Consequence of Sound's Top 50 Albums of 2012

Consequence of Sound's Top 50 Albums of 2012

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50. Nas - Life is Good

July 17, 2012
Critic Score
78
24 reviews

This is Nas’ strongest album in 18 years and three months– yes, since his debut album Illmatic.

49. Flying Lotus - Until the Quiet Comes

October 2, 2012
Critic Score
83
27 reviews

FlyLo silenced the external forces and produced an album that is dark enough to spin at LA’s Low End Theory, yet smooth enough to garner listens from fans well outside of the club’s beat freaks. 

48. Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan

July 10, 2012
Critic Score
81
34 reviews

Swing Lo Magellan is an album that will break hearts, bring joy, and deliver emotional notes that few others could.

47. Bob Mould - Silver Age

September 4, 2012
Critic Score
76
17 reviews

Front to back, top to bottom, the record is the most charged Mould has sounded since those fruitful Sugar days, and at 52 he sounds as comfortable in his iconic alt-rock skin as ever.

46. Code Orange Kids - Love Is Love // Return To Dust

Code Orange Kids - Love Is Love // Return To Dust
November 19, 2012
Critic Score
70
2 reviews

45. Allo Darlin' - Europe

April 17, 2012
Critic Score
78
14 reviews

44. Joey Bada$$ - 1999

June 12, 2012
Critic Score
75
5 reviews

43. The Smashing Pumpkins - Oceania

June 18, 2012
Critic Score
66
21 reviews

He’s carved out an agreeable adventure with Oceania, and one that any casual or die-hard fan can embrace with true vigor.

42. The Men - Open Your Heart

March 6, 2012
Critic Score
82
22 reviews

The Men may not be hailed as the genre’s saviors, nor should they be, but here they have done an excellent job as its purveyors.

41. Tame Impala - Lonerism

October 9, 2012
Critic Score
87
28 reviews

With Lonerism, Tame Impala have doubled down on the kaleidoscopic refractions of their debut. The melodies are clearer, pushed up in the mix, given agency by their immediacy.

40. Grizzly Bear - Shields

September 18, 2012
Critic Score
81
31 reviews

Shields growls and purrs in ways Grizzly Bear has never before.

39. Crystal Castles - (III)

November 12, 2012
Critic Score
73
31 reviews

III is less playful than the duo’s previous couple of offerings, but it’s thematic mood is much tighter and more fully realized.

38. Beak> - >>

June 2, 2012
Critic Score
76
16 reviews

37. The Henry Clay People - Twenty-Five For The Rest of Our Lives

The Henry Clay People - Twenty-Five For The Rest of Our Lives
June 26, 2012
Critic Score
75
4 reviews

Twenty Five, even while it grasps at noise and disorder, comes together as a fully formed, mature statement of an album. 

36. Future - Pluto

April 17, 2012
Critic Score
66
9 reviews

35. Tig Notaro - Live

Tig Notaro - Live
October 30, 2012
Critic Score
90
2 reviews

34. Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas

January 31, 2012
Critic Score
81
25 reviews

Old Ideas, however, succeeds in largely keeping the music subservient, buoyant enough to keep things moving but not distracting any attention from the lyrics, the true star of the show.

33. Sleigh Bells - Reign of Terror

February 21, 2012
Critic Score
73
26 reviews

They’re not just throwing hooks and loops to the wall to see what sticks; the two are primarily writing songs and adding hooks and loops for color.

32. Cat Power - Sun

September 4, 2012
Critic Score
79
35 reviews

Transformed in both sound and spirit, Sun is a passionate pop album of electronic music filtered through a singer-songwriter’s soul.

31. TNGHT - TNGHT

July 24, 2012
Critic Score
80
14 reviews

TNGHT balances Mohawke’s crisp production style, the gloss of a high-end studio, and Lunice’s chopped-and-screwed beats, without any time to overload the work with excess triggers.

30. Scott Walker - Bish Bosch

December 4, 2012
Critic Score
77
24 reviews

While Bish Bosch isn’t nearly the departure The Drift was six years ago, there’s a sharper attention to detail and a much broader scope at bay, one that would shake the boots of even the strongest composers worldwide.

29. How to Dress Well - Total Loss

September 18, 2012
Critic Score
78
21 reviews

On Total Loss, Krell is far more confrontational and less sedated in the face of his woes, upping the sentimental weight in the process

28. Purity Ring - Shrines

July 24, 2012
Critic Score
77
33 reviews

Shrines isn’t trying to capitalize on some moment where rapid hi-hats and deep bass mix with dream-pop vocals; it manipulates two elements to make something malleable, elusive, sexual.

27. METZ - METZ

October 9, 2012
Critic Score
80
19 reviews

26. Liars - WIXIW

June 5, 2012
Critic Score
82
28 reviews

No matter how far into the ether they push, no matter what new form their music takes, there is a core Liars sound

25. El-P - Cancer 4 Cure

May 22, 2012
Critic Score
82
27 reviews

The roads in his mind are curling back onto themselves like a mobius strip and more than ever, most of the verses on Cancer 4 Cure are infinite loops, cannibalizing his own words over and over.

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

October 16, 2012
Critic Score
84
25 reviews

Allelujah! Dont’ Bend! Ascend! offers fewer catharses, fewer emotions, and fewer answers, putting more distance than ever between Godspeed You! Black Emperor and the listener.

23. Ty Segall Band - Slaughterhouse

June 26, 2012
Critic Score
80
18 reviews

It’s a loud, abrasive record that, in the end, feels pretty damn inspiring.

22. Spiritualized - Sweet Heart Sweet Light

April 17, 2012
Critic Score
78
32 reviews

Sweet Heart, Sweet Light covers a broad aural spectrum from surrealistic haze to outward pop and as such, is some of Jason Pierce’s and Spiritualized’s best material since Ladies and Gentlemen.

21. Chromatics - Kill for Love

March 26, 2012
Critic Score
81
23 reviews

With Kill For Love, it almost feels like the man’s true thesis, as if he’s strung together all his ideas, feelings, and sounds into one colossal being that acts less like an album and more like a highly organized archive.

20. Divine Fits - A Thing Called Divine Fits

August 28, 2012
Critic Score
79
19 reviews

Divine Fits is more than the sum of its rangy, resplendent leading men

19. Bat For Lashes - The Haunted Man

October 15, 2012
Critic Score
78
33 reviews

The Haunted Man may not reveal a drastic stylistic shift, but the subtle difference is a nonetheless compelling documentation of the process of metamorphosis. 

18. Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream

October 2, 2012
Critic Score
81
13 reviews

Nothing shrouds Miguel and his directives, and worries, and prayers, and cat calls — it’s all there, full of light and love, refracting through a kaleidoscope of rocks glasses, rainy windshields, and blood-shot eyes.

17. Grimes - Visions

February 21, 2012
Critic Score
79
34 reviews

Visions is a remarkable outing for Boucher in that it manages to showcase her knack for spinning bits and pieces from all points on the musical spectrum into crafty, easily digestible pop.

16. Death Grips - The Money Store

April 21, 2012
Critic Score
83
21 reviews

The trio’s very existence depends on toeing a line between maintaining rap’s brooding thuggish-ness without overpowering it with their dubstep-inspired aesthetic.

15. Matthew E. White - Big Inner

August 21, 2012
Critic Score
85
12 reviews

Big Inner is a brilliant debut, brimming with homages to pop music’s past, whether it be Motown or Randy Newman.

14. John Talabot - ƒIN

February 14, 2012
Critic Score
85
16 reviews

The producer’s stylings coalesce into a pulsing and versatile dance release that easily justifies itself as one of the best we’ve heard so far this year.

13. Angel Haze - Reservation EP

July 18, 2012
Critic Score
84
6 reviews

11. Lambchop - Mr. M

February 21, 2012
Critic Score
77
24 reviews

Mr. M will stand as one of Lambchop’s finest, most cohesive, and easiest straight-through listens yet, despite its intermediate tendencies.

10. Action Bronson / Party Supplies - Blue Chips

March 12, 2012
Critic Score
81
5 reviews

Collectively, the tracks on Blue Chips are part and parcel a New York mixtape — full of retro sounds and imagery that recalls the nefarious streets of the city pre-Giuliani, pre-Disney, pre-Bad Boy Records.

9. Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind

October 9, 2012
Critic Score
83
15 reviews

With the release of All We Love We Leave Behind, Converge has once again displayed its uncanny ability to create an album as skull-cleaving as it is beautiful.

8. Japandroids - Celebration Rock

June 5, 2012
Critic Score
82
27 reviews

Where Post-Nothing melts into a hazy dream, Celebration Rock does exactly what it claims to do—it burns on and on like the best sort of party.

7. Beach House - Bloom

May 15, 2012
Critic Score
76
33 reviews

Every movement on Bloom extends that high silence to the length of several minutes, building within the song and into the next track to send wave after wave of eyes-closing, head-tilting, fist-clenching pinpricks.

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

May 15, 2012
Critic Score
84
22 reviews

Erudite without being overwrought and passionate without being dogmatic, what we’ve got here may be the best rap album of the year – at least, so far.

5. Swans - The Seer

August 28, 2012
Critic Score
86
29 reviews

It’s wily, cunning, and aims to pull out the ecstasy hiding down in the guts of everyone, no matter if it’s uplifting or wretched.

4. Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory

January 24, 2012
Critic Score
78
27 reviews

With Attack on Memory, Baldi’s never felt more alive or more authentic.

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

October 22, 2012
Critic Score
89
26 reviews

Lamar has bypassed the norm by producing an album that’s damn near unimpeachable.

2. Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel

June 19, 2012
Critic Score
87
28 reviews

The Idler Wheel succeeds in creating a singular world more daring than any of Apple’s previous records and one of the most daring pop records in recent history.

1. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange

July 17, 2012
Critic Score
91
33 reviews
Whether he’s being sarcastic or vulnerable, publicly hedging or lyrically baring it all, his songwriting speaks to the humanity in us all.
Original Source: http://consequenceofsound.net/2012/12/albums-of-the-year-2012/
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