It may only be a glorified popularity contest, but it’s your popularity contest, so use your vote wisely, writes JIM CARROLL
PUT THE kettle on, grab the biscuits and pull up a pew: it’s time for this year’s heated debate about the acts, tracks and albums of the year.
Yes, pedants, we realise that there are a few more weeks left to run in 2012. But, for the purpose of looking back on the year that was, the music reviewing classes always call it quits in November. Sorry Big Boi, you should have released your new album last month rather than next week. Deadlines, man, deadlines.
On these pages are what we, the writers, thought of 2012 in the form of various shortlists. What we’re going to find out rather quickly is what you, the readers, think of what we thought of 2012.
Some rections are inevitable. You may feel that we have snubbed singers (though at least one Ticket writer had mad props for Driccky Graham), blanked bands (not enough love in the room for Merchandise) or overlooked acts (sorry Hotlanta hip-hop fiends, I did represent for Killer Mike). You may even be wondering how in the name of Joe Dolan did One Direction end up on these pages. Trust me, some of us are also wondering about that one and querying the adjudicator’s counting skills.
As those who are paid large salaries and expenses to govern this land can tell you after this week’s budget negotiations, trying to find a consensus is a hard task. What you see here is the wisdom – or lack of it, says you – of the crowd. Nine Ticket music writers submitted lists and The Ticket’s editor, using a sophisticated algorithm exclusively developed by the mathematically enhabced Paul Healy of The Irish Times involving an abacus and a dozen A4 sheets of paper, put together the shortlists based on their votes.
Don’t hate the players, hate the game.
But, no matter where you stand, you have to say that 2012 was an exceptional year for music. From the new urban swing and swagger of Kendrick Lamar and Frank Ocean to the smart art-indie of Django Django and Alt-J and the homegrown attractions of Delorentos and Julie Feeney, this was a year which provided highlights at every turn.
The seniors and juniors had a blast. It was the year when Dr John, aided and abetted by a Black Key, turned in a new career high and showed it was Nawlins for the win every time. It was also the year when newbies such as Little Green Cars and Orquesta began to show what was in the tank for the years to come.
Now that we’ve had our say, it’s your turn to give us the thumbs up or the thumbs down by putting your X on the page (or rather online at irishtimes.com). The closing date for votes is midnight on Sunday, December 16th and the winners will be announced here in The Ticket on Friday, December 21st. If you have comments, the On the Record blog is waiting to hear from you. Remember: vote early and don’t for the love of God spoil your vote.
AN AWESOME WAVE
“An album and a band that are not afraid to be smart.”
CLOCKS Julie Feeney
“It’s Feeney’s stately pomp and charged intimacy that sums up Clocks best: both warm and weird, but incontestably individual” Lauren Murphy
“Finally, here’s someone with the gumption to take urban music to new and fascinating heights. A brilliant, show-stealing, game-changing affair”
“Smart, superbly realised, nuanced pop music, sophisticated and effortlessly cool, in the old-fashioned sense of the terms”
“There’s a life-affirming buzz powering such effortlessly cast tracks as When the Past Was Present, So Will Be Now and, especially, Destiny” JC
“This is one of the year’s freshest, brightest and most inventive debuts”
“The musical gumbo that Dr John has concocted with producer Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys is his best work in years.” Joe Breen
THE BRAVEST MAN IN THE UNIVERSE
“There’s so much to rave about here, from the sheer quality of the songwriting to the empathic production to the strength and variety of the vocal stylings” Brian Boyd
GOOD KID, MAAD CITY
“A powerful, significant, thrilling and astonishing affair which recalls the heyday of West Coast rap supremacy while sketching out a new manifesto” JC
“The Dubliners sound like a different band, zipping from understated ballads to chiming, climactic indie and sunny-side-up melodic pop with a slick self-assurance lacking in their previous material” LM
BAND OF THE YEAR
TRACK OF THE YEAR
CALL ME MAYBECarly Rae Jepsen
THINKIN' BOUT YOUFrank Ocean
WILDEST MOMENTSJessie Ware
NIGHT & DAYHot Chip
BEST SOLO ACT
VIDEO OF THE YEAR
SIMPLE SONGThe Shins
BIG BEASTKiller Mike
BEST IRISH ACT
THE SPOOK OF THE THIRTEENTH LOCK
LITTLE GREEN CARS