Conrad Tao

Reviews 60
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Album Edits 77

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Last Active 09-22-12 1:03 am
Joined 11-24-09

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Review Comments 2,090

07.09.13 2013.5 11.22.12 Conrad's Top 50 Albums Of 2012
06.15.12 2012.5 03.23.12 2012 Q1: The Unsung (and The Less So)
03.19.12 Conrad Made An Album. 12.07.11 conrad presents 25 from 2011
06.11.11 The 2011 List You Probably Haven't Hear 05.01.11 Fuck Elitism.
01.19.11 Albums That Changed The Way I Listen 12.08.10 Conrad's 2010: Top 25 (with Description

Conrad's Top 50 Albums Of 2012
50Porcelain Raft
Strange Weekend

Buzzing late-night hallucinations and sleepy pleas.
49Hello Venus

Gwen Stefani, eat your heart out.

The frat-ization of trap is distressing, but the beats still go hard.
47Wynter Gordon
Human Condition: Pt. 1 Doleo

Unexpectedly forward-thinking concept-R&B that reveals a deeply sensitive voice.
Feed Me Diamonds

Synth-pop hasn't been this compellingly brittle in a while.
45Macintosh Plus
Floral Shoppe

Infomercials, porn soundtracks, passport.mid, muzak.
44Black Bananas
Rad Times Xpress IV

Jennifer Herrema is a badass. That is all.
43Lana Del Rey
Born To Die

She may be culturally insensitive and hilariously unaware, but sonically, she's onto something.

Coldly intimate cut-and-paste jams.
41Taylor Swift

Twee hasn't sounded this good in years.
Breakup Song

Blowing pop clichs up from their centers.
39Boom Bip & Charlie White
Music For Sleeping Children

The voice of a particularly privileged slice of American adolescence, alternately insufferable, moving, and unsettling.
38Frank Ocean
channel ORANGE

Really, what more is there to say at this point? Confessional songwriting hitting a new peak.
Invisible Ink For Sketching Ghosts

Lost, puzzled souls. Those allergic to mumblecore: beware.

Gorgeous sonic landscapes and windswept vocals.

See white boys "dance".
34Fatima Al Qadiri
Desert Strike

An unfeeling vision, alternately hilarious and unsettling.
33The 2 Bears
Be Strong

Wanna give you a bear hug.
32A Pink
Une Annee

"Bubibu" is a song that exists and that is all I need in the world.

This brand of whimsical everything-and-the-lofi-kitchen-sink pop is practically ageless.
30Jason Urick
I Love You

Listened to this after watching End of Evangelion for the first time. Felt like I was melting into LCL.
You Know You Like It

Saccharine and slick. It should be insufferable, but it's too on point.
28Azealia Banks

"212" is still #turnt as anything, and the rest of the EP's beats are unexpectedly fabulous as well.
27Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
Pamyu Pamyu Revolution

A truly visionary avant-pop princess. Although, honestly, the "Fashion Monster" EP could just as easily go here.

An honest-to-god psychedelic house jam.
pro habitat

Homegrown beats that are as tactile as they are impossible to totally grasp.

The most expertly chilling and defiant pop you're bound to find this year, Ginuwine- copping and all.
23 ?????VIRTUAL

Blows every single discussion of ironic culture out of the water.
22 Leila

Circuits frying, people dying.
21Death Grips
The Money Store

The only people who legitimately feel like this album is "angry" are adolescent testosterone-obsessed boys who still think liking Eminem holds social capital. This shit is flat-out fun.
20Carly Rae Jepsen

"Turn Me Up". "More Than A Memory". "Tonight I'm Getting Over You". Y'all are going to be hearing more of Carly Rae, and you better get used to it.
Dark York

Take notes, Nicki (and Azealia): this is how you do futuristic dance-rap.
18Holy Other

Criminally underheard echoes from the pop museum.

Still one of the most beguiling albums of the year.
16Mykki Blanco
Cosmic Angel: Illuminati Prince/ss Mixtape

Absolute incendiary FIYA, front to back.
15Julia Holter

"Baby salt feeding tears. Go catch me under the window! Go catch me under the doorway!"
14Farrah Abraham
My Teenage Dream Ended

The most aggressively avant-garde record of the year. Unlistenable and stunningly sincere.
13Mouse on Mars

They've still got it.
12Daughn Gibson
All Hell

Smoky, unsettling, fractured, warped, and beautifully sung remnants of a country tradition.

Unusually organic collage-pop, with an unmistakably individual voice and a delightfully offbeat sense of pacing.
10King Felix
Spring EP

A sterile operating room, reimagined as the dancefloor.
9Demdike Stare

Less oppressive than Tryptych, but just as mood-inducing. A nigh cinematic experience.
8Andy Stott
Luxury Problems

What do you get when you drug a square-jawed businessman and take him for a ride?

Prefab environments and goofy acidic grooves.

"Am I crying?"
5Tyme. x Tujiko

Spacey, ethereal pop and a devil-may-care looseness that would make Miles Davis proud.
4How to Dress Well
Total Loss

The most flat-out beautiful album of the year. It devastates you, only to carry you up again.
3Fiona Apple
The Idler Wheel...

A frenzied, frazzled statement. A portrait of the individual's struggle for personhood. Nothing short of extraordinary.
2Laurel Halo

Caught in the liminal space between contemporary fetishization of displaced nostalgia's physicality (real-world textures, faux-Polaroids, Urban Outfitters turntables) and a genuine post-Singularity vision far surpassing that of a basement- dweller, this is an album of tension and contradiction. The trope of aggressive, cracked humanity is repurposed as an oppressive monolith. Beautifully uncertain: "Words are just words that you soon forget."

DIY-pop is no longer beholden to the commodified lo-fi aesthetic, which is to say that lo-fi is now free to be jacked freely but also that avant-garde postmodern poetics and sensibilities are having their (delayed) moment in the spotlight. Yet we are also arguably far past pastiche, instead reconstructing our cultural rubble and then creating from that copy. Copy/paste, unarchive, render. Grimes' vision roams freely, but it is held together by a commitment to sensuality, and so Visions is an attempt at reaching an ostensibly inherent bodily response via a sort of semiotic approach. It does this while possessing the catchiest melodies of the year, the most distinctive sound of the year, and the most appealingly anarchic ethos of any album in quite some time.
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