Thought I would compile a list over my favorite albums from 2012. The year has been really sweet, so there's a lot of good ones on the list. Also, I know Kimbra's Vows was technically a 2011 album, but I'm referring to the 2012 release which had 6 songs differently.
The 2nd Law
(Alternative Rock/Electronic Rock) I didn't care much for The Resistance when it came out, but seeing as the band's earlier output was pretty cool, I hoped this album would be better, sadly it wasn't.
|99||Mumford and Sons|
(Folk Rock) The debut was an enjoyable album, even though some of the songs sounded a bit samey. The best tracks were good though, but I didn't find much on this album that I enjoyed.
(Alternative Metal/Goth Metal) I'm not much into the whole Goth/Female fronted bands-metal, but LC is an exception. I really loved the bands earlier output, and while Karmacode was weaker than previous albums, I still really liked it. The last two albums have been disappointments though, nothing memorable about them sadly.
(Progressive Rock) I didn't expect to like this at all, but it wasn't THAT bad. 1 or 2 songs that were quite enjoyable, the rest wasn't bad, but not really my cup of tea either.
I Am Anonymous
(Progressive Metal) Despite not being that into the more traditional "Progressive Metal" anymore, Threshold is a band I really enjoy. Damian Wilson, the singer also sings on this album. Personally I always preferred Mac on vocals for Threshold, and this album is kinda like Threshold with Damian Wilson for me. Enjoyable, but not that special.
|95|| ||Wilton & Akerstache|
Storm Corrosion (Of Love & Emotion)
(Hard Rock) The first time I came across this spoof-album I burst out laughing. But the music itself wasn't that bad, it was actually quite enjoyable. Cool stuff.
|94||Anneke Van Giersbergen|
Everything is Changing
(Pop-Rock) Anneke has a great voice, but I've never really felt intrigued by her work. I did enjoy the previous effort, "In Your Room" which had some really sweet tracks. I didn't enjoy this one as much, but still a solid album.
|93|| ||Crippled Black Phoenix|
(Mankind) The Crafty Ape
(Post Rock) Like with Anneke, this is a follow-up to an album I really enjoyed. "I, Vigilante" was a really cool album, and a pleasant surprise when I found it. This album is far from bad, but it doesn't captivate my interest in the same way as the previous one did.
(Progressive Death Metal) Never heard of these guys before. Some cool stuff going on musically, but the vocals doesn't really do much for me. A good album, might revisit the album in the future.
(Folk Rock) Neil Young doing old folk tune-covers? Interesting idea, but sadly that's where it stopped. This album had a bit too much improvisation going on, it didn't sound like they had a clear idea of what they were doing, and sadly I didn't care for it much. Luckily ol' Neil would release a much better album later during the year.
March of Progress
(Progressive Metal) I said it earlier, when it comes to Threshold, I prefer Mac singing. But Damian is alright, and this album wasn't that bad. A few cool songs, overall fairly solid.
(Indie Pop/Post Rock) I had heard about these guys before, but never heard their music. This release was pretty interesting, but in a year with many really good Post Rock releases, this one didn't stick out that much.
(Electronica/Post Rock) Like with Efterklang, this was a pretty cool album with a few nice songs, but it just didn't match the quality on most other releases I heard.
|87|| ||First Aid Kit|
The Lion's Roar
(Folk/Indie Rock) One of the first albums I heard this year, and I really liked it when I first heard it. A few really good songs, and the sisters have some nice talent. But over the year it kinda fell down on the list due to other good releases, still a good album though.
Anthology IV: The Tragedy of Nerak
(Progressive Metal) Hadn't heard of this band before, but they are French if my mind doesn't betray me. Really cool stuff, a bit Avant-Garde at times. Neat little album.
|85|| ||Hans Zimmer|
The Dark Knight Rises
(Ambient/Movie OST) Hans Zimmer is someone I've really been enjoying since I first heard his score for Inception. That one was really awesome, but I feel like this one is a bit "same shit again, but worse". It's far from bad, but doesn't reach the same awesome highs.
(Doom/Goth Metal) First full album I hear by these guys, and a pretty cool one. From what I understand they are considered one of the pioneers within Doom Metal together with bands like Anathema and My Dying Bride. Cool stuff.
|83||Lana Del Rey|
Born to Die
(Pop) One of the more overrated albums this year? I'm not sure what kind of reception it has gotten in other countries, here in Sweden it has gotten really good reviews. I really enjoyed the album, but there were much better albums on the female artist-front this year imo.
Fire Make Thunder
(Progressive Rock) A band I have been casually listening to before, apart from the debut album, this was my second full album by the band. Some cool songs, overall a great album but nothing more.
Album Title Goes Here
(Progressive House) Haters gonna hate. Pretty casual fan by this guy. I really liked "Random Album Title" and "For Lack of a Better Name", but it started to go wrong on "4x4", which imo had a few good songs, but a lot of moments that were drawn out way too much. This album is like 4x4 v2.
|80||Lights Out Asia|
(Post Rock) First time I heard about these guys. Some melodic and enjoyable Post Rock, great background music.
(Post Rock) The previous album was a nice album, and this one continues down the same road, but perhaps being slightly better at it. I didn't expect much from this one, but it did delivered, and even impressed me a bit.
(Progressive/Post Rock) First impression was a lighter version of Alcest without harsh vocals, but not being nearly as good. The impression is pretty much the same. A good album, but nothing that really stands out that much.
(Melodic Death Metal) I remember hearing a few songs from the debut a couple of years ago and really enjoying it. Ofc I never got around to hearing the album. I did listen to this one though, and it was pretty cool. Didn't live up to 6-7 (?) years of hype, but it was good stuff.
(Black Metal) Never heard of this band before, but it was pretty cool. Some nice Black Metal.
|75||Anna von Hausswolff|
(Experimental Pop) This was a pleasant surprise. The album reminded me a bit of Scott Walker's music with female vocals, and perhaps not as experimental. A lot of cool church organs on this album, and some nice female vocals as well. A bit experimental compared to other more traditional pop-albums.
(Instrumental Rock) Another Buckethead album? Yeah he seems to be releasing quite a few, still.. good stuff.
(Electronica) Really cool stuff. Not much else to say really.
(Indie Rock) Really cool stuff. Not much else to say really.
(Progressive Death Metal) Those riffs. Gojira might be one of the heaviest bands out there, but this album was a bit of a disappointment sadly. The previous two albums really blew my head off, this one wasn't as strong. Still cool.
(Avant-Garde Metal) Didn't expect the female vocals, but this was really cool. There were better Avant-Garde albums this year though.
(Alternative Rock) -"Hey he listens to LP, he must burn!".. hey chill a bit. I was a huge LP-fan back when I was 13-14, and while I don't like them as much anymore, they've kinda stuck with me. I still enjoy their older stuff from time to time, and I check out their new stuff out of curiosity. This one was actually really cool. I really didn't like the previous album, "A Thousand Suns", but I did enjoy "Minutes to Midnight" strangely enough. This one was really cool though.
Black Mass Hysteria
(Metalcore) Discovered Dog Fashion Disco/Polkadot Cadaver this year, and loved them. This is not on the same level. But it's still enjoyable.
Yellow and Green
(Progressive Sludge) I must say that this band has always sorta been on my radar, since the first release. I really think the concept is cool, with a colour for each album etc, but the music itself hasn't impressed me that much. This was my first (and so far only) album by the band, and I really enjoyed it for the most part, though in the end, I feel like they're a lesser version of Mastodon. Pretty cool album though.
|66||A Place to Bury Strangers |
(Noise Rock) This album was a pleasant surprise. I liked the noise elements, and it was a cool little indie album.
|65|| ||Kristoffer Gildenlow|
(Progressive Rock) Being a fan of Pain of Salvation, this album was recommended to me by a dear friend. He certainly sounds like his brother (though not the same range), and this album was very cool.
For My Parents
(Post Rock) Mono oh Mono. Where shall I begin with you? This band is a bit of an opinion-divider for me. I really like some of their stuff (Hymn.. and Are You There), but I feel like this album is just the same shit done again, but not as interesting. The Explosions in the Sky-syndrome, making the same album over and over again.
(Acoustic Rock) This was pretty cool. I enjoyed this project more than Knives Out!, and this album like the debut has some nice stuff on it.
(Progressive/Avant-Garde Metal) Toby Driver from Kayo Dot/maudlin of the Well is on this, which peaked my interest in checking it out. A very nice and solid album, which I really enjoyed.
(Progressive Rock) I must say that while I liked this album, it baffles me to see people rank it much much higher, especially those who have it as their number 1 this year. Yeah I know, opinions. Personally I think this album perfectly sums up the 3.5 rating of being a "Great" album. It doesn't really have any bad songs, but on the other hand it doesn't have any songs that blows me away. Oh well, at least I have Permanent Waves.
|60||The Devin Townsend Project|
(Progressive Metal) Devin makes an album that doesn't sound like either of the previous DTP-albums, but it also sounds exactly like what you would expect from him. Like with the Rush album, I feel like this is a great album, but with few really sweet parts. A cool album, but not as good as Ki or Ghost, or Terria or Ocean Machine, if we include his earlier work.
(Progressive Death Metal) First album by these guys, I guess I should feel ashamed. Saw them live a couple of years ago, they slayed. This album was pretty cool.
(Instrumental Progressive Rock) Pretty cool album that took its time to grow on me. I still think the previous album; "Let Yourself Be Huge" is his best, but this one was enjoyable as well.
|57||The Flaming Lips|
The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends
(Psychedelic) This band has been on my list for a while. Heard loads of good things about Yoshimi. I haven't checked that one out yet, but this one was really cool and peaked my interest in the band a bit more.
(RnB) One of the more critical acclaimed albums this year. I really liked it, but it didn't blow my head off.
Clubroot [III - MMXII]
(Dubstep) Some really nice music right here.
|54|| ||Coheed and Cambria|
The Afterman: Ascension
(Progressive Rock) A band I've always felt like I should be able to appreciate, but never really given the opportunity. This album was pretty cool, and I will check out more of their "classic" stuff.
(Jazz/Electronic) Really pleasant surprise. I really liked this album, yet it's only at place number 54. What a shame, but check it out if you can.
An Awesome Wave
(Indie Rock) Cool stuff.
The Sleep of Reason
(Post Hardcore) I expected this to be more harsh vocals-sounding, but it surprised me by being something else. I really enjoyed this, though a few songs sounds a bit too samey for my taste.
Honour Found in Decay
(Post Metal) Expected this to be heavier with more harsh vocals, but it surprised me in the way it sounded. Really cool stuff.
|49||Tim Hecker and Daniel Lopatin|
(Ambient/Drone) Pretty cool album, though Tim Hecker can do much better. Still, an enjoyable release.
|48||The Great Old Ones|
(Black Metal) Really nice album, a shame I had to put it this low.
(Mathcore/Jazzcore) Really crazy stuff. The female singer threw me off for a bit, but she really does a great job, and musically the album is really interesting.
(Electronica) So Daniel Sullivan who recently joined Ulver released this album. It's really cool, and I would totally recommend it. Very experimental and electronic sounding.
(Electronica) Pretty cool album.
|44|| ||The Calm Blue Sea|
Arrivals & Departures
(Post Rock) Really enjoyable album. In an ocean of Post Rock albums, this one stood out as being something more than just "good".
(Avant-Garde Metal) A mixture between Avant-Garde, Black Metal and influences from 268 other different musical styles? Count me in. This is a crazy ride with lots of genres incorporated into the sound, but I love it. Variety owns.
The Shattered Light
(Drone/Noise) Possibly the most indie album for me this year, I haven't seen anyone else talk about it. Some pretty cool stuff, and the album artwork fits the music perfectly.
|41||The Safety Fire|
Grind the Ocean
(Progressive Metal) Another Djent-sounding band? Oh noes. But this was actually a very nice surprise for me. Didn't expect to like it, but it slowly grew on me, and I think it's a very solid album, with a few brilliant moments.
(Singer/Songwriter/Folk Rock) This man is one of my heroes. His older stuff is amazing, and he has put out some of my favorite live albums of all time. The newer stuff has been a bit so-so though, I didn't care much for "Fork in the Road" or "Le Noise", but this one delivers. One of his best albums in a long time, even though I personally really liked "Prairie Wind".
Until the Quiet Comes
(Electronic Jazz) The previous album; "Cosmogramma" was really cool. Obviously I had to check this one out, and picked it up on vinyl when it came out. I might still prefer Cosmogramma, but this was one solid release. Really cool.
(Avant-Garde Metal) A mixture of many musical styles, and Toby Driver doing harsh vocals again? Fuck yeah. This album was really hard for me to absorb, because when I heard it, it was my first trip into Avant-Garde lands, hadn't heard Kayo Dot or motW before. Revisited the album recently after getting into both bands and a lot of other Avant-Garde stuff, and it grew even more. My Red Swirl vinyl is looking awesome in my collection.
|37||The Pineapple Thief|
All the Wars
(Alternative Rock) The Pineapple Thief have always been an Alternative Rock-band sometimes going into Progressive territory. This album was a really good one, but it doesn't reach the heights of the band's best material, "Little Man" and "What We Have Sown" imo.
Dead End Kings
(Progressive Doom Metal) Another band I had the fortune of seeing live again this year, they put on a great show. The last run of 4 albums are all very solid to me, this one delivered.
|35||If These Trees Could Talk|
(Post Rock) For a small period of time, this was my favorite album of 2012. It's a really nice instrumental album with cool melodies and heavier guitars. It did sink a bit on the list, but still very good stuff.
|34|| ||Diablo Swing Orchestra|
(Avant-Garde Metal) An Avant-Garde band mixing male vocals with female opera-ish vocals? Interesting. This album has some really awesome songs, and even the worst songs are still pretty good.
(Indie Rock) One of the cooler surprises this year, and it might even climb more when I spin it a few more times. Really cool album.
(Post Rock/Ambient) One of the biggest disappointments this year for me, and the album still ends up at nr 32, which says something. The album is still really cool, but it's not on the same level as ( ), Takk or Agaetis Byrjun for that matter. Still, an awesome cover on the album, and the music is really nice.
(Psychedelic Folk/Experimental Rock) Most hated album of the year? Most people seemed to expect a mix of Ghost Reveries and Deadwing, a Progressive album with lots of wankery and a mix between growl-vocals and clean melodies. Luckily, that's not what we got. The result and this album was something unique, and it has a certain atmosphere neither dudes have done with their other projects before. I really enjoyed this, the title-track and "Ljudet Innan" especially.
(Singer/Songwriter/Alternative Pop) So Tori Amos rerecorded some of her classic songs with new arrangements and ideas. The result is very cool, and it takes the stuff I loved about "Night of Hunters" and mixes it with songs I already loved. The result is a pretty cool album.
The Money Store
(Experimental Hip Hop) Saw this album being mentioned here and there, mostly due to Anthony Fantano's pimping the album out, I checked it out, and it is really cool. And I'm not even that much into Hip Hop, but this was really cool. Need to spin it more.
The Silicone Veil
(Electronica/Pop) The Brothel was one of my favorite albums in 2010, and I'm glad to see Susanne follow it up with another brilliant release. She manages to make her pop music very interesting with the use of electronics, and I can't wait to see where she goes next.
|27|| ||The Tallest Man on Earth|
There's No Leaving Now
(Singer/Songwriter/Folk Rock) This amazing fellow Swede puts out another fantastic album. While I might prefer "The Wild Hunt", this one was a natural follow-up, and another really good album in his discography.
Portal of I
(Progressive Black Metal) Parts of this album are fantastic. Other parts are not as good, and maybe it could have used a bit trimming, 10 minutes shorter or so. But fact remains that this is one really solid debut album, and I'm excited for the band's future.
if we get there one day will you please open the
(Post Rock) Another great Post Rock album this year, one of the better ones. The lowpoints are pretty high, and the highpoints are pretty high, so all in all a solid album.
(Instrumental Rock) So Kaki King puts out a new album closer to her early works, being more instrumental-focused and no lyrics/singing. This was both good and bad, for me "Dreaming of Revenge" is her best album, and it has both songs with singing, and songs without singing. A perfect balance. This one didn't have the balance, but it did have many memorable songs. Sweet album.
|23||My Bloody Valentine|
(Shoegaze) I believe this was released in 2012? Really awesome stuff, not as good as Loveless, but that doesn't matter since it's really good.
(Progressive/Atmospheric Rock) Another album that slightly disappointed me. "We're Here Because We're Here" blew me away when it came out in 2010, but this album felt like a WHBWH 2.0, with slightly worse songs and nothing new. It's still a very good album though, it has grown on me a bit now towards the end of the year as well, but Judgement and WHBWH remains better Anathema-albums for me.
(Art-Rock) So Ulver puts out an album performing covers from the 60's. I didn't recognize any of these songs, but I really loved this album. Garm should sing more on the next Ulver album.
|20||Gregory and the Hawk|
(Indie Rock) Starting off the top20, another female artist. This album really impressed me with beautiful melodies and some fantastic singing. The Stone EP was pretty cool as well, can't wait for more albums.
|19|| ||Beach House|
(Dream Pop) This sounds like the genre suggests, very dreamy. Being a huge fan of the band Mew, I really loved this. I'm not saying that they sound similar musically, but there's a dreamy quality to the music here as well, and I really liked that.
Cancer 4 Cure
(Hip Hop) Not the biggest Hip Hop-fan, but I normally find a few albums each year that surprises me in a good way. This album was one of those albums this year. Really good stuff, though I think Cunninlynguists put out a slightly better album last year, if we're talking Hip Hop.
|17||The Smashing Pumpkins|
(Alternative Rock) Pretty sweet album. Doesn't really have any weak songs, it has a few songs like "Pinwheels" and the title-track that stands out in a really awesome way for me. This album was never among my very favorites, but in the tier below the very top, it was always one of the better ones.
March of Ghosts
(Art Rock/Post Rock) Gazpacho puts out a new album, and it was really impressive. "Night" is not only my favorite album of theirs, but it's one of those hidden gems I'm happy that I've found over the years. This album is not AS good as Night, but it's not far from it. Really good stuff.
(Jazz/Trip Hop) So the debut was a really strong album when it came out. I was very excited about this one, and in fact I even liked it more than the debut. There are some really good songs on this album, and it's very solid overall. Very dancey-stuff.
|14|| ||Fiona Apple|
The Idler Wheel
(Singer/Songwriter/Pop) Another pleasant surprise, another female artist. Her voice is really nice, and she can obviously write some awesome songs. This album is fantastic.
(Jazz/Pop) Talking about the US-version which was released earlier this year. While I didn't like the fact that "Call Me" was removed (one of my favorites originally), I was surprised by all the new songs which were all really good. "Posse" and "Come Into My Head" especially have been stuck in my head for a while. Awesome album got another awesome version.
Les Voyages De L Ame
(Post Rock/Black Metal) I know this album had it's fair share of haters, but personally I really loved it. It did take time though, my initial reaction was that it was a worse album than Ecailles De Lune, but as the year went by and I continued spinning it (and saw the band live), the album grew even more. It's fantastic, no bad songs, and all songs are great or better.
|11||North Atlantic Oscillation|
(Electronic/Progressive/Post Rock) Another new band on the Kscope-label, and I would best describe their music as a mix between Mew (the vocal harmonies) and Oceansize (use of electronics, soundscapes). This album was really awesome, can't wait to see where they go next.
(Alternative Pop) I had heard one Sarah Blasko song before which I liked, but this was my first album by her. Mind was blown, and the album is really fantastic. Some of the best female-sung songs this year is on this album.
Periphery II: This Time It's Personal
(Progressive Metal) Yeah I get it, I'm a fag for liking the band. They're the "cool to hate"-band together with BTBAM, but fuck the haters. This album was an improvement over the debut which was also very good, but this one was even better. Really sweet album. Spencer stepped his game up.
(Hardcore) Shortest album this year, and funny enough it's even shorter than some of the songs that came out this year. (The Seer by Swans for example) But while the album is short, it's incredibly consistent and cohesive. This album is awesome.
Koi No Yokan
(Alternative Metal) First album I heard by Deftones, yeah I'm a bit slow, I know. Still, the album blew me away, and I immediately bought Diamond Eyes and White Pony as well. This album remains fantastic, some sick riffs mixed with some beautiful melodies.
In Dreams and Time
(Progressive/Psychedelic/Sludge) One of the biggest surprises this year, this album is intense. Most of the songs are really long, but it mixes elements of the genres I mentioned with almost Post Rock-sounding parts. I feel like this is an album I'm going to love in 30 years as well.
Attack on Memory
(Indie Rock) One of the first albums I heard this year, but it took a while to click. Initially I had it at 3.5 as a great album, but after going back to it these recent days, it went up to a 4.5. I just love this album, "Wasted Days" is such a powerful track, and the album has many more of those.
|4||Between the Buried and Me|
The Parallax II: Future Sequence
(Progressive Death Metal) Another band people seem to hate, yay. lolu. This album is not as good as Colors, but it is really awesome. Better than The Great Misdirect and the previous EP for sure, and while those weren't bad releases, it's great to see the band back in really good shape.
|3|| ||Godspeed You! Black Emperor|
'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
(Post Rock) I was so excited when I heard GYBE were making a new album. They're one of my favorite bands, and it was great to experience this awesome band putting out a new album, and how giddy it made me.
All We Love We Leave Behind
(Hardcore Punk/Mathcore) Initially this was my number 1. I must say that this is one of my biggest discoveries this year, aggressive music that just works perfectly if I'm in that mood. This album is pretty much perfect from start til finish, and it was awesome seeing the band live recently.
(Post Punk/Experimental Rock) Perhaps a boring or mainstream pick for number 1, but a totally well deserved spot for this magnificent album. The album takes you on a 2 hour long journey through dark and epic places, and it offers a lot of twisted ideas and scary, but also memorable parts. Before this year I had never heard Swans, now I'm totally checking the rest of their discography out. Awesome band.