NME's 50 Best Albums of 2012

NME's 50 Best Albums of 2012

Original Source

50. Purity Ring - Shrines

Purity Ring - Shrines
July 24, 2012
Synthpop
Critic Score
78
29 reviews
User Score
79
219 reviews

‘Shrines’ is a euphoric treat in its own right, made all the more thrilling by its heady potential. 

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49. Flying Lotus - Until the Quiet Comes

Flying Lotus - Until the Quiet Comes
October 2, 2012
Electronic
Critic Score
84
26 reviews
User Score
81
195 reviews

Ultimately, this album is the sound of the future.

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48. The 2 Bears - Be Strong

The 2 Bears - Be Strong
January 30, 2012
Electronic
Critic Score
76
16 reviews
User Score
71
13 reviews

‘Be Strong’ is one of the smartest and funniest dance records you’ve heard in a long while.

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47. John Talabot - ƒIN

John Talabot - ƒIN
February 14, 2012
Deep House
Critic Score
85
15 reviews
User Score
81
95 reviews

46. Bobby Womack - The Bravest Man in the Universe

Bobby Womack - The Bravest Man in the Universe
June 12, 2012
Soul
Critic Score
76
21 reviews
User Score
73
16 reviews

45. Lana Del Rey - Born To Die

Lana Del Rey - Born To Die
January 31, 2012
Chamber Pop
Critic Score
59
27 reviews
User Score
72
252 reviews

Although it’s not quite the perfect pop record ‘Video Games’ might have led us to wish for, ‘Born To Die’ still marks the arrival of a fresh – and refreshingly self-aware – sensibility in pop.

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44. Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d. city

Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d. city
October 22, 2012
Hip Hop
Critic Score
88
22 reviews
User Score
90
708 reviews

It might lack the raw appeal of Kendrick’s 2011 mixtape ‘Section.80’, but it’s also a big-budget reminder that the 25-year-old hasn’t forgotten his roots. 

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43. Ratking - Wiki93

Ratking - Wiki93
November 5, 2012
Critic Score
64
2 reviews
User Score
64
5 reviews

42. Paul Weller - Sonik Kicks

Paul Weller - Sonik Kicks
March 27, 2012
Rock
Critic Score
71
15 reviews
User Score
71
6 reviews

‘Sonik Kicks’ is the sound of Paul Weller growing old the only way he could – not particularly gracefully, but with no small amount of style. 

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41. Ty Segall - Twins

Ty Segall - Twins
October 9, 2012
Garage Rock
Critic Score
78
17 reviews
User Score
78
53 reviews

It has the reckless spirit of a record that hasn’t been over-analysed, but with an intense flurry of ideas from someone in the absolute prime of their creativity.

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40. Poliça - Give You The Ghost

Poliça - Give You The Ghost
February 14, 2012
Indie Pop
Critic Score
79
18 reviews
User Score
75
31 reviews

A shyly introspective listen that, much like The xx’s first album, sits awkwardly with the industry furore surrounding it.

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39. Liars - WIXIW

Liars - WIXIW
June 5, 2012
Experimental Rock
Critic Score
83
26 reviews
User Score
79
74 reviews

38. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - Trouble

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - Trouble
June 12, 2012
Electronic
Critic Score
76
11 reviews
User Score
76
18 reviews

37. Enter Shikari - A Flash Flood of Colour

Enter Shikari - A Flash Flood of Colour
January 17, 2012
Critic Score
68
7 reviews
User Score
73
10 reviews

36. The Vaccines - Come of Age

The Vaccines - Come of Age
September 4, 2012
Indie Rock
Critic Score
64
14 reviews
User Score
63
41 reviews

‘…Come Of Age’, then, is not perfect, but it’s a damn fine specimen of a band on the way to something great.

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35. Metz - Metz

Metz - Metz
October 9, 2012
Noise Rock
Critic Score
82
15 reviews
User Score
79
83 reviews

34. Bat For Lashes - The Haunted Man

Bat For Lashes - The Haunted Man
October 15, 2012
Indie Pop
Critic Score
78
29 reviews
User Score
80
129 reviews

For large swathes, it's like being plunged into a fairytale soundtracked by skin-prickling electro and populated by downtrodden sods hunting for breadcrumbs of comfort.

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33. Hot Chip - In Our Heads

Hot Chip - In Our Heads
June 11, 2012
Electropop
Critic Score
73
27 reviews
User Score
78
105 reviews

32. Graham Coxon - A+E

Graham Coxon - A+E
April 2, 2012
Indie Rock
Critic Score
79
15 reviews
User Score
75
6 reviews

Coxon has made one of the best albums of his career – a pop record with dangerously anti-social tendencies. 

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31. G.O.O.D. Music - Cruel Summer

G.O.O.D. Music - Cruel Summer
September 18, 2012
Hip Hop
Critic Score
66
19 reviews
User Score
73
45 reviews

After the twin peaks of ‘Watch The Throne’ and ‘My Beautiful Twisted Dark Fantasy’’s rap-pop grandeur, ‘Cruel Summer’ feels slight in comparison. 

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30. Breton - Other People's Problems

Breton - Other People's Problems
April 3, 2012
Dubstep
Critic Score
65
11 reviews
User Score
72
11 reviews

29. Mac DeMarco - 2

Mac DeMarco - 2
October 16, 2012
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
77
14 reviews
User Score
82
214 reviews

What '2' makes clear, quickly, is that DeMarco is a skilful songwriter.

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28. Spiritualized - Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Spiritualized - Sweet Heart Sweet Light
April 17, 2012
Space Rock
Critic Score
80
24 reviews
User Score
81
138 reviews

This record is, as you’d expect, by turns breathtaking, entrancing, deafening and challenging, and Spiritualized are still the Vatican of bands.

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27. Jessie Ware - Devotion

Jessie Ware - Devotion
August 20, 2012
Soul
Critic Score
83
26 reviews
User Score
82
127 reviews

Like all the great British pop records of the past five years, ‘Devotion’ combines the present and the past to make a record that sounds both contemporary and timeless.

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26. Spector - Enjoy It While It Lasts

Spector - Enjoy It While It Lasts
August 13, 2012
Indie Rock
Critic Score
58
10 reviews
User Score
67
15 reviews

‘Enjoy It While It Lasts’ is a more than enjoyable collection of old-school indie gems.

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25. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Mature Themes

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Mature Themes
August 21, 2012
Psychedelic Pop
Critic Score
73
27 reviews
User Score
79
95 reviews

It’s a hardcore record from a top-shelf kind of a guy, but the work of a unique mind. 

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24. Merchandise - Children of Desire

Merchandise - Children of Desire
February 10, 2012
Post-Punk
Critic Score
78
3 reviews
User Score
80
12 reviews

23. Richard Hawley - Standing at the Sky's Edge

Richard Hawley - Standing at the Sky's Edge
May 7, 2012
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
72
15 reviews
User Score
76
6 reviews

22. Beach House - Bloom

Beach House - Bloom
May 15, 2012
Dream Pop
Critic Score
78
27 reviews
User Score
85
491 reviews

There’s also pleasure in hearing a band do what they do so peerlessly well: croon sweet, sweet lullabies to console us in our fleshy prisons. 

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21. Cat Power - Sun

Cat Power - Sun
September 4, 2012
Indie Rock
Critic Score
78
31 reviews
User Score
77
85 reviews

20. Howler - America Give Up

Howler - America Give Up
January 17, 2012
Garage Rock
Critic Score
69
13 reviews
User Score
75
7 reviews

19. Toy - Toy

Toy - Toy
September 10, 2012
Shoegaze
Critic Score
78
16 reviews
User Score
78
29 reviews

It’s weird and wonderful and you’ll want to listen again as soon as it’s over.

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18. Tribes - Baby

Tribes - Baby
January 16, 2012
Indie Rock
Critic Score
69
10 reviews
User Score
69
9 reviews

17. Grizzly Bear - Shields

Grizzly Bear - Shields
September 18, 2012
Indie Folk
Critic Score
82
27 reviews
User Score
83
369 reviews

For all the strange twists and turns, the rich layers and dark beauty to be found, nothing here grabs you and sets up home in your heart like ‘Veckatimest’ did. 

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16. Melody's Echo Chamber - Melody's Echo Chamber

Melody's Echo Chamber - Melody's Echo Chamber
September 25, 2012
Dream Pop
Critic Score
77
12 reviews
User Score
77
63 reviews

Here are two people who already see the best in each other, and with ‘Melody’s Echo Chamber’ they’ve tried to make everyone else see it too. It shows.

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15. Sharon Van Etten - Tramp

Sharon Van Etten - Tramp
February 7, 2012
Folk
Critic Score
80
22 reviews
User Score
81
101 reviews

It has been a joy to see Van Etten growing in confidence as an artist – and this isn’t just her finest album, but one of early 2012’s best.

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14. The xx - Coexist

The xx - Coexist
September 11, 2012
Indie Pop
Critic Score
78
32 reviews
User Score
76
195 reviews

It hides more than ‘xx’ did, sneaking its miserable joys behind bare spaces, surprise time signatures and subtle dramas.

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13. DIIV - Oshin

DIIV - Oshin
June 26, 2012
Shoegaze
Critic Score
79
19 reviews
User Score
79
179 reviews

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

David Byrne & St. Vincent - Love This Giant
September 11, 2012
Art Pop
Critic Score
74
23 reviews
User Score
75
60 reviews

The arrangements are exquisite from top to bottom, and producer Congleton – who worked with Clark on ‘Strange Mercy’ – helps make it easy for us all to love this giant of a record.

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11. Django Django - Django Django

Django Django - Django Django
January 30, 2012
Psychedelic
Critic Score
79
16 reviews
User Score
77
118 reviews

10. Jack White - Blunderbuss

Jack White - Blunderbuss
April 24, 2012
Rock
Critic Score
81
29 reviews
User Score
77
119 reviews

While ‘Blunderbuss’ isn’t that definitive, unarguable document we’ve been seeking, it still feels like his most candid and personal record yet. 

Full Review →

9. Jake Bugg - Jake Bugg

Jake Bugg - Jake Bugg
October 15, 2012
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
78
8 reviews
User Score
74
69 reviews

8. The Cribs - In the Belly of the Brazen Bull

The Cribs - In the Belly of the Brazen Bull
May 7, 2012
Indie Rock
Critic Score
69
16 reviews
User Score
73
12 reviews

It still defiantly goes against the grain, but also explodes with immediate, attention-grabbing riffs.

Full Review →

7. Pond - Beard, Wives, Denim

Pond - Beard, Wives, Denim
March 6, 2012
Indie Rock
Critic Score
72
9 reviews
User Score
76
31 reviews

It is also miles better than ‘Innerspeaker’, and quite possibly the best album released so far this year.

Full Review →

6. The Maccabees - Given to the Wild

The Maccabees - Given to the Wild
January 6, 2012
Indie Rock
Critic Score
71
11 reviews
User Score
73
39 reviews

5. Alt-J - An Awesome Wave

Alt-J - An Awesome Wave
May 28, 2012
Experimental
Critic Score
72
13 reviews
User Score
79
289 reviews

4. Crystal Castles - (III)

Crystal Castles - (III)
November 12, 2012
Electronic
Critic Score
74
27 reviews
User Score
76
132 reviews

In toning down the shock and awe, they’ve revealed the beating heart at the centre of their work.

Full Review →

3. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange

Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
July 17, 2012
R&B
Critic Score
92
30 reviews
User Score
86
612 reviews

2. Grimes - Visions

Grimes - Visions
February 21, 2012
Synthpop
Critic Score
80
29 reviews
User Score
81
401 reviews

It’s like skipping through a thousand excellent tracks on your iPod shuffle and isolating 13 perfect moments.

Full Review →

1. Tame Impala - Lonerism

Tame Impala - Lonerism
October 9, 2012
Psychedelic Rock
Critic Score
87
24 reviews
User Score
87
654 reviews

Sounds phase in and out, drums thunder, guitars chime with warm, valve amp bite, voices are multi-tracked into luscious harmonies, snatched sentences of speech burble in the background, loops repeat and vocals echo distantly, like they’re drifting in from a radio in another room.

Full Review →
Original Source: http://www.nme.com/blogs/the-big-picture/50-best-albums-of-2012

MORE 2012 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM NME:


Check out our 2012 Year End Summary.