We are up to 2012 for my Throwback Thursday list. I feel 2012 was a relatively weak year for new music. This year, it was mostly rock that got me going. Only one country artist made the list (sort of country and she made the honorable mention at that). Not much else excited me, but the ones that did I really enjoyed. Here are my Top albums for 2012 (in no particular order).
Lit – The View From The Bottom: So glad these guys came back and did another album. It had been way too long since their last album. Their return was well worth the wait. A great collection of songs and was probably my 2nd favorite album of the year. I loved “Miss You Gone”, “The Wall” and “Same Shit, Different Drink” just to name a few. Just good, fun, rock & roll.
Train – California 37: Train is the one band my wife and I just love. One of our favorite bands. And they don’t disappoint. More catchy tunes on this one and I love all of Pat’s pop culture references. Plus you gotta check out the video for “50 Ways to Say Goodbye”. It has The Hoff in it. It doesn’t get better than that. With songs like “Drive By”, “Bruises”, “50 Ways to Say Goodbye”, “California 37” and “Feels Good at First” you will be entertained from beginning to end. Check out where these songs ranked on my favorite Train songs.
Van Halen – A Different Kind of Truth: Van Halen was back with David Lee Roth. Although this album was only updated versions of old demos, they worked them enough to make them sound great even for today. I really enjoyed “Tattoo”, “You And Your Blues”, “Blood & Fire” and my favorite “Stay Frosty” (my new motto). I hope they somehow stay together and do another album, but I won’t hold my breath.
Kiss – Monster: What a surprise album for me. I had really low expectations and was pleasantly surprised at how much this album rocked. I thought Gene’s songs were some of his best. Thoroughly enjoyed “Wall of Sound” and the “Devil Is Me”. For Paul’s songs nothing better than “Freak”. But the best song on the album comes from Eric – “All for the Love of Rock & Roll”. This is probably my favorite Kiss album since Revenge but still not good enough for my Kiss Top 10.
Halestorm – The Strange Case of…: Yes, Women CAN ROCK!! Lzzy Hale is incredible and so is this album. The album just starts off screaming with “Love Bites (So Do I)” and doesn’t slow down. They earned a Grammy Nomination for this album and so well deserved as this was my favorite album that year. Also pay attention to “Freak Like Me”, “I Miss the Misery”, “Here’s To Us” and and “Mz. Hyde”. This is their second album and no sophomore slump. They just get better and better.
Fatal Smile – 21st Century Freaks: “Welcome to the Freakshow” is an aptly titled opening song and single from this Rock album. This song just sets the tone for the album. This is also the 3rd song so far on my list with “Freak” in the title (what does that say about me?). These guys hail from Sweden, but they are no Abba or Europe. They are metal and so much fun. I also love the songs “Raising Hell in Heaven”, “Take it to the Limit” and “Judgement Day”.
Rick Springfield – Songs for the End of the World: Rick Springfield has been unstoppable since the turn of the Century. His last 3 albums have been incredible and he just gets better with age. I was always a quiet fan of his throughout his career but now I just can’t be quiet about it. His song writing and style crafts great pop/rock songs. I really loved “Our Ship’s Sinking”, “Wide Awake”, ” You & Me”, “Gabriel” and “Joshua”. I could list more but you get the idea…great album.
Shinedown – Amaryllis: Another great album from a great modern Rock band. Their consistency amazes me. Still enjoying this album and grabbing new nuggets of pleasure every time I listen. Brent Smith has one of favorite rock voices out there and I don’t think they have ever put out anything I didn’t like. Check out the songs “Bully”, “Adrenaline”, “Amaryllis”, “Enemies” and “Unity”.
Royal Bliss – Waiting Out the Storm: Here is another solid release. The albums first single “Crazy” was so great, I couldn’t wait to hear the rest. I wasn’t disappointed. This is the third release from Royal Bliss and I think they keep getting better. More mature in their sound and writing. I have also enjoyed “Wake Up”, “I Got This”, and “I Love You”. Give it a try and then go listen to the rest. They have recently decided they want to be country (see post). Listen to this album and see if you think they were ever country.
Adrenaline Mob – Omerta: What do you get when you cross Russell Allen (Symphony X), Mike Orlando & Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) and John Moyer (Disturbed)? You get this masterpiece of metal. The new metal Supergroup. Great rock album. I hope they keep putting out albums as I can’t get enough. Loved “Psychosane”, “Undaunted”, “Indifferent” and an awesome cover of Duran Duran’s “Come Undone”.
Jack Blades – Rock ‘n Roll Ride: In only his second solo album (normally with Night Ranger), Jack puts up a much better effort than his first solo album. This album is a little heavier than the first and that is probably why I like it. Pay attention to “Back in the Game”, “Rock ‘n Roll Ride” and “Say You Will”.
Gene the Werewolf – Rock N’ Roll Animal: Okay, this is just a fun album. They don’t take themselves too seriously and you shouldn’t either. It is just fun old rock and roll. Highlights – “I Only Wanna Rock & Roll”, “Heart of Steel” and “Wicked Love”.
Richard Marx – Inside My Head: I have always been a fan of Richard Marx, but nothing much has impressed me in almost 15+ years. This is his best stuff since the mid 90’s. Favorites: “Had Enough”, “Wouldn’t Let Me Love You” and “Over My Head”
Taylor Swift – Red: Yes, I liked this album. Probably from repetitive listening from my daughters. Most notable are “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”, “I Knew You Were Trouble”, “Red’ and “22′.
Robbie Williams – Take the Crown: I really like everything this guy does. Not hugely popular in the states and don’t know why. This is just another great pop record. Standouts – “Candy”, “Sh#t on the Radio”, “Different” and “Gospel”
Jimi Jamison – Never Too Late: The album title is perfect. I was giving up on Jamison that he could ever do something as good as Survivor on his own, but he did it. Reminds of the good ole days of Survivor. Enjoyed – “Everybody’s Got a Broken Heart”, “The Great Unknown”. “Street Survivor” and “Walk On”.
Eclipse – Bleed & Scream: Great rock album. Thanks to Melodicrock.com for putting me on to this band. Enjoyed “Wake Me Up”, “Bleed & Scream” and “Battleground”.
Jakob Samuel -Pastpresent: Love this man as lead singer of the Poodles. I don’t know what this solo record was. Nothing like I expected or want to hear again. My ears are still bleeding. Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but I did not like it.
Green Day – !Uno, !Dos & !Tre: I didn’t get or enjoy these three albums. They were boring and nothing of value.
No Doubt – Push and Shove: I was so anticipating the return of No Doubt. No hesitation, I went and bought this album. I want a refund. The only thing this album is good for is if you are trying to go to sleep. Major misstep on their part.