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Old 12-13-2012, 07:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 12 For '12: Anteater's Top Albums Of 2012 (And More!)



Happy Holidays to all the silly bastards here at MB. Hearken: a poem for thee-

I got me a list.
Not double checkin' it twice.
But breathe a sigh of relief....
There's no Vanilla Ice.
Or Damien Rice.


And so it begins!


12. Rick Ross - God Forgives, I Don't


From the man who knows hustlin' better than you, me, and the rest of humanity combined comes an LP opus that's so stupidly grandiose yet so ridiculously golden (no pun intended) in its socio-economic ambitions that you can't help but wonder: did the 90's ever really die, or has the age of nostalgia finally gotten caught in a loop that even America's greatest Eagle Scout will be unable to untangle us from as the years go on?

But I digress: Rick Ross knows how to get a party started, and this was 2012's go-to record for coked-up commentary concept album jibberjabber, souped up against some of the best goddamned production/sampling the West Coast hotshots have to offer (AKA The Justice League). I mean, listen to dat smooth sax on album centerpiece 'Sixteen' or Usher's uncharacteristically well-placed croon that graces the radio-friendly 'Touch N' You'. I'm no hip-hop connoisseur, but I know craft when I hear it ladies and gents, and it marks an honest-to-God evolution sonically for one of the world's funniest living-n'-breathing oxymorons. Dig it!






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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frownland
I'm bald, ja.

Last edited by Anteater; 01-20-2013 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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anxious to read this Anteater!
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm glad you are...because it just gets better and better.

11. Testament - Dark Roots Of Earth


You know what really sucks when it comes to the Metal music umbrella? There's just too many awesome records to choose from throughout a 365 day cycle! And the subgenres, oh the subgenres...goddamn: Why does there have to be so much talent out there? xD

Still, this is one band that people should always pay attention to, regardless of the year in question. Considered to be something of a 2nd tier thrash band (alongside Iced Earth and others) by the mainstream during the golden late 80's/early 90's despite being just as good (if not better) than the Big Four, questioning the legitimacy of Testament as far as metalhood goes is the equivalent of sacrilege, AKA lets-burn-you-at-the-stake-for-heresy.

That being said, there's never been a better time to get into the band than 2012: Dark Roots Of Earth is a motherfuckin' monster of a record, and undoubtedly the best set of songs they've brought into the recorded realm since 1988's The New Order. The songwriting and performance chemistry between guitarist Alex Skolnick and vocalist Chuck Billy has never been better! While the artwork is about as awe inspiring as they come, the whole thing has that instant-classic quality to it's sense of groove that gives the critically lauded early 90's output from Pantera and Metallica's Black Album a run for their money....hell, make it a goddamn marathon.

Highlights are innumerable really, but my favorite cuts here include the thudding title track, the atmospheric yet sludgy 'Animal Magnetism'...and an anthemic yet deliciously scuzzy tour-de-force by the name of 'Dragon Attack'! Most of you will probably find a favorite of your own before long however...

This has been a wonderful year in metal in all shapes and forms, but as far as more traditional styles go, the album art that graces this fantastic record is undoubtedly the face that we'll look back upon in years to come. Long live the veterans!






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Quote:
Originally Posted by OccultHawk
I was called upon by the muses for greatness.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frownland
I'm bald, ja.

Last edited by Anteater; 12-14-2012 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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There was one word that attracted me to this thread:
it starts with A and ends in nteater!
Lookin' forward to it, my vermilingual friend!
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Heard that record was good, need to check out Testament's other stuff first though!
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Wait... Anteater, you like Rick Ross? And Testament? I thought you only listened to cheese-fest 90's elevator jazz!

But seriously, I'll be keeping an eye on this thread, if only to read your (as always) wonderful writing.
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Old 12-16-2012, 05:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Metallica is one of a kind
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Trollheart: Happy to have you following pal! You'll be familiar with a couple of albums that pop up here methinks!

Blarobbarg: So now I'm a smooth jazz guy instead of a proghead? How times have changed! Enjoy the thread.

Anyhoo....

10. Melody Gardot - The Absence


I've seen this adriatic maestra mentioned around MB every so often over the last year or so, but even I'm surprised at how relatively little attention she gets here in the States, especially considering the insanely sad and moving circumstances that pushed her into the wonderful world of jazz, pop and bossa nova. She's about as perfect as they come in this genre, and 2012 doesn't have another record quite like this sophomore outing floating around either.

Under normal circumstances, its easy to criticize someone like Melody Gardot if you haven't actually spent any time in her aural universe: the songwriting, good as it is, isn't anything you haven't heard before from the numerous other jazz-educated progeny of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Frank Sinatra and Eliane Elias.

Still, this stuff burns right through you like mercury on dreary, mundane nights, especially when minimalistic, stripped down elements come to the forefront on cuts like 'My Heart Won't Have It Any Other Way' and 'So Long' -- the production throughout The Absence is a warm, immaculate phenomenon in and of itself, attuned to the soft drum brushes and acoustic subtleties that flow around Melody's shimmering vocal evocations, almost as if she's attempting to summon you somewhere.

If someone asked me straight what I thought the most beautiful genre of music in the world was, Bossa Nova comes to my lips without a second thought....and such is made entirely justifiable by midnight oil masterpieces like this one: 2012 could have used far more of 'em.






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Quote:
Originally Posted by OccultHawk
I was called upon by the muses for greatness.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frownland
I'm bald, ja.

Last edited by Anteater; 12-24-2012 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 12-17-2012, 05:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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^I'll definitely have to check out this album! Thanks for the pick Anteater!
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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9. Brian Auger - Language Of The Heart


Quote:
"Those who remain oblivious to the obvious delights of Brian Auger's Oblivion Express do so at their own risk!" - Beastie Boys, June 1995
There's something fascinating about the idea that someone has been a master at his instrument of calling for decades before you were even born, sharing the stage with music legends both alive and long deceased...and then decides, out of the blue no less, to release a record under his own name in 2012 despite the fact that nobody was even watching for it.

When I heard this solo offering for the first time a few months ago, I asked myself: is this really the same Brian Auger, undisputed god of the Hammond organ, who played with Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin during their heydays? It sounds so...well, contemporary! Unusual, catchy, kinda atmospheric....and proggy?

Hammering the nail in somewhat: Language Of The Heart is very, very interesting even if you don't like it -- Brian hasn't done a whole lot of recorded music outside of his 70's output as leader of The Oblivion Express. Yet here, he combines his songwriting and Hammond expertise with the jazzy, club-friendly production style of electronic duo Tea to fashion his virtuosity into something that can only be described as House-Prog, with small doses of 60's psychedelic pop and contemporary smooth jazz elements thrown in for good measure. I mean, who else is currently even attempting to do something like that these days?

The answer, obviously, is no one. It boggles the mind that there hasn't even been one iota of an FM radio station (not even the bland jazzy ones) who has picked up tracks as catchy as the propulsive "Autoroute', the melancholic 'Seasons' or the groovy title cut and served 'em to an audience that love stuff like this to sink their teeth into. Sure, Brian Auger isn't at the same level as a vocalist as he is as a Hammond player and keyboardist, but when he harmonizes with his daughter on background vox, you almost get chills. That's right, friggin' chills!

The 1960's are getting further and further behind us, but its a helluva breath of fresh air to see one of the kings of the latter part of that era produce an independent collection of songs that manages to stand right up there in substance with the best albums from other genres this year. It probably won't make too many other folks' lists, but it most definitely made mine.


P.S. All of the YouTube videos have been taken down from the album, but the album is fully streamable in the below link:

STREAM HERE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OccultHawk
I was called upon by the muses for greatness.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frownland
I'm bald, ja.

Last edited by Anteater; 12-24-2012 at 08:33 PM.
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