Review: 2012 Roundin’ Up The Strays [Part 1]

Before we move on to music from 2013, let’s clear the decks to make room for new inventory. There are many great albums from last year which, for whatever reason, I didn’t get around to reviewing. No time for full reviews now so I’ll just use the following summation, applicable to all:

This album rocks/is the catchiest thing ever/defines a generation. It will make you dance/bang your head/reenact Meg Ryan’s orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally. You should go out immediately and buy it/share it/tithe 10% of your paycheck to whoever recommended it.”

PrintAlabama Shakes – Boys & Girls 

You say you want to cross early Kings of Leon with stoned mid-seventies Rolling Stones? Then your wish is granted. I got your Sweet Home right here. And you’re about to get a serious dose of soul in your earhole because “Hold On” is one of the best songs of the year.

fanfarloFanfarlo – Rooms Filled With Light 

Wait . . . is it 1986? Am I in a John Hughes movie? Does it matter? Not at all. Not when you’ve got this beautiful blend of shiny pop and melancholy majesty on your stereo. Turn it up and then try not to dream about Andrew McCarthy.

howlin rainHowlin’ Rain – The Russian Wilds 

What if Phish woke up one morning and said, “Hey, you know who really rocks? Styx.” Actually, little about this album gives any indication that it was recorded after 1975. But that’s a great thing if you’re missing some wicked hard rock and blues boogie with occasional larynx-shredding vocals and nods to Santana.

julianunescoverJulia Nunes – Settle Down

After building up a following through internet videos performing songs on ukulele, Julia Nunes found herself opening concerts for Ben Folds. (Nice work if you can get it.) Smart lyrics and a strong alto voice set her apart from the pack.

TribesBaby600Gb120112Tribes – Baby  

The band of the future in the UK. Now, this kind of bold prediction is generally useless in the pop music world (see here  for instance) but what the hell. They’ve got all the basic components to be massive. Hopefully, all the members are teetotaling Puritans with a strong work ethic, no egos, and a backlog of killer tunes.


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