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2012 has been a prolific year for music, with many new releases, some interesting new artists, reunions and astonishing live shows. But which albums can be considered the greatest marvels of 2012? The Toonari Post presents you its very own top-five list of albums on which you should have put your hands during this year.
5. Of Monsters and Men – My Head Is an Animal
The debut album of the indie-folk Icelandic band, it was first released in 2011 in Iceland, and only in 2012 in North America. The album debuted at number six on the U.S. Billboard 200. The extremely successful single ‘Little Talks,’ a catchy tune accompanied by dark and inspiring lyrics, reached the Top 20 in over five countries and positioned as No. 1 on the US Alternative Songs chart. Catchy choruses are a characteristic which pertains to the entire album, along with the contrast created by the male and female voices, and with the monumental sound generated by the accordance of the many instruments used on the tracks. The biggest strength is probably the union, given by sound and lyric, of joyful feelings with very dark ones. Great starting point for a band which seems to be very promising.
4. Tenacious D – Rize of The Fenix
This might be a hazard, but the American rock band delivered this year its best studio album. The originality of the band, which succeeded in developing a mature and smooth rock sound together with extremely ironic lyrics, has to be rewarded. The solid rock‘n’roll is helped by the presence of Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana) on drums, sustaining a series of ridiculous stories told through ironic lyrics and skits. This album is the demonstration that Tenacious D wants to play with everything but the music. Rock’n’roll, indeed, stays as serious as it can get. Rize of The Fenix is the perfect meeting point for two opposite attitudes, with Tenacious D presenting a sound that is completely mature, and an attitude that never matured instead.
3. The Black Keys – El Camino
The album was released in December 2011, but it surely has gained a lot of fame in 2012. Preceded by the single ‘Lonely Boy,’ which captured the attention of most with its catchy melody and amusing video, El Camino reserves many facets to be enjoyed by the listener. With this album The Black Keys have been able to maintain the enormous success gained with the previous studio album Brothers. El Camino is the fastest of the band’s albums, and the rock duo has demonstrated, through its live performances, to be able to keep up with the new tempo and the renovated energy. Drummer Patrick Carney told CBS Local “It [an album] is definitely gonna happen in 2013. It’s just a matter of how long it takes us to make the album and deciding when we want to get back on the road.” With this premises, the expectations are surely set high.
2. Mumford & Sons – Babel
After the success of 2009 Sigh No more, folk-rock band Mumford & Sons released their second studio album, Babel, last September. The fastest selling album of the year in both the UK and the US, Babel keeps up with the great professionalism that characterizes the British band. The band stayed faithful to its musical soul in this album, delivering a highly rocking folk reinvention. Babel, though, sounds angrier, bitterer in respect to Sigh no More. Not to be misinterpreted though, the main message coming from the album is love, the real and deepest meaning of it. Sounding like a crude look at the world, with the frustration won over by the hope created through love, Babel perfectly draws all these different moments of the soul. Excellent work overall, the track ‘Holland Road’ will take the listener into a musical journey hard to forget.
1. Jack White – Blunderbuss
The most awaited album of 2012. After the White Stripes split last year, the future of one of the most talented musicians currently in circulation, as Jack White is, was some sort of concern for most music lovers. In his album Blunderbuss, the Detroit musician experimented with less than expected by many; he mixed in a perfectly smooth and harmonic result different momentum of rock and blues, refreshing old sounds to perform in an innovative final outcome. The mood of the album is a dark one, with the lyrics letting perspire White’s inner demons, although never resulting heavy. ‘Blunderbuss,’ the song that gives the title to the album, is the pearl hidden in the record. A brilliant album, which succeeds to crown White as a solo artist.