Five of the Best - 2012's Best Music So Far
Words: John Balfe
Well, now that we've entered May and we're coming up to the halfway point of the year (a scary thought, I'm sure you'll agree) we figured now was time to take stock and list some of our favourite albums of 2012 thus far.
Here's what's been in our CD players over the last few months.
Marina and the Diamonds - Electra Heart - 4/5
What We Said: "If you can bear to wade through the rigmarole of the preamble of what Marina the 'artiste' is aiming to achieve with Electra Heart, you'll find a dynamic and contextually layered pop album. Explorations in themes of love, rejection, and crisis of identity with a brutally honest yet tongue-in-cheek lyrical approach, delivered with the might of that ever-distinctive voice against a backdrop of rich production. Pure unadulterated pop goodness." (Elaine Buckley)
Grimes - Visions - 4/5
What We Said: "Grimes has created a brilliant record of ethereal cutting edge dream-pop, as much a headphone/bedroom record as it is a dancefloor-filler. Be it the perkier, dance pieces like 'Be A Body' and 'Vowels = Space and Time', or the darker more introspective pieces like 'Genesis', the one unifying property is Boucher's falsetto-like voice, a perfect match for the record whether it's exploring the space in the more dreamy numbers, or firmly attached to the darker textures of songs like 'Oblivion' and 'Circumambient'."
"Visions is a masterpiece of dreamy electro-pop and its no-frills construction places Claire Boucher firmly at the forefront of the cutting edge of a brave new musical movement and would be a welcome addition to any record collection. And holy crap is it ever catchy…" (John Balfe)
Delorentos - Little Sparks - 4.5/5
What We Said: "There is a tendency to always yearn for and seek out the next big thing; the great white hope, with a debut single or EP that will set the Irish music scene on fire. And this is, of course, very important – it's what makes Ireland such a great place to be as a fan of music; diverse talent and creativity is in plentiful supply, and should be constantly celebrated. But amidst the eagerness for the new, we mustn't lose sight of the acts we already know and love… and Little Sparks is not only an album which is Delorentos' best work to date, but one of the finest Irish releases of recent times." (Elaine Buckley)
Dr. John - Locked Down - 4.5/5
What We Said: "Locked Down is bristling with energy, its songs tight in structure but loose in feel. There is unmistakably an "electric creole" feel throughout the album. The goal, one would assume, for a record like this would be for it to seem perfectly at home among both the music of today and yesterday - and they have been incredibly successful.Locked Down feels timeless. It is a testament to its creators, not solely those present on the album but also those who forged these ideals and grooves on the muddy banks of the Mississippi over generations." (John Balfe)
Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again - 5/5
What We Said: "Kiwanuka's vintage soul vocals fill every square inch of the album's sonic landscape with an atmosphere of yesteryear, nodding towards the soulful jazz of early Van Morrison, the reflective folk of Nick Drake's Bryter Layter with an added helping of Curtis Mayfield for good measure. Home Again is a wonderful collection of exquisitely arranged and performed soulful grooves. It's interesting to note that an album which identifies so solidly with an antique period of popular music has signposted Kiwanuka as being one to keep a close watch on in the future. A wonderful achievement." (John Balfe)
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Thursday 3rd May 2012 | Music
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