Drew Harkins’ Top Albums of 2012

Posted December 21st, 2012 by eric · No Comments

Drew Harkins is currently following some sort of bizarro, modernized version of Don Draper’s esteemed trajectory, replete with passels of women, ankle-bearing suits, and ad campaigns … without all that inconvenient identity theft nonsense.

1. Japandroids, Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl)
They aren’t long; all the weeping and the laughter. Hold damn tight onto those days, because one morning in your late 20’s you’ll wake up and realize that your hair is already half-grey, the career you dreamed of is stalled in second gear, you’re not paying off your debts, you fail to keep a steady girlfriend, and over the past decade you’ve become increasingly more enamored with partying than your own potential. Ennui’s a bitch, bro.

2. Beach House, Bloom (Sub Pop)
I still don’t get the trajectory of this band. Trust me; I saw them in 2008 and I thought they sucked. But seriously? With every album, Beach House manages to do the same infuriatingly ineffable and inexplicably good thing with basically the same exact effect every single time, but even better each go ’round. I’m too lazy to put a finger on what they do, so I’ll just call it “wet dream Muzak” and go eat some Jolly Rancher™ hard candies while feeling smug.

3. Best Coast, The Only Place (Mexican Summer)
I still don’t want to sleep with Bethany Cosentino. I just want to go over to her house and be all like, “Yo Beth-dog! Quit being a bummer! Let’s go to the beach and eat popsicles and listen to Hüsker Dü and heckle dudes in cargo shorts YOU KNOW IT WILL BE FUN.”

4. Guns N’ Roses, Use Your Illusion 3 (Circumvent)
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5. Tennis, Young & Old (Fat Possum)
The Black Keys are now in the business of giving swagger lessons. Witness Keys drummer Patrick Carney’s production of this album. Singlehandedly, he took Alaina Moore’s coquettish twee and turned it into a diva-worthy croon. Intricate melodies, expanded horns, minor shifts and sly backing vocals take the husband-wife duo of Tennis from white girl garage doo-wop to true blue-eyed beach soul. There’s also something particularly dense in play this time; increasingly more melancholy than blissful and wistful. The honeymoon may be over, but they’re still holding on.

6. The Men, Open Your Heart (Sacred Bones)
Mission of Burma made another great album. Todd Rundgren produced it and the guys from Thin Lizzy showed up in the studio.

7. Sleigh Bells, Reign of Terror (Mom + Pop)
If Treats was like the start of a good relationship, all fireworks and sex and whiskey, then Reign of Terror is more like the end of a good relationship, when your life is a walking Steve Earle song and you’re both sniping at each other via text message and thinking, “How the fuck can you be sleeping with that person?”

Anyway, Alexis Krauss is super hot. I mean, what the shit? One minute she’s all edgy co-ed-cum-Mousketeer, the next thing you know, she’s on some next-level indie Cindy Crawford-slash-Elvira vampiress tip. She even makes breast implants look sexy, and insert boner pun here and we’re done.

8. Dwight Yoakam, 3 Pears (Warner Bros.)
I was at Goodwill the other month, doing some thrifting because I’m a total hipster and I happened across a pair of vintage Wrangler premium patch jeans. These things were TOTALLY fucking boss – straight-up butt cut, stretchy cotton/denim blend, and basically like the pair my bull-riding friend Kenneth wore when he called our math teacher “honey” in college.

So there I am in a thrift store off White Horse Road in Greenville, stomping around in some bunk-ass L.L. Bean southwestern-style winter jacket, prancing to and fro all willy-nilly like a fruitcake and swiveling on my heels in front of a mirror with a full mammaltoe going on, singing “Little Sister” and pretending I’m Dwight Yoakam. Then this old black woman saunters behind me and gives me that total “SMH @witepeople” thing that old black women are awesome at doing. I’d never felt so white in my life.

**Bonus Life Tip**: Never ask a girl to go “thrifting” with you on your iPhone, because it auto-corrects to “thrusting.” On second thought, always do that.

9. Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan (Domino)
I don’t really know what to say here. Dave Longstreth is IKEA monkey.

10. Justin Townes Earle, Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now (Bloodshot)
“I know a lot about girls, particularly wild women. I know a lot about dope. I know a lot about guns. And actually, I know a lot about clothes. I just try to take those things and mix them in.” – Justin Townes Earle

11. Jack White, Blunderbuss (Third Man)
Jack White could shit on a microphone and it would probably still be worth a couple listens.

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