Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Honorable Mentions

Over the course of this year, my monthly roundups have evolved into those of an almost “normal” blogger. My usual modus operandi is to write about music, framing reviews on personal experience.  For me, however, everyday experience is interwoven with music, so in my book, periodically taking some space to jot down some generalized thoughts from the month to go along with the playlist doesn’t seem too out of bounds. Reader response has been pretty positive on these posts, though, so I assume that most of my readers don’t mind the indulgence too much.  In truth, the blog's success over the course of this year has exceeded my expectations.  Thanks for that.

Like the last few years, this one has been one of big changes.  For the curious, the high points are mostly recounted in these monthly entries (they should all be labeled).  At this time last year, some of those changes I probably could have predicted while others I certainly could not.  While I am not one to invest too strongly on New Year's resolutions, I do have some goals for 2013.  You will have to stay tuned for the details as they unfold. 

Although I am quite satisfied with the results from this year’s top twenty, there are, as last year, a few albums that got edged out. I came across a lot of great music this year, so I had to split hairs on some pretty trivial stuff. All of these albums are great, though, and deserve some recognition. They are, in no particular order:

 Steven WilsonGrace for Drowning: Although Wilson intended for this album to be digested in two separate parts, it works best as a whole, but as a whole, it’s a little too long. I cannot, however, in any way overstate his incredible genius.

The RootsUndun: I have documented elsewhere my love for this album as well as the difficult decision I had in leaving it off the “best of” list. More than almost any other honorable mention, Undun is one of the best albums I have heard this year.

GrimesVisions: I don’t think that it is too much to say that Claire Boucher is the herald of new generation of indie/pop artist. Her debut as Grimes is excellent, if marred slightly by some unfocused moments.

Sigur RosValtari: Sigur Ros is one of my all-time favorites, so this was a tough one. Valtari has some classic moments on it, but also has some ambient wandering that bumped it off the list.

Beach HouseBloom: There is a lot there to like on Bloom, and I enjoy listening to it when I put it on.  It has a very annoying “hidden track” at its end, however, that I just have to take a stand on. 

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