I’ve never figured out the way critics decide which aging rock stars to skewer and which ones to reward. There were a lot of big releases last year from bands making comebacks. There were many of them I was very impressed with…only to read the reviews later and find out I must be sorely mistaken. I thought the new album by the Red Hot Chili Peppers was their best since Blood Sugar Sex Magic, but when I read the reviews they told me it might be “their worst effort”…and “a sign of the apocalypse of alternative music.” I was pleasantly surprised by the new Janes Addiction. But the reviewers called it “musical retardation,” “F-minus,” and “dead baby dumpster drivel.” Meanwhile, I thought the new Bush and Beastie Boys were huge disappointments to only learn that they were some of the best comebacks of the year. I know music is arbitrary…but sometimes it seems like a band’s hip factor has more to say about whether their album will be well-received or not.
This year…I at least seem to be somewhat inline with the critics. I doubt VH will stay atop the list for the whole year…but it’s nice to a familiar face leading the pack out of the gates.
Here are the 11 Best Albums of 2012 so far:
1. Van Halen – A Different Kind of Truth
2. Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker, Yim Yames – New Multitudes
4. Craig Finn – Clear Heart Full Eyes
5. Sleigh Bells – Reign of Terror
7. WZRD – WZRD
8. Anais Mitchell – Young Man in America
9. Grimes – Visions
10. Chiddy Bang – Breakfast
11. Burial – Kindred EP