Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Best of 2012: Where are they Now?

I always found writing music reviews to be a funny subject. They're really only a snapshot of how much I enjoy the album in question at that time, and really aren't a solid representation of the lasting merits of the music. There are tons of albums, bands, and hell, even entire genres of music that I once hated, but learned to love or vice versa. My musical tastes and preferences are always shifting around, slithering and sliding through different phases and branching out into different genres and styles.

Because of the dynamic nature of my tastes, I really feel like piecing together my Best of 2012 list is something done in vain, because I really don't feel the same way about those same albums now. Some albums take a little while to get old and repetitive, while others grow on me more and more as time goes on. Here's a few of the albums I've looked at last year, and how I feel about them now.

Foxy Shazam - The Church of Rock and Roll

This album didn't age too well over the months since I first heard it. I found that it kind of broke down into two components, much like a mixture of oil and water where the lead single of the album is really the only track that has a lasting impression on me, rising above all of the filler content.

"I Like It" is a fucking amazing track. It's groovy, it's fun, and you can't not dance listening to it. Sure, it isn't the classiest or most politically correct song ever written, but if you toss it on, I'll be screaming along and air guitaring the entire time. I kind of wish the rest of the album had this kind of staying power, but most of the other songs kind of fall to the background because of their lack of reckless energy. I fell in love with Foxy Shazam through their self-titled album, a no holds barred slab of Queen worship, filled with arena rock anthem after arena rock anthem. They're a band known to be a bottomless pit of over-the-top intensity, not giving a flying fuck about what anyone else thought. They were supposed to be The Casualties meets Queen, but The Church of Rock and Roll really feels like a half-assed attempt at just that.

Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind

 This was my number one album of last year. I crowned All We Love We Leave Behind as the best piece of music of 2012. I know what you're thinking, you're expecting me to regret giving this album such a title. You're expecting me to say how much I hate this album now, but the joke's on you. I still freaking love this album. Not only that, but Converge kicked off my love of hardcore, deepened my love of grindcore, and catalyzed my love of powerviolence, and every other kind of noisy, chaotic, make-your-ears-bleed shit I listen to now.

I honestly believe jumping down this hardcore rabbit hole has made me a better person since last year, and as I dig deeper through all the local and underground scenes I've found this music and culture to make me a more motivated, open-minded, easy-going, humble, and generally happier person. So while my position on All We Love We Leave Behind's musical content hasn't changed, this album's emotional force has proven to be much more powerful than I ever thought before.

Jason James & Rodney Hazard - Pyramids in Stereo

Maybe you remember my review of this album, and maybe you don't. Essentially, it boiled down to the fact that this was the album that should have shown up on my Best of 2012 list, and it didn't only because I listened to it after I had published my list. The reason Pyramids is on this list because three months later, I still firmly believe it's one of 2012's best. I jam this album easily two or three times a week, and I kick myself in the ass daily for not having listened to it earlier last year.

I consider it one of my favorite hip-hop albums (just behind Childish Gambino's Camp, Wu-Tang Clan's 36 Chambers, and Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy), and ever since discovering Jason James' weekly column for RefinedHype called This Is My Rifle, I only find that I dig it more and more.

So there you go, some of what I called 2012's best, and where I stand on them now. Are there any albums in 2012 that you feel totally different about now? How about albums that have taken on new meanings since you first heard them? Let me know, I'd love to hear it!

That's all for now, folks!

-Grave Dave

No comments:

Post a Comment