As a final farewell to 2011 RB is giving one final recap, the “Best of the Best” that last year had to offer. There was so much great new music in 2011 but there can be only one winner for Best Song, Best Album, Best New Artist, Best Live Show, and Most Disappointing Album. After looking back at these winners we at RB can’t help but be excited about what 2012 will have in store! We look forward to bringing you new music and joining you for whatever epic shows this next year will provide.
Best Song: SONOIO – “Enough”
(written by Ryan) This was almost a unanimous staff pick! Jane’s Addiction has several candidates here, but there is no other song this year that sounds anything like SONOIO’s “Enough”. Allesandro Cortini brought a truly innovative sound to this track. There is a driving energy throughout the song that propels it forward, pulls you in, and then leaves the listener almost in withdrawals when it ends. It is the most unique, powerful, and beautiful song that I’ve heard all year and has a pretty amazing video to go with it.
Best Album: Jane’s Addiction – The Great Escape Artist
(written by Andrew) I know everybody else has been dancing around it, trying to pick something more unique, but sometimes the obvious choice is the best choice. THIS ALBUM KILLS IT! I’ve listened to this album all the way through at least 50 times, and I still don’t skip any songs. “Curiosity Kills” and “Irresistible Force” get you hooked, and just when you think it’s all downhill from there, “Splash a Little Water On It” ends up stealing the show. I’ve always been a fan of JA, and Perry Farrell and Dave Navarro together have always made for a memorable live show, but I wasn’t sure if their sound would translate over time like it has. This album has created a whole new generation of JA fans, and for good reason. Plus, it’s so refreshing not to have to be disappointed by another legendary group releasing a subpar album.
Read the full album review here!
Best New Band: Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights
JTNL released their first major label album Pardon Me, released by F-Stop/Atlantic Records, and have been rocking Southwest ever since. They recently brought their killer live show to LA for a show at the Viper Room.
(written by Andrew) I’m a sucker for old-fashioned, bluesy Rock N’ Roll, but it’s been a while since I’ve heard a new band get it right. They could easily become The Black Crowes or The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band for a new generation. They’ve made a name for themselves on the road, but their first major studio album was impressively polished for a group that’s only been playing together for 3 years. Already an accomplished live act, I’m hoping they’re just getting started.
Best Live Show: Night Horse @ Headhunters (SXSW) 3/18
(written by Ronnie) You had to be there. Maybe that’s the cheap way out, but for the handful of people who saw Night Horse at their late night SXSW performance, you know exactly what I mean. The venue seemed to be standing on its last legs before the show even started, and after the show Night Horse put on its a modern miracle its still there. The venue consisted of two bars in an outside back lot. The bathroom doubled as a public restroom and the private bath and tub for the apartment upstairs. About two songs into their set, you couldn’t tell where the crowd started and the band began. With no elevated stage, it was pure madness, with lead singer Sam James Velde throwing the mic to fans to sing for portions of the songs. Ya, it was that type of show. It made you believe in rock n’ roll all over again.
Most Disappointing Album: The Rapture – In The Grace Of Your Love
(written by Tiffany) Opening the album with “Sail Away” made me want to immediately turn it off. It took me three attempts to finally make it through the song. After five years, and with eleven tracks, I expected much more than just three solid songs (“Miss You”, “How Deep Is Your Love?”, and “It Takes Time To Be A Man”). The rest of the album flops, and it feels like The Rapture tried a bit too hard to create too many anthems on this album. Can we go back to the post-punk dance days, please?
… (From RB) And to all those bands out there, keep sending us your music and we’ll keep sharing it! 2012 is already off to a fast start!