FACT Magazine's 50 Best Albums of 2012



LIST SUMMARY
VIEW ORIGINAL LIST
List Rating
79
287 ratings
Genre Breakdown
Hip Hop (12), Experimental (6), Electronic (6), Indie Pop (2), R&B (2), Synthpop (1), Post-Rock (1), Dream Pop (1), Minimal (1), Neo-Soul (1), Juke (1), Soul (1), Dub Techno (1), Chamber Pop (1), Grime (1), Art Pop (1), Dubstep (1)

1. 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
89
18 reviews
User Score
88
270 reviews

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.

2. Lee Gamble - Dutch Tvashar Plumes

Lee Gamble - Dutch Tvashar Plumes
November 16, 2012
Critic Score
90
2 reviews
User Score
NR

2. Lee Gamble - Diversions 1994-1996

Lee Gamble - Diversions 1994-1996
October 26, 2012
Critic Score
83
3 reviews
User Score
NR

3. Cooly G - Playin' Me

Cooly G - Playin' Me
July 24, 2012
Dubstep
Critic Score
80
13 reviews
User Score
79
5 reviews

4. Horrid Red - Celestial Joy

Horrid Red - Celestial Joy
November 15, 2011
Critic Score
70
2 reviews
User Score
NR

5. Spaceghostpurrp - God of Black Vol. 1

Spaceghostpurrp - God of Black Vol. 1
February 2, 2012
Hip Hop
Critic Score
NR
User Score
80
2 reviews

6. How to Dress Well - Total Loss

How to Dress Well - Total Loss
September 18, 2012
Experimental
Critic Score
79
16 reviews
User Score
80
54 reviews

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.

7. Jam City - Classical Curves

Jam City - Classical Curves
June 5, 2012
Electronic
Critic Score
80
3 reviews
User Score
87
4 reviews

8. Terrence Dixon - From the Far Future Pt. 2

Terrence Dixon - From the Far Future Pt. 2
October 9, 2012
Critic Score
85
2 reviews
User Score
NR

9. Swans - The Seer

Swans - The Seer
August 28, 2012
Post-Rock
Critic Score
89
20 reviews
User Score
85
149 reviews

The Seer is clearly brilliant, and may even be Swans’ finest album yet, three decades in.

10. Wolfgang Voigt - Rückverzauberung 6

Wolfgang Voigt - Rückverzauberung 6
April 23, 2012
Critic Score
80
1 review
User Score
NR

11. Actress - R.I.P.

Actress - R.I.P.
April 24, 2012
Experimental
Critic Score
83
14 reviews
User Score
74
47 reviews

R.I.P is a fantastical, fascinating album: as Actress intended, it feels not really of this world. 

12. Jeremih - Late Nights with Jeremih

Jeremih - Late Nights with Jeremih
August 7, 2012
Hip Hop
Critic Score
90
1 review
User Score
79
1 review

13. Madteo - Noi No

Madteo - Noi No
November 26, 2012
Critic Score
85
2 reviews
User Score
NR

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.

14. Julia Holter - Ekstasis

Julia Holter - Ekstasis
March 6, 2012
Experimental
Critic Score
82
16 reviews
User Score
81
55 reviews

Ekstasis sounds cleaner than its predecessor, Holter’s pop sensibilities and craft more sharply defined.

15. Sand Circles - Motor City

Sand Circles - Motor City
April 10, 2012
Electronic
Critic Score
70
1 review
User Score
80
1 review

16. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange

Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
July 17, 2012
R&B
Critic Score
91
23 reviews
User Score
84
285 reviews

17. I:Cube - "M" Megamix

I:Cube -
May 21, 2012
Electronic
Critic Score
83
3 reviews
User Score
NR

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.

18. Wiley - It's All Fun & Games Till Vol. 1

Wiley - It's All Fun & Games Till Vol. 1
May 20, 2012
Grime
Critic Score
NR
User Score
NR

19. Lana Del Rey - Born To Die

Lana Del Rey - Born To Die
January 31, 2012
Chamber Pop
Critic Score
57
22 reviews
User Score
72
114 reviews

I can’t think of an album since My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy that was this big and sounded this good.

20. Silent Servant - Negative Fascination

Silent Servant - Negative Fascination
October 30, 2012
Dub Techno
Critic Score
82
2 reviews
User Score
NR

21. Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland - Black Is Beautiful

Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland - Black Is Beautiful
April 10, 2012
Experimental
Critic Score
73
9 reviews
User Score
79
4 reviews

The result is a collection of intriguing, often beautiful miniatures – gems to be cherished and enjoyed, sonic curiosities that reward repeated listening.

22. Future - Pluto

Future - Pluto
April 17, 2012
Hip Hop
Critic Score
65
7 reviews
User Score
68
4 reviews

23. Heroin In Tahiti - Death Surf

Heroin In Tahiti - Death Surf
February 12, 2012
Critic Score
80
1 review
User Score
NR

24. The Internet - Purple Naked Ladies

The Internet - Purple Naked Ladies
December 20, 2011
Neo-Soul
Critic Score
57
13 reviews
User Score
60
4 reviews

25. Main Attrakionz - Bossalinis & Fooliyones

Main Attrakionz - Bossalinis & Fooliyones
October 23, 2012
Hip Hop
Critic Score
70
6 reviews
User Score
78
1 review

On their label debut proper not only have Main Attrakionz protected their singular creation, they’ve also reaffirmed their style as something entirely new.

26. Grimes - Visions

Grimes - Visions
February 21, 2012
Synthpop
Critic Score
80
23 reviews
User Score
83
206 reviews

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

27. Scott Walker - Bish Bosch

Scott Walker - Bish Bosch
December 4, 2012
Experimental
Critic Score
77
17 reviews
User Score
79
19 reviews

28. Ariel Pink & R. Stevie Moore - Ku Klux Glam

Ariel Pink & R. Stevie Moore - Ku Klux Glam
February 12, 2012
Critic Score
NR
User Score
NR

29. Ricardo Villalobos - Dependent and Happy

Ricardo Villalobos - Dependent and Happy
September 25, 2012
Minimal
Critic Score
79
3 reviews
User Score
80
1 review

This CD version has some outstanding moments, and at times is a masterful lesson in dream-like production.

30. Supreme Cuts - Whispers In The Dark

Supreme Cuts - Whispers In The Dark
July 10, 2012
Electronic
Critic Score
67
5 reviews
User Score
NR

31. Nas - Life is Good

Nas - Life is Good
July 17, 2012
Hip Hop
Critic Score
82
18 reviews
User Score
79
35 reviews

32. d'Eon - Music For Keyboards Vol. I

d'Eon - Music For Keyboards Vol. I
March 8, 2012
Electronic
Critic Score
NR
User Score
NR

33. Altered Natives - Tenement Yard Vol. 3

Altered Natives - Tenement Yard Vol. 3
October 3, 2012
Critic Score
90
1 review
User Score
NR

34. Lorenzo Senni - Quantum Jelly

Lorenzo Senni - Quantum Jelly
October 8, 2012
Critic Score
70
1 review
User Score
NR

35. Young Smoke - Space Zone

Young Smoke - Space Zone
September 24, 2012
Juke
Critic Score
74
7 reviews
User Score
NR

Space Zone keeps the bar propped up impressively high without treading back over old ground

36. Gunplay - Bogota Rich: The Prequel

Gunplay - Bogota Rich: The Prequel
March 9, 2012
Hip Hop
Critic Score
77
2 reviews
User Score
38
1 review

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.

37. LE1F - Dark York

LE1F - Dark York
April 18, 2012
Hip Hop
Critic Score
71
2 reviews
User Score
70
1 review

Ultimately, Dark York feels like a gauntlet thrown down to the straight hip-hop world, not an inward-looking one-off. 

38. Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream

Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream
October 2, 2012
R&B
Critic Score
84
10 reviews
User Score
81
63 reviews

In its finished form, Miguel’s Kaleidoscope Dream is a testament to his evolved songwriting, reverence to the past, and refusal to be pigeonholed.

39. Black Breath - Sentenced to Life

Black Breath - Sentenced to Life
March 26, 2012
Critic Score
79
5 reviews
User Score
74
2 reviews

40. Bat For Lashes - The Haunted Man

Bat For Lashes - The Haunted Man
October 15, 2012
Indie Pop
Critic Score
78
20 reviews
User Score
81
87 reviews

For the most part this is a composed, nourishing pop album.

41. Cocaine 80s - Express OG EP

Cocaine 80s - Express OG EP
May 30, 2012
Hip Hop
Critic Score
NR
User Score
80
1 review

42. Schoolboy Q - Habits & Contradictions

Schoolboy Q - Habits & Contradictions
January 14, 2012
Hip Hop
Critic Score
80
12 reviews
User Score
79
41 reviews

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.

43. Carter Tutti Void - Transverse

Carter Tutti Void - Transverse
March 26, 2012
Electronic
Critic Score
79
9 reviews
User Score
82
1 review

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.

44. Triad God - NXB

Triad God - NXB
November 13, 2012
Critic Score
70
1 review
User Score
NR

45. Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe - Timon Irnok Manta

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe - Timon Irnok Manta
November 16, 2012
Critic Score
NR
User Score
NR

46. Purity Ring - Shrines

Purity Ring - Shrines
July 24, 2012
Experimental
Critic Score
79
20 reviews
User Score
80
131 reviews

Without compromising their rustic, Grimm fairytale undertone, they’ve turned in a chromed, hi-tech pop album.

47. The xx - Coexist

The xx - Coexist
September 11, 2012
Indie Pop
Critic Score
76
21 reviews
User Score
75
115 reviews

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.

48. Haleek Maul - Oxyconteen

Haleek Maul - Oxyconteen
July 17, 2012
Hip Hop
Critic Score
NR
User Score
NR

49. Helm - Impossible Symmetry

Helm - Impossible Symmetry
July 6, 2012
Critic Score
80
1 review
User Score
NR

50. Bigg Jus - Machines That Make Civilization Fun

Bigg Jus - Machines That Make Civilization Fun
June 5, 2012
Hip Hop
Critic Score
77
3 reviews
User Score
NR
Original Source: http://www.factmag.com/2012/12/03/the-50-best-albums-of-2012/

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