Thursday, December 20, 2012

Greetings from!

When Benevolent Power Pop Overlord (and generally righteous dude) Curty Ray asked me to contribute some titles for a Best Of 2012, I had a lot of thinking to do. There were plenty of records I appreciated this year, but I wanted to make sure to offer up a shortlist of things guaranteed to make the listener happy, or at least not want to hunt me down in here we go.

1. Brendan Benson - What Kind Of World: It would be petty to say this record asks and answers the question, "Jack who?" Benson, the "other guy" in The Raconteurs not only nailed it with this release, he recorded what may be his finest moment thus far, the killer track "Bad For Me." Seek this out!

2. Bill Lloyd - Boy King Of Tokyo: This is probably the album I have shared with people the most this year. Has Bill Lloyd ever let us down? No, never, and of the releases from 2012 this is the one I wish was on vinyl because it is such a warm, fuzzy throwback to the best pop of yore. I dare you to not hum along to "Up In The Air" or to laugh at the dark humor that surfaces in "Com-Trol."

3. Imperial State Electric - Pop War: Nicke from The Hellacopters has captured '70s power pop in a concise bottle called Pop War without sounding like a rip-off. It's a little glam, a little Cheap Trick, but it never is little in the hooks department. It's crunchy, it's tasty, and it demands to be played ever so loudly.

4. David Myhr - Soundshine: The album that is most like the title of the album, this disc is designed to put a big old stupid smile on your face from ear to ear. To crib a line from Mike Viola, this was the soundtrack to my summer with windows rolled down all the way. For anyone who wishes the Merrymakers would reunite, I don't know how that would be possible, but the overall joy of this recording helps one to forget the prospect (if temporarily).

5. Calexico - Algiers: Okay so it isn't technically a power pop record, but when you need a disc to chill out with, the band co-founded by Joey Burns and John Convertino make a truly international flavor of Americana. The song "Fortune Teller" is easily one of their best out of a sterling career of bests.

Best reissue(s): Has to be Jellyfish landing on vinyl via Omnivore Records. The label released the band's two classics Bellybutton and Spilt Milk with the respect we always knew they deserved.

Biggest disappointment of 2012: This kills me to say it, as there are a few really good cuts on it AND it appears to be a huge hit, but Some Nights by fun. is nowhere near the majesty that was their debut Aim & Ignite. Just sayin'.

There are plenty more great records from the year, but they don't quite fit the power pop mode, so I'll leave it here. But remember, folks. If you like what you're hearing, go out and buy it. That's how we keep this thing going. Have a happy holiday, whatever yours may be, and be ready to rock in 2013. We're counting on you, so don't let us down!

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Dw. Dunphy said...

Once again, thanks to Curty Ray for allowing me the input. You can see the rest of the Popdose Staff's Best Of 2012 lists at our site. -Dw Dunphy

oldsoftballdude08 said...

Merriest of Christmases to Curty Ray!!! It's a wonderful life!!!

tomg said...

Many thanks for the list. Cheers

Gyro1966 said...

I just caught wind of this great band, and I've been playing their 2 albums non-stop all weekend. Leave this here in the comments page and don't make a full post as they just released this new album. Included here are both of their genius albums in one!


The Junipers long awaited follow up album to 2008's fantastic "Cut Your Key". More psychedelic folk pop laden with sweet harmonies & chord changes that will break your heart. Mellotrons, zithers, 12 string guitars etc, make up The Junipers signature wall of sound. (CD baby)

The greatest band in the whole wide world have got a new album. That’s right, supreme psychedelicists, The Junipers, are following up their ‘Cut Your Key’ LP with the wonderful, enchanting, downright POSITIVE longplayer, ‘Paint The Ground’. (Hecklerspray)

Shriner said...

CR -- when are you going to post your top 10 of 2012?

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