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The Key Of Geek: David Bowie ‘The Next Day’
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The Key of Geek

David BowieThe Next Day
David Bowie
CD | MP3
Columbia Records
Release Date: March 12, 2013

For some inexplicable reason, newly released albums by longtime beloved rock stars are judged on a harsher curve than most. Is it because many of these artists have released decades’ worth of quality work, so critics think they are due for a miss? Is it because we as a society love to watch the high and mighty fall from grace? Perhaps it is because at a certain point, we all get set in our ways. We have an artist stowed away neatly in a certain place in our lives, and that’s where they belong. Anything outside of that comfort zone is immediately regarded as dangerous and a threat to their legacy, so it is rejected outright. Especially when, in the case of David Bowie, the artist has spent a considerable amount of time away from the spotlight, why try a “comeback” now?

Well folks, the good news is this: David Bowie has long-defied convention, and he continues to buck the aforementioned trends on his new record, The Next Day. The record is high energy, hard rocking, poetic, and an exhilarating listening experience. If you were to separate it from all of the back story (as interesting as it is) and examine Bowie’s discography to this point, you would never have guessed that a decade has passed since his last foray into the music world. In fact, despite his long-term absence and the vocalization of many detractors, it is arguable that he is more relevant now than ever before.

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The Key Of Geek: Must Listens Of 2012, Part 5
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SoAndyway   |  
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2012-09-30-key_of_geek

Here we are, at the end of our selections of the finest music 2012 had to offer! Maybe you found some new bands to enjoy, or maybe you disagreed with some inclusions or omissions from the list. Either way, 2013 is going to have a lot to live up to, as 2012 proved itself to be a great year for music!

Coheed and Cambria: The Afterman: Ascension

The Afterman: Ascension

Coheed and Cambria

If you haven’t jumped on board with the Prog Rock/Metal/Post Hardcore/Sci-Fi epic journey that is the work of Coheed and Cambria, there is no better time than the present. All of the band’s records are chapters in a larger story arc, but you won’t feel lost at all if you start with this year’s entry in the Amory wars saga, The Afterman: Ascension. Plot wise, the album focuses on the character of Sirius Amory, but melodically, the album goes everywhere and anywhere. “Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute” is a perfect entry point, as the track features heavy riffing, big sounds, and examples of how the plot is woven into the record. The Afterman: Ascension is part one of a two album set, with part two being released in early 2013. There is a lot to take in with this record, and the journey is an excellent one.

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The Key Of Geek: Must Listens Of 2012, Part 4
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SoAndyway   |  
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2012-09-30-key_of_geek

The list is getting closer to the end, but the quality tunes are still rolling!

Ben Folds Five: The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind

The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind

Ben Folds Five

If you’ve been longing for a reason to headbang along with a piano, your long search is over. Ben Folds Five have returned after nearly 13 record-less years with The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind, an album that picks up where they left off while treading new territory. Leadoff track ‘Erase Me’ and single ‘Do It Anyway’ surge with boundless energy and help shake off any of the dust accumulated during the bands hiatus. ‘Hold That Thought’ contains rich harmony and a stellar melody. ‘Thank You For Breaking My Heart’ closes the record in expert fashion, leaving you with one of Folds‘ finest ballads. If you are looking for a record that will demand repeated listens, then look no further than the newest disc by Ben Folds Five.

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The Key Of Geek: Must Listens Of 2012, Part 3
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SoAndyway   |  
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2012-09-30-key_of_geek

The list continues with some rock, some roll, and everything in between!

Benjamin Gibbard: Former Lives

Former Lives

Benjamin Gibbard

Death Cab For Cutie’s Benjamin Gibbard made his solo debut this year with Former Lives, an inviting record that feels like you’ve known and loved it for years. Gibbard’s flair for experimentation can be heard on the a cappella ‘Shepherd’s Bush Lullaby’, as well as on the mariachi influenced track ‘Something’s Rattling (Cowpoke)’. The reverb soaked vocals and production on ‘Duncan, Where Have You Gone?’ make the track sound like a long lost John Lennon tune. Aimee Mann guests on ‘Bigger Than Love’, a bouncy ode that will, much like all of Former Lives, keep you smiling from start to finish.

Former Lives is not available for streaming, but you can preview tracks at iTunes and Amazon
 
 

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The Key Of Geek: Must Listens Of 2012, Part 2
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SoAndyway   |  
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2012-09-30-key_of_geek

Looking for more tunes to help you ring in the new year? Here are some albums from 2012 that you should check out if you haven’t already!

Muse: The 2nd Law

The 2nd Law

Muse

Muse have always pushed boundaries and bent genres to their creative whim, but never as effectively and triumphantly as on their latest disc The 2nd Law. This record also had the distinction of being hotly scrutinized before anyone heard a single note, thanks to a quote from lead singer Matthew Bellamy that included the word “Dubstep”. Mere mention of this genre in relation to new material sent many Muse fans into a tailspin, but those who were patient with their beloved Prog-Rockers were rewarded tenfold with an album that rocks, rolls and all around knocks the listener out. If you managed to avoid lead single ‘Madness’ or the Olympics Theme ‘Survival’ this summer, they are both worth your time as well as ‘Supremacy’ and the Prince meets Queen rocker ‘Panic Station’. The 2nd Law is a truly wonderful listening experience that will demand your attention.

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The Key Of Geek: Must Listens Of 2012, Part 1
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SoAndyway   |  
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Key Of Geek

How jam packed was your iPod this year? Were you someone who kept up with all the great music that was released in 2012, or did all the awesome tunes seem to pass you by? If you fall into either category, check out this a list of some great albums from 2012 that are definitely worth your time!

Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra: Theatre Is Evil

Theatre Is Evil

Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra

If you’re an avid reader of this site/user of social media and you don’t know who Amanda Palmer is, there is no better time to become a fan. A performer in every possible sense of the word, Ms. Palmer got together with her band, The Grand Theft Orchestra, and created one of the most diverse and emotionally resonant albums of the year. Palmer is famous for her brand of cabaret inspired art punk-rock, and while that theme is certainly present on Theatre Is Evil, many other influences come out to play. Synths and effect-soaked vocals begin the album on “Smile (Pictures Or It Didn’t Happen),” and that kind of shoegaze meets electro pop shimmer reappears on other album highlights like the rolicking single “Want It Back.” “Do It With A Rockstar” pulsates with a punk rock fury that will supercharge your morning commute. “Trout Heart Replica” is an emotional, string laden piano ballad. By the time “Olly Olly Oxen Free” crashes to its thundering close, you will have fallen in love with this alternately exciting and gentle art rock record.

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