While some may see 2012 as the year we didn’t die, 2012 will go down as one of the best years for music in recent memory. With respect to Macklemore, Anberlin, P.O.S. and many other artists, here are some of the best albums of the year:
10. fun. – Some Nights
If any one band dominated 2012, it was undoubtedly fun. With the release of their massive single “We Are Young” and album “Some Nights,” fun. went from being the delight of the indie world to your mom’s favorite band in what seemed like a second. “Some Nights” may be one of the oddest albums of the year, but it’s catchy and a lot of fun to listen to.
9. Japandroids – Celebration Rock
There is no album more aptly titled than “Celebration Rock.” Made by the Canadian rock duo Japandroids, “Celebration Rock” will grab your throat and won’t let go until its eight tracks are through. Starting out with the sound of fireworks, the album quickly gains steam as the duo sings about lust, drinking and being young while playing their instruments as loud as possible. In a couple of words, “Celebra- tion Rock” is awesome.
8. Passion Pit – Gossamer
You may not hear an alternative-pop album quite like “Gossamer” this year. Fueled by lead singer Michael Angelakos’s bout with Bipolar Disorder, “Gossamer” is filled with lyrics discussing depression, suicide and love, as well as other topics. Angelakos’s fantastic voice paired with lively synth-pop helps to make “Gossamer” a release that fans of Passion Pit and music fans alike proud to own.
7. John Mayer – Born and Raised
After making a fool of himself in the public eye, John Mayer needed to redeem his credibility in a big way and he did just that with “Born and Raised.” While he became known for his blues and pop rock, Mayer pulled a complete 180 and crafted an album full of folk and Americana influences. The shift works, as the dominantly acoustic album proves to be one of the best in Mayer’s storied career and shows a changed, humbled man.
6. The Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten
The Gaslight Anthem crawled out of the shadow of the Bruce Springsteen comparisons and solidified their claim as one of the best rock bands in the world with “Handwritten.” Using their punk rock influences and Brian Fallon’s scratchy, edgy voice, The Gaslight Anthem came out swinging for the fence with “Handwritten” and they hit it out of the park.
5. The All-American Rejects – Kids In The Street
After releasing their abysmal album “When the World Comes Down” in 2008, it seemed like The All-American Rejects had lost the magic that made them alternative-rock kings. Four years later with the release of “Kids In The Street,” featuring eleven fun, catchy tracks that make this album a gem, The All-American Rejects have not only made a wonderful record, but an album that will save their career.
4. Yellowcard – Southern Air
For over a decade, Yellowcard has undeniably been a mainstay in the pop-punk scene. The Jacksonville band has a knack for writing consistently good records, but no album in their discography sticks out quite like “Southern Air.” The album features some of the best tracks that Yellowcard has ever recorded and “Southern Air” shows a veteran band making the finest record in their career.
3. Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city
No other hip-hop record made an impression this year like “good kid, m.A.A.d city” did. Through twelve tracks on this concept album, Lamar tells stories from his teenager years that revolve around the meaning of life, gangs and how the rough lifestyle of his city impacted him. “good kid, m.A.A.d city” is an absolute masterpiece that will catapult Lamar to the top of the hip- hop world.
2. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
If someone would have told me a year ago that I would claim an R&B album as one of the best of the year, I would have laughed in their face. Frank Ocean has proven me wrong. “Channel Orange” is a beautiful, fantastic record that transcends genres while Ocean seems to bear every inch of his soul on each track.
1. Make Do and Mend – Everything You Ever Loved
Sometimes the roughness of life can knock you down. Luckily enough, there are albums like “Everything You Ever Loved” that can help you get out of the darkness and back into the light. Make Do and Mend’s work of art is something special. It’s about facing the gloomy emotions of life and fighting back successfully. It’s a breathtaking, perfect album that ranks high above every other record released this year.