Saturday, December 21, 2013

2013 Ultimate Music Megapost: Best Songs of the Year Countdown, 20-11

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20. Biffy Clyro – “Biblical”

When it comes to soaring, string-drenched, dramatic, ridiculous, belt-it-at-the-top-of-your-lungs fun, Biffy Clyro have shown that the best over-the-top rock ballads come from this little known Scottish band. First with “Many of Horror” and now with “Biblical”, Biffy Clyro have done it again.

19. Lana Del Rey – “Young & Beautiful”

Lana Del Rey’s emergence was perfectly timed for Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby”, and the movie’s best scene sat atop the throwback sultry vocals and drama of Del Rey’s “Young & Beautiful”. The song stands on its own, but placed over the glitz, glamour, and emptiness of the film, it soared.

18. The Arcade Fire – “Reflektor”

“Wake Up” may always be the song people recognize from The Arcade Fire, but “Reflektor” might just be their greatest triumph. Spanning over seven and half minutes, “Reflektor” has just about everything: alternating English and French vocals, drama, complicated musicianship, a pulsating chorus, and a David Bowie cameo.

17. Vampire Weekend – “Step”

No one sounds like these guys. I mean, just listen to the instrumentation at the beginning. Then comes the ridiculously catchy poetry at the beginning. You’ll be singing that opening verse over and over if you’re like me.

16. Drake – “Hold On, We’re Going Home”

They say every indie blog always has some pop hit they throw in there. I swear I’m not doing this on purpose though (and, I wrote this before Pitchfork made it their #1, I promise)! I was disappointed with the new Drake album compared to most, but this track is absolutely infectious. The song has flow, and Drake’s vocals over the R&B groove and synths make this track the best Top 40 song of the year.

15. The Boxer Rebellion – “Diamonds”

“Diamonds” may immediately seem to be regular with its British mid-tempo-ness . But there’s more than meets the ears. The vocal delivery, sang matter of factly and pensively, fits the mood perfect. And the song sails at the end, blending guitars perfectly as the song’s pace races to the finish.

14. CHVRCHES – “The Mother We Share”

CHVRCHES’ synth pop, in the mold of a female fronted M83, broke out this year. And while the album is brought down by sounding a little too much the same, standouts like the stellar “The Mother We Share” showcase their talents perfectly. The synths swirl and the 80’s are revived, and Lauren Mayberry’s sweet delivery takes it over the top.

13. The Strokes – “Chances”

How did The Strokes get to this point? Hard to understand, but if you get over it, you’ll find so much to love. “Chances” has Julian Casablancas straining his falsetto before the most affective chorus of his career hits. “I take my chances alone/get on your horse and be gone/I will not wait up for you anymore/so you can ask me if something is wrong” he sings, perfectly encapsulating the feeling of acceptance that some things need to come to an end.

12. Blood Orange – “Chamakay”

Probably the most surprising inclusion on this list, “Chamakay” struck me by complete surprise. Simply, I’ve never heard anything like it. This is experimental R&B, but it’s infused with an islander vibe to create something absolutely unique. Combined with the perfect male/female vocal pairing and entrancing video, “Chamakay” became one of my favorite tracks of the year.

11. The Arctic Monkeys – “Do I Wanna Know?”

The beauty of this song is all right up front. There’s the best guitar groove of the year. There’s the simple, plodding beat. Then there’s the vocal kicking in, Alex Turner’s trademark cheeky delivery dropping lines like “So have you got the guts?/Been wondering if your heart's still open and if so I wanna know what time it shuts/Simmer down and pucker up/I'm sorry to interrupt. It's just I'm constantly on the cusp of trying to kiss you” as only he can.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

2013 Ultimate Music Megapost: Best Songs of the Year Countdown, 30-21

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30. Smith Westerns – “Varsity”

This song is sort of my flavor of this week, so it’s dangerous to try to rank it, but I’m addicted to this last song on an album that keeps growing on me. Awash with synth strings, “Varsity” motors forward, underpinned by some fantastic guitar work and hopeful vocals.

29. The Civil Wars – “Eavesdrop”

Their messy breakup tainted the album, but songs like “Eavesdrop” remind us why the band will be missed. “Eavesdrop” is full of the signature tension and drama that defined their sound, and possibly contributed to their demise. Let’s hope they straighten things out, because there no better male-female vocal combo in music that John Paul White and Amy Williams.

28. Cold War Kids – “Water & Power”

Cold War Kids’ revival album rushes to the start with the opening track “Miracle Mile”, but it’s soul is in “Water & Power”. Reverb and soft piano grow into an imploring song. “Are you willing? Are you brave?” they ask.

27. Local Natives – “Mt. Washington”

If angst and longing are what you’re after, “Mt. Washington” brings it in spades. For a band once clapping over songs about “sun hands”, Local Natives sure learned how to bring the heartache to their songs quick. “Mt. Washington” builds to a cathartic finish, and never has a line like “I don’t have to see you right now” hurt so much.

26. Kings of Leon – “Supersoaker”

I don’t think we’re ever getting the KoL I used to adore back in the day, but each album is full of nice little reminders. On their newest effort, “Supersoaker” is the reminder at how good these guys can be at that gritty Southern rock they brought to the mainstream. I was singing “I don’t mind sentimental girls at times” for weeks.

25. The Head and the Heart – “Another Story”

Two albums now for The Head and the Heart, and I’ve simultaneously dislike them both while loving one single track. Last time around it was “Down in the Valley”, and this time it’s the wonderful “Another Story”, pounding along with a percussive piano and an infectious melody.

24. Bootstraps – “Forty Five”

If you’re like me you love driving alone at night listening to a great song on the open road. With “Forty Five”, Bootstraps must have set out to make the absolute perfect night driving song. Forward moving, pensive, and breathy, “Forty Five” needs to be listened to behind the wheel to fully enjoy.

(No preview available. According to their facebook, they just got signed and their songs will be up soon. When they become available again, check them out.)

23. London Grammar – “Sights”

On an album full of sweeping drama, the highest high of London Grammar’s stellar debut is the climax of “Sights”, when the song builds and builds to an incredible moment around the 2:30 mark.

 

22. The National – “Demons”

On an album full of greatness, “Demons” stands out. Berninger’s signature baritone starts on its lowest end, tying the song into emotional knots before letting it all unravel.

21. Volcano Choir – “Alaskans”

I can’t resist two Volcano Choir songs on this list, because “Alaskans” has grown and grown on me. A simple song, the track is nary more than an acoustic guitar and Vernon’s vocals echoing. Vernon’s always used the falsetto in Bon Iver, but here he perfectly balances his natural vocals with the trademark falsetto perfectly.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

2013 Ultimate Music Megapost: Best Songs of the Year Countdown, 40-31

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40. The Airborne Toxic Event – “Timeless”

Proving I haven’t completely abandoned radio-ready modern rock, The Airborne Toxic Event make their second appearance in my year end lists with an ear-friendly track that’s is easy to digest, but has the kind of melody that sticks with you.

39. Broken Bells – “Holding on for Life”

James Mercer (of The Shins) and Danger Mouse team up to help us all look forward to their 2014 album by channeling the Bee Gees over modern production, and giving me more proof that I am completely impartial about anything Mercer touches.

38. Great Good Fine OK – “You’re the One for Me”

Falsetto over an electro groove? Not exactly my recipe for success. But then they dish “hit ‘em with a little bit o’ crazy” and the chorus sweeps in. It might not be my normal style, but that hasn’t stopped me from playing it on repeat.

37. Caveman – “Chances”

At first glance Caveman comes off like another 80’s retread, but dig deeper and you find tracks like “Chances”, channeling Brian Wilson and Noah Lennox on vocals while building and building until it starts to envelop your headphones like the best tracks from The Antlers.

36. Bear’s Den – “Sahara”

Here’s one for ye lovers of indie folk. “Sahara” is basically Snow Patrol vocals and building tendencies with a folk vibe. The song requires some patience, but there’s a payoff. The guitars 2:30 into the song get the song rolling, and a little after the four minute mark one of the single best sections of music this year strikes your headphones. The last two minutes of this song are bliss.

35. MS MR – “Hurricane”

Echoing over a slow-but-steady beat and a smattering of strings, “Hurricane” offers a deft mixture of alt rock and mellow synth pop, crafting casually delivered introspective vocals and lyrics that welcome you to the self-conscious “inner workings of my mind”.

 

34. Grizfolk – “The Struggle”

With folk right in the title, you’d think you’d have an idea what you’re getting. And while “The Struggle” has an indie folk charm, the band’s two Swedish producers lend their hand to supply the song with a vibe that’s completely different. If Of Monsters and Men can hit it big, I see some room for “The Struggle” in everyone’s collections.

33. Iron & Wine – “Winter Prayers”

Sam Beam has taken his Iron & Wine project all over the map, starting with hushed, whispering vocals and moving all the way into the lush, electronic production of his last album. Somewhere in the middle he found his sweetspot with The Shepherd’s Dog, and “Winter’s Prayer” represents a welcome return to Beam’s niche. The song is sad, haunting, and beautiful; Beam’s calling cards. “Slide down South, when once in a while your confidence leaves you”, he sings. It’s a prayer for home from a man who needs rejuvenation.

32. Pearl Jam – “Sirens”

“Sirens” joins a pantheon of Pearl Jam ballads that have served as some of their most memorable songs over the past two decades, and I think it’s a fair assessment to say that it stacks up as one of their best.

31. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Sacrilege”

When Karen O hits her stride, her band’s songs can be absolute powerhouses. Though her newest album was more misses than hits, “Sacrilege” is a strong exception, exploding and building a swarming rock song. The gospel choir may be over the top, but only in the best of ways.

Check Out Songs 50-41 Here

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2013 Ultimate Music Megapost: Best Songs of the Year Countdown, 50-41

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50. Portugal. The Man – “Atomic Man”

Prolific indie vets Portugal. The Man may have never hit it big, but they have the chops to. Songs like “Atomic Man” pack the rock groove of The Black Keys with the vocals of a pepped up festival sing-along.

49. MGMT – “A Good Sadness”

I unleashed my ire about the MGMT album and their career trajectory in my mini-review, but the disappointing nature of the album has nothing to do with the hazy and wonderful “A Good Sadness”, which grows out of fuzz and smoke to become a reminder of MGMT’s squandered talent.

48. Rogue Wave – “College”

Way back in 2008, the song “Lake Michigan” made the cut at a way-too-low #20. Five years later, and after a string of album’s that didn’t grab my attention, they hit back with “College”, a forward moving song with Rogue Wave’s delivering both a hook and vocals that speak with wisdom and experience.

47. Mutual Benefit – “Advanced Falconry”

Lying somewhere between Sufjan Stevens and Devendra Barnhart, “Advanced Falconry” is soaked in strings and is an unabashed love song, drenched in positivity. “Oh to stare into the void, and see a friendly face”.

46. Cub Scouts – “Told You So”

Enjoy them as Cub Scouts now, because the internet tells me they have had to change their name, which I guess means they got big enough for people to care. “Told You So” is a synth pop jam with a great, hooky chorus that will get lodged in your head. It may be winter now, but this is a great summertime song.

45. Grizzly Bear - ”Will Calls (Marfa Demo)”

Grizzly Bear are elite indie rockers, capable of pushing out b-sides that compete with the best. “Will Calls” is the top track on a stellar b-sides EP, growing from a haunting soft synth and bursting free into an energetic chorus.

44. Sia ft. The Weeknd & Diplo – “Elastic Heart”

I’ve separately showcased Sia and The Weeknd before, but even I’m surprised at how much I let this pop doozy get to me. Sia lends her pipes to a catchy chorus, and The Weeknd’s always impressive pipes play well. Sia, who once before got props from me for her work on the Twilight soundtrack, is making quite a name for herself in blockbuster soundtracks.

43. Jimmy Eat World – “Damage”

Jimmy Eat World is still kicking, and my shameless fanboy-ness still remains. So here I am, once again, using my position as Author of the Blog to remind you that they remain awesome, making pensive alt rock jams better than anyone.

42. Amarante – “The Despondent One”

Husband/wife duo Amarante have a deft handle on the nighttime mood, filling dark spaces with their brand of indie folk. “The Despondent One” moves along on the back of a trickling piano and insistent percussion.

41. Youth Lagoon – “Mute”

“Mute” is a cacophony of sounds at times, mashing a barrage of noise over Trevor Powers’ timid vocals, nearly drowning it out. When the song hits its crescendo though, Powers’ vocals suddenly sail out, creating one of the best moments in music this year.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

2013 Ultimate Music Megapost: Top 15 Albums of 2013

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I remember last year really struggling on the albums section, with barely enough to fill my standard top 15. That happens sometimes. It’s what is obviously a good problem to have, unless you’re trying to write a very specific “Top 15 Albums of the Year” column. But that’s okay, it just means 2013 was a good year. It wasn’t 2007 strong, nor 2010 strong, but it’s a step up from last year, that’s for sure. Please enjoy my top selections from a strong year:

15. Smith Westerns – “Soft Will”

Soft Will is an album that I’ve owned since July but barely gave the time of day. I never even reviewed it. But then suddenly in November I started giving it a fair shake and it really grew on me. Led by stellar “Varsity”, the album is full of little gems, like the guitar running through “Best Friend”, the dreaminess of “Glossed”, and the lyrical delivery on “Idol”.

 

14. James Blake – “Overgrown”

This is the second album in a row where the overall strength of the album doesn’t show in how I feel about every individual track. Blake excels at creating a mood of darkness, and his albums are sparse and haunted. When he abandons the minimalism for fleeting moments like on “Retrograde”, he absolutely soars. Overgrown is not an album to casually pop on; it’s an album meant for the exact right moment, when songs like “Life Round Here”, “Dim”, and “Overgrown” can get under your skin, while “Retrograde” can blow you away.

13. Arctic Monkeys – “AM”

Even with how much I loved the Arctic Monkeys’ debut album back in 2006, tracks like “Mardy Bum” and “When the Sun Goes Down” didn’t exactly scream that this was a band with staying power, especially as the cheeky Brits faced the inevitability of growing older. Color me wrong, because AM is fantastic and their best effort since their buzzworthy debut seven years ago. And although “consistency” is not exactly the primo word to throw at an album, it’s striking how consistent this album is: front to back, there’s nary a bad track on the whole thing. “Do I Wanna Know?” kicks it off just right and it carries right on through slow-jammer “I Wanna Be Yours” without barely skipping a beat.

12. The Boxer Rebellion – “Promises”

Promises starts about as strong as it gets, bolting out of the gate with two year-end-list-worthy four star tracks. And the songs couldn’t be more different. “Diamonds” is the mid-tempo thinkpiece that ponders along in wonderment, while “Fragile” builds and builds into a rock masterpiece (and the running track of the year…trust me, try it on a run). What follows doesn’t live up the beginning, but it doesn’t have to. “Take Me Back” rolls along with forward motion, while “Dream” and “You Belong to Me” have a U2 vibe.

11. Cold War Kids – “Dear Miss Lonelyhearts”

It’s my pleasure to welcome one of my favorite bands back into the fold. After two downright brilliant albums and one disappointing dud in which they attempted to mold their sound into something very un-Cold War Kids-y, the band came back with Dear Miss Lonelyhearts, an album that introduces itself with the romp “Miracle Mile”, an immediate declaration that the band was back to good. It didn’t stop there, with the moving “Water & Power” proving to be one of the most impactful tracks of the year, and songs like “Tuxedos”, “Bottled Affection”, and “Jailbirds” holding down a strong middle pack of tracks on a very strong album. If anything, this album established that their previous effort was just a blip of a misstep, rather than the beginning of the end, and this makes me very happy.

10. The Arcade Fire – “Reflektor”

No doubt destined to be #1 on many blogs, Reflektor may very well end up earning the curse of the hyped: simultaneously excellent and overrated. It sure doesn’t skimp on ambition, and for that I applaud it. But although my praise may sound faint, it’s in my list for a reason. The title track, “Reflektor”, is a seven and a half minute masterpiece that will go down as one of their all-time great tracks, high praise for a band with such a strong discography. “Flashbulb Eyes” is a sonic treat, Win Butler’s breathy delivery on “Normal Person” is delightful, and “Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice) is classic Arcade Fire, and the dark “Porno” rivals “Reflektor” as the album’s best.

9. Pearl Jam – “Lightning Bolt”

I’ve always been a Pearl Jam fan, but I was a little caught off guard by how much I enjoyed Lightning Bolt, and album that to me represented growth and maturity from Eddie Vedder’s aging outfit. Some bands struggle with development as they cope with turning from angry 20 year olds to angry 40 year olds. On Lightning Bolt, Pearl Jam copes by easing up a little bit, most prominently displayed on “Future Days”, where Vedder sings about the demons that used to chase him, past tense. There may have been a time when Vedder would have may have resisted the notion of sounding more like a grown man than an angry youth, but at Pearl Jam’s age the mood fits like a glove, and the execution is exceptional.

8. The Strokes – “Comedown Machine”

Say what you will about The Strokes’ career path, but I for one am a big fan of what they’ve transformed into. Comedown Machine is now the second straight Strokes album to make my year end list, and once against it’s a deft blend of rock, electro, and Julian Casablancas’ unique vocals. The stars are the upbeat “One Way Trigger” and “All the Time” combined with the heartfelt “Chances”. The Strokes illustrate the key to growth and molding a band’s sound over the years: if you’re going to morph you must execute well. The Strokes in 2013 sound very little like The Strokes of Is This It, but they still sound excellent.

7. Phosphorescent – “Muchacho”

I was very aware of Phosphorescent before the year started, but I sure didn’t see THIS coming. Matthew Houck had crafted an okay previous album with one real good song, but then in 2013 he drops a stellar album and one of the best songs I’ve ever heard. It all starts with “Song for Zula”, one of three five star songs discovered in 2013, and a song so good it’s worth the album price alone. Houck’s wounded vocals are the key through this alt-country gem, and it carries him through “Terror in the Canyons (The Wounded Master)”, “A New Anhedonia”, and the lengthy and excellent “The Quotodian Beasts”.

6. Daft Punk – “Random Access Memories”

To think I almost didn’t buy this album. Random Access Memories was hotly anticipated and came with an abundance of hype matched possibly only by Arcade Fire this year. They rewarded fans—and created some new ones (me)—with a superbly crafted album that plays better as a whole than as individual pieces, the mark of a great album. The album vacillates between pure electronica/dance numbers (like smash hit “Get Lucky”), festival-ready collaborations like “Doin’ It Right” ft. Panda Bear and “Instant Crush” ft. Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, and heart-wrenching tracks like the absolutely haunting piano-based track that is “Within”.

5. Foals – “Holy Fire”

Regular readers will remember some of my laments in 2012 about the preponderance of bedroom electronica sweeping the web, where some indie girl with tattoos and pink hair writes an entire album in her closet on her computer and the web goes nuts over it. Sure, Purity Ring had some great tracks, but I was yearning for something in the alt rock/indie scene that plain rocked. Enter the 8 minutes of bliss that is “Prelude” and “Inhaler” that kicks off the Foals album Holy Fire. It’s a burning, building, coursing introduction to an album that is equal parts energy, Verve-ish psychedelic-influenced rock (“Milk & Black Spiders), and toe-tapping, night-driving wonder (“Late Night”).

4. Volcano Choir – “Repave”

Of course I’m not surprised that I love something touched by the prolific Justin Vernon (insert obligatory “Justin Vernon is Bon Iver” reminder), but I’m at least a little surprised that I loved something that came under the Volcano Choir moniker. But instead of using Volcano Choir as his outlet for the bizarre, Vernon here amps up the normalcy with superb results, gifting fans a condensed 8 song LP that’s high on quality and low on fluff. There was no better three song stretch in music this year than the glorious “Comrade”, the soaring “Byegone”, and the gorgeous “Alaskans” sequenced in perfect harmony.

3. Local Natives – “Hummingbird”

Possibly the best combination of indie rock and instantly likeable melodies are the Local Natives, whose sunny debut album turned heads in 2010. With Hummingbird, the west coasters up the ante, delivering an album still laden with hooks, but with a more serious lyrical quality. It’s a front-to-back wallop led by “Heavy Feet” all the way back to the emotional core of the album, the duo of “Mt Washington” and “Columbia”, which deals with the loss of the lead singer’s mother. There’s not even an average track on this album.

2. London Grammar – “If You Wait”

Throughout the year London Grammar let single after single trickle out, and with each release I got more and more excited. The final product did not disappoint, as London Grammar released about as perfect a debut album as a band could ask for. Hannah Reid’s powerful vocals drew apt Florence comparisons, though Reid owns a gentler touch, but it’s the music that carries London Grammar’s into special territory. See the guitar work on “Wasting My Young Years” as a prime example. The band has an absolutely stranglehold on how to create atmosphere and space and combine their music with Reid’s vocals. From the perfect intro in “Hey Now” to the triumvirate of lyrical gem “Wasting My Young Years”, goosebump-inducing “Sights”, and soaring “Strong”, this is one of the more memorable debut albums I’ve had the pleasure of listening to.

1. The National – “Trouble Will Find Me”

With my crush on The National reaching Shins-ish level, it must not be surprising that this album ends up at the top. But expectations can be damning too: perennial favorites Iron & Wine and Jimmy Eat World merit only honorable mentions and Arcade Fire sits at #10. This album though? It’s a powerhouse. Everything I love in music is here. Matt Berninger’s lyrics and delivery are self-conscious and relatable (“when I walk into a room, I do not light it up”). The guitar work is without reproach, and The National always make great use of secondary instruments, like the horns that creep in near the end of “Demons”. There are no bad songs here, and there are many great ones. “I Should Live in Salt”, “Heavenfaced”, and “Demons” are giants amongst other giants. My year-long obsession though, is “Pink Rabbits”, a song that gets under my skin, and a song that shows a rare glimpse of sunshine and hope amongst the gloom.

Honorable Mentions, in no particular order:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

2013 Ultimate Music Megapost: Top Ten New Old Songs

I wish this category didn’t have to exist, but I’m an amateur music reviewer who sometimes misses things. And since the whole point is to show you awesome music, I maintain this category annually to ensure that my follies in 2012 are rectified in 2013 to the maximum extent.

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1) Django Django – “Hail Bop”: What is this, space age Beach Boys? Whatever it is, I love love love it, and if I’d found it last year, it would have a top five song.

2) How to Dress Well – “Cold Nites”: I love songs that set a mood, and never has a song captured the mood in its title better than this. Would have been in the top 15 last year.

3) Alt-j – “Fitzpleasure”: Be assured I don’t know what any of the lyrics mean either. But when that first bass kicks in? Wow. Try not to move when this song is turned up loud.

4) Barcelona – “Come Back When You Can”: Was very impressed by these guys when they opened for Andrew McMahon. A little on the sensitive side, but I still love it.

5) Lord Huron – “I Will Be Back One Day”: I blew this one. I knew of Lord Huron, but didn’t give them a chance last year. One of the better indie folk outfits right now, and this is their best track.

6) Sun Airway – “Close” : Atmospheric alt-rock in the mold of The Verve or The Radio Dept

7) The Temper Trap – “Trembling Hands”: Album was subpar, but “Trembling Hands” once again shows the potential everyone saw when they first heard “Sweet Disposition”.

8) The Amazing – “Dragon”: Soft and lo-fi like it’s 2002 all over again, I found this one in a movie and searched it out.

9) A Silent Film – “Anastasia”: Disappointing over-produced album? Yep. But their potential is on full display with the string-laden “Anastasia”, featuring a toe-tapping guitar line.

10) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Ben Bridwell – “Starting Over”: Macklemore’s debut LP earned rave reviews and smash hits, but this is the one I loved, featuring Bridwell of Band of Horses of course.

2013 Ultimate Music Megapost: The Introduction

The following has been deeply plagiarized from my past self. Which according to the definition of plagiarism, is in fact not plagiarism at all. So never mind.

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Hello friends and random internet readers, and welcome to the 2013 edition of the now sixth annual Ultimate Music Megapost! Every year I view this post as the ultimate culmination of my hobby, where I pull together every Saturday morning spent pouring through music blogs, every long drive soundtracked to my current favorite songs, and every excited purchase of a new album. This year I have spent six months deployed to Afghanistan and two months in training (pictured above, is my studio at training), and while this reality may damage some hobbies, in some ways it has enhanced my music listening. Each year I highlight what I feel was the best music of that year in a broad range of categories and then open it up for what I hope will be spirited discussion since, let’s face it, music is one of the most subjective things out there, and something on this list will make you think I’m A COMPLETE IDIOT.

As with every year, I must start with a disclaimer. I’m a big fan of music but by no means is this a profession, which means that I don’t get free music sent to me by bands. This means primarily two things: 1) I haven’t heard EVERYTHING, though I venture to say I’ve heard quite a bit and 2) there are sometimes things that get released in the year prior that don’t make it to my collection until the next year, meaning don’t bother getting spun up letting me know that a song was released in November 2012, although I do try to avoid going too far back if I can help it. If the point is to highlight good new music to the casual fan, then I do not want to leave off a solid track. I also try not to get carried away with single bands, so even if I might feel like one album was so good it might justify having seven songs on the list, I’ll leave that commentary for the Best Albums section and diversify the Top 50. Almost every year there are albums where I could get carried away, so let’s just operate with the understanding that my top two albums this year each contributed at least three songs that would be in a more true Top 50.

As always, I welcome any and all commentary, both positive or negative. This is a massive project to undertake, and although I have fun with it and, let’s be honest, barely anyone reads it, it’s always nice to know that people are giving it a try. It would make my day to know that I helped someone find a new band that they love, and the only way I’ll know that is if you tell me.

Over the next few days and weeks I will be posting different categories, from albums to songs to lyrics. You can start below by clicking on the link. I hope you enjoy it!

Top Ten New Old Songs