My top 10 of 2012…almost

I was sorely tempted to do a “Top 10 ‘Top 10 of 2012’ Lists” list. But I decided that’s a bit meta so instead I tried to scientifically rank my favourite albums released in 2012 and present them with my thoughts about why they’re so awesomely excellently fabulously brill.

I even considered building an Excel spreadsheet. Imagine if you will a matrix, using subtle pastel hues of course, with a list of 2012 albums (alphabetical by title for convenience) down the left side and a list of prog ‘features’ (aka clichés?) along the top. Then I’d cross-reference the albums by the ‘features’ they contained, and put a little tick (that’s a ‘check’ to you US types!) in the corresponding box. Perhaps I’d even colour-code each tick to weight it based on such criteria as homage to past bands/decades/instruments/guest artists/dress sense/lack of dress sense. The album that got the highest score would be the clear winner. It would be awesome*.

Easier said than done. Plus, the winner wouldn’t have been my favourite album. Not by a long, long way.

So I went back to basics, to think about what I really mean by ‘favourite’. I considered that even though I bought a lot of music in 2012 very few albums are still played routinely in my house or (and this is reserved for the holier-than-holy) elevated to a spot on my car’s MP3 player, which is where I have some of my most profound musical moments. Drivers of NZ beware!

So I present my easy-to-use criteria for blistering prog:

1. Tears flow.

2. Smiles erupt.

3. 1 often occurs concurrently with 2.

4. Ermmm…that’s it.

And without further ado, I present my Top 10 Albums of 2012:

1. Big Big Train – English Electric Part One

1. Echolyn – Echolyn.

OK, so I failed at making even a Top 10 list, but I am very happy with my top shared first place selection. Each does weird/good things to me for completely different reasons, and each will join me as a truly special companion on my (hopefully) long journey into the future. Kudos, BBT and E!

Finally, if I may make an honourable mention of other favourite 2012 prog moments, in order of merit again:

1. Being invited to contribute to Progarchy.com.

1. Joining the Big Big Train facebook group and meeting some incredibly fantastic people.

Enjoy December everyone, however you choose to/not to celebrate. Personally I will be training for the 2013 Hedonism Olympics. Huzzah!

*Apologies, I work with software people. But I refuse to be one of them. Mostly.

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