In alphabetical order, here are 10 albums released in 2012 that I enjoyed.
anais mitchell - young man in america
I really enjoy the first few songs of the album. Male and female singing, a sparse guitar rhythm, kick drum and background howlin noises - some type of horn.
Key Tracks: young man in america, wilderland
dr. john - locked down
Full of energy, bluesy
Key Tracks: locked down, ice age, you lie
leonard cohen - old ideas
sounds like classic cohen. some lush choirs accompany the lyrics of one of the masters.
Key Tracks: crazy to love you, going home
mark knopfler - privateering
Knopfler shows that he can not only play guitar but also is an apt singer and songwriter. A solid mix of bluesy rock, Celtic ballads, and storytelling.
Key Tracks: privateering, go love, corn beef city
mumford & sons - babel
Not on par with their stellar debut album, it nonetheless is a good album - complete with pop-banjo and love and loath ballads.
Key Tracks: i will wait, lover of the light
neil young & crazy horse - psychedic pill
These are long, some very long, songs that loop and repeat and is not 'solo acoustic Neil Young'. So not all Young fans will enjoy this album. In the right mood, in the right zone out frame of mine though it can hit the spot. Some songs also have a compelling narrative.
Key Tracks: drifting back, ramada inn, she's always dancing
plants and animals - the end of that
I am big fan of Plants and Animals. No this is no Parc Avenue, and is in probably too many musical directions. However, it also has a number of great songs from the Dylanesque title track, to the radio friendly 'Light show' and the also catchy 'Why & Why'.
Key Tracks: light show, why & why, the end of that
shins (the) - port of morrow
Not in the top three Shins albums of all time, it still has it's moments where you are comforted by the voice of James Mercer.
Key Tracks: simple song, 40 mark strasse
allo' darlin - europe
soft and soothing and poppy
Key Tracks: tallulah, the letter, northern lights
lumineers (the) - the lumineers
Probably the most consistent album on the list to me, there are a number of standout tracks and a lot of potential for this band. Add another vocalist to the list that I wouldn't mind sounding like.
Add a nice cello dynamic - with more up tempo music then a cello usually accompanies, and a gifted lyricist to round out the mixture.
Key Tracks: ho hey, slow it down, stubborn love