Archive | December, 2012

The YDP 2012 Top 10 Album List!!

28 Dec

Play Me The Hits!

Another year in the can, and with the uneventful pass of the Mayan Apocalypse (which was of course just the end of their long-count calendar), we here at Yuppie Dance Party have come out of our long hiatus to do the kind of thing we’ve long dreamed of: a giant YEAR END COLLABO!

Even in our break from the blog, we’ve done our best to stay hooked into the year’s hottest releases, including some of those that may have slipped under the radar.  Together, we felt that this year’s offerings, whether artist debuts or follow-ups, was a strong year in music.  2013 will have a LOT to live up to.  It wasn’t easy to pare down, to so few.  To satisfy our own sensibilities, and provide you with more delicious tastes of the year, we’re also tacking on an abbreviated list of honorable mentions.  But let’s get to the good stuff.  Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are our top 10 albums of the year!

1. Twin Shadow, Confess

Confess is a record I gush about to everybody I meet. Drenched in synth, big 80’s guitars, and beautiful vocals, this is an new (and incredible) album full of old sounds. I loved the debut Forget when it came out in 2010, but this album is much more pop – in a good way. Let’s just say if you took Prince, the Top Gun soundtrack and the The Lost Boys soundtrack, shook them up in some sound machine and listened to the product – you’d have Confess.  –TKSama

2. Fiona Apple, The Idler’s Wheel…

My only regret is that I didn’t come across Apple’s latest offering until early December. The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do,  is a mouthful of a title, but is comprised of relatively minimal instrumentation. This simply allows Apple’s strengths as a songwriter and vocalist to stand out. Her raw, bluesy voice runs the gamut of emotional tones, culminating in a rousing duet with her lesser known but very talented sister.  Apple proves her staying power once again. -Lord_B

3. Heartless Bastards, Arrow

The Heartless Bastards make incredible bluesy indie rock. Arrow is their latest and strongest effort to date. Erika Wennerstrom’s vocals are given enough free reign to deliver some wonderfully poetic lines while being properly balanced by pure rock n’ roll. If the American Rock revival actually existed, these guys would be riding the wave. -TKSama

4. Lana Del Rey, Born to Die

Perhaps one of the most polarizing albums of the year, the newly fabricated Lana Del Rey (stage name, persona and affectations) had an early misstep with a less-than-stellar SNL performance.  If that was your first encounter with her, the good news is that she more than redeemed herself.  This album grows on you with each successive listen, exposing you to a soulful and retro, albeit highly produced, piece of spectacle that garners more than a few plays in the process. -Lord_B

5. Beach House, Bloom

Listening to Beach House is like going on an aural journey in a fantasy land. Victoria Legrand’s vocals dance effortlessly across a synthy dreamscape and you’re absolutely certain that something magical could happen at a moment’s notice. This album is more than a worthy successor to Teen Dream (2010) and one that I think everyone should own. -TKSama

6. Four Tet, Pink

Four Tet’s follow-up to 2011’s There is Love in You is no less of a good time.  Looping and mixing elements of funk, acid jazz and electronic beats together in new and exciting ways, Tet time and again builds impressive and complex layers of sound.  This album offers an excellent listening experience – let the music guide you through one of 2012’s best offerings. –Lord_B

7. Japandroids, Celebration Rock

Please drop what you’re doing and turn on “The House that Heaven Built.” Crank that bitch to 11 and let it shake you in the loins. If it doesn’t move you, it’s not loud enough. This is Celebration Rock. This is the Japandroids’ sophomore “slump.” This is 8 tracks of raw emotion and energy buttoned with lyrics that move beyond hollow sounds for fans to sing back at live shows. Is this the greatest album of all time? No, but who cares. This is rock n’ roll. -TKSama

8. Grizzly Bear, Shields

A true evolution from their debut album, Shields shows us what happens when you smooth out the rougher edges of their indie sound.  This is a sonically adventurous lineup of rock-riffs meeting orchestral swells, invested with a chorus of simple, hopeful lyrics.  –Lord_B

9. Tanlines, Mixed Emotions

Perhaps I’m more smitten by this record because I’ve seen these guys live and the music just pops that much more. Or maybe with Twin Shadow I’m assembling the greatest contemporary 80s soundtrack for a nonexistent John Hughes flick. Whatever it is this album has me shakin’. Yes, Mixed Emotions is another danceable synth pop release in the vein of YACHT and many other DFA releases (though Tanlines is not from DFA). But that’s not a knock. This is a damn good record.  –TKSama

10. Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d. city

Wow…this is the best new rap album to come out in some time. Young Kendrick, mentored by Dr. Dre, and no doubt influenced by the good Dr’s timeless portrayals of South Central, brings a depth of compelling, inner city storytelling to bear with an interesting vocal style. Can it be that the West Coast is once again the best coast? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but it certainly marks one of the more important shifts to the genre: a change in tone of today’s popular rap, that has become less about describing the struggles of youth and poverty, and become bombastic treaties on opulence, materialism, and la dolce vita.  This is a must listen.  -Lord_B

Honorable Mentions

On a list filled close to bursting, here are 10 more of our favs of 2012!

  1. Poolside, Pacific Standard Time
  2. Miike Snow, Happy to You
  3. A$AP Rocky, LiveLoveA$AP
  4. Passion Pit, Gossamer
  5. Calvin Harris, 18 Months
  6. Tame Impala, Lonerism
  7. Black Moth Super Rainbow, Cobra Juicy
  8. El-P, Cancer 4 Cure
  9. First Aid Kit, The Lion’s Roar
  10. Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan