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.
Continue reading “LxL’s Best Albums of 2012”
Swing Lo Magellan
Simple honesty often goes far beyond any high concept or dramatization ever will. Dave Longstreth, frontman and creative force behind the ever-changing Brooklyn indie rock band Dirty Projectors, has seemingly figured that out on the band’s seventh album, Swing Lo Magellan. Longstreth has never had a shortness of ideas, with the Dirty Projectors being known for albums chock-full of interesting and elaborate concepts, from an entire album of reimagined and reinterpreted Black Flag songs in Rise Above, to a “glitch-opera” about Eagles frontman Don Henley that also tackles ancient mexico, post-9/11 America, and oil in The Getty Address. However, Swing Lo Magellan finally shows Dirty Projectors in the glorious height they have been building towards; a beautifully bombastic yet direct pop record bursting with creative touches around every corner.
Continue reading “Dirty Projectors Review: Swing Lo Magellan”
Recently there has just been a slew of “unreleased music” that has been dropped onto the inter-webs. A lot of it is clearly intentional, I suppose to probably get the public interested and eager for the artist’s new material that is about to drop. But whether it is because of song leakage (Antlers), announcement videos (Cat Power), or the artists just straight-up releasing a single/video months before the new album drops (M.I.A/Dirty Projectors), all of the below tracks are out and available for a listen. If these tracks are any implication for the rest of their respective albums, we are in for a real treat in late 2012. So in honor of our “Best of the Year … So Far” lists, here is a little taste of what I have been listening too lately, and what we have to look forward to for the remainder of the year.
Continue reading “LxListening: It Shall Be Released”