PopMatters' 75 Best Albums of 2012

PopMatters' 75 Best Albums of 2012

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75. My Jerusalem - Preachers

My Jerusalem - Preachers
October 9, 2012
Critic Score
75
2 reviews

74. Santigold - Master of My Make-Believe

May 1, 2012
Critic Score
71
26 reviews

I would place this album among the strongest work coming out in both the realms of indie and pop music these days

73. The Tallest Man On Earth - There's No Leaving Now

June 12, 2012
Critic Score
73
19 reviews

There’s No Leaving Now makes use of much the same map work laid out by Matsson on 2010’s fantastic breakout The Wild Hunt.

71. Purity Ring - Shrines

July 24, 2012
Critic Score
78
31 reviews

Shrines holds skyward a handful of some of the finest offerings Planet Pop can muster in 2012, yet as an “album experience” it ultimately fails to merit a new religion.

69. Allo Darlin' - Europe

April 17, 2012
Critic Score
79
14 reviews

Allo Darlin’ and Europe indeed do have what it takes to be a band and album that mean so much to the particular people to whom they mean so much to.

67. Rush - Clockwork Angels

June 12, 2012
Critic Score
77
11 reviews

If you focus solely on the music, you won’t find much that distinguishes Clockwork Angels from Rush’s greatest feats.

66. Passion Pit - Gossamer

July 24, 2012
Critic Score
75
29 reviews

As objectively as possible, then, let it be said that between Gossamer and its much-beloved predecessor, Manners, Gossamer is the better record.

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64. Ty Segall - Twins

October 9, 2012
Critic Score
79
18 reviews

This is a superb, must-have album that places Ty Segall firmly at the centre of the garage scene and continues his extraordinary evolution as a multi-faceted, multi-talented musician.

63. Islands - A Sleep & A Forgetting

Islands - A Sleep & A Forgetting
February 14, 2012
Critic Score
72
9 reviews

That infectious, childlike zeal was so integral to the first part of their career that A Sleep is jarringly unfamiliar at first.

62. Debo Band - Debo Band

Debo Band - Debo Band
July 10, 2012
Critic Score
81
3 reviews

61. alt-J - An Awesome Wave

May 28, 2012
Critic Score
75
16 reviews

It risks feeling frustrated and frustrating, but Alt-J’s bizarre pop is ultimately rooted solidly in pathos, in a sort of blighted redemption.

60. The Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten

July 24, 2012
Critic Score
66
22 reviews

It’s revealing that the album’s best moments are those in which the Gaslight Anthem incorporate their influences rather than emulate them.

59. Redd Kross - Researching the Blues

August 7, 2012
Critic Score
74
12 reviews

Researching the Blues shows a band making some minor adjustments to their sound, without losing the impact that their music conjures up.

58. Sleigh Bells - Reign of Terror

February 21, 2012
Critic Score
73
25 reviews

While Reign of Terror may not yield results that are as instantly and consistently compelling as Treats did, the latest album has the potential to grow on you

57. Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan

July 10, 2012
Critic Score
81
33 reviews

By cleaning up and clearing up everything that’s going on in his head, Longstreth is getting better and better at expressing the music in his heart through the songs in his mind.

56. Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball

March 5, 2012
Critic Score
77
24 reviews

Message aside and from a purely musical standpoint, the new album is Springsteen’s most enjoyable and freshest-sounding in ages.

55. Wadada Leo Smith - Ten Freedom Summers

May 22, 2012
Critic Score
92
6 reviews
In four and a half hours, Wadada Leo Smith writes one of America's defining events in sound, and the story is all of ours.

54. BBU - bell hooks

BBU - bell hooks
July 21, 2012
Critic Score
76
3 reviews

53. John Talabot - ƒIN

February 14, 2012
Critic Score
85
16 reviews

51. Todd Snider - Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables

March 6, 2012
Critic Score
80
7 reviews

 Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables is not really a “mess” in the pejorative sense, but it certainly is messy.

50. Paul Weller - Sonik Kicks

March 27, 2012
Critic Score
72
18 reviews

Weller has made an extremely worthy case for remaining the master of his craft.

48. Lambchop - Mr. M

February 21, 2012
Critic Score
78
24 reviews

There is a lot of sadness on the album. At their core these are songs of isolation, desperation and the distance between people.

47. Ryan Bingham - Tomorrowland

Ryan Bingham - Tomorrowland
September 18, 2012
Critic Score
68
4 reviews

There’s just a great flow that makes Tomorrowland feel like one of those albums you’ll listen to in the car on countless road trips.

46. Julia Holter - Ekstasis

March 6, 2012
Critic Score
82
17 reviews

The reward that her music offers is substantial, as Ekstasis is one of the most unusual and unprecedented indie pop albums to come along in quite awhile.

45. Bob Mould - Silver Age

September 4, 2012
Critic Score
76
16 reviews

This is the kind of record that Bob Mould could have made in his sleep.

44. Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra - Theatre Is Evil

September 11, 2012
Critic Score
74
12 reviews

A truly special album, one that will reach out and grab you by the lapels and shake the life out of, or into, you.

43. METZ - METZ

October 9, 2012
Critic Score
81
19 reviews

Undeniably one of my favorite albums of the year, METZ shines brightly, like a Molotov cocktail at the moment of impact.

42. Flying Lotus - Until the Quiet Comes

October 2, 2012
Critic Score
83
27 reviews

The more you listen to Until the Quiet Comes, the more you get the sense that you’re only scratching the surface of how much is really going on with it.

41. Quantic & Alice Russell - Look Around the Corner

Quantic & Alice Russell - Look Around the Corner
April 3, 2012
Critic Score
70
2 reviews

40. The Men - Open Your Heart

March 6, 2012
Critic Score
83
22 reviews

At the end of the day, the Men aren’t quite all they’re cracked up to be, but even a bitter cynic like me has to admit, this album is worth a listen.

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

September 11, 2012
Critic Score
75
27 reviews

Although you wouldn’t expect anything less from artists of this high a caliber, it still comes as a pleasant surprise how cohesive, complete, and thought through Love This Giant is for a one-off all-star collab.

37. Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream

October 2, 2012
Critic Score
82
13 reviews

It may not blindly take the artistic risks of Channel Orange, but it’s a more consistently enjoyable album than Frank Ocean’s magnum opus.

36. Nas - Life is Good

July 17, 2012
Critic Score
79
23 reviews

35. El-P - Cancer 4 Cure

May 22, 2012
Critic Score
83
27 reviews

34. The Touré-Raichel Collective - The Tel Aviv Session

The Touré-Raichel Collective - The Tel Aviv Session
March 26, 2012
Critic Score
70
3 reviews

33. Bat For Lashes - The Haunted Man

October 15, 2012
Critic Score
78
33 reviews

The Haunted Man is all about Khan letting her guard down, which you can hear in the yearning pitch of her voice and the bleeding-heart themes of her songs.

31. Hot Chip - In Our Heads

June 11, 2012
Critic Score
74
30 reviews

In Our Heads is proof that Hot Chip are succeeding on their consistently impressive musical journey, and as far as I can see there’s still much to be learned from these songwriters.

28. Andy Stott - Luxury Problems

October 29, 2012
Critic Score
83
14 reviews

The inherent darkness of Stott’s carious and degraded mixes, souped up in reverberating drone and pointillized by granular detail, is here juxtaposed against the often sweet, sometimes harrowing voice of his one-time mentor.

27. Father John Misty - Fear Fun

May 1, 2012
Critic Score
78
18 reviews

Ultimately, it’ll be hard to find a more awe-inspiring album this year than Fear Fun. This is a record that deserves a spot in just about any contemporary music collection.

26. Dr. John - Locked Down

April 3, 2012
Critic Score
81
17 reviews

Ultimately it is nice to hear a living legend treated like the still-vibrant artist that he is.

Original Source: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/tools/full/166270
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2012 YEAR END SUMMARY