Top 10 Albums // Führer Awards 2012

It is New Year’s Eve/Old Year’s Day and what better way to bring in 2013 with a look at this year’s best (in my opinion). I’m starting with an obvious one and that is my favourite 10 albums from this year. Later I will countdown my favourite films and then favourite TV Shows of this year based on the episodes broadcast. This is all my opinion of course and I’m sure many a different person will think differently to myself and offer a different opinion and I would love to hear them so leave a reply below and on all my posts today! 

Click SEE MORE for the full list!

10) Lana Del Rey – Born to Die


Lana Del Rey’s debut album worked wonders for her popularity and secured her position as Queen of the Hipsters with heavily orchestrated numbers like album opener Born To Die which is wonderfully worked and combines a depressing beat with a strangely sexy vocal. With so many singles that could have been lifted from the original album some amazing tracks were missed out which makes this such a great album. A lot of people will know her as ‘that one who sang video games on that advert’ but her unique style and presentation makes her a very special talent and one I am sure we will hear much more about in years to come. Standout Tracks: Born To Die, Off to the Races, National Anthem

9) Jake Bugg – Jake Bugg


Jake Bugg single handedly brings back the popularity of Bob Dylan in his hay-day to the mainstream. Hailed as one of the best debut albums from any artist it has to be said Jake Bugg has got a real talent and even more special is that his talent hasn’t been over-hyped out of all recognition like the guitar-wielding Orangutan that is Ed Sheeran. The album is raw and fully of catchy songs that keep bring you back for more sooner rather than later. It’s an instant classic. Jake Bugg reminds me almost of a one man Arctic Monkeys and isn’t too dissimilar from what I imagine a fully fledged Alex Turner solo career would be like. Standout Tracks: Lightning Bolt, Two Fingers, Trouble Town

8) Muse – The 2nd Law


Sometimes it feels like Muse may be getting a little too big for their boots. Their arrogance shows in new album The 2nd Law but, maybe, that is why I like them so much. Matt Bellamy has every right to be cocky because he knows how to write a good album. Much like a good Radiohead album it can be hard to lift certain songs of singles from the collection but all together Muse albums always work perfectly. Where this is definitely no Origin of Symmetry or Black Holes and Revelations Muse still deliver a solid album which takes you on a powerful journey much like the 1984-inspired Resistance. The addiction of dance and dub-step inspired tracks give this rock band a new edge as well as still including their classic and hard rock styles clearly taking influences from Queen with tracks such as Panic Station and SurvivalStandout Tracks: Madness, Follow Me, Unsustainable

7) Paloma Faith – Fall To Grace


Paloma Faith’s follow up album to her 2009 album Do You Want The Truth or Something Beautiful? is nothing short of a real accomplishment. Full of powerful ballads backed by beautiful orchestral moments combined with lyrics worthy of forcing a tear from any eye. I was never a fan of Faith originally it has to be said but that was because I was judging her rather than her music, a bit like a British Lady Gaga but more than just the image Faith manages to make really beautiful timeless music rather than the Madonna-esque pop chart music of the moment. There is true art behind Faith’s voice and every song tells a story (mostly heart-breaking) and the real mixture of sounds and beats made this one of my favourite albums this year. Standout Tracks: Picking Up the Pieces, 30 Minute Love Affair, Blood Sweat and Tears

6) Calvin Harris – 18 Months


This is the first Calvin Harris album I have listened to and it is amazing what waiting can do. I’m not that up to speed with my Calvin Harris or dance music as maybe I should be but it seems like he has concentrated on just creating singles then releasing them then eventually when he has had enough he puts them all into one album? Well, it seems to me like that’s what’s happened this time at least. Rarely away from the top 10 the last year and a half this man seems to produce hits loved by the masses and this is evident in the album where he works with big name stars and gets results. Catchy dance anthems a plenty and songs that just make you go ‘wooooo!!!’ – what’s not to like. Standout Tracks: We Found Love (Feat. Rihanna), Drinking From the Bottle (Feat. Tinie Tempah), Sweet Nothing (Feat. Florence Welch)

5) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist


Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are a combination I had never heard of until one day I googled ‘albums I should probably listen to this year’ – from there I found a small blog that mentioned the pair and had a video for a song called ‘Thrift Shop’ embedded. I sometimes wonder what it was like before hearing this album. That is how good it is. It is simply brilliant, really cool, really fresh. I watched Thrift Shop that day and thought they were a spoof comedy act and where their songs have humour they are so good you can’t ignore the inspirational beats and awesome lyrics in the album. You could consider it another one of those albums where you can’t really take individual songs because together it is all so good but the sheer ambition the pair have is amazing. I don’t know that much about them but if they keep making music like this they won’t go this unnoticed for much longer, I see they’ve started to break to billboard 100 already! Standout Tracks: Thrift Shop, Same Love, Wing$

4) The xx – Coexist


The second follow up album in my countdown that proves ‘the difficult second album’ doesn’t always turn out all Fratellis! The xx came to the forefront in 2009 after winning the Mercury Prize for their debut self titled album. Coexist is another terrific album from the threesome and doesn’t let go of their dark eerie style too much to create something that is again different. The album works so well together with plucky guitar beats and monotone almost-spoken lyrics creating a real dark trance effect that reverbs around your head letting you in to what feels like a new world. Standout Tracks: Angles, Chained, Reconsider

3) Plan B – iLL Manors


We enter the top three with a man that reached massive commercial success in 2010 with his album The Defamation of Strickland Banks which was something of a wonderful concept album I expected to see turned into some kind of a film with the beautiful gritty scenes it set. iLL Manors on the other hand isn’t all that different, Plan B returns to his roots and drops the R&B whiney vocals of She Said for a more street grime rap. This is what Plan B is about and am glad he’s returned to his roots (his ‘urban roots’ as Tulisa might say) while keeping the idea of a real story in an album. The album supplies the soundtrack for the film of the same name and gives more context to the tracks. The fast beats mixed with film clips and lyrical genius by Ben Drew makes for a really great listen which may, at first, be hard to get into, but after the first couple of listens you will keep coming back for more as Plan B commentates on action from the film in a slightly creepy and dark way. Standout Tracks: iLL Manors, I Am the Narrator, Playing With Fire, Pity the Plight

2) Aiden Grimshaw – Misty Eye


A product of The X Factor who shared the stage with eventual winner Matt Cardle but also world-famous boyband (for what reason I’m still not quite sure) One Direction. Aiden Grimshaw is an entirely different artist to anything else that has come out of the show. We saw this series James Arthur win and get praise for his use of dubstep and drops in his versions of songs but Aiden does the same on his album without the same commercial success. This may be because he only came ninth so not gaining the same exposure as perhaps the other contestants had who reached the final but from what I read online his album either ends up being a love it or hate it case. Aiden didn’t appear in his debut music video from fear of being connected to the show and instead wanted to be judged on his music, which, in my opinion is brilliant. Catchy singles as well as a tender cover of Breathe Me gives this album all different sides and really should be noticed more than what it was. For this album or debut single to not reach the top 10 is a massive disappointment but from the same angle to gain an album in the top 20 written almost completely himself is massive achievement for the young man who wants to break free of the show’s clutches and gain respect as his own artist. Standout Tracks: Is this Love?, Breathe Me, Nothing At All

1) Jack White – Blunderbuss


An album named after an English firearm… that is very Jack White but boy, does this album fire like one! A gun that is devastating at short range and sprays out if fired from a distance. Jack White’s music is distinctive whether it be his work with The White Stripes, The Racounteurs or The Dead Weather it is very distinct and can be replicated but never bettered. Jack White is a true individual and this solo album must have been such a long time coming. his love of the blues shines through and both soft and hard rock collide in an amazing spectacle of music. while listening to Blunderbuss as an album you can almost hear his ideas shake around on an imaginary page from the aggressive rock of Sixteen Saltines to the softer more soulful Love Interruption. This is clearly an album that has taken time to craft and love has gone into this as a project and that is why it my favourite album of the year. Standout Tracks: Sixteen Saltines, Weep Themselves to Sleep, I’m Shakin’, On and On and On, Take Me With You When You Go


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s