Top Albums of 2012

Here’s my ranking of the nine albums I purchased in 2012.

1. Garbage – Not Your Kind of People

garbA huge comeback for the band, who seemingly disbanded after 2005’s poorly received Bleed Like Me album. The band’s signature mix of guitars and keyboards is back in a better ratio this time, and there’s some incredible songwriting here too. Lots of great grooves and riffs on this album.

2. Metric – Synthetica

Not as good as their last effort, but Synthetica proved to have lots of great material in any case. I like the new-wave influence with Metric.

3. Tenacioius D – Rize of the Fenix

Gotta give the band credit for addressing in song their 2006 film flop as well as the different kind of celebrity status between Jack Black and Kyle Gass. The sound on this records is incredible with the band overall taking a heavier approach than previous albums. Funny songs and bits and some great drumming by guest-drummer Dave Grohl.

4. The Killers – Battle Born

A strong effort that feels at time very epic. I like the mix of keyboards and guitars and even the country-tinge to some of the songs.

5. Don Tiki – Hot Lava Holiday Songs EP

Another great effort by the Exotica stalwarts. Fun Christmas record that had the quality been represented across an entire album might have topped this list. As it is, the six-song EP is loads of fun and well worth adding to your Christmas collection.

6. Madonna – MDNA

Bonus rating for the deluxe version that includes my favorite song from 2012, “Beautiful Killer.” I’m not a fan of the cheerleader stuff on “Give Me All Your Luvin” but otherwise there’s a lot of good dance material. An “average” Madonna album is still pretty good.

7. No Doubt – Push and Shove

Most disappointing comeback of 2012. Despite working on the album for over three years, the end result is a confusing mish-mash of styles with many songs offering several different style and melodies. As with the Gwen Stefani solo albums, I tend to prefer the “album material” over the singles (especially the awful lead single “Settle Down”).

8. Soundgarden – King Animal

The album would get a higher rating if the standout track from The Avengers “Live to Rise” had been included here. Definitely a good album overall, and it’s nice to see the band back together after 15 years. Just a little light on hooks and riffs compared to their best work (and singer Chris Cornell’s band Audioslave).

9. Men without Hats – Love in the Age of War

Last place on my list but given this is the first album I’ve ever purchased from the group I don’t think they’ll mind. At least it’s on the “puchased albums list” eh? Actually, it’s not a bad album – very retro-oriented with swirly keyboards and choppy lyrics. I still love the New Wave sound and apparently so do the Men.

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