This is very late, but here is the 2012 top albums list. Both rising artists and established legacies released memorable albums. The following ten albums stuck out the most.
10.) Hot Chip – In Our Heads
British electronic band Hot Chip’s fifth studio album is a step up in maturity and consistency from their previous work. Standouts “How Do You Do?” and “Flutes” anchor this quirky album.
9.) Sleigh Bells – Reign Of Terror
Sleigh Bells refined their sound from debut Treats to sophomore effort Reign Of Terror. Guitarist/producer Derek Miller’s furious beats still attack the listener, but singer Alexis Krausse’s vocals are more pronounced than before. This album is a step in the right direction, as the duo can build on it for future releases.
8.) First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar
Harmonies. Lots of them. That is what Swedish sister-duo First Aid Kit is all about. There is nothing better than two cute-as-buttons girls, dressed in retro 60’s sundresses singing beautiful well-crafted melodies. They translate their talents to second album The Lion’s Roar. Album highlight “Emmylou” sounds like a tasteful Dixie Chicks song. Closer “King Of The World” triumphantly concludes the solid effort.
7.) Crystal Castles – (III)
Toronto electronic duo Crystal Castles have created a string of excellent, ever-evolving self-titled albums. Their self-titled debut has a video game rave feel to it, while sophomore effort Crystal Castles (II) is a mix of pop sweetness and screech-punk fury. (III) is more a hybrid of Crystal Castles (II)‘s sound. Some harsh tracks, but not as all-out as “Doe Deer.” The band has found a nice middle ground, though.
6.) Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits
Supergroup Divine Fits, composed of members of Spoon and Wolf Parade, proved doubters wrong with their cohesive and catchy debut. The two singers Britt Daniel and Dan Boekner mesh together so well, trading off tracks seamlessly as if they had played together for years. This collaboration worked out quite well compared to the awkward David Byrne & St. Vincent combo.
5.) Jack White – Blunderbuss
Jack White, the savior of rock in the early 2000’s, released his first ever solo album in 2012 with a favorable result. He mixes styles of old-time rock and blues quite well. Singles “Love Interruption” and “Sixteen Salteens” stand out and give the first half of the album momentum. Let us thank Jack again for helping us rock in the electronic age.
4.) Passion Pit – Gosshammer
Passion Pit built on its sugary electro-pop melodies from debut Manners. Though the music is in major keys and sounds happy, the lyrics are desperate and longing. It is an interesting combination that is especially tactful in sophomore effort Gosshammer. Thanks to single “Take A Walk,” the bands popularity has surged, as a show at Madison Square Garden is in the mix.
3.) Beach House – Bloom
The early ’10’s has been very flowery. From Radiohead’s 2011 single “Lotus Flower” to Christina Agilera’s 2012 album Lotus, to Beach House’s comforting album Bloom. The guy-girl duo’s fourth album is very similar to their previous work, but is not necessarily a bad thing. They add to their signature dreamy sound with keyboard loops and electronic drumming. Opener “Myth” gets things going quite well, setting the tone for the rest of the soothing album.
2.) Purity Ring – Shrines
Newcomers Purity Rings exploded into 2012 with their debut album Shrines. This album gets under your skin. Singer Megan James sings about ribs and bellies over hip-hop beats and pulsing production. “Fineshrine” and “Bellispeak” are excellent night time jams.
1.) Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
Alabama Shakes is exactly what 2012 was not musically. They are a breath of fresh air in a digital world. The band has a soulful, genuine sound that translates well on debut Boys & Girls. The album has excellent pacing, as it balances out its peaks and valleys well. Singer Brittany Howard’s powerful, pitch-perfect vocals gel the band together.