LxL’s Best Albums of 2012

Top 20 Best Albums of 2012 including El-P, Jack White, and Fiona Apple

2012 turned out to be a pretty great year in music.  I think all three of us would agree the offerings in 2012 were deep in really good albums, without many albums rising to the level of true greatness.  That being said, I think I would rather have a pool of 60-80 really good albums come out in a year than 9-10 great albums.  Around here, we like variety, and we certainly got it this year.  There was a surprisingly surge of good hip-hop released in the second half of the year (Killer Mike, Nas, Meek Mill).  There was the long-awaited return of all-timer female singer songwriter types (Fiona Apple, Cat Power, Regina Spektor).  And there were also several much-anticipated sophomore wide releases (Sleigh Bells, Tame Impala, Beach House, Twin Shadow).  All in all, there may not have been a lot of perfect albums this year, but it was still a great year in music.  Enjoy the top 20.
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Twin Shadow Review: Confess

Twin Shadow

Confess

twin shadow confess album cover art

In the past week, the high temperatures in St. Louis have routinely been in the 106-110 degree range on a daily basis.  I have lost power twice due to this onslaught, and am also on a minimum two-shower-per-day regimen.  For the first time in my life I have turned down free Cardinals tickets simply because I don’t want to brave the results of Al Gore’s wrath for not heeding his ample warnings of climate change.  I’m not sure it’s a coincidence that Twin Shadow’s sophomore album Confess emerged during the greatest heat wave I can remember in my lifetime.  In fact, George Lewis Jr. (who is ostensibly Twin Shadow) may have made an album so hot it directly contributed a few degrees to the ever-rising heat indexes.
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Top Ten Thursday: Best Albums of 2012….so far

It is a little over halfway through 2012 and a large breadth of music has been released in this time.  This of course means that it is time to list what, in our opinion, are the best albums so far this year.  We do this not to proselytize our readers into congratulating us on our superb music tastes, but instead to evaluate the current musical landscape.  Today’s list will also provide some loose guidelines for when we do make our end of the year list – although it is merely a predictor and not definitive on how we will feel at the end of the year.
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Chromatics Review: Kill For Love

Chromatics

Killmatics for Love

chromatics, kill for love, album, cover, art

Opening with a cover of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey My My (Into the Black)”, or any Neil Young song for that matter, is a move that most bands would not even attempt.  Even if a band did decide to cover the Neil track, they most likely would bury at the end of an album, just in case it went over poorly.  Chromatics, on the other hand, decided to take a path that was most bold, and proudly display their toned-down, ethereal version of the Crazy Horse-aided classic at the forefront of their new double LP, Kill for Love.  Chromatics version, “Into the Black”, does what any good cover does, and adds a nice change of the pace to the original without completely deconstructing everything that makes the original so amazing.  Gone are the electric guitar chords dropping like a hammer, and in is some well-placed sparse piano and a little synthesizer.  Also, a good contrast to the original are the pretty  vocals of Ruth Radelet, who trades off vocal duties with bandleader Johnny Jewel throughout the album. 

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