2012 Top Ten Albums in 140 characters each
10. Sleigh Bells - Reign of Terror: surprised by how much I enjoyed outrageously abrasive production/infectious melodies. Over. The. Top.
9. Craig Finn - Clear Heart Full Eyes: All my downtime makes me nervous, Finn says. Somehow I get that. Pure gut-punch stories via Nashville.
8. The Jealous Sound - A Gentle Reminder: gently reminding us how needed Blair's heartbroken lyricism is. Heard it before? Yes. Still vital? Yes!
7. Kathleen Edwards - Voyaeur: Sounds like spring in the dead of winter. Folksy, modern, tragicomic songs delivered by veteran songstress.
6. From Indian Lakes - Able Bodies: Making Central Cal proud with mathpop time-shifts, sharp-edged guitars, AND singable, intelligent songs.
5. Of Monsters and Men - My Head Is An Animal: many instruments, voices make a pleasant racket...should sound plastic but instead is sublime.
4. Japandroids - Celebration Rock. If crafting fuzzy, stadium-sized, 3XL anthems is so easy, ask yourself this: Why am I not in the Spin Top 50?
3. The Killers - Battle Born: Brandon Flowers is gifted. Ambitious, soaring, passion-pop songs that tell Our Story, circa '12. Not trendy but timeless.
2. The Walkmen - Heaven: indie music for grownups...family vacations, storytime, and bittersweet love (the only kind). And it sounds amazing.
1. Hammock - Departure Songs: post-rock masterwork. Sprawling, densely layered double album, sounds like planets spiraling over fiscal cliff.