Monday, December 10, 2012

Top 100 Albums of 2012

Weird year. Cool year, but weird. For these ears, my favourite records this year didn't so much push boundaries, but rather borrowed from the past really really well. Records that sound heavily influenced by another era are a delicate matter. A lot of those types of albums this year sounded like 2012 wrapped nicely in 1980's or 1960's bows and ribbons, rather than the shameful gimmicky type of homage that happens far too frequently.

So for as many year end lists that will see the likes of Animal Collective and Godspeed You! Black Emperor on top (much respect to both - they're in here), it would be pretty disingenuous if my top picks didn't showcase the tremendous sincere pop music that made it into my headphones most often throughout 2012. My lists will almost always default to clever, genuine, heartfelt melodies and lyrics, and brevity. Hopefully this one is representative of that.

As with any major list undertaking, and similar to previous years, I have a reckoning that sequencing gets inherently dodgy after about the top 50. Also no amount of additional tinkering is going to make me more okay with it, and within 15 minutes of posting, I'll regret 75% of this, but here goes.......

100 Clinic Free Reign
99 Kid Koala 12 Bit Blues
98 Orbital Wonky
97 Spiritualized Sweet Heart Sweet Light
96 Ceremony Zoo
95 And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead  Lost Songs
94 Camouflage Nights Camouflage Nights
93 Electric Guest Mondo
92 Actress R.I.P.
91 The Maccabees Given To The Wild
90 Dirty Projectors Swing Lo Magellan
89 Sleigh Bells Reign of Terror
88 Cloud Nothings Attack on Memory
87 Lotus Plaza Spooky Action at A Distance
86 The Raveonettes Observator
85 Bahamas Barchords
84 Tribes Baby
83 Light Asylum Light Asylum
82 Lower Dens Nootropics
81 Howler America Give Up
80 Gypsy & The Cat The Late Blue
79 Dead Can Dance Anastasis
78 Nas Life Is Good
77 Melody's Echo Chamber Melody's Echo Chamber
76 Seapony Falling
75 Richard Hawley Standing At The Sky's Edge
74 John K. Samson Provincial
73 Spector Enjoy It While It Lasts
72 Menomena Moms
71 The Evens The Odds
70 Missions Of Burma Unsound
69 Crystal Castles Crystal Castles (III)
68 Young Rival Stay Young
67 A.C. Newman Shut Down The Streets
66 Wintersleep Hello Hum
65 Errors Have Some Faith in Magic
64 Cat Power Sun
63 Joel Plaskett Emergency Scrappy Happiness
62 Humans Traps
61 Citizens! Here We Are
60 Grizzly Bear Shields
59 Bats For Lashes The Haunted Man
58 Deerhoof Breakup Song
57 Jaill Traps
56 Japandroids Celebration Rock
55 Eight and A Half Eight and A Half
54 Lightships Electric Cables
53 Cadence Weapon Hope In Dirt City
52 Matt & Kim Lightning
51 Best Coast The Only Place
50 Sigur Ros Valtari
49 The Walkmen Heaven
48 Animal Collective Centipede Hz
47 Dinosaur Jr. I Bet On Sky
46 Pet Shop Boys Elysium
45 Liars WIXIW
44 Vcmg SSSS
43 The Shins Port of Morrow
42 Saint Etienne Words and Music by Saint Etienne
41 White Rabbits Milk Famous
40 Paul Banks Banks
39 Mike O'Neill Wild Lines
38 Yukon Blonde Tiger Talk
37 New Build Yesterday Was Lived and Lost
36 Shearwater Animal Joy
35 Mystery Jets Radlands
34 The Helio Sequence Negotiations
33 Brendan Benson What Kind of World
32 Ultravox Brilliant
31 Crocodiles Endless Flowers
30 Godspeed You! Black Emperor Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
29 Tame Impala Lonerism
28 Van She Idea of Happiness
27 Brothertiger Golden Years
26 Bob Mould Silver Age
25 Two Door Cinema Club Beacon
24 Of Montreal Paralytic Stalks
23 Frankie Rose Interstellar
22 Imperial Teen Feel The Sound
21 Django Django Django Django
20 Ladyhawke Anxiety
19 Field Music Plumb
18 Chromatics Kill For Love
17 Yeasayer Fragrant World
16 Grimes Visions
15 Alt-J An Awesome Wave
14 The xx Coexist
13 Diiv Oshin
12 Diamond Rings Free Dimensional
11 Beach House Bloom
10 The Presets Pacifica
9 Purity Ring Shrines
8 Bear In Heaven I Love You, It's Cool
7 Tanlines Mixed Emotions
6 Wild Nothing Nocturne
5 Hot Chip In Our Heads
4 School Of Seven Bells Ghostory
3 Divine Fits A Thing Called Divine Fits
2 Twin Shadow Confess
1 Redd Kross Researching The Blues