13 Presents The List: The Top Ten Albums of 2012, Volume 1: 10 – 7

Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for the 7th annual edition of The List, or my ranking of the top ten albums of the year. I have been doing this in some form since 2006, when all I did was post a simple list which was headed by My Chemical Romance’s classic The Black Parade. Since then my list has grown to be a full-on review with commentary, which I have posted each year* to my blog on MySpace, or more recently Facebook. This year The List will realize it’s best presentation yet, as this blog on WordPress gives me the opportunity to include pictures, video, and other formatting wonders (welcome to last decade, huh?). Actually, as excited as I am to have The List finally looking both thorough and official, the best part to me is that it’s now public, and people who don’t know me in any other way than through this blog will be able to peruse it and maybe find some great new stuff, as well as discuss why or why not the albums I pick should be here, and what might have deserved a place instead.

Yes, I love to talk about these things. If you disagree with my list, tell me! Comment below the article. Tell me why you didn’t like what I picked, or what is out there that was better. (But please, make the comments thoughtful. Don’t just tell me something sucks. No one cares to read that.) Likewise, if you like something I picked, comment about that too. I love talking about my reviews about as much as I like giving them, so bring it on.

The year 2012 was a good one for music. Unlike some years, I had no trouble filling out this list. So without further adieu, here are this year’s choices:

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Come Down by the River

Today, ladies and gents, I’m taking you to church. Or more specifically, a revival. Yes, I’m aware that it’s a Saturday. But that’s one of the cool things about music; it can transport you anytime.

About 8 years ago, brothers Bear and Bo Rinehart of South Carolina and two of their friends got together to form a band which had a sound that would soon catch the attention of Atlantic Records. That band was Needtobreathe. If you’ve heard of them, it’s probably because you either:

a) listen to at least a decent amount of Christian music (the band does not usually write songs that are specifically meant to be Christian, however Christianity is a large inspiration for much of their music, and as such, they get played on Christian radio stations and sold in Christian stores)

b) have been to a Taylor Swift show (they opened for her this last year) or

c) spend an inordinate amount of time in OfficeMax (actually, that probably isn’t a leading reason, but they do play them on the radio there. I used to work there and commented that one of the only redeeming qualities about that station was that the person who chose the music seemed to like Needtobreathe).

If you haven’t heard of them, you’re about to:

That’s “Washed By The Water”. If that didn’t get your blood flowing with the blend of southern rock and gospel, then maybe this will:

That one’s just pure fun. One of my favorite things about popular music is its emotional aspect, when the music and the lyrics line up in such a way that they feed off of each other, and enhance each other to levels that neither part could achieve on its own. This band has that in spades.

If you like what you hear, as always, I encourage you to check out more. That first song was from The Heat, the second one is from The Outsiders. But no matter what Bear Rinehart sings, it’s pretty good. So sit back, enjoy, and feel.