Well, we finally compiled our grand list of the best (in our opinion) albums of 2012. Their are quite a few albums on here from artists that are already relatively popular, but we certainly didn’t discriminate. We made sure to include albums from artists even if they’re relatively unknown. It was a little frustrating to see a lot of popular music websites leave off bands from their “Best Albums of 2012” that we think deserved to be mentioned. So this is our chance to show what we think are the best albums of 2012. Lastly, let us know in the comments if there is anybody you think that should’ve been on the list. We’d love to hear your opinion!
So let’s get started…
50. Bahamas – Barchords
49. Motion City Soundtrack – Go
48. Cat Power – Sun
47. Dr. Dog – Be the Void
46. Our Lady Peace – Curve
45. Delta Spirit – Delta Spirit
44. We Were Pirates – Change
43. Citizen Cope – One Lovely Day
42. Passenger – All the Little Lights
41. Glen Hansard – Rhythm & Repose
40. Everest – Ownerless
39. The Wallflowers – Glad All Over
38. A.C. Newman – Shut Down the Streets
37. Anberlin – Vital
36. Jack White – Blunderbuss
35. Band of Horses – Mirage Rock
34. Metric – Synthetica
33. Sea Wolf – Old World Romance
32. Van Morrison – Born to Sing
31. Norah Jones – Little Broken Hearts
30. Bad Veins – The Mess We’ve Made
29. The Shins – Port of Morrow
28. Benjamin Gibbard – Former Lives
27. Nada Surf – The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy
26. Damien Jurado – Maraqopa
25. Beth Orton – Sugaring Season
24. Miniature Tigers – Mia Pharaoh
23. Barcelona – Not Quite Yours
22. Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten
21. The Walkmen – Heaven
20. Morning Parade – Morning Parade
19. Paper Route – The Peace of Wild Things
18. Alberta Cross – Songs of Patience
17. Love Drug – Wild Blood
16. Lana Del Rey – Born to Die (Paradise)
15. Andy Davis – Heartbreak Yellow
14. Phillip Phillips – The World From the Side of the Moon
13. The Oh Hello’s – Through the Deep, Dark Valley
12. Jukebox the Ghost – Safe Travels
11. Walk the Moon – Walk the Moon
10. The Freelance Whales – Diluvia
The Freelance Whales are a new band for us this year, and we were both very impressed right from the beginning. This band that hails from Queens bucked the trend of depressing music last autumn with their fun and upbeat sophomore album. For a “whale” of a good time, check out the Freelance Whales!
9. Ben Howard – Every Kingdom
Every Kingdom was a late discovery for the two of us. As soon as I started playing this album, I knew it was going to be a good one. Ben Howard has such a soothing voice, which explains why this album was on such a heavy rotation during the Fall.
8. Field Report – Field Report
Many people like to compare Field Report to his friend and former bandmate Bon Iver. Although they are similar in many ways, he has finally been able to separate himself with this debut album. It’s the perfect winter album to listen to on a rainy or snowy day. It’s a kick-your-feet-up and reflect on your life type of album that promises not to disappoint. You will probably have to listen to it a few times just to grasp the depth and breadth of Chris Porterfield pouring his heart out.
7. Tyler Lyle – The Golden Age & the Silver Girl
Tyler Lyle is one of those semi-undiscovered/under-rated music artists that has a very bright future. There really is something to be said about a singer with such a genuine voice, and in this case, lyrics that will touch you to your very core.
6. The Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
There are two great things about the Alabama Shakes. The voice of Brittany Howard truly takes you to another place. The band does an outstanding job of straddling between the styles of current alternative rock and the roots that made it what it is today. Second, the lyrics are so raw and true that it’s difficult not to listen to this album. It also provides evidence that this is their first album, created during the time that the band wasn’t even quite what they were all about yet.
5. Of Monsters & Men – My Head is an Animal
Of Monsters & Men are the quintessential typical fun, anthemic band that really make you feel good about your life. They’re not exactly the type of band you’d expect from Iceland, but they do a superb job of giving you the feeling of what life should be like. Nanna, the female lead vocalist, has a very strong voice that I think is the best part of the band. The whole album is outstanding and certainly not worth passing up.
4. Fun. – Some Nights
This album is exactly what the band represents. Fun. You’ve probably already heard a few of these songs on the radio. This band really is “fun” to listen to, and in a lot of ways they remind me of a modern Queen, but with more bells and whistles.
3. Mumford & Sons – Babel
I was really nervous when this album first came out because I didn’t think Mumford & Sons would be able to match “Sigh No More” with their Sophomore album. I can say with certainty that “Babel” either meets or exceeds their first album. They start out strong with the first song “Babel”, and even finish strong with an outstanding cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” (which I think sounds better than the original).
2. The Imagine Dragons – Night Visions
Speaking of feel-good albums, the Imagine Dragons have truly delivered with “Night Visions”. The one thing that separates the Imagine Dragons from the pack is their ability to provide great songs to sing and dance to, while finding a way to change pace and offer songs with a bit more depth. The lead singer, Dan Reynolds has such an outstanding voice, I see a very bright future for the Imagine Dragons.
1. The Lumineers – The Lumineers
I keep telling myself I don’t want the Lumineers to become too famous because I want to keep them all to myself. Wesley Schultz sings with such power and conviction that it’s hard not to connect with their music on a very deep level. They’re most popular for “Ho Hey”, but in my opinion “Dead Sea” is the best song on the album (although I truly enjoy every song). Do yourself a favor and put this album on repeat. I promise you will not be disappointed.
*Not quite what we expected, but these artists’ albums are still worth a listen: Cory Chisel, Dave Matthews Band, the Avett Brothers, Snow Patrol,the Killers, M. Ward, and the Temper Trap.