In our continuing efforts to prove that playing video games doesn’t mean ignoring the rest of the world, here’s a list (with some explanations) of 2012’s best albums, according to Chris, who of course reserves the right to alter this list at any point because he can.
Best Confused Grown Up but Maybe Still a Kid Album:
Celebration Rock by Japandroids
Yeah, every blog on the internet talked about this one, and there’s some good reasons. Mainly, it’s just that this thing feels damn good as an album. Just good times. But past that, there is a lot of heart and confusion on this album, the kind of confusion a lot of people feel when they find out they are adults, but don’t really exactly know where they are going in life, but are trying to get there. And yet, the Japandroids seem pretty happy about the whole process, banging out garage guitar rock at loud volumes as they charge ahead.
Best Leonard Cohen Album of the Year
Old Ideas by Leonard Cohen
Any year a new Leonard Cohen album comes out, it deserves to be recognized. That being said, Old Ideas is not only new, but also solid as hell, and this cannot be overstated. Mr. Cohen has been touring for the past few years, and the excuse for this late life resurgence of live shows (of which I got to witness one, and it was beautiful) has been his financial woes due to some shady business during his time as a monk, but this album makes a convincing argument that he had other reasons for the whole thing. His voice is in shape, and though he still sings with that slow cadence of his more recent work, it fits well here. It’s an album about death (but really, when hasn’t that been a part of the Cohen repertoire?), but not really one of sorrow.