FACT Magazine's 50 Best Albums of 2012
Neither spectacular or deflating, Coexist is simply the sound of the xx, more or less just as we left it: minimalist, intuitive, romantic and enchanting.
Without compromising their rustic, Grimm fairytale undertone, they’ve turned in a chromed, hi-tech pop album.
Transverse is a deep, memorable experience, the pulses in particular guiding the music’s more familiar freeform guitar timbres into areas that are less predictable.
Many of its strongest tracks are those that see Q take his foot off the gas, playing to more traditional communicative strengths in hip-hop.
For the most part this is a composed, nourishing pop album.
In its finished form, Miguel’s Kaleidoscope Dream is a testament to his evolved songwriting, reverence to the past, and refusal to be pigeonholed.
Ultimately, Dark York feels like a gauntlet thrown down to the straight hip-hop world, not an inward-looking one-off.
The polish, variety, velocity and tightness of his flow is undeniable. Every word is as packed as tightly and precisely as bullets in a clip, and sounds as piercingly and bracingly upon release.
Space Zone keeps the bar propped up impressively high without treading back over old ground
This CD version has some outstanding moments, and at times is a masterful lesson in dream-like production.
As time wears on you start to feel that things are a bit too ethereal, as ideas fall short of solidifying into concrete hooks and structures begin to feel just slightly aimless
On their label debut proper not only have Main Attrakionz protected their singular creation, they’ve also reaffirmed their style as something entirely new.
The result is a collection of intriguing, often beautiful miniatures – gems to be cherished and enjoyed, sonic curiosities that reward repeated listening.
I can’t think of an album since My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy that was this big and sounded this good.
If you ever wanted a house or techno album as endlessly listenable, as varied, assured and as good value for money as Madvillain’s 2004 hip-hop classic Madvillainy, then your wish has been fulfilled.
A largely beatific album, it propagates love over high living, but also shipped is the urban locale ... substituted for the same precocious wisdom, emotional intelligence, writerly nuance and reasoned portrayal of lust displayed on the Tumblr post.
Ekstasis sounds cleaner than its predecessor, Holter’s pop sensibilities and craft more sharply defined.
November 26, 2012
To take it all in at once requires the listener to pay attention closely, and committing to this is quite exhausting – not in the least because it feels like an unsolvable puzzle each step of the way.
R.I.P is a fantastical, fascinating album: as Actress intended, it feels not really of this world.
The Seer is clearly brilliant, and may even be Swans’ finest album yet, three decades in.
What we’re treated to here is more coherent songs, while the onus has shifted from studio editing and loops to organic arrangements, another clarity-lending move.
Good Kid, m.A.A.d City might be a wide-ranging, far-reaching success, but one suspects it won’t be his best record.
MORE 2012 YEAR END LISTS:
MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM FACT MAGAZINE: