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April 1, 2012 / jhsaeger

The Best of 2012 (So Far)

   … and with that turn of the calendar page (farewell, Month of Bruce) the first quarter of the music year is in the books. Here are Long After Dark’s Best of 2012 (so far).

Best Debut: Artwork, Just To Feel Alive (EP) The six-track debut for the Hoboken, New Jersey three-piece could be a harbinger of many great things to come in the future.

Best Live Album: The Decemeberists The Decemberists wrapped up their most commercially successful record to date with a fantastic double-disc that encapsulated their 2011 tour.

Honorable Mention In The Category Of Veteran Presence: Leonard Cohen, Old Ideas – Although his voice is a bit shaky these days, it was worth the price of a disc to just flip through the collections of lyrics of the legendary songwritter.

5) Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball – The biggest name to drop an album so far this year, Springsteen’s 17th record tackled the economic slide for his most inspired project since Magic. Due to the fact that it was recorded over a long period of time, the record seemed a tad disjoined, yet still put forth some very good songwriting.

4) Jay Farrar, Yim Yames, Anders Parker, Will Johnson, The New Multitudes The star-laden quartet’s project covered selections from unreleased Woodie Guthrie material and returned the late songwriter’s songs back as well as could be imagined.

3) Good Old War, Come Back As Rain The Philadelphia-area group channeled Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, creating an enjoyable record to continue their ascent into the pantheon of modern indie groups with their harmony-based sound.

2) Rumer, Seasons Of My Soul The first import to make an impact in the United States this year. While Rumer may not possess the vocal styles of her U.K. contemporaries Florence Welch and Adele, her voice matches their quality and high standard. Her song “Aretha” is the best song on the record, but hardly stands alone of her full-length debut Seasons of My Soul.  

1) Chuck Prophet, Temple Beautiful There is a chance this record still remains in this spot when the list gets updated in December, as the San Francisco-based Prophet simply blows the rest of the early field away with his virtuoso guitar playing and stellar songwriting that serves as his ode to the city by the bay.

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