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Paste's 50 Best Albums of 2012

Paste's 50 Best Albums of 2012

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50. Grimes - Visions

February 21, 2012
Critic Score
79
31 reviews

48. Lord Huron - Lonesome Dreams

October 9, 2012
Critic Score
61
7 reviews

47. Baroness - Yellow & Green

July 17, 2012
Critic Score
76
13 reviews

Yellow & Green casts off the shackles of expectation while simultaneously taking a measured step in the direction of accessibility.

46. Damien Jurado - Maraqopa

February 21, 2012
Critic Score
79
16 reviews

44. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!

October 16, 2012
Critic Score
85
25 reviews

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.

43. Stars - The North

September 4, 2012
Critic Score
72
11 reviews

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.

42. Bettye LaVette - Thankful N' Thoughtful

Bettye LaVette - Thankful N' Thoughtful
September 25, 2012
Critic Score
74
6 reviews

41. Of Monsters and Men - My Head Is an Animal

April 3, 2012
Critic Score
73
11 reviews

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.

40. Todd Snider - Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables

March 6, 2012
Critic Score
80
7 reviews

Agnostic Hymns and Stoner Fables may just be a serious contender for the album with the worst attitude of 2012.

39. Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas

January 31, 2012
Critic Score
81
24 reviews

Old Ideas builds on the promise of his recent world tours and return to the limelight with his strongest, most unified album in decades.

38. Dr. John - Locked Down

April 3, 2012
Critic Score
81
17 reviews

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.

36. Cat Power - Sun

September 4, 2012
Critic Score
78
34 reviews

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.

33. Howler - America Give Up

January 17, 2012
Critic Score
70
14 reviews

32. Woods - Bend Beyond

September 18, 2012
Critic Score
79
18 reviews

31. The Avett Brothers - The Carpenter

September 11, 2012
Critic Score
71
10 reviews

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. 

30. David Byrne & St. Vincent - Love This Giant

September 11, 2012
Critic Score
75
27 reviews

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.

26. Bob Dylan - Tempest

September 11, 2012
Critic Score
78
18 reviews

25. Grizzly Bear - Shields

September 18, 2012
Critic Score
82
31 reviews

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.

24. Justin Townes Earle - Nothing's Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now

March 27, 2012
Critic Score
69
10 reviews

Nothing’s Gonna Change… is ultimately the kind of album you can curl up into, let the warm tones surround you and rest easy

23. Jens Lekman - I Know What Love Isn't

September 4, 2012
Critic Score
76
24 reviews

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.

22. Hospitality - Hospitality

January 31, 2012
Critic Score
75
13 reviews

20. The Mountain Goats - Transcendental Youth

October 2, 2012
Critic Score
78
23 reviews

The album doesn’t match the group’s best output, but it’s a strong and occasionally stunning entry.

17. Andrew Bird - Break It Yourself

March 6, 2012
Critic Score
79
24 reviews

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.

16. Tame Impala - Lonerism

October 9, 2012
Critic Score
87
28 reviews

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.

15. Jack White - Blunderbuss

April 24, 2012
Critic Score
81
31 reviews

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.

14. The Walkmen - Heaven

May 29, 2012
Critic Score
80
28 reviews

Its significance stems from the band’s growth and evolution, primarily reflected in the lyrics.

12. El-P - Cancer 4 Cure

May 22, 2012
Critic Score
83
27 reviews

Cancer For Cure is a shirked, claustrophobic, paranoid clutter of rhyming conspiracy theories.

9. Beach House - Bloom

May 15, 2012
Critic Score
78
31 reviews

It’s an album that’s sure to satisfy long-time fans while undoubtedly garnering the band even more media buzz.

7. Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan

July 10, 2012
Critic Score
81
33 reviews

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.”

6. Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls

April 10, 2012
Critic Score
72
25 reviews

Fortunately for the Shakes ... their first true album Boys & Girls only justifies the fervor surrounding them.

5. Sharon Van Etten - Tramp

February 7, 2012
Critic Score
79
25 reviews

4. Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel

June 19, 2012
Critic Score
87
27 reviews

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.

3. Titus Andronicus - Local Business

October 23, 2012
Critic Score
75
19 reviews

This collection is the band’s tightest and most cohesive, and they do so without losing any of the grit. 

1. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange

July 17, 2012
Critic Score
92
32 reviews

Restraint is key to the execution of Channel Orange, a neo-R&B album that, for all its layered beauty, never overwhelms.

Original Source: http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2012/11/the-50-best-albums-of-2012.html
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