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Best Of 2012

Top 50 Albums of 2012

Top 50 Albums of 2012


It has all led up to this: Our absolute favorite records of the year, across the dozens of genres we obsessively cover, from Prince Royce's swooning bachata to Metz's bruising punk, The Lumineers' indie folk cheeriness to Killer Mike's righteously enraged R.A.P. Music. You've probably fallen for a few of these already -- the indeed kaleidoscopic R&B of Frank Ocean and Miguel needs no introduction at this point -- but there's most likely a new favorite lurking here, too, whether it's Daphni's lithe dance music, Kellie Pickler's honky-tonk anthems or, y'know, however you'd like to describe the (seriously) wonderful things Ke$ha is doing these days. Twenty-twelve has been awesome. Let us review.

50) Motion Sickness of Time Travel, Motion Sickness of Time Travel
49) Santigold, Master of My Make-Believe
48) Jason Aldean, Night Train
47) Samuel Yirga, Guzo
46) TobyMac, Eye on It
45) Ke$ha, Warrior
44) Spoek Mathambo, Father Creeper
43) Prince Royce, Phase II
42) Henry Threadgill, Tomorrow Sunny / The Revelry, Spp
41) Pink, The Truth About Love
40) Alan Jackson, 30 Miles West
39) Lukid, Lonely at the Top
38) The Very Best, MTMTMK
37) Gary Clark Jr., Blak & Blu
36) Ana Tijoux, La Bala
35) Treponem Pal, Survival Sounds
34) Ellie Goulding, Halcyon
33) Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill
32) Dev, The Night the Sun Came Up
31) Laurie Spiegel, The Expanding Universe
30) Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
29) Cloud Nothings, Attack on Memory
28) Grizzly Bear, Shields
27) Elle Varner, Perfectly Imperfect
26) Kellie Pickler, 100 Proof
25) Matthew Dear, Beams
23) Nas, Life Is Good
22) Alt-J, An Awesome Wave
21) Blackberry Smoke, The Whippoorwill
20) Robert Glasper, Black Radio
19) Dr. John, Locked Down
18) Beach House, Bloom
17) El-P, Cancer 4 Cure
16) Dwight Yoakam, 3 Pears
15) Alabama Shakes, Boys and Girls
14) The Lumineers, The Lumineers
13) John Talabot, Fin
12) Jack White, Blunderbuss
11) Swans, The Seer
10) Baroness, Yellow & Green
9) Killer Mike, R.A.P. Music
8) Grimes, Visions
7) Daphni, Jiaolong
6) Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel...
5) Daughn Gibson, All Hell
4) Miguel, Kaleidoscope Dream
3) Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d city
2) Japandroids, Celebration Rock
1) Frank Ocean, Channel Orange