Monday, December 31, 2012

THE TOPS IN ROCK: 2012 (Guest Post)

My son Jesse is passionate about music and McDonald's!
I'm thrilled to offer
as the last post of 2012,
a year-end music wrap
up from a very special
guest — my nineteen-
year-old son Jesse. On
the surface he may seem swell and well-adjusted
— but he is MY kid.
And beneath his chiseled good looks lies the heart
of a young man who
has no problem
speaking his mind.
Jesse Tanner Long’s Top 20 Albums of 2012

I have been putting together “Top (Insert Number Here)” album lists since 2010 and it’s never an easy task. 2012 was definitely the toughest year for me. It brought forth amazing albums from Anthony Green, Maps & Atlases, Frank Ocean, Soundgarden, Two Gallants, Jack White, Paper Route, Just Like Vinyl, Minus The Bear, The Blue Van, Beach House, Foxy Shazam, Circa Survive, Japandroids, Cloud Nothings and Oddisee  yet none of these made my list   believe it or not. What did make my list though was:

1. Deftones
Koi No Yokan
Wow. Just wow. What makes this album stand out is its passion. Every song is composed with precision and  packs its own set of punches. Chino Moreno’s vocals along with the grooves from the band really come together to offer something wonderful.
(Listen to “Leathers.”)


2. Bruno Mars
Unorthodox Jukebox
When this album came out, I knew it was going to be great. But it was actually better than great. The title says it all. Mars dabbles in rock, pop, R&B and even a little reggae. The way he does this (and he does it well, by the way) and still manages to top the charts shows his true talent. Mars is a brilliant songwriter, and Unorthodox Jukebox proves this with every song.
(Listen to “Moonshine”)

3. The Safety Fire
Grind the Ocean
Let me tell you a little story: There I am at the Protest the Hero show at The Social in Orlando back in April, and Today I Caught the Plague had just finished their set. Next up was The Safety Fire. My dad pulled me aside and asked, “What the hell is a ‘safety fire’?” Then, I saw some guys wearing Hawaiian button-up shirts walk onto the stage. Come to find out, those guys were The Safety Fire, and for the next thirty minutes or so, my ears were flooded with beautiful sounds. Standing about nineteen inches from guitarist Derya “Playgle” Nagle, I was in awe. When I got home after the show, I immediately bought the band’s debut album Grind the Ocean. The Safety Fire is extremely heavy, yet they don’t suck. Bands like Periphery and Between the Buried and Me need to take note. Seeing The Safety Fire live has definitely affected the way I listen to Grind the Ocean. The whole band puts off this vibe that is just really cool. I have no other way to explain it. Check out The Safety Fire’s YouTube page for music videos, a track-by-track of Grind the Ocean, tour diaries and more. (Side note: the video for the song “Floods of Colour” may be the best music video ever.) My iTunes play count for this album is at 157, but if you add the amount of times I have listened to it while driving, that number would be over 300 for sure. Grind the Ocean is a beautifully composed metal album that deserves recognition. The Safety Fire’s next effort is something I’ll be anticipating during 2013.
(Listen to “Circassian Beauties.”)
4. I Am Abomination
Let the Future Tell the Truth
(Listen to “One False Step”)
5. Anberlin
(Listen to “Modern Age”)
6. Coheed and Cambria
The Afterman: Ascension
(Listen to "Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute")
Strength to Survive
(Listen to “Gone Today”)
8. Pierce the Veil
Collide With The Sky
(Listen to “I’m Low On Gas and You Need a Jacket”)
9. Enter Shikari
A Flash Flood of Colour
(Listen to “Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here”)

10. The Used
(Listen to “Give Me Love”)
11. The Mars Volta
(Listen to “Molochwalker”)
12. The Sword
(Listen to “Apocryphon”)

13. Children of Nova
Impossible Landscape
(Listen to “The Troubled Soul”)
14. Rebelution
Peace of Mind
(Listen to “Day By Day”)
15. Walk The Moon
Walk the Moon
(Listen to “Shiver Shiver”)

16. The Dirty Heads
Cabin By the Sea
(Listen to “Best of Us”)
17. Neon Trees
Picture Show
(Listen to “Teenage Sounds”)
18. Everclear
Invisible Stars
(Listen to “Aces”)

19. Billy Talent
Dead Silence
(Listen to “Man Alive!”)
20. Slash
Apocalyptic Love
(Listen to “One Last Thrill”)
*Thanks, Jesse,  for sharing your Top Albums list — and keep up the good work. You're a sharp young man with a bright future and I look forward to posting more of your insightful Guest Blogs in 2013.

Do you have something to say, something to get off your chest or an amazing story to share? From pop culture views and reviews to political commentary to messages of faith, my blog is a great platform for writers to showcase their work. There are very limited criteria for submitting a post. Your views don't even have to be in line with mine — just create and contribute a compelling, well-written story. Interested? Send me and email.


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