Music's "Best of the Rest" 2012

Grouplove-Never Trust A Happy Song

I listened to Grouplove so much in 2011 that it should have ranked #1 on my "Best Of" list.  But apparently, it was released near the end of 2011.  I didn't put it in my list because it wasn't technically released in 2012, but now I  regret that decision.  Never Trust a Happy Song was an amazing debut album for an indie band.  I bought their EP for the "Colours" single but never thought their full length would be that good.  It completely rocked.

"Tongue Tied" was turned into a catchy iTunes commercial, which brought a bunch more fans into the fold.  "Itchin' on a Photograph," "Lovely Cup," and "Betty's a Bomb Shell" are some of the best pop rock songs you are ever going to hear.  There are no weak spots on this record, it's a must hear.

Divine Fits-A Thing Called Divine Fits

If you want to get the full gist of who these guys are, head over to MiS, and scope their love for this supergroup, comprised of members from Spoon and Wolf Parade.  The chemistry here is palpable, the sound is not forced, and it feels like a natural progression for all the members involved.  Sometimes these so called supergroups don't work, for reasons that aren't always explainable.  But in this group, everybody 'Fits.

"Would That Not Be Nice" has a Spoon-like feel to it, sounding familiar to fans of Brit & Co.  It instantly grabs the listener the first time through, as Daniels feels at home, falling into familiar territory on the lead vocal.  Immediately following this is "The Salton Sea" and we see how the other shoe fits here.  Dan Boeckner, of Wolf Parade handles these vocals and the frantic keys suit his definitive style.  I talked about natural progression as a band earlier and I feel like these two styles come together on the preceding track "Baby Gets Worse," which contains the best of both worlds.  A spunky Spoon bass line, and a vocal melody that feels more Brit than Dan, but you'd be hard pressed to tell who is singing it unless you go back and digitally rewind.  Dan handles the first half and Bret shines on the chorus.  They are interchangeable, but there is a subtle difference, and that's the story of this record.  The best parts of both singers talents shine here.  "Baby Gets Worse" ebbs and flows through beautiful keys, a funky bass line and some gorgeous vocal work.  The stylistic differences become one, and all original identities are transcended.

"What Gets You Alone," blurs the lines as well.  A perfect rock song that sounds like nothing else, it's a thing of beauty.  "My Love Is Real" sounds like something ripped from 12o Minutes, a postmodern gem sounding like early Cure, and Echo and The Bunnymen.  "Flaggin’ A Ride" has more of that Spoon sound, and "For Your Heart" reminds me of Siouxsie Sioux.  The shimmering keyboards on this track are reminiscent of New Order's "Blue Monday."

This 'Fits project was great, I just didn't have enough time to give it the proper due it deserved.  That's why it wasn't at the top of my "Best Of..." list.  That's also why these "Best Of..." lists suck!  Many of these albums are equal, I just listened to one more than the other.

Mike Doughty-The Flip Is Another Honey
Doughty continues to work his magic on this album. Check out the opener "Sunshine," it's something special.  He describes it as a song "in which I speak/rap/spiel between samples of a ghostly, emotional John Denver."  "Tightrope" is an interesting spin on the Stone Roses song, and "Running Back" is an ode to classic rockers Thin LizzyIt's a fun album to listen to, as Doughty's covers usually end up far left of the originals, and this is a good thing.


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  • Man... diggin that Doughty tune.

  • I know man, I love that track!

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