2012 in Review: Top 5 Albums
A number of observers of this genre are calling 2012 a slump year for albums. There is some truth to that; several of the genre’s leading groups released albums that were almost (but not quite) as strong as the preceding album. Nevertheless, this year did produce several standout albums:
- The Talleys, Love Won. Since I’m webmaster for the Talleys’ website, I thought I was a little too close to the process to write an objective review. Yet I’ll state here the conclusion I would have given had I reviewed it: From song selection to arrangements to performances, this is the strongest album that this family has ever released. (See? I said I didn’t claim to be objective here! Yet it is also worth noting that, in the six years I’ve run this site, I’ve never said this about a previous Talleys album, including the others released since I started working with them.)
- Mark Trammell Quartet, Lifetime, reviewed here. A case could be made that this album should head the list. The tie-breaker was that Lifetime contains mostly pre-recorded songs, while Love Won achieves a similarly strong result with new songs.
- Booth Brothers, A Tribute to the Songs of Bill and Gloria Gaither, reviewed here.
- Tribute Quartet, Our Anthem, reviewed here.
- Barry Rowland & Deliverance, Make Mine the Real Thing, reviewed here.
Honorable mention: The Cathedrals’ Live in Chicago (reviewed here) would have stood near the head of the list if I’d included it. Since it was recorded sixteen years ago, it seemed best to focus this list on recently recorded releases. But it was certainly among the year’s strongest releases.