Episode 18: Best Of 2012

If you think about the sheer quantity of music that was released in 2012, the thought of compiling anything into some sort of consensus seems a fool’s errand. Yet, this year, like every year, our prehistoric brain takes over and we are once again force to assign, rearrange, tabulate and label until we are able to put together one of man’s greatest contributions to the universe: The list.

This year, eleven voters ended up contributing over seventy different albums to a pool that ultimately had to be whittled down to just ten. Every single staffer here has one thing in common - THEY FUCKING LOVE MUSIC – and I think this list represents not only the diversity of the ChunkyGlasses team, but why what we do is so much damn fun.

But the time for writing is done this year. Now we hash it out, mano y mano, for your listening pleasure. For the faint of heart, we’ve broken this booze soaked supersized podcast into ten bite size nuggets to consume at will should you choose. Either way, strap in, grab a cold one (or ten) and get ready to find out what happens when a bunch of music nerds with no filters lock themselves in a basement and hit record.

70 albums. 11 contributors. Only the strong survived
The Official ChunkyGlasses Top 10 Albums of 2012!!

Episode 18: Best Of 2012

10

Alt J - An Awesome Wave

"It’s nearly impossible to describe the album, which won this year’s Mercury award in Britain, without referencing that Alt-J has clearly found the soul and innovation Radiohead abandoned over the past five years.  Joe Newman’s reedy voice weaves the best threads of world influence into ridiculously layered electronics, and the entire album runs like a drug-addled trip around the globe.  The band’s name is written Alt-J because that’s the keyboard shortcut on a Mac to make the Delta symbol (?) – if this album weren’t spectacular, the whole thing would smack of a project by a bunch of art school jackholes, but fortunately for them it is spectacular." - Carrie

#10: Alt-J - An Awesome Wave

9

Dinosaur Jr. - Bet On Sky

"...I Bet On Sky doesn’t break much new ground, nor would Dino Jr.’s fans want it to. The leadoff single “Watch the Corners” starts with a crunchy one-chord intro before finding its way to the melodic noise that Mascis excels at. At 46, Mascis’ voice has never sounded better, inasmuch as a voice that doesn’t actually sing as much as mumble with style can sound better. He manages to convey some emotion on a slower tune, “Stick A Toe In,” which hearkens back to another Dino Jr. song, “I Don’t Wanna Go There,” with Mascis asking in both songs if he’s doomed to “walk alone.” “Pierce the Morning Rain” may cover the most ground in terms of illustrating all Dino Jr. does well; the opening riff throws a nod to Nirvana’s “Scentless Apprentice” before seguing into the kind of jaunty rock found on songs like “The Wagon,” then right back to the Sabbath power chords. It’s a garden of delights." - Justin

#9: Dinosaur Jr - I Bet On Sky

8

Frank Ocean - Channel Orange

"It’s a concept album. It’s a confession. It’s a snapshot of LA life unlike anything we’ve seen in years. Landing somewhere between Steely Dan and Stevie Wonder, Frank Ocean has made the album of his career and lucky for all of us, he’s just getting started.  channel Orange is topping best of lists everywhere you look and it’s with good reason: It’s simply that good."

#8: Frank Ocean - channel Orange

7

Damien Jurado - Maraqopa

"Maraqopa has the sound of a man’s soul, and while such efforts ultimately need no reward, we’re all that much better off having a record like this that we can reach for when we’re in need of inspiration, solace, or just a reason to waste half an hour or so and escape from the world around us." - Kevin

#7: Damien Jurado - Maraqopa

6

David Wax Museum - Knock Knock Get Up

"There are moments in any and all band’s careers that you can point to and say “That’s it. That’s where they found themselves” and Knock Knock Get Up is that record. Sure the donkey jawbone is still a prescient force in this set, but chief songwriter David Wax pulled ever so gently away from his exploration of Mexican folk to make room for some more modern influences and in the process found his balance as a songwriter." - Kevin

"Mexifolk-laden, multi-instrumental songs not only have an amazing feel to each and every freaking one of them, but the lyrics are something that only a really smart dude could come up with – a really smart dude from Harvard, as it turns out." - Carrie

#6: David Wax Museum - Knock Knock Get Up

5

First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar

"The Soderberg sisters have grown up in a hurry and keep getting better. This alternately beautiful and haunting album doesn’t have a weak spot on it, and a guest appearance by the Felice Brothers (among many others) makes for a fun ending." - Justin

"People are moved by First Aid Kit’s music because they are genuinely moved by their music, and one would wager music in general. There’s a joy to all of this music, and it could be argued that the best music is made when that joy manifests itself as real. And only five years into their career, that’s exactly what First Aid Kit is doing which means besides looking forward to a very bright future for the duo,  there’s really only thing left to do:Throw some devil horns and say sparka röv ladies! Sparka röv!" - Kevin 

#5: First Aid Kit - The Lion Roars

4

Chromatics - Kill For Love

"Dark, dreamy, and incredibly cool, Kill for Love is not only a big step forward for Johnny Jewel’s enigmatic Chromatics, it is also the most fully realized album of the year." - Paul

"Johnny Jewel's cooler-than-school nouveau-Moroder-meets-cinematic-moodscaper outfit stays fresh, minimalist, slightly blurry, and just out of reach. Still evoking something vaguely noir, distinctly urban and nostalgically modern, this gem is confident and sexy while understated and is a work of art from start to finish, worth all the peaks and valleys and best taken in behind the wheel and after dark, Gosling style." - Roddy

#4: Chromatics - Kill For Love

3

Hundred Visions - Permanent Basement 

"Good morning class, my name is Dr. Jim Sullivan and I’ll be your instructor for this semester’s class; Introduction on How to Rock Face 101. Here is your first assignment. I want you to go home, put on Hundred Visions Permanent Basement and loosen up your rock maneuvers along with some serious rock face. Although, there is one condition, you cannot, and I repeat, do not, at any point in this exercise rock face to this album into or near a mirror or any other reflective surfaces.  I’ll see you all tomorrow for our discussion." - Andre

"In the most unexpected turn of events of 2012, Hundred Visions made a record that was 100% bulletproof in that the only acceptable response after one, ten, or one hundred listens is “FUCK YEA!!!" - Kevin

#3: Hundred Visions - Permanent Basement

2

Father John Misty - Fear Fun

"A wild romp through LA and the deserts that surround it, Tillman didn’t just build his record around stories, but around characters as well and he plays each and every one of them to perfection. Poet, rock star, sex symbol, shaman, uber-hippie…it’s all a part of this long strange trip of a perfectly executed song cycle." - Kevin

"Whatshisface Tillman (he spends a lot of time talking about how much he dislikes his first name) may be the loveliest man born in the past 35 years and his voice can get you pregnant through your headphones, so ladies, you’ll want to be careful when listening to this album. " - Carrie

"Former Fleet Fox Josh Tillman’s eighth album is a wonderful slacker ode to Los Angeles that, like the city, grows on you the more you’re immersed in it." - Justin

#2: Father John Misty - Fear Fun

1

Japandroids - Celebration Rock

"Not just the best record of this year, but perhaps the best record of the past five years. An absolutely masterful cacophony of joy and celebration. It’s albums like this that make you glad to be a music geek." - Justin

"It was the best of the year when it first came out and it remains so six months later.  Want to party?  Celebration Rock. Feeling nostalgic for the god times you once had?  Celebration Rock understands.  Feeling down?  Let Celebration Rock bring you up.  Got a case of existential ennui?  Let Celebration Rock kick your sad ass into gear." -  Paul 

#1: Japandroids - Celebration Rock


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