2012 Put to Bed; Dreams to Follow
After a lengthy delay, but one not nearly as long as that accompanying its two most recent predecessors, the 2012 best-of list has finally been posted. I’m tempted to try to find some pithy, even witty, way to characterize what’s there and why it was chosen, but time is precious, and so is cleverness. Instead, I’ll simply say that, after a few agonized and pleasurable months of listening and listening again, what you see on the Faves page makes sense and makes that connection between my ears and brain do some wonderful things. I hope what’s there might do the same for you, given the range of approaches represented—combinations of rock, R&B, dance music, folky material, improvised music, and hip-hop alongside other items that resist simple stylistic labels. It’s not all melancholy, and it’s not all sweet. Some of it will make you think, and some will make you dream. All of it will tickle your ears and brain if you let it.
The items you see below are very close to those on the main list. But, as is always the case, they fell short for a few specific reasons. Some are great, but are too single-mindedly retro and/or derivative (if I want to hear musician X, in general I’ll listen to musician x, not someone who recalls her/him). Others contain a number of compelling tracks, but not enough to command a full-on, uninterrupted listen and re-listen. But, again as always, these too are worth giving a solid chance. For the most part, anything you don’t see on either list (e.g., Frank Ocean, Alabama Shakes, Dirty Projectors) was omitted for a reason.
So, without further delay, here’s the also-ran list. Be sure to check out its companion, and stay tuned for more deck-clearing in the weeks to come.
- Actress, R.I.P.
- Jan Bang, Erik Honoré and David Sylvian, Uncommon Deities
- Beak>, >>
- Calexico, Algiers
- Citizen Cope, One Lovely Day
- Dead Can Dance, Anastasis
- Orrin Evans, Flip the Script
- Flying Lotus, Until the Quiet Comes
- Michael Kiwanuka, Home Again
- Laurel Halo, Quarantine
- Lotus Plaza, Spooky Action at a Distance
- David Murray Cuban Ensemble, Plays Nat King Cole en Español
- Piano Magic, Life Has Not Finished with Me Yet
- Saint Etienne, Words and Music by Saint Etienne
- Santigold, Master of My Make-Believe
- Spiritualized, Sweet Heart Sweet Light
- Swans, Seer
- The Sea and Cake, Runner
- Scott Walker, Bish Bosch
- M. Ward, A Wasteland Companion
- Jim White, Where It Hits You
- Sharon Van Etten, Tramp