Jack White - Blunderbuss

The metal rag Decibel was the first prominent publication to drop a year-end best-albums list, but MOJO, that boomer-friendliest of all the major UK rock magazines, isn’t far behind. Given the magazine’s classic-rock proclivities, it’s probably not a shock that they named Jack White’s pretty-great Blunderbuss as their #1 pick for 2012; it’s got a combination of relevance, popularity, and 12-bar conservatism that we don’t often hear. (That combination also goes a long way toward explaining the Black Keys at #6.)

I wouldn’t necessarily call that Blunderbuss anointment an indication of lists to come. Instead, we get that from MOJO’s #2 pick: Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange, which doesn’t have much to do with the magazine’s regular beat but which is generally undeniable critic-bait. Elsewhere, the list is extremely kind to enigmatic older gentlemen like Bill Fay, Leonard Cohen, Dr. John, Bob Dylan, Scott Walker, and returning Dexy’s Midnight Runners frontman Kevin Rowland, though a few interesting younger types like Julia Holter and Django Django also did well. Check out the full top-20 list below.

20 Lee Fields & The Expressions – Faithful Man
19 Advance Base – A Shut-In’s Prayer
18 Orbital – Wonky
17 Mark Lanegan Band – Blues Funeral
16 Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man In The Universe
15 Cat Power – Sun
14 Hot Chip – In Our Heads
13 The xx – Coexist
12 Tame Impala – Lonerism
11 Scott Walker – Bish Bosch
10 Bob Dylan – Tempest
09 Julia Holter – Ekstasis
08 Dr. John – Locked Down
07 Django Django – Django Django
06 Black Keys – El Camino
05 Dexys Midnight Runners – One Day I’m Going To Soar
04 Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
03 Bill Fay – Life Is People
02 Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
01 Jack White – Blunderbuss
(via Brooklyn Vegan)

No Fiona, MOJO? Really?

Comments (115)
  1. Blunderbuss makes me cringe. “Pooor boy, poo-ooor boy!” … jesus christ

    most disappointing record of the year for me, by far.

  2. Not to be that guy, but that Black Keys album came out in 2011. That AND no Fiona? Nope, not buyin’ it.

  3. Also, didn’t El Camino come out last year?

  4. it’s like they took a list for old people (no offense, dad) and then randomly sprinkled a dash of pitchfork BNM’s on top. don’t really feel like any of this was seriously considered at all.

    • I was gonna say “This is like a top-albums list for old people.” And then you said it. And then I said it anyways. With that said, I’m surprised GB didn’t make the cut.

    • Old people? I’m 22 and I listen to Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. What does age have to do with anything?

      • touche, and you’re totally right, but at the same time i think you know what i mean. check out my pops’ 1000+ CD collection sometime – you’ll maybe find 10 discs from artists under the age of 30 with anything other than a nice, accessible sound? zero hip-hop whatsoever? but yeah, you certainly speak the truth, i encourage anyone and everyone to listen to whatever the hell they want.

        strangely enough, my old man does own a circa-1989 copy of the pixies “doolittle,” on account of a recommendation from down beat magazine back then. about once a year he asks me “what every happened to those guys?” i tell him, he promptly forgets the conversation, and then we repeat.

  5. If you think that this list is for old people, wait until Rolling Stone’s list comes out. Despite not releasing a record this year, Rolling Stone will find a way to put U2 at the top of their list.

    • good lord. i’m depressed just thinking about rolling stone even making a top 2012 album list. they’ll make the rolling stone’s new single “doom and gloom” the best album of the year somehow. and then do a 4 page interview with keith richards about the making of it called “keith remembers..”

    • Rolling Stone has become quite inclusive of indie music over the last 10 years. Criticizing for the sake of criticizing in this little indiespehere of ours is beyond cliche. All of these lists are subjective anyway. Nobody ever will be correct. Rename your lists- “Albums I Liked This Year” and it’ll be more accurate.

  6. wow…that list is terrible. the black keys? jack white as number one? when that’s the worst album of his career? no grizzly bear? good god.

  7. woozefa  |   Posted on Nov 26th, 2012 +27

    damn, no bon iver???

  8. Yeah, have to agree with Mr. Cornell up top. It’s a very safe, alt-dad list that will probably book-end nicely with Paste’s.

    Hey, my list dropped today, too, and I would love to see you all devour and pick apart its contents!

  9. Ok, wow. Lots of albums missed this cut. Mostly I’m surprised Grizzly Bear didn’t make it but utterly appalled Japandroids is not on here. Celebration Rock is easily a top 10 record, if not top 5.

  10. Scott Walker = Dad Rock

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  12. I’m already exhausted by lists and they’ve barely started coming out. Seriously, MOJO? What the fuck is MOJO? It seems like an even lamer version of NME. Wake my up for the Pitchfork/Gum year enders.

    Michael_, I’ll check yours out as well.

  13. Need more: Beach House, El-P, Kendrick Lamar. I love Cat Power and Frank Ocean but I don’t think they’re Top 20 worthy. Also, Stereogum: FIX YOUR LINK! (http://stereogum.com/music/popular/) It’s been broken for over 8 months.

  14. “Top anything lists are stupid unless I agree with everything in it” – everyone.

  15. I like that new Bob Dylan album but, c’mon, when it comes to the old dudes, Neil Young puts far more passion into his music. ‘Psychedelic Pill’ is as great a record as one could expect from an elder statesman of rock.

  16. For a magazine that continually puts Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles on the cover, I’m not surprised at this pretty shit list, however anything leaving out Grizzly Bear and Beach House, is just plain stupid.

  17. 0.00

    the estimated amount of fucks given by Fiona Apple about year end lists

  18. No Shields is rude.

  19. Interesting list, bruvs, oy.

    Not to be too negative, but I kind of feel like all 3 of the big name indie stalwarts let us down this year. Was really pumped on the new joints from Animal Collective, The Dirty Projectors and Grizzly Bear, but to me they just weren’t as good as their last albums. Know a lot will disagree on that for GB, but this is just me ya feel.

    So I wanted to start a thread: Anybody else see it like that? Out of those three, what was everybody least/most let down by?

    • I was most let down by Swing Lo Magellan, although it’s still a pretty great album.

    • Shields is great. Swing low is OK. HZ sucked.

    • i PROMISE this isn’t just me being contrarian, but i actually LOVED swing lo magellan, and that’s from somebody who DIDN’T really like bitte orca or much of the rest of the band’s catalog.

      i think i’m just a weirdo, but seriously, the first for songs on swing lo magellan are each incredible, the rest of the album sags a bit, but “offspring are blank”>”about to die”>”gun has no trigger”>”swing lo magellan” is the SECOND best four song swing of the year, behind only

      “good kid”>”m.a.a.d. city”>”swimming pools”>”dying of thirst”

      • KP – Dammn yeah? Nutty about liking SLM more than Bitte Orca. I think I remember reading your comments saying the same around that time. To me, nothing on SLM touches the best moments in Bitte Orca. Cannibal Resource and Temecula Sunrise are like the two polars of DirtyProj glory, chaotic bombast opposite pensive sweetness (with abrupt turns to more chaotic bombast). Think those are the first two tracks 2. But you’re right, that is an awesome run of songs.

        Kinda see how SLM’s more “song oriented,” as the critics spun it after, but there was no song on there as solid and straightforward as Stillness Is The Move on there. IMO the lack of an incredible single like that or Two Weeks is what held back DP and GB from incredible albums.

        Still haven’t gotten into Kendrick, I gotta give that another listen.

        Ross – agreed, same here I think. I was never really let down by AC or GB until I thought about em a month or so after listening to em a lot.

        Trinity – Glad to see you’re continuing to fight the GB vs. Animal Collective fight lol. I wouldn’t say Hz sucked, more on that below. But u know grizzly bear’s actually part of animal collective anyways, right? According to the names at least… seems like a moot fight…


        • i’m with you on bitte orca vs. SLM, weezy, but i’d say that “about to die” adequately scratches the same itch that cannibal resource and temecula sunrise do. maybe not as chaotic… but in the same vein nonetheless.

          as far as “straight-up songs” go, though, yer damn right. stillness is the move is still their #1 jam.

    • I agree, in general. But I’ve never liked Dirty Projectors, and I thought their new one was more of the same.
      I am an AC fan but though most of Cent. Hz. was basically unlistenable.
      I feel about the same with GB’s new one as I did the last: I like it but I don’t love it.

      All in all, none of the three albums seemed to make much of an impression on the larger music conversation this year, regardless of what I think.

    • Animal Collective and The Dirty Projectors took their idiosyncratic sounds in opposite directions and the moves suited neither. ‘Centipede Hz’ is pretty close to unlistenable after the first two tracks. To my ears, on this new album they sound like the obnoxious band that their detractors had been describing (unfairly in my mind) based on their previous work (interestingly, I could say the same exact thing about the new Muse album). ‘Swing Lo Magellan’ is a bit better, but Longstreth’s voice really does not suit his more-straightforward material. If Amber Coffman sang lead on most of the album it would have been a whole lot better.

  20. Most let down by Animal Collective, but I’m still really into Centipede Hz. Just a testament to the quality of their previous work.

    • Balls. LWD reply here. Always do this.

      • I got u honlads. Yeah I was at first uber pumped on it, then kinda dissapointed as I took some distance from it. If they got rid of half the tracks it would be a total baller album. I think that’s like 3 degrees from D-Tits’s “dece” rating.

        No matter how much I listen, I don’t think I will ever be disappointed by these tracks:
        Father Time
        New Town Burnout
        Monkey Riches

        • Yeah I’m with you on those tracks. I think Moonjock/Today’s Supernatural is a great opening too, to be honest. After a bunch of listens I felt the album really lagging on Rosie Oh and Wide Eyed. Those tracks started to grate on me a bit. Think Crimson could have been an album track instead of one of those.

          It’s still a good album though, considering the pressure they were probably feeling after that insane four album streak.

  21. Mark Lanegan Band’s Blues Funeral was the most surprising thing to read on this list.

  22. P.S. total spoiler alert putting the album cover with this list, SG!!

  23. What about Alt-J?

  24. is this a top 20 or bottom 20? horrifying

  25. It astounds me that the latest Tindersticks masterpiece will be missing from all these lists yet again.

  26. chairlift.

  27. This list is even worse than Rolling Stone’s will be.

  28. How can you not include Cloud Nothings or Fiona Apple

  29. It’s cool that Scott Walker is on there, but not much else about this list is cool

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  31. Awesome that Advance Base (ex-Casiotone For The Painfully Alone) has made it onto a list

  32. I mean, I love Orbital (obviously), but even I’m like, Wonky? Really?

  33. I didn’t like what you liked! AHHHHHHH ANGRY. For real though, I would’ve thought the members of Dexys Midnight Runners would be selling insurance or something by now.

  34. No Father John Misty= Poor Taste.

  35. I so enjoyed Smashing Pumpkins “Oceania” the most this year and it’s my number #1, along with the reissues of “Siamese Dream”, “Gish”, “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” and My Bloody Valentine’s “Loveless” rounding out the remaining top 5!

  36. That Django Django record is pretty darn good.

  37. Why is Shields no where on this list?? Grizzly Bear’s newest album is amazing it definitely deserves a spot here.

  38. Very frustrated that I haven’t seen either Lambchop’s “Mr. M” and/or Matthew E. White’s “Big Inner” on any lists so far. Both of those albums are incredible.

  39. Cat power? Really?

  40. This list is really bad.

  41. The truth is that I only care about Fiona Apple… I love you Stereogum.

  42. i HATE LISTS
    why do i waste my time reading
    why do i waste my time commenting on them
    i hate this
    i give up

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