This time of year many bloggers, myself included, have in the past released detailed lists-- the best albums, movies, books, whatever of the year, the most defining moments etc. etc.
For some reason I just haven't felt as compelled to do that this year as I have in years past. There are albums that were released this year that I found to be enjoyable and worthy of mention on such a list were I to write one (oh okay, stop twisting!).
5. Yoso Elements: featuring former members of Yes, Toto, and even a Yes covers band. Their music is more prog-rock than Asia or Toto but more accessible and pop-friendly than Yes.
4. Black Country Communion Black Country featuring Glenn Hughes (ex-Deep Purple), Joe Bonamassa, Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater), and Jason Bonham. While all of the songs are enjoyable they're all very similar. Individually each song is thoroughly enjoyable, but trying to listen to the album as a whole can feel a bit repetitive.
3. The Cat Empire Cinema Great Aussie party band with a horn section jazz/ska/pop. Thoroughly enjoyable album but it still doesn't match up to the brilliance of their debut nor 2005's Two Shoes.
2. Steve Lukather Alls Well That Ends Well: Toto guitarist's most personal album since 1997's Luke. It picks up right where 2008's Ever Changing Times leaves off.
1. Steve Hackett Out of the Tunnel's Mouth: The first "perfect" album I've heard in a LONG time. Easily Hackett's best solo album of his career thus far. That's saying a lot as he's had some real beauties over the past few decades.
I did read books this year that I thoroughly enjoyed at the time I read them... but the one that stuck with me most (This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper) I've already written about. ("and that's all I have to say about that"- in my best Forrest Gump voice).
I know this is the time of year when people tend to take stock of their lives... but as Minnie Driver said in Grosse Point Blank, "Leave your livestock alone!" People also tend to both reflect on the year that's passed and make plans/resolutions/promises to be broken about the year to come. If you're a regular reader, you know I've already reflected on last year.
For some reason this year I'm a bit more noncommital on any further of my traditional reflections of the past. A few years ago the future was so bright I was wearing shades-- recently married, secure job, new home, the economy was looking good. Then someone turned out the lights and I was stuck in my sunglasses at night. When the lights came back on what I saw no longer resembled what I'd been seeing before. This has left me with some reticence about going forward in life with my eyes holding a steady gaze in the rearview mirror, cell phone in one hand, razor in the other, while I steer with my knee and read the newspaper going 70 mph in bumper to bumper traffic. (phew... have to stop and catch my breath after so many metaphors, not to mention 80s song references in such a short span of time).
As one who has traditionally been overly nostalgic I'm finding the luster of nostalgia wearing off. Not sure whether it's from generally world weariness or if perhaps I've reached the top of my hill that so many of us get teased about being over after a certain age. If it's the latter, I'm here a bit early. I think I'll stick around and enjoy the view for a few years let others my age catch up so we can all go down the other side together.