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10. The Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten

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I think it’s about time that I let you all in on a little secret: I’m just a touch older than the average SputnikMusic user. Shock horror, huh? In fact, I may even be old enough to have seen items go out of fashion, only to have them return in popularity years later. Thick-rimmed glasses, new wave music, mini-skirts and vinyl records are all examples of such phenomena, so when The Gaslight Anthem released a single titled “45″, you could say that my interest was aroused… When the old-fashioned quartet went on to title their fourth LP ‘Handwritten’, I was officially an acolyte to the Ministry of The Gaslight Anthem. And yes, I do still hand-write many of my reviews, just like Brian Fallon and the guys would want me to. Here, famed producer Brendan O’Brien assists the New Jersey natives in carving out huge, soaring anthems which lose little of the band’s endearing sincerity. The accomplished musicianship takes in every corner of rock, with Fallon’s vocals continuing to improve as his surprisingly introspective lyrics make the detailed storytelling no less captivating. ‘Handwritten’ may downsize the outfit’s punkier leanings and be too familiar for some, but it is ultimately another assured, consistent and cohesive album from a rock’n'roll band at the top of their craft. Now if only they would advocate a return of all things mission brown! Recommended Tracks: “45″, Biloxi Parish, Handwritten & Mulholland Drive. -DaveyBoy

9. Deftones – Koi No Yokan

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Did Diamond Eyes suffer its critical darling-like stature so assuredly because it was such an insistent release? An obvious and confident rebuttal against tragedy that glistened with the fine sheen of accessibility that had seemed so absent from the group’s last few outings, it represented the group operating at their most immediate and forthcoming, the taciturn and almost self-avoiding nature they had built such a strong foundation on pushed aside to reveal what almost seemed to be utter joy at being a “band” again. If this is true, Koi No Yokan is an oddity then; as gleaming and bright as Diamond Eyes‘ commercial peaks, but also crushingly ambivalent, chameleon-like with its colours. It’s an album that predicates itself on an epiphany, and oddly it arrives at that realisation all too quickly, leaving the remainder of the record to fill in the blanks for its future-earmarked swan song.

Deliberately intoxicating, Koi No Yokan asks a lot of its listeners, especially by comparison, though it’s a prideful kind of hubris that steers the album along its predetermined path. And the group have never more adequately prepared and equipped to make us believe their defining statement; Chino, in full stadium-sized overload has perhaps never sounded as authentic and consequently, vitriolic as he does here, pining over love and legend. And he matches the dynamic and diverse background with an authoritative ambiguity that belies the group’s initial proceedings, skirting as they do around the bones of a sound they were never truly a part of and have subsequently managed to outlive. And it’s that pride, as humble as it may be, that allows Koi No Yokan to be every inch the crowd pleaser that it is, and will always deserve to be. That belief from the band in what they are doing, that authoritative understanding and gentle push into the ether that only they can do best. -Deviant.

8. Mount Eerie – Clear Moon

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To be honest, I haven’t actually stopped listening to Mount Eerie’s Clear Moon. Really, it’s been on a constant rotation of sorts, finding its way back into my life over the course of 2012. This makes for a good album. What makes Clear Moon agreat album, however, is that each time it meanders into my thoughts, I find something new to love about it. While it stands as Phil’s more approachable album this year, it isn’t without an intense depth. Deceptively simple in parts, Mount Eerie creates mysterious yet majestic music, all with the patented ambiguous lyricism. Borrowing parts from his entire discography, Clear Moon exists as one of Phil Elverum’s most fully realized works to date. More importantly, it is an inherently brilliant work that once more proves why Mount Eerie is easily one of this generation’s most intriguing songwriters. -Eli Kleman

7. Jessie Ware – Devotion

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I was easily startled by Jessie Ware’s year. Beyond her live show, in which I stored a lot of faith and was more than a little floored (informal sidebar: during “110%” she kneeled towards the crowd and shared our love), a confidence emanated around Devotion that was purely her own, one that got the best out of a well decorated, hyper-emotional pop album in need of the force of a star behind it. Ware rose to the challenge in more ways than meet the eye; themed by those who heard it as an album begging requite and speaking heartbreak, one that our own Adam Downer compared to abusive relationships like he had with the Jets (some American sports reference- I’m lost), Devotion demands a closer look to see how stylised and performed it is. Ware plays with melodrama, sure, and it makes for big singles, like the wonderful, oh so wonderful “Wildest Moments,” but she can play it slick and shy too, presenting herself slight on “Sweet Talk” and “110%.” Ware’s biggest strength is that any of it can be a single, as if she could bring a heart swell to the smoothest, easiest song: she never has source material that weak on Devotion, but her skill is her elevation.

Live, Ware gave herself an improvised challenge to make “Still Love Me” looser, longer and more immersed. She played out the song’s one rhetorical question over and over, suppressing it none over the course of the beat’s long extended romp, her experiment proving how strong- and again, how confident- she is with every shade. On Devotion, Ware is like an actor reading into her tracks what she will, perfectly bringing off what little queues she’s got. Her record was my favourite of the year, and while I wondered whether or not it was the one that resounded with me the most, I never stopped to wonder if anything could impress me more. -Robin Smith

6. Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind

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At this point, it’s a little redundant to extol the music of Converge. After all, two decades into their careers, the men behind the band have heard their fair share of praise, with each release being hailed as a “landmark” in one way or another. That doesn’t stop every doe-eyed music fan, however, as many have fallen for the “aural assault” that is brought about by each new album. But it’s never really settled too well with me that this band is consistently praised for their “sonic barrages of pure anger” or what have you. To say such is to completely miss the point, and with All We Love We Leave Behind the band prove once more that they are above the senseless aggression that hangs around them like a bad stench. You see, Converge’s eighth album is a carefully and wonderfully constructed album. It’s brilliantly written, and sees the band explore their “metal side” more than ever. Each song feels full of energy, but all without sacrificing any artistic integrity. Perhaps this all sounds a little too pretentious, but the meticulous production and keen attention to detail go a long way in making All We Love We Leave Behind the band’s deepest offering to date. From the explosive opener, to the jaw-dropping title track, Converge’s latest offers up a stunning amount of incredible moments. And really, that’s all we could ever ask for. -Eli Kleman

5. Andrew Bird – Break It Yourself

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Maybe it’s just a function of Andrew Bird’s rather “lit’ry” approach to songwriting, all gentle plucks and crafty wordplay, but Break It Yourself begs to be described in superlative adjectives like “mellifluous” or “meticulous” or “contemplative,” although I’m partial to just “fucking beautiful.” On paper, Break It Yourself seems to check off all the boxes rather perfunctorily: it is a long, twisty and rock-strewn dirt road into the heart of staticky AM folk and dusty alt-country that Bird has been steadfastly traveling for quite a while; it is an album impeccably designed and prudently arranged; it still revels in the effortless use of words commonly found in textbooks and the clever syllabic arrangements that remains Bird’s signature. Yet Bird has never written an album this emotionally direct yet still frayed around the edges, sepia postcards warped by time and the long, crushing weight of emotions experienced and discarded, one on top of the other. “We’ll dance like cancer survivors / like we’re grateful simply to be alive” needs no adorning, no phonetic wizardry from an artist who has finally connected the emotional underpinnings of his music with the nostalgia and vague melancholy that his vast palette of looping strings, fiddles and that wistful whistle naturally conjure.

Our Keelan Harkin called Break It Yourself Bird’s most complete record: “The oak cask has set; the textures are fuller and the colours a little deeper.” Like that fine wine, Bird’s music is meant to be enjoyed slowly, moving in careful half-steps and gradual consideration of that forgotten romance or lost opportunity. It is also his most effortlessly subtle. Although the pop structures that inform his core aesthetic are well in evidence here, Bird is much more interested in building something up just to break it down. Melodies drift along string motifs that wind around as an ethereal counterpoint to Bird himself, who seems more grateful for the lovesick memories that haunt him then regretful, more pleased with the chances he’s received than the ones he’s squandered. The best songs here—the slow, bubbling “Lazy Projector,” the time-worn pastels of “Sifters,” the eight-minute-long crackle of “Hole in the Ocean Floor”—take their time, and when they arrive, as with “Lazy Projector’s” oddly triumphant climax or “Hole in the Ocean Floor’s” near-religious vocals and eventual disintegration, it’s a sad remembrance but also an infinitely hopeful one. An album like Break It Yourself never fails to remind you, for all the weight and heartbreak, life is still a pretty wonderful thing. -Rudy K.

4. Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music

[Official Site] // [Spotify] // [Facebook]

It’s an incredible thing to witness the evolution of your favorite artist over more than a decade. From Funcrusher Plus through Fantastic Damage, El-P’s songwriting has always been future-focused; El doesn’t just push the envelope – he redefines it on every release. Coming into 2012 four years removed from I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead, no one ever expected a collaboration with the guy who did “ADIDAS” to not only happen, but also be as incredible as it is. As a rapper, Killer Mike is an unorthodox, yet perfect compliment to El-P’s scientifical sounds; his storytelling is simplistic yet poignant, his flow goes hard yet balances the line between vicious and emotive. Most importantly, his serious subject matter comes off as introspective and thoughtful as opposed to preachy; both artists know how have fun on a track while still maintaining a meaningful message. One needs only to listen to the self-titled album closer to witness the conviction of R.A.P. Music at its fullest. -Sobhi Youssef

3. The Tallest Man On Earth – There’s No Leaving Now

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Let’s talk about 2010 for a second.

In 2010, Kristian Matsson was an unlikely revelation. The Wild Hunt took our website by storm in a year where it seemed impossible to do so without hard confessionals and self-absorption; in a year of melting personalities and grand dick picture songs, of existential synth-pop from Sufjan, of all people. Matsson was our prize in a year of Kanye and Titus, one where our top ten otherwise lay sorely on self-deprecation and, in The Monitor’s case, worldwide defecation. But we picked Mattson for the spring in his step and because, despite the fact “Runaway” and “Impossible Soul” were released in the same year, there was this man, laid barer without the histrionics or the orchestral suite, and personal to you – “because you named me as your lover,” he said, needing only one fucking acoustic guitar behind him to say it, “well I thought I could be anything.” 2010 had Big Boi and Janelle Monae, tallied next to eachother, releasing remarkable and conceptual work. 2010 had Joanna Newsom’s triple album. 2010 was tall trees, rivers and volcanoes, and then it had this man, who could strum well, emote hard and sing like Bob Dylan.

I felt it was triumphant on two counts. It made Sputnik proud, once more, to side with the underdog, adding Matsson to the unlikely company of Kayo Dot and Off Minor, but it also proved that we all were seeing the same little thing. (I say we, but I wasn’t staff yet – nice one guys.) We’ve moved on two years in this riddled musical landscape, where we stayed in for another folk record, though this time one that simply flowed like a fucking river, and Matsson has changed none but become the third in our hearts. And doesn’t he belong in the exact same way? Not only is There’s No Leaving Now as homogenous as all of his previous work, he finds himself in the company of compositional wizards and surrounded by personal politics. If you scroll down, you’ll see what I’m talking about, because it seems our 2012 was dominated by what we needed from music, or what we needed it to say. We had new masterpieces of the self, thanks Frank, thanks Fiona, and we had Converge. Sputnik had Converge. Meanwhile, Matsson made a record that sounded exactly like all of his other records. Again.

It’s a testament to Matsson’s talent that he has the impact he had in 2010, but it’s not a surprise. His brilliance is that he’s out on his own, songs mined from the earth and still in water, revealed only in cryptic aphorisms, gorgeous for their impossibility: “thank god we’re bright/ said the lantern’s brother/ cause I don’t know a thing about boats or the land I see.” There’s No Leaving Now is full of its own life, a breathing piece of landscape like the cold wide open of The Wild Huntand the forest (or some shit like that) pervading Shallow Grave. It’s a world of misgiving, one we’re never really invited to understand but one where the land becomes familiar and the language has its own music. We place him so high here at Sputnik without ever really knowing what’s on his mind, but we’d still quote “Criminals” in its entirety on our Facebook page.

Maybe Matsson isn’t a revelation anymore. We don’t necessarily have to point to him as the up and coming songwriter, and Justin Vernon doesn’t need to tell us that what he does with a guitar will make us believe in folk music again (this is apparent on “Wind and Walls,” a track that sounds fuller than anything else this year, in a great feint). But Matsson has become better than that, for our website at least; Mattson is our dedication, and this year, I saw him perform twice and learned the words to the most mysterious of his songs. There’s No Leaving Now is another chapter in his career, and I look forward to the day we argue over which thirty-six of his albums is our favourite. Just like Dylan, yes? Enjoy your apocalypse, Michael Gira. It’s nice and quiet over here. -Robin Smith

2. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

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The Godspeed You! Black Emperor I saw in October was not the Godspeed I fell in love with. That Godspeed set the gold standard for atmosphere, a grandmaster of pathos-driven instrumentation and heartbreaking romanticism. This one beat me in the chest with an aluminum bat for two and a half hours then left me a little cab money to get out of its apartment by the time it was done showering.

Oh yes, the Godspeed You! Black Emperor that returned this year has lost its illusions. Fourteen years ago, F#A# (Infinity) imagined a tearful apocalypse more akin to what we all secretly wanted to happen on December 21st. Allelujah reflects the ire we felt when it didn’t. In Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!, we see traces of the growing cultural frustration that nothing of great consequence is happening. As if Godspeed were announcing their irritation over having to come out of hibernation just to chide us for being so stupid, the terrific “Mladic” opens in drone, guitars brushing sand from the band member’s eyes, and then, slowly, it starts pounding. As Godspeed openers go, “Mladic” is the angriest, its climax not a cathartic culmination of emotional turmoil but a galloping sneer of a riff in Arabic mode. It’s characteristic of the prominent heaviness that characterizes Allelujah; “We Drift Like Worried Fire” may sound triumphant, but its a punchy, twisted sort of triumph. Elsewhere, the incredibly sparse B-sides of the record come off as frustrated meanderings in the face of artistic devolution. Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! finds Godspeed no longer simply oracles culture, but punishers, bitter dissenters, “I told you so” sayers. When it was announced there was a new Godspeed You! Black Emperor album coming out back in October (true story: the show I was at was literally the one after they announced they were selling their new LP at shows), there was a question as to whether or not they were still even relevant. Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! proved that yes, we need Godspeed. And perhaps now more than ever. -Adam Downer

1. Swans – The Seer

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In reflecting upon 2012 – a year that included a multitude of high-profile releases including Converge, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, The Tallest Man on Earth, Deftones, Frank Ocean, and a list that goes on too long to mention – it would be easy to get taken aback by seeing Swans at the top of our year-end list. This is a band that was as dead as a doornail as recently as three years ago, when they hadn’t released any new material since 1996. Even after Swans’ successful resuscitation in 2010, it is hard to imagine that too many people saw The Seer coming – a two hour, two disc magnum opus that inharmoniously reconciles elements of post-rock, alt-rock, drone, and industrial metal.

From a musical standpoint, this album is a crowning achievement. Much like a foreign culture, one needs to immerse him or herself in it to fully appreciate its nuances. Once enough time has been dedicated and acclimation sets in, the overbearing length and repetitiveness are no longer flaws – they are characteristics of a landmark album. They are necessary to its existence. It wouldn’t be The Seer without the thirty two minute title track that scares away first time listeners like frat brothers hazing a pledge. It also wouldn’t be the same without the massive, swirling drone passages that take up fifteen minute chunks of time just to ensure that listeners are invested enough to wade through any and all abstract haze in order to stumble upon sinister gems like ‘The Seer Returns’ and the second half of ‘A Piece Of The Sky.’ Gira and co. could have cleaned this album up quite well, but they would have been doing The Seer a great disservice. By allowing the album to progress naturally and flow with the ambition of a live set, Swans managed to create something that listeners can latch onto from the opening chants of ‘Lunacy’ and ride all the way to the closing growls of ‘The Apostate.’ It is not the easiest listen and it’s not supposed to be, but The Seer is definitely the most rewarding two hours you will spend with one album this year.

This could be the best album of Michael Gira’s thirty year career. It’s also possible that Swans’ prior discography never received the exposure it needed in order to catalyze the ascension that we witnessed this year. But no matter what reason you acknowledge behind The Seer’s success, it is impossible to deny that the record makes good on three decades of raucous experimentation – corralling all of the vastly differing styles that the band has executed and turning them into one tangible thing. This isn’t the type of album that will be hailed for its conquest of a three hundred and sixty five day calendar and then forgotten when the page is turned. Gira has ensured that The Seer’s impact will be felt for much longer, and in doing so, he has placed Swans among the best resurrected musical acts in recent memory. -SowingSeason

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Willie
01.04.13
Let the indie love begin...

taxidermist
01.04.13
God damn it. I forgot to submit my list. No joke it was almost right. I had Deftones, Converge, Godspeed, Swans, Killer Mike, And Mount Eerie on there. Didn't guess those last 4 though :p Oh well.

clercqie
01.04.13
Fuck yeah Gaslight! Will read the rest later, but list seems good.

RetroSpective
01.04.13
Never got the love for The Seer honestly. 9 and 6 are predictable but awesome.

lou1000
01.04.13
new it would be The Seer at 1, looking forward to EPs

Aids
01.04.13
I didn't realize Jessie Ware or Gaslight Anthem were that popular among the staff, my predicted top 10 wasn't as accurate as I'd hoped.

clercqie
01.04.13
"But it’s never really settled too well with me that this band is consistently praised for their “sonic barrages of pure anger” or what have you. To say such is to completely miss the point, and with All We Love We Leave Behind the band prove once more that they are above the senseless aggression that hangs around them like a bad stench."

Totally agree, very nicely put.

Also, Sowing, I love your Swans writeup man. So excited to see them in March.

tommygun
01.04.13
so did anybody get all ten in that contest thing

greg84
01.04.13
I totally screwed up on The Gaslight Anthem and Jessie Ware who was on my shortlist.

greg84
01.04.13
... and yeah, I put two more rocking albums instead. How silly of me.

taylormemer
01.04.13
Woo. 7/10 correct.

brutalizer
01.04.13
and i only know 3 bands....lol

dimsim3478
01.04.13
Lol apparently Davey's an old dude

dimsim3478
01.04.13
Also, small issue with the Converge review, the last track on the record is "Predatory Glow" not the title track

Tyrael
01.04.13
I got everything wrong! Huzzah!

Oh and a well meant 'fuck you' to every staffer who voted for the gaslight anthem

Tyrael
01.04.13
Plus: No Enslaved? Fuck damn it.

Cygnatti
01.04.13
"Oh and a well meant 'fuck you' to every staffer who voted for the gaslight anthem"

agreed

Xenophanes
01.04.13
Wait till people realize that Flylo was completely absent in the top 50.

robin
01.04.13
tears in my eye. #sputnikfam

greg84
01.04.13
I honestly thought that you guys would put Meshuggah and Loma Prieta on here. Haha.

MrElmo
01.04.13
the write-up for godspeed is exactly what I thought but couldn't put into words, pretty good list (most of it's content was excpected though) but from what I read brilliant write-up!

SowingSeason
01.04.13
Love this top 10. I think it is my favorite in the 4.5 years I've been here.

Thanks Clercqie for the kind words. Also, I wonder who won Jom's contest?

Tyrael
01.04.13
'Wait till people realize that Flylo was completely absent in the top 50.'

What about:
Dark Time Sunshine
Enslaved
Ne Obliviscaris
Titus Andronicus (fucking lol)
Scott Walker
BtBaM
Loma Prieta
Daylight Dies
Carach Angren
Diablo Swing Orchestra
Trioscapes
Twelve Foot Ninja
Leech
...

taylormemer
01.04.13
Awww. If only we could have it all

greg84
01.04.13
Dude some of these were never gonna make it. I'm the only staff/contrib who listened to Twelve Foot Ninja for example.

Deviant.
01.04.13
No you're not

greg84
01.04.13
Color me surprised then

Adash
01.04.13
Number 1 justifies all those long, dark days I spent surrepticiously spreading Swans love on this site

Merci beaucoup

Muikuli
01.04.13
I have heard about 10 albums of the whole top 50 and none of them are bad, so I suppose it's a decent list. No albums from my personal top 10 are featured though, but that is not a surprise. The best of these like the GY!BE would be somewhere in the top 30.

KILL
01.04.13
haha fade is gonna shit

Electric City
01.04.13
words really cant express how thrilled i am to see jessie ware up here

SowingSeason
01.04.13
I'd listen but I can't find it on iTunes, the sole provider of music fuck

InfamousGrouse
01.04.13
I'm chuffed Andrew Bird ranked so highly

Anthracks
01.04.13
Didn't see 10-7 coming

Anthracks
01.04.13
i find swans incredibly boring

omnipanzer
01.04.13
1, 5 and 9 I just thought were so boring. I'm surprised they made it into your top 10.

fish.
01.04.13
I knew dark time sunshine wouldn't be on here I shoulda ignored you all

Xenophanes
01.04.13
The Seer eemed to divide a lot of people. I didn't like it either.

xxjcon7xx
01.04.13
Where is Baroness' Yellow & Green? That album is phenomenal in its beauty, instrumentation, and emotional heaviness.

Ponton
01.04.13
andrew bird aoty

jmh886
01.04.13
swans are boring. Thats absurd Killer MIke made it that high. Album is ok. El-P was too high as well. Where is the chariot, or baroness, or aesop rock, or right away great captain. alas.

bc013
01.04.13
Surprised that Flying Lotus, Ellie Goulding, Every Time I Die and The Chariot didn’t make it into the top 50, but very shocked that Loma Prieta didn’t make the list at all. I thought for sure that Loma Prieta - I.V. would have made the top 10, especially over The Gaslight Anthem.

Although this was a great idea to predict the top 10. It was surely a challenge and a lot of fun!


DaveyBoy
01.04.13
I love Robin's last sentence on the Tallest Man write-up.

Kosko
01.04.13
Gotta say it was a pretty disappointing year in music for me. I'm sure all these musicians are incredible, but none of them resinated with me. I didn't like the Tallest Man's new album nearly as much as the last one for instance. I tried listening to the Swans and got bored. Deftones album is awesome though.

Kosko
01.04.13
That GasLight album is awesome as well. I guess I just mean there was a lot of boring music.

BigTuna
01.04.13
bummed Valtari didn't make it on here, but not surprised

Lambda
01.04.13
So happy to see The Seer at #1! :D Converge and GY!BE are also both awesome. Of what I've heard, I'd only disagree with Deftones being so high- I didn't think it was THAT good. Regardless, great list, and great job to everyone who contributed.

FromDaHood
01.04.13
Shouts out to jessie ware because that album rules

theacademy
01.04.13
handwritten is really such a great album

PorkchopExpress
01.04.13
So am I the only one who would have put Father John Misty's Fear Fun in the top 10? Glad Killer Mike placed so high, though it was my personal #1 this year.

Jamper
01.04.13
well, i didn't send my list, but i would have pointed 6/10 right. Finally started listening to The Seer yesterday, i think i will be able the understand it within the next two months. Good choice. Just dont get the Koi no Yokan hype...

MadKungFu
01.04.13
10. and 7. could easily have been replaced by The Chariot and Flylo respectively. Overall, great job Staffers.

Electric City
01.04.13
naw jessie ware runs train on until the quiet comes

robin
01.04.13
jessie ware staff team forever

FromDaHood
01.04.13
I can't believe Burial didn't make it

clercqie
01.04.13
EP =/= LP

Skoj
01.04.13
Where the fuck is FlyLo

Skoj
01.04.13
Overall, nailed it. A couple of painful omissions, though. Loma Prieta, The Chariot, and FlyLo especially.

Sanders
01.04.13
I had 9 of the top 10 on my list (skimmed the top end of the list, saw "mount eerie" at 23 and didn't include clear moon)... All but 1 of my guesses were in the wrong place though

HypedMerchant
01.04.13
yea I don't think I saw any code orange kids either. might have overlooked it idk.

johnnydeking29
01.04.13
Allelujah is painfully overrated

iSkane
01.04.13
Awesome list. I should check out Jessie Ware. Guessed everything but that and Mount Eerie.

theacademy
01.04.13
"that our own Adam Downer compared to abusive relationships like he had with the Jets (some American sports reference- I’m lost),"

oy vey

ProjectFreak
01.04.13
except Koi No Yokan is average at best

ProjectFreak
01.04.13
also needs more Icarus the Owl

Gwyn.
01.04.13
Not enough rise against imarite projectfreak

Also fuck, I had 6 but failed in most orders.



theacademy
01.04.13
"imarite"

i like this let's make it into a thing

Trist66
01.04.13
Woah ETID didn't even make the list.

There's a schocker.

Athom
01.04.13
i like how the three albums which disappointed me the most are all in the top 10 haha.

theacademy
01.04.13
which 3

XingKing
01.04.13
Really? You guys put Gallows and their piece of shit record on the top 50 but no Loma Prieta and no Chariot? I am baffled

robertsona
01.04.13
much like a foreign culture

theacademy
01.04.13
imo

6/10 of these are awesome
jessie ware and swans i didnt listen to but will
andrew bird and tallest man i didnt listen to but won't


Athom
01.04.13
It's all done by lists. I had loma on my list. it just didnt make it on to others.

@acad TTMOE, Deftones, and Gaslight Anthem

Electric City
01.04.13
like frat brothers hazing a pledge

robertsona
01.04.13
in a year you guys will see. flylo will rise. in your hearts

EyesWideShut
01.04.13
lol Converge.. that album fucking sucked.. and im surprised Loma Prieta didnt make the list considering how much love it got.

XingKing
01.04.13
Maybe I don't really understand how these lists work but I feel like two albums with a 4.1 average and 400 ratings deserve a spot over a 3.3 average with 100 ratings.

Athom
01.04.13
I really liked the new FlyLo it's chill. reminds me of Thundercat

TheNexus100
01.04.13
9 and 10 are terrible

Athom
01.04.13
you're right, you don't understand how they work. the staffers (not you plebian users) each compile lists of their favorite albums. those lists are then compiled together based on the ranks of each album on each list. the albums with most points based off of not only inclusion but ranking on the staffer submissions are what you see here. it's based off the tastes of the staff and has nothing to do with whatever the fuck you low level normal cretins pummel into your ear holes.

theacademy
01.04.13
real talk surprised no farrah abrahaham

Athom
01.04.13
agreed that 9 and 10 suck.

AtomicWaste
01.04.13
Damn, I would've been close if I'd tried the contest haha.

XingKing
01.04.13
Then the staff have shitty taste for including Gallows and not other more deserving artists, so eat a dick.

EyesWideShut
01.04.13
yea what the hell is that Gaslight Anthem album doing in the top 10? Nobody must have won that contest!! Its cool to see Killer Mike that much ahead of Kendrick tho.

hesperus
01.04.13
I blame Eli for no Loma Prieta. Still waiting for an explanation as to how they went from a 4.5 to not even making it into your top 25.

Athom
01.04.13
Personally I don't like half of what ended up on this list but I look at what did get included which I enjoy as cool and glad that it got some recognition and the stuff I didn't as inconsequential. Also learn to grasp sarcasm you fucking tool. If you're life is that shitty that you have to live vicariously through people's opinions on a shitty website like this just an hero plz.

FromDaHood
01.04.13
Handwritten was pretty soft

Athom
01.04.13
your*


zxlkho
01.04.13
SWANS YES

XingKing
01.04.13
Someone got a little poo crusted in their asshole this morning.

Electric City
01.04.13
yeah i didnt listen to a bunch of shit on this but then again a bunch of the staff didnt listen to shit on my list but we work together to make beautiful babies every year

Athom
01.04.13
nah, i've just come to the conclusion that I'm jesus christ.

Chortles
01.04.13
good call

fish.
01.04.13
there is no official gybe facebook btw

ILJ
01.04.13
I might have actually won. 9/10 and i ranked the top 2 correctly.


Lucid
01.04.13
Only had Clear Moon on my list, so yeah, don't see eye-to-eye with the staff roster at all this year.

Cygnatti
01.04.13
did anyone here expect #10 to be on here because I seriously didn't.

greg84
01.04.13
yeah, it may be enough

Chortles
01.04.13
damn nice. i got 7/10 and the top two. i would've gotten more but converge and deftones ended up lower than i thought they'd be

afergusonart
01.04.13
lolswans. pretty disappointed Anathema didn't even make the top 50

insomniac15
01.04.13
So? Who won the contest ?

Xenophanes
01.04.13
"I blame Eli for no Loma Prieta. Still waiting for an explanation as to how they went from a 4.5 to not even making it into your top 25."

It came out last January and has slowly but surely been losing my love. It's still a solid 3.5, but so many albums either stuck with me the entire year, or slowly grew on me even more. No doubt it will rank highly on the users' list.

EaglesBecomeVultures
01.04.13
Don't mind anything but 10. Found that to be seriously boring even after multiple listens.
Surprised to see no FlyLo and DTS

TheNexus100
01.04.13
iv was the best album of the year, better than every record in this top 10

and looking at the artists on here, this list seems almost pre determined. Some of the artists could have produced auditory shit (gaslight actually did) and still retained their positions on this list. 3 is hilarious too. Solid folk rock record but only that high because it's Tallest Man.

TheNexus100
01.04.13
1, 8 and 6 are all great though, 8 being one of my top 5

Electric City
01.04.13
flesh out the conspiracy theory and i'll publish it on the blog

Chortles
01.04.13
or maybe because some staff liked these albums

Iluvatar
01.04.13
people who are on the site all of the time and see what staff likes calling the list predictable for the 6th year running. predictable

Cygnatti
01.04.13
nexus must be new here

TheNexus100
01.04.13
i mean come on the tallest man album had 3 great songs and a bunch of mediocre ones. If it was a different artist it wouldn't even be on this list

hesperus
01.04.13
Fair enough, Xeno.

Iluvatar
01.04.13
handwritten was the most boring album of the year.

WeepingBanana
01.04.13
How soon will the winner of the contest know? Cause I gotta say I came pretty darn close

hesperus
01.04.13
I just realized Death Grips isn't on here. Praise the Lord.

Iluvatar
01.04.13
look at best new music.for the year- win contest

TheNexus100
01.04.13
yeah handwritten is plastic, dull garbage

RosaParks
01.04.13
lolololol

Chortles
01.04.13
is that how that works

RosaParks
01.04.13
"What about:
Dark Time Sunshine
Enslaved
Ne Obliviscaris
Titus Andronicus (fucking lol)
Scott Walker
BtBaM
Loma Prieta
Daylight Dies
Carach Angren
Diablo Swing Orchestra
Trioscapes
Twelve Foot Ninja
Leech"
staff only listens to high profile releases that pitchfork reviews

Iluvatar
01.04.13
i think most old staff at least checked out those releases

Iluvatar
01.04.13
Most of em anyways

Iluvatar
01.04.13
biggest problem with this site is trying to push underground Shit gets labeled as hype training but pushing slightly higher profile shit is just RIDING THE WAVE MAN

LegendofPittman
01.04.13
This is the best staff top list I've seen in a while, good job guys!

Iluvatar
01.04.13
andcas my comment was to imply the culture of the site is stopping that from happening

WeepingBanana
01.04.13
I think John Hanson should save the site

Iluvatar
01.04.13
one day ill return and all will be well

WeepingBanana
01.04.13
Donate to the church of latter day hansons

cpimentel986
01.04.13
What The Seer impressed upon me is they have the skill to keep up the good work. It'll give me killer headaches afterwards but there's naught to do about it.
Black Emperor nailed it. Along w/ Propaghandi and Future of the Left, perhaps there is a slimmer of hope for politically inflicted rock and metal, other than the pathetic wailing and screaming at just how bad things are.
Tame Impala, quite honestly, should be among the better albums of the year. At least 30-11, but it's nice to note their success.
it was good of you to include a classical album! I really wish there were more such revs in the home page.
Little Talks was nice. Yet i don't see the Sput 100 Appeal of MHIAA
Haven't listened to Shields yet.
You guys really love Anberlin 'round here, do you?
Menzingers also made the Daily Beast list as well.

Only One problem here: Lana should not be here.

cpimentel986
01.04.13
What The Seer impressed upon me is they have the skill to keep up the good work. It'll give me killer headaches afterwards but there's naught to do about it.
Black Emperor nailed it. Along w/ Propaghandi and Future of the Left, perhaps there is a slimmer of hope for politically inflicted rock and metal, other than the pathetic wailing and screaming at just how bad things are.
Tame Impala, quite honestly, should be among the better albums of the year. At least 30-11, but it's nice to note their success.
it was good of you to include a classical album! I really wish there were more such revs in the home page.
Little Talks was nice. Yet i don't see the Sput 100 Appeal of MHIAA
Haven't listened to Shields yet.
You guys really love Anberlin 'round here, do you?
Menzingers also made the Daily Beast list as well.

Only One problem here: Lana should not be there.

Skoj
01.04.13
Where the hell did my nursing home go?

Sleaper
01.04.13
8/10 right.. in almost the correct order.

FUCK i must have been close

Acanthus
01.04.13
Was hoping for the same variety of the first two groups, might have been too much to hope for.

Great lists all the same, was a pretty awesome year.

omnipanzer
01.04.13
"Only One problem here: Lana should not be there."
That's the one problem you had...

Sleaper
01.04.13
horrible top 10.
i wonder is tunas, klaps and downers opinions were counted for this??



Vespiion
01.04.13
In the first sentence of 3's write-up, 'were' should be 'where'.

Vespiion
01.04.13
Second sentence, actually.

klap
01.04.13
can't wait for the user list to come out and all the OMG PREDICTABLE SHIT comments from the staff to start flowing in

theacademy
01.04.13
users list will suck

btbam wont be high enough

basically users r really dumb nowadays and i think its because they dont listen to enough emery

theacademy
01.04.13
also i (and all my alts) forgot to vote so no i am war either

AndManyMore
01.04.13
ok wtf is this FlyLo? not showing up on sputnik. please someone spell the full thing out for me..

Iluvatar
01.04.13
...flying lotus

robin
01.04.13
our end-year lists in practice in real life would be like someone going up to a stranger and literally not being able to comprehend they hadn't listened to meshuggah

Vespiion
01.04.13
Flying Lotus.

cpimentel986
01.04.13
omnipanzer, Was that criticism of me, which i understand, or do you believe there are further issues w/ it?

Iluvatar
01.04.13
i wish i could like tunas comme.t

theacademy
01.04.13
yea i screencapped it

ILJ
01.04.13
Actually I only had 8/10 but the two I missed were at the very bottom of my prediction list.

carouse
01.04.13
wow there are some atrocious comments in this thread geez guys
list is expectantly awesome in some spots (Swans) and expectantly horrible in others (Deftones) and unexpectedly horrible in others (Gaslight), cause y'know, STAFFLISTYEAREND2012

hesperus
01.04.13
no ctts list is shit

cinaedus
01.04.13
"This could be the best album of Michael Gira’s thirty year career."

says the staff member who has never listened to pre-2010 swans

theacademy
01.04.13
lol sowing owned hard^

Airbag
01.04.13
Koi No Yokan should be higher. Great list nontheless.

Jom
01.04.13
Everyone who was all DURR IF I WOULD HAVE PARTICIPATED I WOULD HAVE WON can shove it. I wrote in the Top 10 news thread to you that if you participated and won that I'd PayPal you money that would match the price of the two albums plus shipping and handling. And... surprise, surprise... you didn't participate, so feel free to fuck off with your shitty attitude at any time because I don't believe for a second that you'd be a winner since you're typically more focused on being an overcompensating hardass. The sooner the better, yeah?

tommygun
01.04.13
lotta complaining in here

Skoj
01.04.13
Who is phone

toxin.
01.04.13
10 was pretty surprising but I guess it's the users' list where it's gonna be at like 48
the rest was fairly predictable, though I wasn't huge on any of these albums

AtomicWaste
01.04.13
"Everyone who was all DURR IF I WOULD HAVE PARTICIPATED I WOULD HAVE WON can shove it. I wrote in the Top 10 news thread to you that if you participated and won that I'd PayPal you money that would match the price of the two albums plus shipping and handling. And... surprise, surprise... you didn't participate, so feel free to fuck off with your shitty attitude at any time because I don't believe for a second that you'd be a winner since you're typically more focused on being an overcompensating hardass. The sooner the better, yeah?"

No shitty attitude here. I was looking at assembling a list based on the individual staff lists and what was missing, but I had a lot of other shit going on and ended up just not getting it done. No big whoop. I probably would've had at least 5 wrong anyway.

Anywho, cheers and here's to good music in 2013.

ILJ
01.04.13
Have the winners been emailed yet?

Jom
01.04.13
Not yet, no. I had 114 emails so it's going to take me a few days to do the math. Also, I don't want to alert the winners until I have the prizes secured on my end :)

AWaste: no hard feelings, wasn't directed at you in the slightest!

ILJ
01.04.13
Oh man, you got more entries than I thought you would.

Jom
01.04.13
Ha, tell me about it!

Iluvatar
01.04.13
jom 113 of them were me im sorry

Deviant.
01.04.13
As someone who counted up all the votes for the users feature (which means I know how many people not just voted for those top 50 albums, but just how many people made a certain album their collective #1), all I can say is that a lot of the comments here are pretty amusing. I imagine you will all agree when hindsight rears its head

Tyrael
01.04.13
Ok um I know people here probably don't care but yea I want to apologize for my stupid comments on this list

sorry

BassDemon333
01.04.13
Glad to see Deftones and Converge made the top 10

ShadowRemains
01.04.13
"users list will suck"

yes it fucking will

Douglas
01.04.13
Best staff list in a couple of year

someguest
01.04.13
Deftones and Converge will be 1 and 2 on the user list.

Scoot
01.05.13
lol the seer

Poet
01.05.13
Good to know the Willie and Crysis demographic are well represented.

DaveyBoy
01.05.13
"Lol apparently Davey's an old dude"

No, I said that I was "just a touch older than the average SputnikMusic user", which means I could be 19.

someguest
01.05.13
19 + 16

Polyethylene
01.05.13
Seer definitely deserved the top spot, I'd be angry if it didn't get it

DaveyBoy
01.05.13
Actually, going on some of the comments on this thread, I could be 17.

Aids
01.05.13
grrrrrrrr!

SowingSeason
01.05.13
Davey I'm 25

You higher or lower?

someguest
01.05.13
He's higher.

Tyrael
01.05.13
Well

I'd call Sowing an old dude :]

SowingSeason
01.05.13
I was only 20 when I joined

Damn site makes you age faster

Tyrael
01.05.13
Dude I'm 21 and I feel like I'm 60 so I feel ya

Cygnatti
01.05.13
I always imagined davey to be like a 30 something year old who looked someone much younger than his age.

SowingSeason
01.05.13
I always imagined Davey to be like 42, married with 3 kids and no one in his family knows he's a sputnik superstar

someguest
01.05.13
We're still young, it's just this place that makes you feel old. Everyone joins when they get their first pube.

Tyrael
01.05.13
Isn't Davey married with children? I seriously thought he was, too

klap
01.05.13
davey is married don't think he has kids tho

theacademy
01.05.13
you guys im like 40

Kosko
01.05.13
29 here and I feel like I "didn't get" this years music.

djunior
01.05.13
no Hammock. so disappointed in sputnik

FromDaHood
01.05.13
I like to go through life thinking Omnipanzer is the oldest person in the world

NocteDominum
01.05.13
Whers de metal though, maybe on tge users lists. Also i think i just saw Jom pissed for the first time.

Propose
01.05.13
lol 10, 2 and 1

GiaNXGX
01.05.13
This could be the best album of Michael Gira’s thirty year career.


Way to make an statement without listening to their entire discography. // cog>sftb
//The Seer?

DaveyBoy
01.05.13
Get off my lawn.

Got married 2 years ago, but no kids.

I'm just a smidge older than you Sowing.

SowingSeason
01.05.13
So not 42

Good to know, if you were in your 40's and still paddlin' around these parts, I'd be worried

DaveyBoy
01.05.13
Haha. No.

And Sobhi is the only staffer with a child (FUN FACT: Sobhi's kid's fave album of 2012 was 'Some Nights' by fun.).

If some of you Users don't step up to the plate, Sobhi's kid will be the next person promoted to Contributor.

Propose
01.05.13
you staff should be ashamed of yourself for such an awful list

SowingSeason
01.05.13
Some Nights was my guilty pleasure of 2012

May have been in my top 25 somewhere at the lower end if the radio didn't rape and kill its two best songs

Deviant.
01.05.13
"you staff should be ashamed of yourself for such an awful list"

But you haven't seen the users list yet!

Propose
01.05.13
theres always next year!

ColorTheGreys
01.05.13
No Epicloud by DTP?

SowingSeason
01.05.13
Epicloud was nothing special at all

Propose
01.05.13
its no handwritten

Deviant.
01.05.13
No Beefcake either



Right?

Propose
01.05.13
i heard it is pretty good

theacademy
01.05.13
"Disclosure is yet another superb album that will surely cement Silje’s talent as equivalent to Anneke’s, if not greater."

top 5 sowing facepalms ever?

Propose
01.05.13
props for putting jessie ware so high though, didn't really expect that

DaveyBoy
01.05.13
From memry, I have Jessie Ware at around #30 on my list, so it could easily have been a little higher.

Electric City
01.05.13
on behalf of robin, keelan, and myself, thanks :)

DaveyBoy
01.05.13
I left off heaps of albums just to annoy you Adam. I'll drip-feed them over the next few weeks. Japandroids & Jessie so far.

CK
01.05.13
I'm kind of sad to see no High On Fire

Propose
01.05.13
yo deviant have you heard the soundtrack for the game Hotline Miami? It rules and is electronic and stuff so you should hear it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKD-MVfC9Ag

YankeeDudel
01.05.13
Well I figured Swans and Godspeed would be 1 and 2. Overall I dug about half the albums so cheers big ears.

Aids
01.05.13
"you staff should be ashamed of yourself for such an awful list"

hahaha

Amebix
01.05.13
AmenRa and CTTS should be 1 and 2, Swans is just repetetive and pretty boring , Godspeed I never liked, they are a poor man's Mogwai.

treeqt.
01.05.13
uhm what?

fish.
01.05.13
"they are a poor man's Mogwai."
lol

Wiggumpolice89
01.05.13
Not a bad list. I find it funny that Pitchfork found Swans to in their top ten along with Sputnik. Entirely different lists but good ones at that.

chambered99
01.05.13
jessie ware is fantastic but how did it make this top 10? isn't there only like 2 staff ppl with it rated higher than 4?

Electric City
01.05.13
keelan too

EaglesBecomeVultures
01.05.13
"And Sobhi is the only staffer with a child (FUN FACT: Sobhi's kid's fave album of 2012 was 'Some Nights' by fun.)."

lolol

Rikardur
01.05.13
Swans as number 1...good!

Decent enough list, and it's good to see that some albums are not as high as I thought they would be. Only negative is the lack of Scott Walker.

sailSAway
01.05.13
I've had the Swans experience and I can safely say, The Seer isn't the best of 2012. Redo the list pls.

ZippaThaRippa
01.05.13
How the fuck is everyone so surprised about 10? Gaslight Anthem is like one of THE sputnik bands. The staff are always raging about them.

P.S. fuck you all, Handwritten is gold

pancake111
01.05.13
What about Soundgarden? King Animal was amazing!!!!!

jefflebowski
01.05.13
that gaslight album is pure formula

1ChrisRock
01.06.13
Swans!

cirq
01.06.13
jessie ware gives me boners

oltnabrick
01.06.13
FlyLo? fuk

TheSpirit
01.06.13
damnit still need to hear the new converge

TheOscillat0r
01.06.13
Exotic Animal Petting Zoo.

Storm In A Teacup
01.06.13
Anberlin got got by so many average albums.

TheOscillat0r
01.06.13
Lost in the Trees?

sailSAway
01.06.13
new converge is sick

HBFS
01.06.13
yay 5! surprised 4 is so high though

DrGonzo1937
01.06.13
Swans at no.1. Very good. :)

greg84
01.06.13
I actually prefer the users' list to this, I'd prefer it even more if one of my favorite records would be higher than at 51 (lol).

greg84
01.06.13
*was higher than at 51.

mindleviticus
01.06.13
ugh 1

DrMaximus
01.06.13
ugh 9

theacademy
01.06.13
RATTRAP MAXIMIZE!

TERROSAUR TERRORIZE!

Xenophanes
01.06.13
If deftones is the users' number one I will personally ask mx to bomb the user base

fish.
01.06.13
I'm predicting it'll be converge

neither are deserving of it though

clercqie
01.06.13
Probably will be Swans as well.

theacademy
01.06.13
lol it's none of the 3

thank the gods the userbase still respects the parallax

thats all i gotsa say

Iluvatar
01.06.13
i imagine everyone here just thinks "THE ENEMY IS EVERYWHERE" every single time they post now

theacademy
01.06.13
the cylons look like us now

sniper
01.06.13
lack of flying lotus is completely baffling.

Deviant.
01.06.13
It's kind of only baffling if you think it should be on here because it's Flylo

RetroSpective
01.06.13
Not because it's Flylo, but because it's amazing yeah.

Aids
01.06.13
"If deftones is the users' number one I will personally ask mx to bomb the user base "

it will be. Either that or Swans, I guarantee it. Hopefully Godspeed won't be too far behind.

Tyrael
01.06.13
Nah

My money's on Clockwork Angels

the love for that album from the userbase is just oh my god

Aids
01.06.13
I will bet you. I know you live in Europe but I'm pretty confident here.

fish.
01.07.13
won't be swans or rush

SputnikSweetheart
01.07.13
So glad Converge made it in the final ten

RollieQuibbs
01.07.13
Handwritten is The Gaslight Anthems worst album by far!

Aids
01.07.13
user number 1 will be Deftones, Converge, or Swans

I'd be shocked if it was anything else

Scoot
01.07.13
John Hanson (1)

can i get an M-V-P

AnotherBrick
01.08.13
lol no Mayan Factor

theacademy
01.08.13
lol no Mayan Factor [2]

bbdmittenz
01.09.13
No FlyLo and no BTBAM?..

FadedSun
01.09.13
Swans at 1. I called it!

fish.
01.09.13
just realised andy stott didn't make the list :(

kingsoby1
01.10.13
@ dev, yeah my kid loves that record. also i taught him to rap the first verse of el-p's "Stay Down" whenever he wants an adult carrying him to put him down. So maybe that's his favorite song of 2012!!

@hillary, jj doom was very solid. I dont think it's dooms best rapping, but it has the best beats he's been on in a minute. it's in my notables list between a 3.5 and 4/5

Inferis
01.10.13
Lol Swans.

UnkleUrple
01.10.13
No The Chariot - One Wing? Sadfaec.
Killer Mike is overrated as hell imo.

Badabanda
01.11.13
I'm surprised Wild Nothing's "Nocturne" didn't even make it on that list.

That was an amazing album.

demigod!
01.11.13
So happy R.A.P. got so high

kingsoby1
01.11.13
too bad it wasn't number 1, but i'll take #4

gbowles
01.12.13
the only thing I agreed with on this was Gaza. I had gybe and swans on my list too, but not that high on the list.

fish.
01.12.13
when does the user list come out?

DaveyBoy
01.12.13
Next couple of days Fishy.

fish.
01.12.13
sweet

taylormemer
01.12.13
Yeah

undertakerpt
01.12.13
A tip for everyone: if you all take a step back, you will realize that the seer is a fistful of
Baboon anus.

OmairSh
01.13.13
I don't now if this hasn't been asked already but, Anathema's Weather Systems isn't even the top 50? It's a top 5 record guys come on seriously.

Irving
01.13.13
No it isn't.

OmairSh
01.13.13
It hasn't grown on you then

taylormemer
01.13.13
Yeah, it's a great record. In my top 10.

XingKing
01.14.13
WHERE IS MY USER'S LIST?!

nbmatt
01.14.13
Godspeed coming in second place? Negative.

Propose
01.14.13
where is the user list [2]

undertakerpt
01.14.13
Track 2 on the seer sounds like some guy has just started learning guitar and has written his first song

someguest
01.14.13
lol

fromtheinside
01.18.13
how did kendric lamar NOT making the goddamn top fucking 10?

fromtheinside
01.18.13
i can't believe 10 and 9 are here. this wrecks my day i don't even wanna go to the movies anymore.

DaveyBoy
01.19.13
"how did kendric lamar NOT making the goddamn top fucking 10?"

I blame Dominos.


fromtheinside
01.19.13
Nice

robertsona
01.19.13
girl i want your bOODy

jtswope
03.24.14
1 is 1

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