‘Tis the season for an endless hoard of lists of things that were the best within a year. Best latté? I had one in Shanghai that was pretty decent; thanks for asking. Cynical comments aside, I actually really enjoy seeing what people rank as the best -whatever- at the end of the year. Soon our own list will be making an appearance, which has inspired my writing of the 3 Of The Week.
To me, 2012 wasn’t the best of years. Albums that I truly enjoy have been released, but I would say that overall, 2011 is my choice for “Best Year in the Second Decade of the New Millennium (So Far).” However, one album was released that made it all okay: Crystal Castles‘s III. I absolutely adore this album and named it as my choice for album of the year. Each release from this band takes them further from being one of my favorite bands of the genre to one of my favorite bands in general. Since it’s their third full length, I’ll offer you, dear reader, a standout track from each album.
1. “Untrust Us” – from Crystal Castles
This is the first track off of their debut album and my hardest decision of this list. If you do your research on the band you’ll find that their debut was more a compilation that is something conceived as a whole. Each track offers something completely different. Even if I’d done the article on this album alone, it would not have been enough; there are too many tracks you need to hear. Some bands change their sound every album, but these two change it almost every song. I came across them when asking a friend for any music recommendations. He mentioned this song. The beat makes you wanna dance while soothing you at the same time. The abrupt ending and sudden guitar riff at the end let you know that you’re in for something different when you play the album for the first time.
2. “Doe Deer” – from Crystal Castles (II)
You didn’t read wrong. Their sophomore album is also a self-titled album. With this album, the duo sound much more polished and hit hard. This was another tough call, I could easily recommend my favorite track off the album, “Vietnam,” or even “Baptism.” Those who know may be wondering why I would choose the least accessible and most abrasive song on this album. I think this song more than any other sums up the album. The cover shows a girl standing next to a grave, hinting at the darker tones this album has. This track will show you that this album is not for those in need of some electronica for their next party. This is the kind of track for dancing alone in the dark.
3. “Sad Eyes” – from III
There’s something so strangely grand about this song. Right from the beginning it gets you and doesn’t let go. The whole thing makes you think of that moment toward the end of your favorite song that makes you feel it. Fans of “Black Panther” from their debut will enjoy this song very much. This track makes me feel that the band has come full circle with their sound: Their unpolished yet upbeat beginning, the dark days of their follow-up, and now they’ve come back to the light with III. If you like what you’ve heard so far, check out the full albums, all of them, and maybe then you’ll see why III is my hands down choice for album of the year.