2012’s Best Music (So Far)

We’re just about at the halfway point of 2012 and it seems like the year is just flying by. Since we’ve put six months in the books, it’s a great time to take an assessment of the year in music. As I’ve mentioned, 2012 has been an extremely disappointing year for albums. Only a small handful have really captured my attention and made me want to put them on over and over again. There have been quite a few that are listenable and fine, perhaps with a few good tracks, but for the most part, they’ve been kinda forgettable. The album list really falls off quickly, especially in the second half, but here’s a top ten list, with a few honorable mentions thrown in:

1. Andrew BirdBreak it Yourself
2. Cloud NothingsAttack on Memory
3. MetricSynthetica
4. JapandroidsCelebration Rock
5. Regina SpektorWhat We Saw From the Cheap Seats
6. GrimesVisions
7. Of Monsters and MenMy Head is an Animal
8. TennisYoung and Old
9. Kathleen EdwardsVoyageur
10. The ShinsPort of Morrow

Honorable Mentions: Gotye, Hospitality, Imperial Teen, Frankie Rose

It’s been a stronger year for singles, with some standout tracks that I’ve enjoyed a good bit from otherwise mediocre albums. Here’s some of the cream of that crop, listed alphabetically:

  • Alabama Shakes – “Hold On”
  • Best Coast – “The Only Place”
  • Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – “Man on Fire”
  • Fun. – “Carry On”
  • First Aid Kit – “King of the World”
  • Goldfrapp – “Melancholy Sky”
  • Kishi Bashi – “Bright Whites”
  • Nicolas Jaar – “With Just One Glance”
  • St. Vincent – “Krokodil”
  • The Ting Tings – “Hang It Up” (Shook Remix)

Beyond this list, there are also some albums that I just haven’t heard enough to reach any conclusions about (notably, Tallest Man on Earth, 2:54, Chromatics and Jack White), other albums I’m still trying to get into (hi, Beach House) and probably one or two that just slipped my mind. Hopefully, the second half of 2012 will have some stronger offerings, but hopefully we can at least appreciate the few highlights of 2012 thus far.

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