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Album of the Year 2012

Welcome to the Album of the Year article for the year 2012!

As always, this list is a collection of records that moved ME - records that left an impression on ME. I am a big believer in the fact that music is a personal experience, and we all have different tastes - different likes and dislikes. My only purpose for compiling this list is to, perhaps, point you in the direction of something that might move you, and also to give you a glimpse at what moved my life musically during the twelve months we called 2012. This is not about debating which albums are "better," this is simply about the music. It's always about the music here at Dr. Music's Weekly Checkup.
With that said, let's talk about my list for the past year....

 
Album of the Year
 
1.   Private Sessions - Hydrogyn
2.   Some Nights - fun.
3.   Amaryllis - Shinedown
4.   California 37 - Train
5.   The Church Of Rock And Roll - Foxy Shazam
6.   Back From The Dead - Adler
7.   Born Villain - Marilyn Manson
8.   Thunder - Narada Michael Walden
9.   Sweet Sour - Band Of Skulls
10.   Bangarang - Skrillex

Honorable mention:
  The Midnight Chase - Crucified Barbara, In My Dreams I Can Fly - Bill Berends, Driving Toward The Daylight - Joe Bonamassa, Band Of Brothers - Hellyeah, XXX - Asia, Raise Your Fist - Doro, Tre' - Green Day, Sunken Condos - Donald Fagen, A Different Kind Of Truth - Van Halen
 
Wow, what a year for music!
I personally think there is amazing music available to us each and every year, but we don't always have the good fortune to find it. For me, I found an abundance of worthy releases in 2012 that grabbed my attention away from many of the more popular acts of our time. While I was listening to great new acts like Hydrogyn and Band Of Skulls, I wasn't able to find precious time with favorites like Rush or ZZ Top. Remember, the reason you don't see a lot of these great artists on my list is not because their material was not worthy of mention, it is simply because I never got a chance to sit down and absorb their latest releases.
 
I would like to tell you a little bit about the selections that I think deserve honorable mention. The Midnight Chase is a very good hard rock/metal record from an all-female outfit known as Crucified Barbara. If you like tough chicks that rock out, you'll love Crucified Barbara. Doro Pesch (known simply as Doro) is another tough metal chick that really impressed this past year with her release, Raise Your Fist. There were quite a few good guitar-oriented records released this year, with the Bill Berends and Joe Bonamassa releases among my favorites. In My Dreams I Can Fly is one of the best guitar albums I've heard in quite some time. I think the best party song ever came by way of ex-Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul's band Hellyeah. They have a song called "Drink Drank Drunk" on their Band Of Brothers album that will just kick your ass. With a line like "If this party was the Vatican, then I'd be the Pope," this really is the greatest party anthem of all time. The hard working guys of Asia released another excellent album, XXX, that will sit proudly in their classic catalog, as did the great Donald Fagen. Fagen's Sunken Condos is right in line with his masterful Kamakiriad release from 1993. Green Day is definitely the most prolific band around, releasing three full length CD's in 2012, and they were all pretty good. They have reached a point where they have just the right mix of maturity and teen angst that makes their brand of power pop a significant force. And even though the relationships among the band members and the ensuing tour collapsed under their feet, Van Halen managed to put together a pretty solid record together with A Different Kind Of Truth.
 
It is always a struggle to find enough time to take in as many artists as I possibly can. But, I think it's the same situation for all of us. There are some things that just work their way into the fabric of your life. There is certain music that will define 2012 for you. Sometimes it's the same music that touches millions, and other times it's music that only a few come to know. But, it's that personal journey that is so very special to each of us, and I'd like to share my personal journey through 2012 with you....  

1.   Private Sessions - Hydrogyn

    Some things just find a way to your heart.

    I was given a CD by a band called Crucified Barbara. I listened to it and found it to be quite good, so I went onto iTunes to see what else they had available. It was the "You might also like...." section that pulled me in. I noticed a release entitled Bombshell from a band called Hydrogyn. It featured a stunningly sexy blonde rocker chick on the cover, and me being the shallow male that I am, I had to check it out. When I found that Hydrogyn had a 2012 release, I started rolling some samples. I was instantly impressed. I immediately pulled up the album in Spotify (a music subscription service that I HIGHLY recommend) and started falling in love.

    Some might remark that they've "heard this before" due to its unoriginal sound. They are very reminiscient of a band like Evanescence, but I find their songs to be more on the classic rock side of things, and extremely well crafted. I think that's what it boils down to for me - the song. There are thousands and thousands of bands that sound similar, but there are only a few that can create powerful melodies that get played with passionate instrumentation and vocal prowess. Hydrogyn has all of these elements in fine working order. Vocalist Julie Westlake is the main attraction here, with beauty that just paralyzes. But once you get past the look, there is even more to love about her. She sings with power as well as passion, exercising great control throughout each and every song. Whether the tight band behind her is ripping things up or laying down a lilting ballad, she locks into the mood perfectly. Guitarist Jeff Westlake lays down some great riffs as well as some strong soloing, while the rhythm section of Joe Migs (drums) and Chris Sammons (bass) are rock solid throughout.

    This record had it all, and I found it hard to listen to anything else for a long time.

    You can visit the Hydrogyn official website here: http://www.hydrogyn.com/home   

           2nd Place                  
                                

2.   Some Nights - fun.
  
   It seems that every year there's one pop band that impresses me. There aren't a whole lot of straight-forward, traditional pop bands left, so when I find the lone survivor each year I hang on to them. I think fun. remains faithful to the quirky way they named their band. The lower case title represents the humility, and the period accents the simplicity of what they do. This band is fun, period. 

      Almost any of the songs on this album could be released as a single. It has more hooks than a tackle box, yes, but it also has some superior musicianship to back it all up. Lead vocalist Nate Ruess really delivers great clarity to these songs, while the Queen-like harmonies bolster the mood tremendously. The band incorporates some string arrangements and orchestration which puts the already bold, full sound over the top.

      These were the songs I couldn't get out of my head, and I hope they never leave. Great, simple pop songs done with some intricate arrangements makes for a real fun album, period.

 3rd Place 

3.   Shinedown – Amaryllis

    Shinedown has done it again. This band just might be the most consistent in the hard rock genre. This is another album of great songs that are garnished with tip-top musicianship, highlighted by one of the best voices around. I’ll put singer Brent Smith up against anyone you got. This guy is a powerhouse with no shortage of range or emotion, either. He’s got it all, and these songs put it all to work perfectly. The only thing stronger than Smith’s voice is the songwriting that he lends it to. Just listen to “I’ll Follow You,” and any lover of music will appreciate everything this band has to offer.

4.  California 37 - Train

This has to be one of the bigger surprises for me. I've always respected Train's music, but I have never been drawn to any of it before now. "What makes this album different?," was the question I had to ask myself. So, I investigated the details a little bit and found the key reason that I was so impressed by this Train release - Butch Walker.

    Butch Walker is a big time producer, but he's even a better power pop songwriter. This guy has the Midas touch in the power pop genre, working with the likes of Panic At The Disco, Bowling For Soup, American Hi-Fi, Pink, Taylor Swift, and many many others. Walker co-writes two songs here, and is listed as producer or co-producer for the entire record, and it shows. These songs have Walker's quirky sense of power pop pomp, while exhibiting an overabundance of creative lyrics for most of these tracks. But that's not to say that this is not a Train record. You still get the sharp slice of Pat Monahan's vocals, as well as their acoustic-based homegrown sound. The mixture of Train's rootsy pop with Walker's L.A. street power makes California 37 a trip I thoroughly enjoyed.

5.
   The Church Of Rock And Roll - Foxy Shazam

    Three cheers for rock and roll freedom. You know, that raw kind of rock and roll that breaks the rules and doesn't really care. This is flambuoyant in the spirit of classic Queen, and it does it with no fear. They throw in wailing brass solos and a little funk, just because they can. And there's the rub - they can. These guys pull off each risky musical maneuver with a devilish smirk and a boatload of talent. The comparisons to Queen are unavoidable. Not only do they achieve the same vocal harmony sound, but vocalist Eric Sean Nally is as close as you can get to a modern day Freddie Mercury. The songs here are brilliant in the way that Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls" and "Bicycle Race" are brilliant. You chuckle and shake your head at the silliness, and then you bow down to their amazing musicianship and extreme talents. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if this band becomes huge, or shows up at the top spot of the list in the very near future.  

6.   Back From The Dead - Adler

    Yeah, I picked something by ex-Guns ‘N Roses drummer Steven Adler and put it on my list of top albums of the year. I know, I don’t believe it myself. All I’ve ever seen is a bad junkie attitude from this guy…. until now. This thing rocks. Adler has put together a tight outfit to carry out some very good songs. It seems Adler hired a guy by the name of Jacob Bunton to sing on the record, and it turns out that he’s largely responsible for writing the songs. And Bunton isn’t some Hollywood trash; he’s a singer with a touch of talent and class. With the addition of former Dokken/Foreigner bassist Jeff Pilson helping to produce the record as well as lend his bass lines, this really is a strong effort. This is definitely the biggest surprise of the year.

 
7.   Born Villain - Marilyn Manson

    I can remember a few years ago when I gave Manson’s 2007 album, Eat Me, Drink Me, a horrible review. Since then he’s been on a steady rise, with 2009’s The High End Of Low reminding us of what was, and this release making us forget that he ever stumbled. Manson administers his best offensive lyrics with his trademark haunting slurs and the whirring, clicking, buzzing keyboards that we all hate to love. Now, if we could just get Kid Rock out of the barn and get him pimpin’ hoes again, all will be right in the world.



8.
   Thunder - Narada Michael Walden

    Narada Michael Walden is no stranger to success. As the drummer for Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Weather Report he's proven himself to be one of the best drummers this planet has ever seen, but most of his success has come as a producer. With 56 #1 hits, he's considered by many to be the greatest producer of all time. Walden's midas touch has reached out to legends like Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Mariah Carey, Al Jarreau, and of course, Whitney Houston. There aren't too many in the music business that have had as much success as Narada Michael Walden. That's why this record is so impressive. Walden refuses to rest on his laurels and still sounds like a hungry young musician when he makes music. 

    This album has so many cool elements. It has really impressive guitar work from Matt Heulitt, great funky bass lines from bassist Angeline Saris, and of course, groove heavy drumming from the man himself. Walden also shows off some of his vocal talents on songs that range from edgy rock to soulful R&B to the tightest funk around. This is a fun, adventurous album from a true music legend.

9.   Sweet Sour - Band Of Skulls 

     I'll always remember where I first saw this band. They opened for the mighty Black Sabbath at Lollapalooza, which was streaming live via the internet. I watched this English trio settle in and deliver a heavy groove that was tighter than a pair of 10-year old jeans. Their music is a bit dark and moody, but it all plays out as a work of art. Their sound is a true alternative; one which is difficult to describe or categorize. This is one that you have to fully absorb to really appreciate. It may not be for everybody, but I found myself enthralled by the poise of their style. 









10.   Bangarang - Skrillex


      This is a guy that's absolutely shattering new ground in music. For the full review of Bangarang click here.
 




*******************************************************************************
 
THE PATIENTS LISTS
 
Wayne S. - Arizona, USA
1) Y&T - Live at the Mystic
2) Godz - Last of the Outlaws
3) Overkill - The Electric Age
4) Five Finger Death Punch - American Capitalist
5) Adrenaline Mob - Omerta
6) Godsmack - Live & Inspired
7) KISS - Monster
Rush - Clockwork Angels
 
Kevin H. - Illinois, USA
Joe Pug - The Great Despiser
Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will
                    Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do
  
Rich N. - Illinois, USA
Testament - Dark Roots Of The Earth
 
Patrick M. - Massachussetts, USA
Rush - Clockwork Angels
Rush is one of the most least respected hard rocking bands ever. Unless your name is Neil Young, no one cares about Canadian rock-n-roll. Geddy Lee (bass, keyboards, vocals), Alex Lifeson (guitars), and Neil Peart (drummer, lyricist) have put out many classic albums like 2112 and Moving Pictures since 1974. They have classic songs that still get played on the radio like "The Spirit Of Radio" and "Tom Sawyer," just to name a couple. Yet, they are almost considered an after thought. On June 12th 2012, Clockwork Angels was released. Produced by the band and Nick Raskulinecz, this was a CD that was years in the making. In fact, it was supposed to come out a long time ago. In 2010, they released a CD single Caravan/BU2B then they went on their "Time Machine" tour. Fans were left wondering if the album would ever see the light of day. A novelization by Kevin J. Anderson came out around the same time as the CD, marking the first time Rush was doing a concept album in decades! This is by far the best Rush music in years. Every song is pure late 70's/early 80's brought into the 21st century. "A Clockwork Angels," "Seven Cities Of Gold," "The Wreckers," and "Headlong Flight" are some of the best rock songs the band has put out in years. Don't be surprised if you catch them on that antique they call "radio."
Van Halen - A Different Kind Of Truth
On February 7th, the mighty Van Halen released a new album, A Different Kind Of Truth. It was the first one to feature original singer David Lee Roth since the classic days of VH, and the first one without their long time bassist Michael Anthony. The fact the CD, produced by Jon Shanks, came out at all was something of a surprise in this chapter of the long running Van Halen story started in 2007-8, when the first reunion tour happened. A Different Kind Of Truth is one of the most rocking albums of the year. This is the kind of CD you put in your car and crank it up! The album opens with the mind numbing shredding of "Tattoo." This is the sound of my youth. "You And Your Blues" is no standard 12 bar. "Bullethead" and "As Is" are high speed rock songs that actually sound good. "The Trouble With Never" would fit in classic Van Halen. Speaking of classic, VH's "Stay Frosty" could replace "Ice Cream Man"! What more needs to be said? Except, maybe Album of the Year. 
Patrick was nice enough to take the time to tell us about his concert experiences with Rush and Van Halen as well! You can read his concert reviews and see a few of his RUSH photos by clicking here! 

A. Lisa W. - New York, USA
Jessie Ware - Devotion
 
Danielle D. - Illinois, USA
Mumford & Sons - Babel
Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More
 
Dean H. - Illinois, USA
Jack White - Blunderbuss
Kid Koala - 12 Bit Blues

Roy Melville - Centurion, Gauteng, South Africa
Roy is the former bassist of D-Day 4-Ever, and is the current bassist for South African Rock band The Dying Breed. He is also the owner of the 4Rockers clothing label.

Stone Sour - House of Gold and Bones Pt. 1

Leon T. - Maryland, USA
Blackberry Smoke - The Whippoorwill
Axe – Axeology
Noisettes – Young Wild Hearts
Paramore – Riot
I find myself listening to these albums over and over.
 
Craig D.
Interestingly, I sort of had a 3 way tie. So, on any given day these could be flipped, but as published, this is my official list:
*Deftones - Koi No Yokan     This is a great follow-up to Diamond Eyes; an album that would be hard to top.
*Aerosmith - Music From Another Dimension     Somehow it's fresh, contemporary, and still full-on Aerosmith all at the same time.                                                                                           
*ZZ Ward - When The Casket Drops     One of the best debut albums, certainly. She's gonna go far.                                                                                                                                          
 
Reijo P. - Finland
1. Anna Eriksson - Mana
2. Neal Morse - Momentum
3. PMMP - Rakkaudesta
4. Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday Roman Reloaded
5. Fireflight - Now
6. Lana Del Rey - Born to Die
7. Kikka Laitinen - Suomalaisia rakkaustarinoita 3
8. Manowar - The Lord of Steel
9. Heli Kajo - Elämäsi suloisin virhe
10. Sonata Arctica - Stones Grow Her Name
 
Lori P. K. - Illinois, USA
Dave Matthews Band - Away From The World
 
Shelli A.-R. - Michigan, USA
Styx - Pieces Of Eight
Styx - The Grand Illusion
 
Brendan S. - Illinois, USA
Jack White - Blunderbuss
 
Karen A. - California, USA
Just the usual classic rock that I rotate in and out of my car! Nothing new really!
 
Johan C. - Belgium
1/ The Shins - Port Of Morrow. Five years of waiting, rewarded with what proves to be again a perfect pop record. Flawless.
2/ The View - Cheeky For A Reason. Impossible, not to be amused by the ragged charme of this band and it's DIY pubfolkrock, that is situated somewhere in between Libertines, The Kooks and The Kinks.
3/ Keane - Strangeland. The biggest surprise of the year for me. And proof that 'commercial' is not a four letter word.
4/ Mumford & Sons - Babel. The so called 'difficult' second album proved to be a big, convincing one.
5/ Tom McRae - From The Lowlands. Simply the most romantic album of the year. 
6/ The Maccabees - Given To The Wild. Ambitious and on the verge of being pretentious, this was the record that asked for the most spins to show all its beauty.
7/ Great Lake Swimmers - New Wild Everywhere. Dark brown, autumn like album with beautiful, subtle songs .
8/ Tragically Hip - Now For Plan A. Rival Sons and The Heavy still have some work to do. The most exciting classic rock stills  hails from Canada.
9/ The 2 Bears - Be Strong. That new Hot Chip album was only so and so, but Goddard's side project was a very entertaining mix of house and electro.
10/ ex aequo: Cody Chesnutt - Landing On A Hundred.  American pitch black retro soul
                     Jessie Ware - Devotion.  British white stylish R&B.

Concert of the Year:  Thomas Dolby, Ancienne Belgique, Brussels
 
Chuck M. - Wisconsin, USA 
Clockwork Angels - Rush
 
Vin N. - Arizona, USA
Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Psychedelic Pill
     Extended jams like only they can do. Rock & Roll will never die as long as Neil's around
 
Ed S. - Illinois, USA
Here is a good start for me:
   Skrillex - Bangarang     I LOVE this release. Most DUBSTEP I can't listen to.  I LOVE THIS release.
   Call Me No One - Last Parade
   Projected - Human
   Nonpoint - Nonpoint     This is and has been a daily listen for me.
 
Thierry T. - Switzerland
These are my 5 favourite albums for 2012:
  1. Coheed & Cambria - The Afterman: Ascension
  2. Liquid Wolf - First Light
  3. Ben Granfelt - Melodic Relief
  4. Neal Schon - The Calling
  5. Blindside Blues Band - Generator

I would pay special attention to a band called Les Friction who made something new. (Editor's Note: The self-titled debut from Les Fiction was released on January 24, 2012)
Of course, there are releases from bands like Led Zep and Deep Purple that have drowned my attention, but they didn't make anything new.
 

Here are a few lists from some popular music magazines:
 
ROLLING STONE
50 Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan
49 Amadou And Mariam - Folila
48 The Smashing Pumpkins - Oceania
47 Todd Snider - Agnostic Hymns and Stoner Fables
46 Muse - The 2nd Law
45 Rick Ross - Rich Forever
44 Garbage - Not Your Kind of People
43 fun. - Some Nights
42 Allo Darlin' - Europe
41 The Avett Brothers - The Carpenter
40 Escort - Escort
39 Passion Pit - Gossamer
38 Titus Andronicus - Local Business
37 Justin Townes Earle - Nothing's Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now
36 Bobby Womack - The Bravest Man in the Universe
35 Grizzly Bear - Shields
34 Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls
33 Grimes - Visions
32 Hospitality - Hospitality
31 Taylor Swift - Red
30 Azealia Banks - 1991
29 Dave Matthews Band - Away From the World
28 Beach House - Bloom
27 Gary Clark Jr. - Blak and Blu
26 Django Django - Django Django
25 Donald Fagen - Sunken Condos
24 G.O.O.D. Music - Cruel Summer
23 Divine Fits - A Thing Called Divine Fits
22 Bonnie Raitt - Slipstream
21 Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory
20 Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music
19 Band Of Horses - Mirage Rock
18 Nas - Life is Good
17 John Mayer - Born and Raised
16 Cat Power - Sun
15 Dr. John - Locked Down
14 Best Coast - The Only Place
13 Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas
12 Jimmy Cliff - Rebirth
11 Mumford & Sons - Babel
10 Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Psychedelic Pill
09 Japandroids - Celebration Rock
08 Green Day - !Uno!
07 Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Here
06 Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d city
05 Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel...
04 Bob Dylan - Tempest
03 Jack White - Blunderbuss
02 Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
01 Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball
 
SPIN
50. fun. - Some Nights
49. Heems - Nehru Jackets
48. Best Coast - The Only Place
47. Metric - Synthetica
46. Spoek Mathambo - Father Creeper
45. Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
44. Deftones - Koi No Yokan
43. Kathleen Edwards - Voyageur
42. Lindstrom - Six Cups of Rebel and Smalhans
41. Purity Ring - Shrines
40. Animal Collective - Centipede Hz
39. Roc Marciano - Reloaded
38. Taylor Swift - Red
37. R. Kelly - Write Me Back
36. Beak> - >>
35. Jack White - Blunderbuss
34. Mala - In Cuba
33. Thee Oh Sees - Putrifiers II
32. Goat - World Music
31. The xx - Coexist
30. Frankie Rose - Interstellar
29. Dinosaur Jr. - I Bet On Sky
28. Jessie Ware - Devotion
27. Sleigh Bells - Reign of Terror
26. Tame Impala - Lonerism
25. Action Bronson - Blue Chips
24. Cat Power - Sun
23. Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan
22. Torche - Harmonicraft
21. Daphni - Jiaolong
20. Pallbearer - Sorrow and Extinction
19. Traxman - Da Mind of Traxman
18. King Tuff - King Tuff
17. Grizzly Bear - Shields
16. Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel...
15. Baroness - Yellow & Green
14. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
13. Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory
12. Death Grips - No Love Deep Web
11. Future - Pluto
10. Santigold - Master of My Make-Believe
9. Ty Segall - Twins
8. Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music
7. Swans - The Seer
6. Bat for Lashes - The Haunted Man
5. Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream
4. DJ Rashad - Teklife Vol. 1 - Welcome to the Chi
3. Japandroids - Celebration Rock
2. Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d. city
1. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
 
CLASSIC ROCK
50. Patti Smith: Banga
49. Hawk Eyes: Ideas
48. Paul Weller: Sonik Kicks
47. Bob Dylan: Tempest
46. Ian Anderson: Thick As A Brick 2 - Whatever Happened To Gerald Bostock?
45. Gravelroad: Psychedelta
44. Alabama Shakes: Boys And Girls
43. Baroness: Yellow And Green
42. Killing Joke: Mmxii
41. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: Meet + Bone
40. Mark Tremonti: All I Was
39. Storm Corrosion: Storm Corrosion
38. Leonard Cohen: Old Ideas
37. Heart: Fanatic
36. Chris Robinson Brotherhood: Big Moon Ritual
35. Crippled Black Phoenix: (Mankind) The Crafty Ape
34. Flying Colors: Flying Colors
33. The Heavy: The Glorious Dead
32. Brad: United We Stand
31. The Jim Jones Revue: The Savage Heart
30. Marillion: Sounds That Can't Be Made
29. Shooter Jennings: Family Man
28. Band Of Skulls: Sweet Sour
27. The Cult: Choice Of Weapon
26. Squackett: A Life Within A Day
25. Aerosmith: Music From Another Dimension!
24. Black Country Communion: Afterglow
23. UFO: Seven Deadly
22. Tame Impala: Lonerism
21. Phantom Limb: The Pines 
20. Soundgarden: King Animal
19. Kiss: Monster
18. Anathema: Weather Systems
17. Muse: The 2nd Law
16. Europe: Bag of Bones
15. Walking Papers: Walking Papers
14. Van Halen: A Different Kind of Truth
13. The Gaslight Anthem: Handwritten
12. Slash: Apocalyptic Love
11. Ginger: 100%
10. Lynyrd Skynyrd: Last of a Dyin’ Breed
9. Cory Branan: Mutt
8. The Darkness: Hot Cakes
7. Bruce Springsteen: Wrecking Ball
6. Joe Bonamassa: Driving Towards the Daylight
5. Jack White: Blunderbuss
4. Howlin Rain: The Russian Wilds
3. ZZ Top: La Futura
2. Rival Sons: Head Down
1. Rush: Clockwork Angels
 
Q MAGAZINE
Q Magazine has chosen to release their Top 50 Albums in no particular order this year.
The following is their list of selections in alphabetical order:
The 2 Bears - Be Strong
Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls
Alt-J - An Awesome Wave
Paul Banks - Banks
Bat For Lashes - The Haunted Man
Beach House - Bloom
Jake Bugg - Jake Bugg
David Byrne & St. Vincent - Love This Giant
Cat Power - Sun
Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas
Daphni - Jiaolong
Lana Del Rey - Born To Die
Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan
Django Django - Django Django
Bob Dylan - Tempest
EL-P - Cancer4Cure
Field Music - Plumb
Go-Kart Mozart - On The Hot Dog Streets
Grimes - Visions
Grizzly Bear - Shields
Ren Harvieu - Through The Night
Richard Hawley - Standing At The Sky's Edge
Here We Go Magic - A Different Ship
Hot Chip - In Our Heads
Elton John Vs. Pnau - Good Morning To The Night
Josephine - Portrait
The Killers - Battle Born
Kindness - World, You Need A Change of Mind
Mark Lanegan Band - Blues Funeral
The Maccabees - Given to the Wild
Mala in Cuba - Mala in Cuba
Mumford & Sons - Babel
Muse - The 2nd Law
Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
Orbital - Wonky
Peaking Lights - Lucifer
Plan B - Ill Manors
Emeli Sande - Our Version of Events
Saint Etienne - Words And Music By Saint Etienne
School Of Seven Bells - Ghostory
Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball
Tame Impala - Lonerism
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - Trouble
The Vaccines - Come Of Age
Sharon Van Etten - Tramp
The Walkmen - Heaven
Jessie Ware - Devotion
Paul Weller - Sonik Kicks
Jack White - Blunderbuss
Bobby Womack - The Bravest Man In The Universe
 
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
1. Frank Ocean, “Channel Orange” (Def Jam)
2. Tame Impala, “Lonerism” (Modular)
3. Fiona Apple, “The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do” (Epic)
4. John Fullbright, “From the Ground Up” (Blue Dirt/Thirty Tigers)
5. Japandroids, “Celebration Rock” (Polyvinyl)
6. Bhi Bhiman, “Bhiman” (Boocoo)
7. Emeli Sandé, “Our Version of Events” (Capitol)
8. Grimes, “Visions” (4AD)
9. Jack White, “Blunderbuss” (Third Man)
10. Robert Glasper Experiment, “Black Radio” (Blue Note)
 
CHICAGO TRIBUNE (Greg Kot)   greg@gregkot.com
1. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
2. Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d. city
3. Tame Impala – Lonerism
4. Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music
5. Kelly Hogan – I Like to Keep Myself in Pain
6. Japandroids – Celebration Rock
7. El-P – Cancer 4 Cure
8. Neneh Cherry & the Thing – The Cherry Thing
9. The Coup – Sorry to Bother You
10. Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream
 
METAL HAMMER
1. Gojira - L'Enfant Sauvage
2. Devin Townsend Project - Epicloud
3. Orange Goblin - A Eulogy For The Damned
4. Anathema - Weather Systems
5. Neurosis - Honor Found In Decay
6. Royal Thunder - CVI
7. Black Breath - Sentenced To Life
8. Katatonia - Dead End Kings
9. Meshuggah - Koloss
10. Testament - Dark Roots Of Earth
11. Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind
12. Down - Down IV Part 1 - The Purple EP
13. Ihsahn - Eremita
14. Baroness - Yellow And Green
15. Swans - The Seer
16. Hexvessel - No Holier Temple
17. Turbonegro - Sexual Harassment
18. High On Fire - De Vermis Mysteriis
19. Killing Joke - MMXII
20. Cancer Bats - Dead Set On Living
 
GUITAR WORLD
10. Green Day - ¡Uno!
9. Meshuggah - Koloss
8. Jack White - Blunderbuss
7. Gary Clark Jr. - Blak And Blu
6. Soundgarden - King Animal
5. Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Psychedelic Pill
4. ZZ Top - La Futura
3. Periphery - Periphery II
2. Rush - Clockwork Angels
1. Van Halen - A Different Kind Of Truth
 
ULTIMATE CLASSIC ROCK (ultimateclassicrock.com)
10. Joe Walsh - Analog Man
9. Kiss - Monster
8. Bob Dylan - Tempest
7. Heart - Fanatic
6. Aerosmith - Music From Another Dimension
5. Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Psychedelic Pill
4. Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball
3. ZZ Top - La Futura
2. Rush - Clockwork Angels
1. Van Halen - A Different Kind Of Truth


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