One Hundred Sixty-Three.
Wednesday, 2013.01.02, 12:09 PM CST.
pick for album of the year 2012...
Current Mood: Cautiously optimistic.
Current Scent: Catalyst by Halston.
be frank, I was sick of 2012. It wasn't a great year for me, actually...
but I won't sit here and whine about the details right now.
happy new year, everybody. 2013 had better be better. I
know I'm probably going to be under a surgeon's scalpel sometime early
this year, and that'll be a hoot. (To satiate your curiosity,
it'll be a fairly routine sinus-related surgery... but it will potentially
change my life for the better. I might also get my nose changed
to match that of Jennifer Love Hewitt, but probably not.)
want this year to be SO MUCH better than last year. I've got some
obstacles to face, some of which I can't discuss here, but I'm going
to do my best to tackle them and move ahead.
main new year's resolution is this: I resolve to do more DJ performances
this year than I have for the last few years. Aside from my family,
friends, and God, there are few things that I love more than DJing.
It has been a passion of mine for almost a quarter of a century.
going to get out there and DJ more often. Not ALL the time; I
still need time to dedicate to my family and my "day job."
However, I'm not getting any younger. I want to get a lot more
gigs in before I finally shuffle off this mortal coil.
Here's my choice for album of the year, 2012. It'll shock some
of you, I'm quite sure.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR, 2012: LANA DEL REY'S BORN TO DIE.
January 1st of this year, I was checking out YouTube videos and I happened
upon a link to a video for a new song called "Born To Die"
by an unfamiliar artist named Lana Del Rey. The stillframe for
the video made her look a bit like Kristen Bauer Van Straten from TV's
True Blood, which certainly didn't hurt.
I clicked on the video, and I was treated to a shockingly good song.
video was a bit cheesy overall (in a bit of a dark/grindhousey kind
of way), but that song immediately got stuck in my head. It wasn't
like any other pop track that I'd heard in a while; I really dug the
swelling classical strings, and her voice - a little nasally, a little
gravelly, but really nice - was definitely not what was commonly
being churned out of the world of pop music these days.
quickly tracked down the videos for "Blue Jeans" and "Video
Games," loving them both ("Video Games" moved me to tears
the first time I saw it), and I knew I would be purchasing the full
Born To Die album as soon as it was released. I did a
bit more research on Del Rey; it surprised me that she was in her mid-20s
(she looked older in the "Born To Die" video), and I found
it amusing that she described herself as a "gangsta Nancy Sinatra."
Indeed, after reading that, I realized that her musical style was a
bit like that of Nancy Sinatra - far from perfect, but appealing.
There was a somewhat nostalgic note to her voice and her presentation
- a bit trashy, but not over-the-top campy.
album was released at the end of January, and I was very impressed.
Some of the songs were, from a lyrical standpoint, absolute crap - "National
Anthem," for instance - but made up for it by being insanely catchy.
Others were great lyrically and musically, like the super-addictive
"Radio," "Dark Paradise," and my personal favourite
on the album, "Summertime Sadness." There were two real
"dog tracks" on the album: the dreary "Carmen"
and the dreadfully boring "Million Dollar Man." However,
the good outweighed the bad in a big way.
Rey caught some flak from critics after two absolutely terrible
live performances on "Saturday Night Live" - seriously awful
stuff there. Other clips of her live performances have been pretty
tragic as well. She also had a lot of detractors who said that
her music career had been funded by her excessively wealthy father (an
accusation she has denied).
all of that, I thought the album was great. Was she just better
in the studio? Did it take a massive production effort to make
her sound so good on the official recordings? Whoever was responsible
- Del Rey herself and/or her production team - the work paid off.
will likely be a controversial decision, but there you go: Born
To Die is my album of the year for 2012.