Late in the year, however, things changed. In October, my friend Erica said I should try out rdio, a music subscription service. She works in music, so I trust her judgment. She gave me three months free on rdio and the first thing I did was add some albums I'd wanted to hear all year, but just didn't make the effort to buy.
I've always been a huge Fiona Apple fan, but for some reason, I kept forgetting to download her newest album. It was the first album I added to my collection. After listening repeatedly (obsessively, almost) for a week, I bought the album on Amazon so I could 'own' it. Kind of the opposite happened with fun.'s latest album Some Nights. After a few cringe-inducing listens, I deleted the album from my collection. It was intensely disappointing, as their debut album was #1 on my list of top albums in 2009.
I now pay for my subscription to rdio and plan to have a much more interesting year musically in 2013. Send me your recommendations, too. Oh, added bonus, I can post a playlist featuring some of my favorite songs of the year right here and you can listen if you want:
In no particular order, here are the six albums I really loved this year. (Maybe in 2013 I'll find a whole 10!)
Motion City Soundtrack, Go -- I spent a few days in a blizzard in Minneapolis watching those dudes make this album, and sometimes when you watch people put so much of their heart into something, you become attached, too. I think it's their best album to date, and I love their creative brains to death. Favorite Track: Son of a Gun
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 -- Does Fiona ever go wrong? I'm serious. This, I honestly think, may be her best album ever. I think it's already shoo'd Extraordinary Machine to second best. This is another bold statement, but it may be in my top ten albums of all time. What. No big deal. She just gets it. She always has. Favorite Track: Daredevil (I may or may not have had a long, involved dream about this song once? Story for another post?)
M. Ward, A Wasteland Companion -- I can't quit this guy, either. His voice and guitar sway me whenever I hear it. Favorite Track: I Get Ideas
Dario Marianelli, Anna Karenina soundtrack -- I have to give it up to Mr. Marianelli. Part of the reason the film got such an emotional response from me was due to the music. Even now when I listen to "Dance With Me," and it crescendos violently, I am frightened and moved thinking of Anna getting carried away by Vronsky. Favorite Track: Dance With Me
Electric Guest, Mondo -- I like to dance. This makes me dance. Also, I saw them play live and while it all sounds electro-fun, there isn't some computer making the beats--their drummer is intense and enjoyable to watch on stage. Sound creating and stuff. (Man, I'm real eloquent this morning, huh Favorite Track: Waves
The Menzingers, On The Impossible Past -- It's kind of like early Brand New with the vocals of The Gaslight Anthem with a dash of Blink-182? I mean, I don't even know anything about this band but a few weeks ago I read it was pretty stellar so I rdio'd that ish and now I'm listening to it on the regular, as they say. Favorite Track: Gates
I'd also like to honorably mention Metric's Synthetica, because I do love the song "Breathing Underwater," but nothing else on the album really took hold for me. And as for the most disappointing album of 2012, that would go to fun., but in second place would be No Doubt's Push and Shove. I can't even talk about it.
What are some of your favorite albums of the year? I'm serious about recommendations. I will add them to my rdio and give them a listen. Who should I check out in 2013? HELP ME.
PS Here's some of my past top albums: 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010