PeteHatesMusic’s Top Albums of 2012
Yesterday, we listed the PeteHatesMusic Top Songs of 2012, and we had a tough time narrowing it down to just 25. A slightly easier task is listing the top albums, as good songs far outnumber good, complete, top to bottom albums. The rankings though – now that’s the tough part.
We rummaged through the bargain bins at music stores, tossed aside the Phantom of the Rapra album (despite the awesome name), and have settled on the PeteHatesMusic Top Albums of 2012.
We’re not like every other blog – we
can’t spell couldn’t find room for critical darlings Frank Ocean, Fiona Apple, or Kendrick Lamar (despite Rich’s threats of horrific violence), and somehow Psy missed the list – do any of the one billion people who viewed his Gangnam Style video even know the name of his album? Without further adieu, check out the PeteHatesMusic Top Albums of 2012. Feel free to tell us how stupid (or hopefully amazing) our picks are in the comments, or tweet at us @PeteHatesMusic.
PeteHatesMusic – Honourable Mentions
In no particular order (except by size of the drummer’s shoes, in descending order):
Beck – Beck Hansen’s Song Reader
Beach House – Bloom: Another lovely dream pop album and even stronger than break out album, Teen Dream.
Tame Impala – Lonerism: It took me a long time to warm up to this critical favourite. The psychedelic, mid-60s Beatles-esque album, with uncanny vocal similarity to John Lennon, expands on the psychedelic movement to create a swirling album worth a listen or two.
Metric – Synthetica: More synth pop, which is not as catchy as radio friendly Fantasies, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Twin Shadow – Confess: Another artist with a stellar second album, further pushing his 80s-tinged sound.
Jack White – Blunderbuss: The first solo effort from Mr. White sees him successfully try his hand at a whole bunch of genres on one album. He can still write a killer rock song, too.
The xx – Coexist: The London trio retain yet expand on their minimalist sound, for some more beautiful songs.
Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes: More sonic layers and experimentation, including guest spots from Erykah Badu and Thom Yorke, make this disc worth repeated, careful listens.
Alt J – An Awesome Wave: Bizarre rhythms, vocal patterns, and layers of sound highlight the Mercury Prize-winning album.
Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream: Not usually my cup of tea, this R&B album is more upbeat, with better beats and more catchy than the oft compared Frank Ocean album.
Father John Misty – Fear Fun: Hands up for those of you that saw the drummer of Fleet Foxes leaving the band, starting a solo career with NSFW videos and a folk-country album with some pretty good vocals.
And now, the moment you have all been waiting for –
free beer! the top 5 albums of the year!
5 – First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar: These sisters have to be from the southern parts of America, right? Wrong – we get some rockin’ folk and country and all-around great songs straight out of Sweden (?!). A criminally overlooked mellow album with some beautiful vocals throughout.
4 – Hot Chip – In Our Heads: Why aren’t these guys more popular in North America? They make you shake your butt, they have wicked beats, unorthodox yet catchy vocals, and they have bizarre videos. They also do up some great side projects and remixes. Another strong album from the band, containing my favourite song of 2012 in Flutes.
3 – Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!: The Canadian post-rock instrumental band took a lengthy hiatus, dusted off their old, unrecorded tracks, reworked them, and elegantly placed them onto a four song, 53 minute disc. In Mladic, we have a track that builds and flows like old track Storm. In We Drift Like Worried Fire, we find the band with their typical sense of urgency and panic. Thanks for coming back, guys.
2 – Grimes – Visions: It’s weird, it’s progressive, it’s retro, it’s genre-jumping, and this is just one of the tracks I’m talking about. Criticized for being repetitive, praised for being original, it’s a somewhat divisive record that was played many, many times by me this year.
1 – Django Django – Django Django: If the Grimes album is considered weird, this raises weird to another level. These Scottish experimental rockers have had their music called everything under the sun, including probably sun rock. The album sounds like it shouldn’t perhaps be as accessible and likeable as it is – and that’s the genius behind it. It’s all over the map, it’s edgy, you don’t quite know what you’re listening to at some parts, but you look down and you’re dancing on your kitchen table. True story. Top to bottom, my favourite album of 2012.
Django Django! Who saw that coming? So what does 2013 have in store? Three words for me: Atoms for Peace. The Thom Yorke / Flea / Nigel Godrich group has an album out very soon. Heck, we might even see something from Radiohead (if my blackmail attempts work, that is). Perhaps a new Tool album, maybe something new from The National, U2, and who knows who else, and definitely something new from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Thanks for reading in 2012 – keep reading in 2013, or else I will kill your goldfish.