Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Halfway Through 2012...

We're over half way through the year... I figured I'd rank all the new albums I've heard so far.

1. Lost In The Trees - A Church That Fits Our Needs

Emotional.  Rich.  Textured.  Atmospheric.  It's hard to find enough words to describe how beautiful this album is.  It's a perfect tribute to Ari Picker's late mother.  It's simultaneously sad and uplifting.  Rarely do you find an album with such a coherent bond between the lyrics and the music.  Here, Picker proves he's an expert in tone.

2. Punch Brothers - Who's Feeling Young Now?

I initially met this album with trepidation, since their previous album is one of my favorites, and I wasn't too keen on the first track, which was released online a few weeks before the full album.  But here they've proven that they can make music that is more accessible, but just as interesting... While staying true to their acoustic instruments.  

3. Anathema - Weather Systems

This is excellent prog rock.  It takes you through a range of emotions, it is intricately constructed (listen to the layered vocals on "The Gathering of the Clouds" in surround sound, and prepare to be blown away), and it just gets better with each listen.

4. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Here

I'm probably in the minority, but I like this better than their previous record.  It doesn't have a hit song, but it does a great job capturing a traditional revival feel.

5. Great Lake Swimmers - New Wild Everywhere

Nice sincere folk rock.  All of the songs are pretty good, and there are some nice, catchy melodies here.

6. Of Monsters And Men - My Head Is An Animal

This is a fun listen.  Lots of bombast; probably closer to the first Edward Sharpe album than the new Edward Sharpe album is.  

7. Darrell Scott - Long Ride Home

Darrell is one of my favorite songwriters, and here we see him making back porch country music.  Simple, honest, and genuine.

8. The Tallest Man On Earth - There's No Leaving Here

I was never the biggest fan of this guy, but he does have an interesting Dylan-esque quality, and I like the acoustic guitar.

9. Bela Fleck & The Marcus Roberts Trio - Across The Imaginary Divide

Saw these guys at Telluride Bluegrass, and was impressed.  It's like a very tight jazz ensemble with a banjo.

10. Leftover Salmon - Aquatic Hitchhiker

I haven't been able to fully digest this one yet, but there are some quality cuts here.

Other albums I like that didn't make my top 10 yet:
Old Crow Medicine Show - Carry Me Back
Farrar, Johnson, Parker, Yames - New Multitudes
Justin Townes Earle - Nothing's Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now
Carolina Chocolate Drops - Leaving Eden
Trampled By Turtles - Stars And Satellites
Rhett Miller - The Dreamer
Andrew Bird - Break It Yourself

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