10. Enter Shikari – A Flash Flood of Colour
9. The Chariot – One Wing
8. Mumford & Sons – Babel
7. Lupe Fiasco – Food and Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Part 1
6. Andrew Bird – Hands of Glory
Funny how this band’s releases always fall below my radar and then I’m kicking myself for the lost time. The album has some catchy tunes like “Props & Mayhem.” Fear not if you don’t care for that one or think they went “power-pop” as I’ve seen on some message boards. There’s a track on it that features Kellen Quinn from Sleeping with Sirens that you have to hear. I still have no idea what ‘power-pop’ is though.
If this band is nothing else, they are consistent; consistent in making quality music. Their sound varies with each recording but they never seem to stray from being themselves. Plus the fact that their album is actual art makes a physical copy all the more appealing for this band. Favourite track by miles is “The Lottery,” not only for how good it is, but it turned me on to Thursday, which was long overdue.
BTBAM had always been a band that I liked but never loved until this album came along. I honestly don’t know where to begin: the bass, the rock, the mic, the -okay bad joke- but “Bloom” blew me away. Really had a Mr. Bungle vibe to it and I loved it. This is the kind of album you don’t just sit down and listen to while doing other things. So much is going on that it is just fascinating to put on some headphones and just take it all in.
2. Kendrick Lammar – good kid, m.A.A.d city
With Lupe’s follow up to Food & Liquor being more political than I would prefer, I was convinced that the whole year would be a drought in rap for me. This album has the kind of old school vibe to it that makes you remember the days when it didn’t all sound the same and talk about the same things. There is a bright future ahead for this artist. I was strangely resistant to checking him out at first simply because so many people raved about this album. I’d been assuming the worst about hip-hop at this point, but let me assure you. The hype is more than justified.
1. Crystal Castles –III
Every recording this band refines and redefines their sound. This is everything you love about their last two albums and more. If they’ve been searching for the perfect sound they achieved it in this album. I can’t say enough about this album. The duo have taken their sound and polished it to a point that simply blew away every other album I’ve heard this year. If you love electronica or are just trying to get into it, I can’t recommend this album enough.
Biggest Surprise – Kendrick Lamar
Biggest Disappointment – Muse With The 2nd Law they tried to be everyone but themselves.
Best Live Show (not just of the year but EVER) – Radiohead @ Blossom Music Center June 6, 2012
Most Anticipated – The Black Keys