Being the first day of the new year it's hard to not look back at the last year in music. This year had some great albums.
10-The Strange Case of... by Halestorm.
The second album by hard rock band Halestorm featured a newer sound for the band. Their heavy songs got heavier and their softer songs got deeper. While there were Tons of rock anthems like "Daughters of Darkness" and "Mz. Hyde" the slower songs like "Break In" and "Beautiful With You" touched on a side of front woman Lzzy Hale that we didn't see on their debut. Not to mention that this album features their Grammy nominated single "Love Bites (So Do I)" which may be the band's best song ever and the song "Here's to Us" which was featured on Glee.
Key Tracks-"Love Bites (So Do I)," Beautiful With You," and "Rock Show."
9-Picture Show by Neon Trees
New wave alternative rockers Neon Trees topped themselves with their second album. Every song on the album is fantastic. From the rockers like "Hooray for Hollywood" to the dance songs like "Lessons in Love (All Day, All Night" to the ballads like "Close to You, this album had it all. While their debut was great this album is ten times better. The album featured the platinum hit "Everybody Talks" which went on to become the band's biggest single.
Key Tracks-"Everybody Talks," "Mad Love," "Lessons in Love (All Day, All Night)," "Close to You," Hooray for Hollywood," and "I Am The D.J."
8-Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded by Nicki Minaj
Rapper Nicki Minaj released her second album a little over a year after her debut and the album was more experimental than her first. The album features club tracks ("Starships," "Beautiful Sinner") hip hop anthems ("Beez in the Trap," "Come on a Cone") and some slower songs about heartbreak "Marilyn Monroe," "Fire Burns") and Minaj pulls them all off. The songs on the album mixed many genres together like pop-rock, R&B, dance, house, dubstep, reggae and of course hip hop. The album featured the hits "Starships" and "Pound the Alarm."
Key Tracks-"Roman Holiday," "Beez in the Trap," "Starships," "Pound the Alarm," "Marilyn Monroe," "Fire Burns," and "Stupid Hoe."
7-Electra Heart by Marina and the Diamonds
Indie pop singer Marina and the Diamonds tried new things on her sophomore album. Firstly she went for a more mainstream sound. This disc features traces of dance, pop and rock music. She also co-wrote her songs on this record. The result may not always be good ("Valley of the Dolls," "Hypocrites") but for the most part the album is amazing. From bouncy songs "Bubblegum Bitch" and "How to be a Heartbreaker" to emotional ballads like "Lies" and "Starring Role," this album has it all.
Key Tracks-"Bubblegum Bitch," "Lies," "Staring Role," "Power & Control," "Sex Yeah," "How to be a Heartbreaker" and "Radioactive.
6-Covered by Macy Gray
Macy Gray's sixth album contains covers of songs and a few silly skits. If you ignore the skits then the album has nine great covers and one that isn't all that great. Gray brings her crazy brand of soul to songs such as "Maps" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs or "Sail" by Awolnation. She also rewrote the My Chemical Romance hit "Teenagers." The song is now about the struggle of raising teenagers.
Key Tracks-"Here Comes the Rain Again," "Creep," "Teenagers," "Sail," :Maps," and "Bubbly."
5-Warrior by Ke$ha
Ke$ha's sophomore album shows that the popstar can grow from simply singing about clubbing. Some of her best songs on her last album and EP were her ballads and on this album she brings out the ballads. "Past Lives" and "Love Into the Light" are packed with emotion. The album also features more guitars and a more rock oriented approach. The best rockers on this album are "Only Wanna Dance With You" and the album's best song "Thinking of You." The later being a breakup anthem about moving on from a cheating boyfriend.
Key Tracks-"Warrior," "C'mon," Thinking of You," "Crazy Kids," "Only Wanna Dance With You," and the deluxe edition bonus tracks "Last Goodbye" and "Past Lives."
4-Red by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift has always ridden the line between country and pop and on her fourth album Red she really weaves the two together. She also mixes in rock, dubstep and electropop influences into her sound this time for a great new sound. From her love songs like "State of Grace" to her bitter breakup jams like "I Knew You Were Trouble." and "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" Swift always writes from the heart. Swift's new style seems to be paying off. Red sold one million copies in it's first week of release.
Key Tracks-"State of Grace," "Red," I Knew You Were Trouble," "22," "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," "Stay Stay Stay," "Everything Has Changed," Starlight," and "Begin Again."
3-Born to Die by Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey released her major label debut in 2012 but she's been making music for years. On her debut Del Rey mixes in many styles like baroque pop, sadcore, alternative hip hop, indie pop and trip hop. One of the things that make Del Rey stand out is her songwriting style. Songs like "Video Games" and "Diet Mountain Dew" showcase her strange way of telling a story. Her unique voice is also what is so great about her. While she has many haters Del Rey is clearly the breakout star of 2012 and with a new album in the works she won't be slowing down anytime soon.
Key Tracks-"Born to Die," "Video Games," "Diet Mountain Dew," "National Anthem," "Dark Paradise," "Summertime Sadness" and "This is What Makes Us Girls."
2-Push and Shove by No Doubt
No Doubt's sixth studio may not be their best album, it doesn't have the spunk and attitude of their previous albums and it isn't as catchy as their other music but that being said it's still a great album. Every song on the album is good and even though a lot of the songs may have the same new wave sound, they are still strong songs. The best song on the album is the title track. It mixes in reggae and ska with alternative rock to form a fun, catchy song. "Push and Shove" is definitely the best song on the record and it is one of the band's best songs. The rest of the songs are a mature look at relationships. Hopefully the band will get back into the swing of things and get back to their former greatness. While Push and Shove is a great album and is worth the 11 year wait that it took the band to record this record.
Key Tracks-All of them
1-The Truth About Love by P!nk
P!nk's sixth record is by far her best. This is the first record of hers to not have a bad song on it. This album is coherent and gets back the spark that was missing on her last record Funhouse and the songs on her greatest hits album. P!nk's strong points has always been her fast-paced rock songs. From party songs like "Walk of Shame" and "Slut Like You" to breakup songs like "How Come You're Not Here" P!nk is always at her best while banging her head. She also packs in the emotional songs on this song. Great ballads like "Try" and "The Great Escape" really tug at the heartstrings. P!nk's voice and songwriting have always been great but on this album they're much improved.
Key Tracks-"Blow Me (One Last Kiss)," "Try," "Just Give Me a Reason," "True Love," "How Come You're Not Here," "Slut Like You," "Walk of Shame" and "Here Comes the Weekend."