So here we are, with our newest and shortest “End of 2012″ list. A list of what we at LxL consider to be the biggest musical disappointments, let-downs, blunders, and missteps of 2012. With all the goodness that resided in the world of music in 2012 (which we will get to later, in the next few weeks), there was also a fair amount of disappointment. For this list we really pulled at what killed our expectations this past year. Yes, Lana Del Rey didn’t fully live up to what we expected, but she still had a few good tunes and looked amazing throughout the year.
Yes, the Divine Fits weren’t as good as either Spoon nor Wolf Parade, but then again, how rare is it that a supergroup live up to the expectation anyways? You see, for this list, we chose what really cut us deep. Those artists or albums that we really thought were going to help define the year in music, or dig an artist out of the trenches, but instead fell totally flat. That is what this “Weak List” is really made up of … weakness. If you’d like to get a bit of a more in-depth analysis these blunders, each “disappointment” is linked with our review or write-up explaining exactly why the artist, album, or show didn’t live up to our expectations. Now, onto the list:
Well the last lineup of the years major festivals was announced this week, and boy is it a doozy. Years ago, Lollapalooza began as a traveling music festival and was a real grunge-fest hosting such headliners as Siouxsie and the Banshees, Nine Inch Nails, Jane’s Addiction (naturally because Perry Ferrell is in fact a founder of the festival) and Smashing Pumpkins. Lollapalooza in recent years has become somewhat of a stink-fest, hosting acts such headliners as Lady Gaga, Foo Fighters, and Coldplay. Nonetheless, this year they pulled it together and spat out quite a spectacular lineup. Let’s break it down:
For any Midwesterners out there, spring is almost certain to be one of your favorite seasons. The summer is sweltering hot and humid. Winter (not this year fortunately) can be cold, wet, and depressing. Fall is probably my favorite season, because more often than not the past ten years it means I get to watch post-season Cardinals baseball. But spring means the birds are starting another long season, and the anticipation is at a fever pitch.
It was a little bit hard for us decide which albums really fit in with the tone of spring, but we kind of decided on more upbeat, hopeful and lighter fare all around. Not a lot of options in those regards from some of my favorite artists like Neil Young, Nine Inch Nails, or Something Corporate (I kid, I kid). But there is still some amazing music in this vein, and here is what we have decided is some of the best of the best. As always, let us know what we missed, neglected, or stupidly included in the comments. Enjoy.
10. The Shins – Chutes Too Narrow
Oh, Inverted World put The Shins on the map, but Chutes Too Narrow condensed their sound even more to tiny, poppy bit-sized pieces. Songs like “Turn a Square” and “Pink Bullets” are the songs that any good spring is made of.
Port of Morrow
In the early 2000’s, Albuquerque’s own The Shins caught the hearts and the ears of the music world, with their quirky and charismatic indie pop tunes. Then in 2007, following their disappointing third LP Wincing the Night Away, the band disbanded for their own projects. Lead man James Mercer went on to put out a pretty good collaboration album with super producer Danger Mouse in Broken Bells, before deciding to give the Shins one more try late last year. However, this time around, rather than corralling the original crew, Mercer would recruit a whole new band, creating a completely different outfit. Newly formed, the Shins are hitting the road this year and hitting it hard behind their new album Port of Morrow including dates at some of the most premier festivals including Leeds Festival and Reading Festival. Port of Morrow, the band’s fourth album and first in five years, has some signature Shins sound but for the most part, reinvents the band almost as a sort of James Mercer solo project, bringing forth some more straightforward, somewhat sappy pop tunes without much bite, leading to some mixed results.