Life is Good... So's the record
2012 Top 100 LPs 16-13: Nas, Django Django, Grizzly Bear, Cornershop
Published on December 22nd, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Yes, it’s…Rocksucker’s Top 100 Albums of 2012!
Rocksucker listened to a lot of albums this year and conferred varying degrees of merit (in quail form) upon them based on our own spurious criteria…
…and now we bring you our favourite hundred of them, counted down in order arbitrarily/for fun. By dint of mathematics (specifically 4 x 25), top spot shall be revealed on Christmas day. Now, let’s get crackling, and then cracking…
16. Cornershop – Urban Turban
After five consecutive classics spanning from 1995 LP Woman’s Gotta Have It through to last year’s Cornershop & the Double O Groove of, Tjinder Singh lets his hair down by inviting a revolving cast of contributors on board for a well-earned party record. Singh’s inviting drawl is missed amongst all the guest vocals and instrumental tracks, but what could have been a frivolous venture is successfully massaged into a sterling summer soundtrack by dint of typically colourful productions and more sunny good vibes than you can shake your rhythm stick at. This Cornershop remains thoroughly well-stocked.
15. Nas – Life is Good
For the most part, Life is Good is a confessional and uncomplicated show of strong latter-day form from an artist whose output has consistently been overshadowed by his own titanic 1994 debut Illmatic; however, it claws itself up another level by ending with two of this year’s outstanding numbers, the Amy Winehouse-featuring “Cherry Wine”, and “Bye Baby”, a fond recollection of the good parts of his relationship with Kelis. Each is technicolour yet touching, but what goes before them squares up well enough in retrospect to consider this as more than just a two-track affair.
14. Grizzly Bear – Shields
A submergence into the same dense, nocturnal realm as 2009’s much-loved predecessor Veckatimest, Grizzly Bear’s fourth album swings tempestuously like a psych-pop Jeff Buckley, or perhaps The Shins on an ayahuasca trip. Full of woody autumn colours, just-the-right-side-of-crazed vocal turns and full, rich rhythm sections, Shields is just a band continuing to do what they’re very, very good at; it’s fortunate, then, that what they excel at happens to be so gosh darn magical.
13. Django Django – Django Django
Dalston art types, silly name, ‘crossover’ tendencies: all the ingredients are there for a face full of palm, yet what actually emerges is a startlingly colourful and imaginative marriage of The Three E.P.’s-era Beta Band, barmy electronics and Ride-style close harmonies. If a criticism can be levelled then it would be the relative lack of deviation from this admittedly golden formula, but this in an exciting debut entirely worthy of its Mercury Prize nomination. With any luck, we may have a sort of Super Furry Animals on our hands.