Best Albums of 2012


I agonize over this list every year, for 100% personal reasons. I feel like I have failed as a human if I miss anything hot that happened musically in a year. Because I live in the city that never sleeps, when I like a record, I can typically see the artist play it live soon after it comes out. Here’s the year in review.

Top 10

Some Nights, fun.

fun., Some Nights

channel Orange

Frank Ocean, channel ORANGE

Wrecking Ball

Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball

Strange Weekend

Porcelain Raft, Strange Weekend


Beach House, Bloom

Swing Lo Magellan

Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan


Sharon Van Etten, Tramp


Matthew Dear, Beams


Escort, Escort

Fear Fun

Father John Misty, Fear Fun

Special Award: The Weeknd, Trilogy
Technically, this encompasses 3 records that dropped last year. Chris had a visceral reaction of disgust when I even hinted at throwing this at #1

Also Really Good

The Walkmen, Heaven
Craig Finn, Clear Heart Full Eyes
Strand of Oaks, Dark Shores
Purity Ring, Shrines
Lord Huron, Lonesome Dreams


Japandroids, Celebration Rock
Beak>, >>
Django Django, Django Django
Cat Power, Sun
Daughn Gibson, All Hell
White Rabbits, Milk Famous
Silversun Pickups, Neck of the Woods
Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d city

Listen to This: “Trilogy” by The Weeknd

So, it turns out there’s a genre named “PBR&B.” I had never heard of it til last night, but I think it is my new favorite type of music. I was telling some friends last week about how much I love the Frank Ocean record, and they responded with “you’d love The Weeknd.” Luckily, last week, Trilogy was released – remastered versions of The Weeknd’s 3 brilliant mixtapes from 2011. This being 2012, do we all include it in our best of lists, or is it honorable mention with a footnote?

It’s a lot of music to listen to, but it captures a vibe I can’t get enough of. It’s like Portishead,  Porcelain Raft, and Frank Ocean having a conversation about sex while on drugs, quietly, in Canada (? that’s where Abel Tesfaye is from). And he was also a co-writer of Drake’s Take Care.

The review on eMusic by Barry Walters

“The Morning”

“High for This”

“Wicked Games”

Listen To This: “Channel Orange,” by Frank Ocean

There is no SoundCloud embed for this one, so I’m gonna post some vids. This is one of the more acclaimed debuts of the year, I just finally got around to listening to it.

“Thinkin Bout You”

Official Video for “Pyramids” – featuring John Mayer at the end playing a guitar solo that is not on the record:

Go download the whole record, which is awesome.