012 (SO FAR)

  1. Van Halen ‘A Different Kind of Truth’ :1978, a ceremonial changing of the rock gods, American rock behemoths Aerosmith were on a cocaine fueled melt down, and Kiss was about to drop a disco album. British bands like Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones seemed like dinosaurs. Enter Van Halen, kings of the Sunset Strip. Discovered by Kiss’ Gene Simmons in 1976, Van Halen produced their first demo later that year and in 1977 got signed to Warner Brothers Records. By 1978 America had Van Halen fever with teenage guitar players trying to copy Edward Van Halen’s signature tapping riffs found on the track‘Eruption’. Skip ahead six years to ‘1984’ the last year and album with lead singer David Lee Roth. (KEEP READING)
  2. Andrew Bird ‘Break It Yourself:Many people can call themselves Multi-instrumentalists, some of the notable multi-instrumentalists are Prince, Stevie Wonder, and the great Madman Frank Zappa. But none are more unique in this generation than, Andrew Bird. Bird’s technique on violin and guitar are truly his own, and add a certain flare mostly seen in bluegrass and country music. Did we also mention Bird is an excellent whistler, yes that kind of whistler. (KEEP READING)
  3. Bruce Springsteen ‘Wrecking Ball’: Let me begin by explaining the headline of this story. On Bruce Springsteen’s current Wrecking Ball Tour, he brings with him an entirely different “E Street Band” than any concert-goer has ever witnessed. Two obvious differences are the lack of the late Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons, the former having been gone the past couple tours or so. Filling in for the “Big Man” were two saxophone players, some random dude no one knows and Clarence’s nephew, Jake Clemons. Additionally, there were horn, drum, and string sections, back-up singers, the E Street regulars, and of course, “the Boss.”(KEEP READING)
  4. First Aid Kit ‘ The Lions Rawr’:In a world where dub-step is considered a valid type of music, many music fans wonder when true music will come back with instruments and no laptops. Enter Johanna and Klara Söderberg two Swedish sisters, which form the group First Aid Kit. The album’s title is ‘The Lions Roar’ (Wichita)and boy does this album show a great deal of musician ship. Each song is carefully crafted and the fibers of each song carefully come together to create a tapestry of sound. (KEEP READING)
  5. Lamb of God ‘Resolution’:One band that flew the flag of true metal in the early 2000′s was Richmond, Virginia’s finest Lamb of God. Comprising of vocalist Randy Blythe, guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler, bassist John Campbell, and drummer Chris Adler, Lamb of God puts down their own signature mark with influences of metal, hardcore, and rock. ‘Resolution’ (Epic) their seventh studio album is no different, melding their influences and style into 14 amazing tracks.Starting off with opening track ’Straight for the Sun’ and ending with ‘King Me’, Resolution never lets up on the brutality factor and there is not one weak track on the album.(KEEP READING)
  6. Shinedown ‘Amaryllis’ :Shinedown’s fourth album ‘Amaryllis, picks up where 2008’s rousing ‘The Sound of Madness’ left off. Released on March 27, 2012 the album has already climbed to number three on the iTunes album charts. The album features a 12-track assembly of heavy and more radio friendly songs like their previous albums have done. (KEEP READING)
  7. Lana Del Rey-‘Born To Die’ :25 year old American songstress Lana Del Rey has a voice that sounds like it could have been on pop records in the 1960′s. Lana Del Ray has made her arrival known in 2012 with her major label debut ‘Born To Die’ (Interscope). Born Elizabeth Grant in 1986 Lana Del Ray made up her stage name do to the sound it made when spoken. But after listening to her you realize that it’s not just her name that sounds mysterious, but her music too. (KEEP READING)
  8. Soulfly- ‘Enslaved’:Max Cavalera: mad man, genius, or both? Since Starting Sepultura in the 1980’s, we’ve seen a truly unique technique and sound come from Cavalera. Now in 2012 we see an extension on this sound with the new Soulfly record, ‘Enslaved’ (RoadRunner). The album which was produced by Max and Chris “Zeuss” Harris is truly unique to Soulfly’s sound, in that it has a very different vibe. The nice thing about it though, is that it’s a change, but it’s not so far off in left field and it fits into their catalog, very well. (KEEP READING)
  9. Everytime I Die ‘Ex-Lives’:Every Time I Die a five piece from Buffalo, New York is set to release their sixth studio album on March 6th via Epitaph Records. The new album entitled ‘Ex Lives’ was recorded during the summer of 2011 and features eleven tracks, and three bonus tracks. The album also features unique cover art that was sent to the band via twitter. The artwork is a photo taken of a protester that was rallying at the G8 conference, and happened to be wearing an Every Time I Die t-shirt.(KEEP READING)
  10. Odd Future ‘The OF Tape Vol. 2’: The past few years have proved to be quite a large change in the rap world, spawning the rise of new rappers like: Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, and Tyga. In Los Angeles, California another group has taken the public eye with both shock, and awe. The group is called Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, also known as OFWGKTA, or simply Odd Future. (KEEP READING)
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