The 11 Best Albums of 2012 so far

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

3.       The Big Pink – Future This (Lose Your Mind)

4.       Craig Finn – Clear Heart Full Eyes

5.       Sleigh Bells – Reign of Terror

6.       Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory (Stay Useless)

7.       WZRD – WZRD

8.       Anais Mitchell – Young Man in America

9.       Grimes – Visions

10.   Chiddy Bang – Breakfast

11.   Burial – Kindred EP