We Yell Like Hell to the Heavens: The Top Albums of 2012 January 22, 2013Posted by Richard Bolisay in Music, Yearender.
Well, look who made a belated list.
2012 didn’t pass like a breeze. The days came in with unbearable force and slowness, a torturous year when I begged nights to end as soon as they started. Only concerts made me sober, hence my splurge on gigs, and I’m thankful for having friends who joined me in my madness for live music. In many ways 2012 was a turning point, the year when I lost the most important person in my life and when my dreams collapsed on their own, but it was also the year that had to happen, a time that made me realize the importance of concession, the inevitability of reaching such decision, and the need for a wise albeit weary acceptance of defeat. Sadly I didn’t have better options. It took me a while to say that I am doing well, and I guess the business of saying that to people closest to me slowly became natural, for it was an attempt to go past that point where hell is not other people but myself.
Needless to say, the albums below had been wonderful companions, many of which, if I were to be sentimental about it, helped me through. I remember all of them with fondness, sometimes with pain and regret, but often with a smile on my face, because even discomfort makes me grin or laugh. Some of these records serve as time stamps, leaving very distinct impressions on my mind. For instance, I was listening to Album #42 on the bus when my two sisters and I went out together, something which rarely happen these days, and Album #34 when I was on the car with my coworkers during those long drives from Taguig to Quezon City. My favorite record to listen to at the airport is Album #3. Once, when I was on the plane to Cebu it made me feel so happy and giddy that I cried. When my mother was at the hospital, I listened to Album #33 constantly, and several days before she died Album #5 was with me all along, holding my hand as I tried to hold back my tears. Listening to Album #46, #45, #28, #23, and #20 still makes me sad up to now, but nothing beats Album #2 in being so heartbreakingly beautiful.
But surely I had crazy moments, times when happiness was hard to contain, days when I looked high without being under the influence. Album #6 is the first contender for album of the year, pure crystal meth from start to finish, and heaven knows I’m miserable now for missing out on their Hong Kong gig today. Album #49 and #44 are punk rock at its wildest, and Album #39, #31, #21, and #9 are my ever-dependable hip-hop pills. Album #41 isn’t as bad as many critics and fans say it is (in fact, it has a lot of enchanting moments) and Album #25 has haters who may not have even listened to it in full. Normally I won’t put two albums by one artist but I made an exception: Album #30 and #12 are inseparable, brilliantly delivered by a musician who always comes up with heartfelt compositions. And of course, what to say about Album #4? It’s a landmark record whose commercial failure is completely upsetting, but in years’ time music snobs will look back and be blinded by its sheen. How about Album #1? Well, not even the end of the world could stop it from being on top of the list. It’s the record that I had been waiting for months, and when it came it ruined me. After several weeks it put me back together, then ruined me again.
So without further ado, here are the top albums of 2012, the best EPs, a list of the year’s overlooked songs, the most memorable concerts I attended, and more than 170 links to tracks I love, all in one post. See you again next year, friends!
50. BABY, Tribes
49. HOLOGRAMS, Holograms
48. EVANS THE DEATH, Evans the Death
47. ANGELS OF DARKNESS, DEMONS OF LIGHT II, Earth
46. A CHURCH THAT FITS OUR NEEDS, Lost in the Trees
45. PORT OF MORROW, The Shins
44. OFF! OFF
43. I BET ON SKY, Dinosaur Jr.
42. THE GHOST IN DAYLIGHT, Gravenhurst
41. CENTIPEDE HZ, Animal Collective
40. WHO NEEDS WHO, Dark Dark Dark
39. 4EVA N A DAY, Big K.R.I.T.
38. GIVEN TO THE WILD, The Maccabees
37. SUN, Cat Power
36. SOMETHING, Chairlift
35. SHUT DOWN THE STREETS, A.C. Newman
34. DEVOTION, Jessie Ware
33. THE SOMETHING RAIN, Tindersticks
32. THE HAUNTED MAN, Bat for Lashes
31. good kid, m.A.A.d city, Kendrick Lamar
30. OCEAN ROAR, Mount Eerie
29. THE IDLER WHEEL IS WISER THAN THE DRIVER OF THE SCREW AND WHIPPING CORDS WILL SERVE YOU MORE THAN ROPES WILL EVER DO, Fiona Apple
28. RHYTHM AND REPOSE, Glen Hansard
27. TRANSCENDENTAL YOUTH, The Mountain Goats
26. THE SEER, Swans
25. BORN AND RAISED, John Mayer
24. ‘ALLELUJAH! DON’T BEND! ASCEND! Godspeed You! Black Emperor
23. I KNOW WHAT LOVE ISN’T, Jens Lekman
22. THE FLOAT, Rebecca Gates and the Consortium
21. LIFE IS GOOD, Nas
20. SHIELDS, Grizzly Bear
19. A THING CALLED DIVINE FITS, Divine Fits
18. RUNNER, The Sea and Cake
17. AMERICA, Dan Deacon
16. SWING LO MAGELLAN, Dirty Projectors
15. OPEN YOUR HEART, The Men
14. TRAMP, Sharon Van Etten
13. UNTIL THE QUIET COMES, Flying Lotus
12. CLEAR MOON, Mount Eerie
11. WIXIW, Liars
10. KOI NO YOKAN, Deftones
9. RETURN OF THE PHUNKY JUAN, Dash Calzado
8. TRANSVERSE, Carter Tutti Void
7. TAMA NA ANG DRAMA, Ang Bandang Shirley
6. CELEBRATION ROCK, Japandroids
5. PUT YOUR BACK N 2 IT, Perfume Genius
4. KISS, Carly Rae Jepsen
3. WAKING SEASON, Caspian
2. MID AIR, Paul Buchanan
1. CAPACITIES, Up Dharma Down
BEST EPs: UNDERSEA, The Antlers; SILENT HOUR/GOLDEN MILE, Daniel Rossen; KAYA MO MAG-SANDO? Pedicab
BEST OST: THE MASTER: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Jonny Greenwood
BEST ALBUM COVER: NO LOVE DEEP WEB, Death Grips
ANOTHER P-P-P-PLAYLIST (Best Songs not on the Albums and Tracks Shit)
1. “Under the Westway,” Blur
2. “Ill Manors,” Plan B
3. “Only In My Dreams,” Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
4. “Angels,” The xx
5. “Lost,” Frank Ocean
6. “Duquesne Whistle,” Bob Dylan
7. “The Celestials,” The Smashing Pumpkins
8. “Clique,” Kanye West (feat. Big Sean and Jay-Z)
9. “R U Mine?” Arctic Monkeys
11. “Do Ya Thing,” Gorillaz (feat. Andre 3000 and James Murphy)
12. “Anna Sun,” Walk the Moon
13. “I’ve Seen Footage,” Death Grips
14. “I’ll Be Alright,” Passion Pit
15. “Adorn,” Miguel
16. “Heaven is a Ghost Town,” Minus the Bear
17. “Arena Rock Encore with Full Cast,” The Cribs
18. “Sixteen Saltines,” Jack White
19. “Watching You Watch Him,” Eric Hutchinson
20. “Hey Jane,” Spiritualized
MOST MEMORABLE CONCERTS
1. Radiohead. The King of Limbs Tour. Nangang Exhibition Hall, Taipei, July 2012. With Ayn.
2. The Smashing Pumpkins. Oceania Tour. Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City, August 2012. With Megan.
3. Sigur Rós. Valtari Tour. Fort Canning, Singapore, November 2012. With Ayn and David.
4. Morrissey. World Trade Center Manila. May 2012. With Megan, Beverly, and Jerrold.
5. Up Dharma Down. Capacities album launch. One Esplanade, Pasay City, November 2012. With Ayn and Bolix.
6. Keane. Strangeland Tour. SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City, October 2012. With Ali.
7. Lady Gaga. Born This Way Ball Tour. SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City, With Ayn, Leo, Dohna, and Ate.
8. Sting. Back to Bass Tour. Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City, December 2012. With Tish and Tita.
9. Snow Patrol. Fallen Empires Tour. Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City, August 2012. With Ayn and Ali.
10. Toe. NBC Tent, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, March 2012. With Gian.
11. Pupil. 70s Bistro, Quezon City, May 2012.
12. James Morrison. The Awakening Tour. Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City, October 2012.