Here at The Brock Press we take our “best of” lists very seriously. Although there is another month left in 2012, it is now time to reveal what the Arts & Life editor’s lack of musical variability and ethnocentrism looks like. This year has seen a multitude of album releases, so if you are one of those people that replies “I don’t listen to music,” when someone asks you if you are human, then maybe you should tune into life.
10. Cat Power-Sun
Cat Power, Charlyn Marie Marshall, released this passionate pop album of electronic music filtered through her vulnerable folk hymns. Cat Power’s ability to grow has no doubt allowed other female artists to take note.
9. Azealia Banks-1991
While Nicki Minaj can be compared to Ms. Banks, 1991 is on the “best of” list due to being dubbed “witch-hop”. 1991 has hyper elements of masculinity and femininity delivered through the album proving that Banks is aware of the cultural implications of images. It is hard to get the tracks “212”, “Liquorice” and “1991” out of your head.
8. John K. Samson-Provincial
Canadian artist from the Weakerthans proves that his solo work can receive constant radio play. If you have listened to CFBU Brock Radio this year, you have no doubt heard Provincial in its entirety. I have many friends who could relate to the track “When I Write My Master’s Thesis”, but my favourite track is by far “Taps Reversed”.
I reviewed this album earlier this year and I have not stopped listening it to it since. The guitar riffs are noisy and accompanied by distorted breaks bringing in mechanical and tinny sounds. This album is the perfect example of post-hardcore elements that I love.
6. Swans-The Seer
Another post-punk band (sorry, I’m not sorry) that delivers an amazing album from the beginning to the end. The album features vocals from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs vocalist Karen O, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker of Low, members of Akron/Family, Ben Frost and Grasshopper from Mercury Rev. This album also has received the highest reviews, if that counts for anything.
5. Screaming Females-Ugly
Seeing this band in a temporary venue for Sugar City in Buffalo allowed me to fall in love with this band. Ugly indicates exciting future possibilities for the band, with mean guitar riffs accompanied by Marissa Paternoster’s overpowering vocals. “It All Means Nothing”, “Rotten Apple” and “Extinction” are highlights for the album.
4. Killer Mike-R.A.P music
With the title of the album being an acronym for Rebellious African People, Killer Mike delivers this album with strong conviction. This album represents the anti-Kanye West in hip-hop. A writer for The Brock Press wrote in a review that through lyrics like “readers of the books and leaders of the crooks”, Killer Mike spends as much time discussing the lasting impact of Reaganomics as he does talking about his watches and his cars and goes beyond talking about drug dealing in the ghetto and into talking about why there is drug dealing in the ghetto.
3. Godspeed You! Black Emperor-Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
Godspeed’s music is no less than profound and will no doubt uplift anyone through their climatic symphony. Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! is the fourth studio album by the Canadian post-rock band and is overwhelming in the emotions they deliver, making it a no-brainer to mention on them on the “best of” list.
Canadian artist and musician Claire Boucher has created something that would be the soundtrack of a wonderful dream. With the track “Oblivion”, I have had this album on repeat and you probably will find me dancing down the street to it. For those who love dream-pop/dark-wave influences that are emotionally weighted, check out Visions.
1. Title fight-Floral Green
Title Fight has been a favourite band of mine for sometime now and their newest album Floral Green proves that point. With that mid-90s emo sound accompanied by elements melodic punk and post-hardcore, this album deserves the spot number one spot on (at least) my list.