Paste's 50 Best Albums of 2012
Restraint is key to the execution of Channel Orange, a neo-R&B album that, for all its layered beauty, never overwhelms.
This collection is the band’s tightest and most cohesive, and they do so without losing any of the grit.
Few vocalists can erase the distance between performer and listener as shrewdly as Apple can, and that toggle gives The Idler Wheel its strange power.
Fortunately for the Shakes ... their first true album Boys & Girls only justifies the fervor surrounding them.
Listening to Swing Lo Magellan feels more like sneaking up on the band in the midst of an intense rehearsal, rather than the group coming forward and saying, “Look what we’ve made.”
It’s an album that’s sure to satisfy long-time fans while undoubtedly garnering the band even more media buzz.
Cancer For Cure is a shirked, claustrophobic, paranoid clutter of rhyming conspiracy theories.
Its significance stems from the band’s growth and evolution, primarily reflected in the lyrics.
At the end of the day, White’s still an enigma, and so is Blunderbuss, its mysteries unfolding in odd ways when you least expect it.
While Lonerism does feel a bit more expansive, utilizing even more of mixer Dave Fridmann’s fancy effects pedals and studio wizardry, it uses those tools to delve even further inward.
Above all, Andrew Bird is a highly skilled musician capable of crafting an album full of delightful little moments that make the album worth a fair listen, and more.
The album doesn’t match the group’s best output, but it’s a strong and occasionally stunning entry.
I Know What Love Isn’t, therefore, sounds like the culmination of his career, a record marking his arrival at a sound we knew he would get to eventually.
Nothing’s Gonna Change… is ultimately the kind of album you can curl up into, let the warm tones surround you and rest easy
Though at time reaching heavenly heights, Shields is, as the name suggests, a heavy, protected album, stuffy with an ennui particular to the young and gifted.
It is, in other words, a deeply weird and deeply lovely record, albeit one that listeners should do their best to listen to with as few preconceptions as possible.
The Carpenter provides a return to rudimentary Avett songwriting, in that the most striking moments on the record are born from playful banjo-guitar banter and confessions revealed in 4/4 time.
There’s something about the flaws on this thing—the way Marshall lets it all hang loose, the way she continually tries to express a sentiment she can’t quite put into words—that’s absolutely fascinating in its humanity and compassion.
Teaming with The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, who brought atmospherics, buzzy guitars and quicksand grooves that pull you in, this is 21st century mojo essentialized.
Old Ideas builds on the promise of his recent world tours and return to the limelight with his strongest, most unified album in decades.
Agnostic Hymns and Stoner Fables may just be a serious contender for the album with the worst attitude of 2012.
Even with a few skipable tracks, though, Of Monsters and Men bring an Icelandic exoticism and captivating energy to U.S. audiences on My Head is an Animal.
Just like releases that precede it, The North offers yet another glimpse into the minds of a band that challenges the barriers of genre and songwriting.
It’s tense, it’s beautiful, it’s bleak, it takes the listener from point A to point B while leaving it up to us what the point of the ride is to begin with.
Yellow & Green casts off the shackles of expectation while simultaneously taking a measured step in the direction of accessibility.
MORE 2012 YEAR END LISTS:
MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM PASTE: