2012 Album Roundup

2012 LPs

Many of my 2012 LPs

I give up.

I’ve been thinking about the inevitable year-end top whatever list of albums for more than a month now. Countless records have found their way across the turntable or into my phone for listening on the train and some have risen to the top and others aren’t even a blip. But so many of them are just too good to rank, dismiss, or inadvertently diminish by stacking it above (or below) some other great album. The real message that bears conveying is that I’ve listened to a lot of great music this year and, while some of it was new in 2012, some of it dates well back to the past.

In keeping with the spirit of things I’ll limit this post to great things that came out in 2012 but stay tuned for more on those other things that have been occupying my ears in an upcoming post. Continue reading

Jason Lytle – Dept. Of Disappearance

Dept. Of Disappearance

When Jason Lytle broke up his band, Grandaddy, in 2006 he wanted to get away from music, California, and more. But he couldn’t stay away for long and, in 2009, he gave us the beautiful album, Yours Truly, The Commuter which actually landed on the top spot of my 2009 year-end list. Since then, he’s collaborated with members of Earlimart on Admiral Radley, briefly reunited with Grandaddy earlier this year, and now has delivered another beautiful solo album, Dept. Of Disappearance.

Opening with cassette tape test tones from the 80’s the title cut sounds right at home with Lytle’s earlier work. The synths wash, guitars crunch in with the rhythm section, and the soft-sung vocals flow atop the mix with lyrics that blend paranoia, aggression, and mystery. His grasp of melody and densely layered harmonies is instantly on show here and throughout the record. Continue reading