And the hits just keep on coming . . .
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.”
If the Pet Shop Boys took a muscle relaxant and listened to The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds for six months — voilà. Candy-coated sunshine pop to warm up your winter days (and winter nights!!).
How to describe this album . . . New Order party-crashing The Sundays? A less Irish Cranberries? It takes a few spins for the songs to fully work their way under your skin, but once they do, the beauty soaks into your bones.
Despite attempts by critics, Clark refuses to be placed in a box. (The word “Hendrix” comes up a lot when box-building.) He goes through so many styles on this album I can’t even play you something representative. Having said that, here’s probably the least representative track (but listen to that guitar solo).
I’m not even sure how I came across this band since they seem to have garnered little attention here. But if you like rock bands with 3-part boy-girl harmonies, a skewed lyrical sense, and Canadian passports, then pull up a chair.
The Shins disappeared for a few years while they were busy breaking up, or taking a hiatus, or being replaced. Anyway, lead singer/songwriter James Mercer still mans the helm, and he just made his best album in nearly a decade.
And that finally puts 2012 to bed. Unless, of course, a massively awesome record pops up that I overlooked. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time.