AOTY 2017
Drowned in Sound's 50 Favorite Albums of 2012

Drowned in Sound's 50 Favorite Albums of 2012

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50. Bloc Party - Four

Bloc Party - Four
August 21, 2012
Critic Score
67
28 reviews

Not since Silent Alarm have Bloc Party sustained such vision, ideas and indeed quality over an entire record.

49. How to Dress Well - Total Loss

How to Dress Well - Total Loss
September 18, 2012
Critic Score
78
21 reviews

Total Loss isn’t weaker in any single sense, but I’m not sure it if it builds on its predecessor either.

48. Echo Lake - Wild Peace

Echo Lake - Wild Peace
June 26, 2012
Critic Score
75
8 reviews

Wild Peace sighs and soars; melts and merges with you and ultimately, delivers many times more than the mere sum of its parts.

47. Yeasayer - Fragrant World

Yeasayer - Fragrant World
August 21, 2012
Critic Score
66
30 reviews

This is a record of adventure and texture, an attempt, musically, to conjure up a future we may never actually have. 

46. Scott Walker - Bish Bosch

Scott Walker - Bish Bosch
December 4, 2012
Critic Score
76
24 reviews

45. Muse - The 2nd Law

Muse - The 2nd Law
October 2, 2012
Critic Score
56
25 reviews

This is less an album, and more like a mixtape filled with mini meditations of musical movements. 

44. Grizzly Bear - Shields

Grizzly Bear - Shields
September 18, 2012
Critic Score
82
31 reviews

Any mention of Shields being slightly more up front and rougher around the edges is not to say that isn't still beautiful. 

43. The Maccabees - Given to the Wild

The Maccabees - Given to the Wild
January 6, 2012
Critic Score
71
13 reviews

Somewhat uneasy listening in places, yet sublime in others, Given To The Wild should rid The Maccabees of those 'landfill' jibes once and for all.

42. Japandroids - Celebration Rock

Japandroids - Celebration Rock
June 5, 2012
Critic Score
83
27 reviews

The sheer energy pouring from this record is breathtaking: not until the very final song (‘Continuous Thunder’) does Celebration Rock’s sense of acceleration cease.

41. Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan

Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan
July 10, 2012
Critic Score
81
33 reviews

Deadly serious even at its most eccentric, wilfully awkward even at its most accessible, dense and intricate even at its most freewheeling. 

40. Lana Del Rey - Born To Die

Lana Del Rey - Born To Die
January 31, 2012
Critic Score
59
30 reviews

Whole thing sounds like a poppy Bond soundtrack remixed for the clubs, although even her faster songs sound slow.

39. Blood Red Shoes - In Time to Voices

Blood Red Shoes - In Time to Voices
March 26, 2012
Critic Score
71
9 reviews

This is an album so texturally complex that there is simply no space to consider what it might, or might not, be missing. 

38. LV - Sebenza

LV - Sebenza
August 27, 2012
Critic Score
81
8 reviews

37. Grimes - Visions

Grimes - Visions
February 21, 2012
Critic Score
79
31 reviews

Everything on Visions smells crisp and clean, doused in eco-friendly laundry detergent; there is no stench of compromise here.

36. Field Music - Plumb

Field Music - Plumb
February 14, 2012
Critic Score
77
20 reviews

That we’ve got a band asking such questions of themselves, whilst making some of the most thoughtful, intelligent pop in the country, should be celebrated.

35. Crystal Castles - (III)

Crystal Castles - (III)
November 12, 2012
Critic Score
74
30 reviews

I still can’t make up my mind whether Crystal Castles peaked too early and are now coasting, or if this is their new peak.

34. The Lost Rivers - Sin and Lostness

The Lost Rivers - Sin and Lostness
March 26, 2012
Critic Score
90
1 review

33. Metric - Synthetica

Metric - Synthetica
June 12, 2012
Critic Score
70
24 reviews

32. Actress - R.I.P.

Actress - R.I.P.
April 24, 2012
Critic Score
82
17 reviews

R.I.P. is the most fully realised, ambitious and rewarding project that Cunningham has yet put to record

31. Efterklang - Piramida

Efterklang - Piramida
September 25, 2012
Critic Score
72
20 reviews

Piramida is undoubtedly the band’s most immediate work to date and it might be strange to be writing it, but nearly each and every track would work standing on its own.

30. Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory

Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory
January 24, 2012
Critic Score
79
27 reviews

Attack On Memory might be on surface a pretty routine blast of crashing percussion, throaty vocals and biting guitars but repeated listens reveal a more nuanced affair full of charisma and spark.

29. Melody's Echo Chamber - Melody's Echo Chamber

Melody's Echo Chamber - Melody's Echo Chamber
September 25, 2012
Critic Score
77
13 reviews

Whatever happens next, she can rest assured safe in the knowledge that together with her beau they've conjured up one of 2012's - or any other year in recent memory - finest debuts.

28. John Talabot - ƒIN

John Talabot - ƒIN
February 14, 2012
Critic Score
85
16 reviews

Fin is a body of work that has brought into focus and solidified the musical expression Talabot has been toying with for the last three years. 

27. Errors - Have Some Faith In Magic

Errors - Have Some Faith In Magic
January 31, 2012
Critic Score
79
15 reviews

Somehow, amidst all the rigid architecture, Errors have conjured up something utterly organic in nature, but skin-tight in direction.

26. Yppah - Eighty One

Yppah - Eighty One
April 3, 2012
Critic Score
80
3 reviews

25. Deftones - Koi No Yokan

Deftones - Koi No Yokan
November 13, 2012
Critic Score
78
16 reviews

A stomach-turning twist through corridors of riffs, around every corner another punishing progression or triumphant refrain.

24. Cat Power - Sun

Cat Power - Sun
September 4, 2012
Critic Score
78
34 reviews

Even peering through the gauze of the back-story, Cat Power’s ninth album is a feat of musical and emotional maturity.

23. Django Django - Django Django

Django Django - Django Django
January 30, 2012
Critic Score
80
18 reviews

21. Twin Shadow - Confess

Twin Shadow - Confess
July 10, 2012
Critic Score
78
27 reviews

Confess isn’t just steeped in the sounds of an era, but in its films, feel, stories and sense of aspiration.

20. FOE - Bad Dream Hotline

FOE - Bad Dream Hotline
January 16, 2012
Critic Score
67
6 reviews

19. LHF - Keepers of the Light

LHF - Keepers of the Light
April 2, 2012
Critic Score
83
2 reviews

Keepers of the Light is a rarity for a double album: its indulgence (seriously, 144 minutes?) rarely grates, and its individuality doesn’t cramp its funkiness.

18. Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music

Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music
May 15, 2012
Critic Score
84
22 reviews

This is jazz, this is funk, this is soul, this is gospel… but most importantly, R.A.P. Music is rap music, as fresh as it comes.

17. Jessie Ware - Devotion

Jessie Ware - Devotion
August 20, 2012
Critic Score
82
28 reviews

She captures the emotion, without the shmaltz and in doing so, she neatly elevates her work above that of countless other mainstream pop singers.

15. Perfume Genius - Put Your Back N 2 It

Perfume Genius - Put Your Back N 2 It
February 21, 2012
Critic Score
80
22 reviews

These compositions, from Hadreas' distinctive, fragile vocal through to the orchestration behind the compositions themselves represents a significant progression from the bolt-from-the-blue that was Learning.

14. Poliça - Give You The Ghost

Poliça - Give You The Ghost
February 14, 2012
Critic Score
78
19 reviews

There's something happenin' here and I'm not totally sure what it is but it's exciting, intoxicating and unique, and has me wondering if people will be writing post-Poliça before the year is out

13. The Twilight Sad - No One Can Ever Know

The Twilight Sad - No One Can Ever Know
February 7, 2012
Critic Score
76
17 reviews

No One Can Ever Know’s skill is in wielding bleak nostalgia with subtlety; boyish confusion and fear is tempered with the vague uplift of a reassuringly avuncular narrator.

12. Chairlift - Something

Chairlift - Something
January 24, 2012
Critic Score
77
21 reviews

With Something, Chairlift haven't so much redefined their sound as papered over the cracks with an added coat of emulsion for good measure.

11. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange

Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
July 17, 2012
Critic Score
92
32 reviews

Beyond genre lines, racial lines, sexuality lines, any lines you can think of, it's that all-too-rare gem: a universal story you'll come back to long after the hype's been and gone.

10. Julia Holter - Ekstasis

Julia Holter - Ekstasis
March 6, 2012
Critic Score
82
17 reviews

Ekstasis revels in the ‘open-ear decisions’ of its architect, winding its way along paths both sepulchral and ascendant, often in the same song. 

9. Aesop Rock - Skelethon

Aesop Rock - Skelethon
July 10, 2012
Critic Score
77
17 reviews

Aesop Rock's recent turmoil is very much our gain.

8. School of Seven Bells - Ghostory

School of Seven Bells - Ghostory
February 28, 2012
Critic Score
71
22 reviews

It’s everything School of Seven Bells' swooping/swirling debut promised, and all the things the follow-up wasn’t to be.

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

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
October 16, 2012
Critic Score
85
25 reviews

For now, though, they’ve made a modestly magnificent record that entirely validates this reformation.

1. Sharon Van Etten - Tramp

Sharon Van Etten - Tramp
February 7, 2012
Critic Score
79
25 reviews

It’s a wonderful record, a colossal achievement, and features some of the most breathtaking, moving and downright beautiful music you’ll hear all year.

1. Blondes - Blondes

Blondes - Blondes
February 7, 2012
Critic Score
78
11 reviews

There’s a awe-inducing majesty to the moments when all the subtly introduced parts coalesce and then ebb away but there’s also a sense of feeling completely lost

1. Chromatics - Kill for Love

Chromatics - Kill for Love
March 26, 2012
Critic Score
80
23 reviews

These opening six songs are as good as it gets, and if there were four or five more, this would be the album of the year, for sure.

1. Liars - WIXIW

Liars - WIXIW
June 5, 2012
Critic Score
82
28 reviews

The project is pulled off with an integrity and passion that never feels like bandwagon jumping

1. Swans - The Seer

Swans - The Seer
August 28, 2012
Critic Score
87
29 reviews

The Seer is the culmination of Gira’s 30-year-journey; his finest two hours, if you will.

Original Source: http://drownedinsound.com/in_depth/4145840-drowned-in-sounds-favourite-albums-of-2012--5-1
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