Albums of 2012
I’m no self professed music aficionado, but this year produced a slew of pop/dance albums that I loved, from up and coming artists who each saw a bit (or a lot) of recognition this year. So, in actuality, this list doesn’t really encompass the music of 2012, but rather is merely an incredibly biased and single genred compilation of the few albums I put on repeat these past twelve months. :)
Azealia Banks / 1991 EP
Key Tracks: All four tracks. Sharp, fast lyrics with slick style and edge. Oh and not to mention her fresh, sexy, and fun fashion sense and collaboration with Alexander Wang. Damn is appropriate to describe Banks, born in 1991.
Ellie Goulding / Halcyon
Key Tracks: My Blood, Anything Could Happen. There’s a pensive sadness in her lyrics that is met by upbeat happiness in the production. Met halfway it makes for pop music that’s a surprising delight.
Grimes / Visions
Key Tracks: Genesis, Oblivion, Be a Body. What more else can I say than that she’s a young Canadian carving the path for experimental electronica. Her fairylike trance is the newest sound I’ve heard in a long time.
Lana Del Rey / Born To Die: The Paradise Edition
Key Tracks: Dark Paradise, Summertime Sadness, Gods and Monsters, Bel Air. Seductive and provocative lyrics, with the aesthetic and videos to match, she’s undeniably a more sensual side to pop music.
Marina and the Diamonds / Electra Heart
Key Tracks: Primadonna, Power & Control, Sex, Yeah, Lonely Hearts Club. Scratch that, every track. Pure genius lyricist. The end.
Sky Ferreira / Ghost EP
Key Tracks: Sad Dream, Lost in my Bedroom. Sky Ferreira has been doing EPs for a number of years now and Ghost is a slower sound compared to As If!, but equally as head bob-able, if not in a different way.
Zedd / Clarity
Key Tracks: Lost at Sea, Clarity, Stache. While he’s prominently known for producing hard hitting dance beats, it’s his self written lyrics that surprisingly stand out on this album. I can hardly anticipate his collaboration with Gaga on Artpop. If Stache is any dirty indication, Gaga and Zedd have got some fun shit up their sleeves for us.
a message from Anonymous
Aw, why are you anon :( ?
Well this question kind of caught me off guard, but I’d say that although both of these songs certainly have tinges of feminist stances, they are not in essence “feminist” records. Although Marina is a female, I believe that her work can exist apart from her, and in a poetic way transcend the feminist notion and be equated to lyrics of social liberation and struggle (which is what feminism is at its core).
Marina has said that Power and Control is the superior and inferior dynamic in a relationship, and her experiences in a relationship with an egomaniac. It’s detrimental and can make you feel worthless, and she goes on to write that “a human vulnerability doesn’t mean that I am weak”, which is something that can pertain to feminism and misogyny, but can easily extend beyond feministic grounds. Wouldn’t it be misogynistic in itself to presume that vulnerability is purely a female trait? It’s universal, this power struggle, and the song is written in a gender-neutral perspective, which really liberates it from being chauvinistic in any way. It neither claims that women or men are being victimized in these situations (“women and men, we are the same, but love will always be a game”).
Sex, Yeah is the ultimate liberation of sexual knowledge and sexuality. She plays on the Madonna-Whore complex (“if sex in our society didn’t tell a girl who she would be”), and speaks critically of sex in our culture, by pointing out that “nothing is provocative anymore, even for kids”. In this track there is a more blatant outspokenness on feminism and it’s from the line, “if women were religiously recognized sexually, we wouldn’t feel the need to show our assets to feel free”. As with any repression of minorities, there is a desire to “prove” we are “equal”. In particular, sometimes some women feel they need to work just “as hard as men can”, or earn just “as much as men do”, and there is a desire to defy gender normative standards. However, to merely live in accordance or in defiance to these roles is wrong, because the idea of equality must mean that everyone has the freedom to be whoever they want, and nobody has to prove they are “equal”, because we simply are; it must be intrinsic knowledge. We must be, simply because we want to be. It is as difficult and easy as it sounds. Anyhow, I digress. Sex, Yeah is just brilliantly written.
Wow that was a lot harder to write than I expected, so I hope it makes sense. Thanks for the intriguing question, but I’d really wish you came off anon :S
I love Electra Heart more than I anticipated
SO EMOTIONAL, no, but seriously it’s a fucking masterpiece.
A HUMAN VULNERABILITY, doesn’t mean that I AM WEEEEAAAK.
THAT I AM WEEEAAAAAAAAAAAKKKKKKK. SERIOUSLY, I LOVE THIS ALBUM.