2012 Top 100 LPs #8-5: Tame Impala, Flaming Lips, Gaz Coombes, Cian Ciarán
Published on December 24th, 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…
8. Tame Impala – Lonerism
Kevin Parker’s still-astonishing 2010 debut Innerspeaker was a lot to live up to, and that he even came close to doing so is praiseworthy enough in its own right. In the fullness of time this synthier outing might hold similar sway in Rocksucker’s playlist, seeing as how it’s continuing to endear itself with each airing; certainly there’s much of the recent-vintage Flaming Lips about Lonerism, so it points the way forward for all other psychedelic pop adventurers. Fan-ish nitpicking aside, the burgeoning reputation of Tame Impala goes some way towards restoring our faith in other people’s ears and minds. Dig those textures, man.
7. Gaz Coombes – Gaz Coombes Presents… Here Come the Bombs
The former Supergrass front man’s solo debut seems to have passed by relatively unnoticed, which sadly was all too predictable given the refusal of so many to get *that* song/video combination out of their heads and recognise him for what he is: one of the finest pop songwriters of his age. Anyone doubting that should check out this absolute tour de force of a record, which is both brimming with everything that ever made Coombes great and a landing pad for his venture into the world of electronics, deployed of course with characteristic flair. There’s still room for a classic ballad or two, though, including this instantly arresting Song of the Year contender…
6. The Flaming Lips – The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends
After nine consecutive cast iron classics spanning from 1990’s In a Priest Driven Ambulance through to 2009’s Embryonic – and no, we’re not exaggerating – Oklahoma’s (nay, planet Earth’s) finest could be forgiven for indulging in such a frivolous project as an album of collaborations with such luminaries as Nick Cave, Tame Impala and, er, Kesha. Thankfully, forgiveness is kept on standby altogether by a collection of breathtaking experiments that could conceivably be considered alongside its illustrious brethren in years to come, as opposed to the mere ‘curio’ status that the Lips’s take on Dark Side of the Moon appears destined for. Explosive, intergalactic yet teeming with memorable hooks, melodies and refrains, …Heady Fwends is yet further evidence of a band that just gets greater the closer it sails to the wind.
5. Cian Ciarán – Outside In
Another solo debut outing, this time courtesy of the Super Furry Animals/Acid Casuals electronics wizard turned doo-wop crooner. Outside In stays true to Ciaráns unlikely trajectory, a set of bludgeoningly honest breakup ballads with sophisticated yet pared-back production and arrangements reminiscent of solo John Lennon and Dennis Wilson; furthermore it’s sweet, swoonsome, impassioned, timelessly melodic and utterly heartbreaking on account of its apparently autobiographical subject matter, which is presented unflinchingly directly, free of the acid-tinged imagery of his comrade Gruff Rhys yet no less compelling for it. Gifted bunch, those Furries.