Best Albums of 2012

Matthew_Dear - BeamsI go through alot of music during the course of a year and inevitably I feel compelled to put one of these lists together. I always read the lists on other sites wondering where my favorites are and this year was no different. I spent most of the year highly disappointed with follow-ups from artists I liked, failing to be impressed by trendy artists,  and generally not all that impressed with what music had to offer in 2012. While there simply weren’t any instant classics or truly big records for me personally this year I have to say looking back at my list there was no shortage of overall quality. The older you get the more narrow your taste no matter how hard you fight it and I think this turned out to be a year defined by, “I like what I like.” That said you’ll still find the broad range of my listening habits within these 25 albums. Once again I used the constraints of Twitter’s 140 characters for the album descriptions.

  1. Matthew Dear Beams – Rich production, deep vocals & sharp lyrics made this a bold, complex, twisted portrait of a brilliant artist #10Best
  2. The xx Coexist – Lacked some of debut’s magic but their gorgeous minimal compositions provided the perfect soundtrack for fall travel#10Best
  3. Grizzly Bear Shields – More beautifully arranged chamber pop from these modest, super talented Brooklyn locals #10Best
  4. Frank Ocean channel ORANGE – Pyramids and Tumblr post created the buzz. Raw talent and perfectly crafted pop songs backed it up #10Best
  5. Action Bronson + Party Supplies Blue Chips – 5 minute beats, 1 take raps. 90’s era production +trees +abstract rhymes = hiphop gold #10Best
  6. The Walkmen Heaven – Adult record from a band I’ve grown up alongside and still continue to love. You don’t fix what ain’t broke #10Best
  7. DIIV Oshin – Recalled a range of eras past with a unique modern twist on their impressively cohesive debut for Captured Tracks #10Best
  8. Chromatics Kill For Love – Beautifully crafted LP of distilled vocals and Jonny Jewel’s genius production created a world unto itself #10Best
  9. Kendrick Lamar good kid, maad city – In the barren desert landscape that is modern rap a dope creative concept sounded so refreshing #10Best
  10. Divine Fits Combo bands rarely work but Dan Boeckner & Britt Daniel found a winning recipe that let them both shine #HandsomeSpoon #10Best

Best of the rest after the jump:

11. Joey Bada$$ – 1999

12. Four Tet – Pink

13. Holy Other – Held

14. Patrick Watson – Adventures in Your Own Backyard

15. Tanlines – Mixed Emotions

16. Fiona Apple – Idler Wheel

17. Killer Mike – RAP Music

18. Nas – Life is Good

19. Black Marble – A Different Arrangement

20. Shigeto – Lineage

21. Wild Nothing – Nocturne

22. Lotus Plaza – Spooky Action at a Distance

23. Jack White – Blunderbuss

24. Menahan Street Band – The Crossing

25. Vacationer – Gone

There were several excellent short format EP’s that I wanted to recognize. These were all in steady rotation throughout the year.

  1. Beacon – For Now
  2. Shlohmo – Vacation
  3. Burial – Kindred
  4. Rush Midnight – +1
  5. Michna – Moving Mountains
  6. World Tour – Believe
  7. Erika Spring – s/t
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