Here we go! The end of the year is upon us and everyone is dishing out their list for 'Top' things of year. How can I pass up a chance to let you have access to the albums that have been stuck in my head all year in hopes they do the same to do? So without further ado, here are my picks for Albums of the Year, in no certain order.


The Black Keys "El Camino" (Warner Bros)

The first time I heard this album I was in my friend's car on the way back from a Thanksgiving "Tour" of Baltimore and Norfolk. The aforementioned friend works for Warner Bros Records and had the advance CD several weeks before it's release. Needless to say I was begging for a copy before we reached my home in North Carolina and for the record, I didn't get it.

What made this album for me? What didn't? I know, vague. Seriously this album is easily the best of their career featuring a musical growth for the band that lends to what is to come in the future from them. The band has already gone on record saying their next album would be recorded in a two week period when they finally settle down from touring. So a new album in less then a year later? I won't be complaining.

Lit "The View From The Bottom" (Megaforce Records)

"My Own Worst Enemy" was an anthem for its time and then it seemed like LIT burned out with the albums that followed. After suffering the death of their long time drummer Allen Shellenberger in 2009, the band returned in 2012 with a record produced by the mighty Butch Walker.

They would hit the road in the summer with Everclear on the heels of their first single "You Tonight". The album went pretty much under the radar with little to no airplay for the radio singles. I heard two songs on YouTube and went out to get the album just off those two songs. If you liked LIT back then, you will like this album. If you just like a good rock album with party anthems and bad relationship songs, this album is for you.

Also, there is a tribute to Allen on the album called "Here's To Us"


Gaslight Anthem "Handwritten" (Island/Def Jam)

Being a fan of Gaslight Anthem since their album "The 55 Sound," it was great to see the band finally get national exposure with "Handwritten" and it's lead single "45".

Simply put if you don't know who Gaslight is, they are an All-American rock band. Imagine if Punk Rock, Tom Petty, and Bruce Springsteen had a child. Random breeding? Maybe so but it works so well. The song "45" speaks for the whole album, like it and you will love the album.

If you get the Deluxe edition of "Handwritten" you will find a Tom Petty (You Got Lucky) and Nirvana (Sliver) cover on the back-end plus one B-side

Linkin Park "Living Things" (Warner Bros)

I'll be the first to admit that I hate the previous effort from Linkin Park as it was too far of a departure from what they are/were. Living Things brings it all full circle with the combination of sounds from their first four albums in one. THIS IS LINKIN PARK.

When the album leaked online I went ahead and downloaded it; keep in mind I did BUY it on the release date. Not knowing what to expect, I was really surprised with what I heard. Not a single song that I didn't like and I found myself listening to it many times over and over again. It's because of this that Linkin Park finally makes a return to my Top List for Albums of the Year since Meteroa.


Young Guns "Bones" (Wind Up Records)

Straight outta the UK where they reign with many awards for "Bones" comes Young Guns. Making their U.S. debut with the first single and title track to their 2nd album, Bones. Described on Wikipedia as an "Alternative Rock/Post-Hardcore" band, they really are just a rock band in so few words.

Opening the album is "I Was Born, I Have Lived, I Will Surly Die" which reminds me very much of the Foo Fighters both in music & lyrics. The song is linked in its title in the previous sentence. My personal favorite on Bones is "Learn My Lesson"

Quick side note: if you buy the album online, make sure you get the US edition as it was remastered and sounds better then the original UK version.

See them live on December 7th at Upstate Concert Hall for another Q103 Low Dough Show.


Deftones "Kio No Yokan" (Warner Bros Records)

I'll be honest here, I haven't been a fan of the Deftones since 'White Pony'. I heard 'Tempest' and was really enjoying the song. I told a friend of mine that 'Tempest' was one of the best radio singles they have put out in some time.

So when we got the album at the studio, I popped it in and fell in love from the first listen. Front to back, this is one of the best Deftones album of their career. No a single bad song on the album and it moves track-to-track seamlessly to keep the flow going.

If by now you haven't picked up this album, put it on your Christmas list for Santa and you will not be disappointed.
Well, there you have it - My Top Albums of 2012. Did I miss something? Don't agree with one or all? Leave a comment, I want to have open discussion as there was a lot of great music this year.

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