Dropped by The Dropp
This has been something of a sad year. Aside from How to Dress Well’s new album (heh. He says he’s the “sad guy”), pop extraordinaire Whitney Houston and Beastie Boy’s Adam Yauch died and so did Don Cornelius of Soul Train as well as famous classic jazz pianist Dave Brubeck. And when the year’s celebrity deaths include such influential names like that, you know the Mayans were at least onto something regardless if they got the whole, you know, flaming meteors and world-engulfing tsunamis right. Speaking of which, looks like we’re still all alive and well a week later, so congratulations to you! May as well live it up this New Year’s Eve, right?
We at the Dropp would like to present to you our Best 50 Albums of 2012 list. We’ve had quite the musical year with everything from middle-aged hardcore bands to electronic-meets-folk collaborations. We’ve had a lot to look back on fondly, and thankfully, a lot to look forward to anxiously. So let’s see out the year with our favorites. Don’t forget we’ve already counted down to our best live shows, songs and metal albums.
Thank you for being our beloved readers and for walking with us through another great year. We hope you have beautiful holidays with friends and family and we’ll see you in 2013 for more!
Dylan Carlson didn’t snatch me up at first on this album. I wasn’t immediately moved by Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II when I first listened through its deep, wild west sauntering. The beauty in this album—and much of Earth’s material, for that matter—is in the way it slowly builds in your psyche. At first, it’s nothing more than a few reverberating notes spaced out lethargically over a rumbling bass, but soon, it’s the soundtrack to Carlson’s exploration of blues, rock, metal and fusion, the deeper and deeper it goes. –Robert Miller
Centipede Hz is aptly named after the phenomena this album takes you into. Loaded with Animal Collective’s token beat shifts and stream of conscious lyrical invocations, this long awaited follow-up to Merriweather Post Pavilion satiated the emptiness they left me with for the last three years. With rambunctious tracks like “Today’s Supernatural” throwing us back to the days of Strawberry Jam, I found myself once again provoked by the thoughtful lyrics, “You’ll find something you believe that you should do / Sometimes it won’t come so easy but sometimes you gotta go get mad.” With static and audio from advertisements interjecting into the tracks, this album strayed away from what appeared to be the direction they were taking before. Whether this is the path we can see them traveling down is unbeknownst to me, but there is something to say for the collective’s genre flexibility. –Lorraine Rosemary
Until the Quiet Comes
Steven Ellison has quite the rich musical history in his family tree. The great-nephew of John and Alice Coltrane, he has one of the founding fathers of jazz in his roots. But Ellison’s endeavors are a little different, a little more electronically driven. Experimental in nature, Flying Lotus has spannd a gap on Until the Quiet Comes and reached a minimal, stripped-down bare plateau. With the occasional jazz-infused interlude, it’s an electronic dub/jazz/rap dream! –R.M.
Bands are still coming out of Brooklyn in droves, and Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm are no different. The electronic/dance/world music style of pop-oriented tracks from this duo’s debut album Mixed Emotions is a solid debut in a promising up-start band’s career. –R.M.
Three years ago, London’s dark electronic-rock group The xx came out with a gorgeous stripped-down album, and this year they followed up withe unthinkable: an even barer and more minimal follow-up. While not entirely well received, it was a daring move and like much of The xx’s work, Coexist benefits for multiple listens to absorb the soft touches that may at first go by unnoticed. –R.M.
Yellow & Green
Sludge metal band Baroness released a hefty double LP this year, Yellow & Green. The two-faced album has come under attack by strict metalheads as a very un-metal album, but the proof is in the power and not in defining what is “heavy.” Two halves of a whole album, each completely a monstrous journey in themselves, Baroness have indulged in a spacious and conscientious heavy album without all of the frills and fake showmanship that often come with similar bands in the genre. Not only that, the band suffered serious injuries in a tragic tour bus accident that should have reasonably killed them. This is the beautiful product of a band that perseveres. –Robert Miller
Father John Misty
Restlessness and homesickness treats J. Tillman, frontman and lyricist of Father John Misty, well. The former drummer of Fleet Foxes showed us his singer/songwriter side in Fear Fun, a 12-track album that ranges from hard rock-n-roll to country. The Aubrey Plaza-starred music video for “Hollywood Cemetery Forever” wasn’t too shabby as well. –Ben Langevin
Having already achieved a cult-level follow already in his mid-20s, Ty Segall can wave goodbye any kind of manqué music career. His solo existence can be counted on one hand, but his time lent to studio albums would take about two of Hemingway’s six-fingered cats. With fortes in garage, punk, and psychedelic rock music, Ty Segall and his loony stooges are going places. –Zach Frimmel
Haunting. Masked. Distant. Simplified. Crystal Castle’s third return in LP form is just as dark and unnerving as before with the garbled and distorted echoes of Alice Glass’ voice hovering overhead. A little less busy than their past material, (III) often deals with oppression and specifically the oppression of women. It might be difficult to decipher Glass’ words but with the help of Ethan Kath’s gothic night-club beats, this is a serious and heartfelt look at our world through a sort of gloomy outlook. But the intent doesn’t seem to be to defeat people but to enlighten. It’s a good thing that that enlightenment comes with such profoundly outspoken and energetic songs like “Sad Eyes.” –R.M.
Bat For Lashes
The Haunted Man
A transcendent and, well, haunting follow-up to the popular indie album Two Suns, Natasha Khan continues on with a pop-oriented and straightforward multi-genre spanning alubm, The Haunted Man. Much like the naked Khan staring into the lens for the album cover, this is a stripped-down, simple and striking release. –R.M.
Fri Dec 28