"  It really doesn’t matter when and if an album leaked or not. In the end we just want an amazing album. I asked our writers to compile a list, using only three albums and one Youtube video each, from 2012. It’s definitely not an easy task to summarize a year’s worth of albums into […]"

THE BEST ALBUMS OF 2012


“With three albums and one video each, the writers of Has it Leaked summarize the best albums of 2012”

2012

 

It really doesn’t matter when and if an album leaked or not. In the end we just want an amazing album. I asked our writers to compile a list, using only three albums and one Youtube video each, from 2012. It’s definitely not an easy task to summarize a year’s worth of albums into simply three titles. But then again, all of our writers are amazing. The good news is that you don’t have to agree with their lists either, you just have to put your own list in the comment section.

 

2012 by Melissa

Channel Orange, this was a no-brainer. Frank Ocean managed to top his earlier 2011 release, Nostalgia Ultra, with Channel Orange: a brutally candid record manifesting a variety of emotions and themes: unrequited love, confusion, optimism, the entitlement mentality of wealthy kids, and of course the nearly ten-minute classic grand ode to the stripper known only as Cleopatra in “Pyramids,” one of the best R&B songs produced in quite some time.

The first time I listened to Liars WIXIW, I immediately thought, “This doesn’t sound like Liars.” Eventually though, I realized what a ridiculous notion that was – the band has shifted gears musically with every record they have made in their 12-year existence. The overall opaque atmosphere of this experimental and electronic-based album is what kept me listening despite my initial skepticism, and it remains the best Liars effort to date.

Critics praised Sleigh Bells personal, darker tone of this sophomore record Reign of Terror, while some fans were disappointed with the slower pace and lack of upbeat “party songs”. While I was initially conflicted, the track that do stand out on Reign of Terror make it worth being on the end of year Best of lists. Take the fabulous “Leader of the Pack”, a surprisingly buoyant take on the fragility of life and loss. Only Alexis’s sugary sweet voice could make the sorrow of death sound so saccharine.

 


 

2012 by Matthew

A year after the hurricane high that was our introduction to Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, one man stands alone among the ensuing slump of wreckage with massive credibility and star power (at least until Earl Sweatshirt releases his upcoming album in 2013)., Channel ORANGE Frank Ocean’s debut album took the world by storm this summer and has planted him in the hearts of all, indie or mainstream. The record was brave, vulnerable and beautiful; masterfully created, allowing the privileged listener minute glimpses into every facet of Ocean’s being. This album was easily my favourite release of the year.

Picking second and third place was harder, as there were many that could take the silver and bronze respectively. I have gone for two rock records, but from opposite ends of the spectrum in Given To The Wild by The Maccabees and Celebration Rock by Japandroids. The Maccabees surprised everyone with this immensely matured layered sound to their new release Given to the Wild. Each track grows on every listen. Previously unheard elements constantly open themselves up for your perusal like some sort of leveling up system, opening new doors to new passages that you had not known to exist before. To not get too ‘reviewy’ about it, Celebration Rock is just an immensely fun album to listen to. A perfect soundtrack to a summer of rebellion or a winter of fun and adventure, this release from Japandroids fits any mood.

 

 

2012 by Austin

Never easy for me to choose a favorite or best anything. When it comes to music different albums can register in a number of ways. Albums can be seen as fantastic or a huge failure ranging from the weather outside, a listener’s immediate mood, past thoughts on a band release, or any handful of other factors. Personally I like variety and this past year musically that centered on a lot of hip-hop. Smoke DZA’s Rugby Thompson album was always fitting into a playlist, especially with Odd Future rapper Domo Genesis contributing to the track “Ashtray.”

Variety is the spice of life though and Canadian Jazz trio BADBADNOTGOOD certainly provided that with a sophomore release, BBNG2,  that left me floored. You expect awesome things from great musicians but the group really came to play on these original tracks. Cursive in many regards also exceeded my expectations with their seventh full length release I Am Gemini. Kasher’s voice is better than ever and the lush instrumentation branded onto these tracks alone places this release at the top of my music collection. A smattering for everyone’s musical taste in 2012, enjoy in hopes that 2013 will wow us right out of the gates.
 

 

2012 by Sean

To me, 2012 has been a diverse year, one that has shown that artists who aren’t afraid to push boundaries of their genres and experiment can actually be rewarded by both critics and fans. The best example of this for me is Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange, a hazy downtempo album that shows that hip-hop artists can bare their souls and abandon the ho’s and cash subject matter that dominates the genre.

Grimes is another artist that doesn’t really fit nicely into any genre conventions, and I think that’s what made her album Visions was my favorite of 2012. Grimes’ sound is sort of a perfect blend of electronica and psychedelia that nobody else out there is making. Along with the stunning music is Grimes’ voice, which is ethereal and dreamy, creating a fever dream of an album that is somehow both inscrutable and immediately accessible at the same time.

A lot of people dismiss Childish Gambino (aka Community’s Donald Glover) as a novelty, but I think that his mixtape Royalty completely disproves that. With Royalty, Gambino delivered an album that was even more impressive than his 2011 debut Camp, with an incredibly diverse cast of guest stars featuring Danny Brown, Schoolboy Q, Beck (who has apparently decided to rap again), and Tina Fey (seriously).

As a bit of a postscript, even though she made no really official releases, 2012 saw the debut of Kitty Pryde, a rapper that, despite all the hype building around her, has shown that she is an incredibly talented rapper that could do some amazing things in the next few years.
 

 

2012 by Justin

It came as a surprise to many when Brooklyn, New York indie rockers The Antlers abruptly announced release plans for a new EP this past summer. Titled Undersea, the EP stands at only four songs in length but satisfies an ambitious musical craving with its blend of evocative vocal arrangements and sonic undercurrents that is sure to put the listener in a state of listless pleasure.

With post-rock on the rise over the last few years, 2012 was an advantageous time for Deer Leap to put out its first full-length album, Here. Home. The lush vocal melodies and atmospheric guitar work on Here. Home. ask questions with the amount of scope the likes of Explosions the Sky and Mogwai have yet to touch on. This album contains songs varying from pop-rock, vocal-driven tracks to sentimental, instrumental opuses which have the powerful ability to evoke nostalgic memories of forgotten past life moments.

Lastly on my list is The Modern Shape by British rockers Burn The Fleet. The band has made leaps and bounds since its debut, self-titled EP came out two years ago. Fans of Alexisonfire and Thrice will appreciate the The Modern Shape’s explosive, anthemic opening tracks as it quickly settles into a comfortable, slower pace midway through the album, before concluding with “Irish Eyes,” a song sure to impress fans who’ve enjoyed the raw emotion of acts like Brand New and Manchester Orchestra over the years.
 

 

17 comments
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  • @mattdoyle Level 5
    December 6, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Great to see Antlers, Childish Gambino and Grimes getting a mention on other people’s lists! I was sorry to be leaving them out of mine!

    Good job everybody!

    Reply

  • @mojib Level S
    December 6, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    My list would probably include Beach House’s Bloom, The Tallest Man on Earth’s There’s no leaving now and Gonzales Piano Solo II.

    I’ve tried my best to get Frank Ocean, but it just doesn’t click with me.

    Reply

    • December 8, 2012 at 2:08 am

      I agree with you on Frank Ocean; I have listened to the album quite a few times but just don’t get it. I mean its good, but I don’t think its great. Maybe just in the context of current R&B and Pop music it is great.

      Reply

      • @alakritz Level 5
        December 9, 2012 at 3:56 am

        I completely agree with feelgoodlost. I can see Frank Oceans appeal, but I think he is vastly overrated. There are soooo many better R&B artists out there.

        Reply

  • @melimueller Level 3
    December 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    I will have to give that Antlers album a listen when I have a chance. I have also never heard of Burn The Fleet so I will have to check them out as well.

    Reply

  • Jonah Hoffmann
    December 6, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    1. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
    2. Pinback – Information Retrieved
    3. Converge – All we love we leave behind
    There was a lot of really good music this year. The R&B and Hip Hop community really stepped it up this year

    Reply

  • @cellmare Level 3
    December 6, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    1. House of Gold and Bones: Part 1 – Stone Sour
    2. Harakiri – Serj Tankian
    3. Babel – Mumford and Sons
    So much great music to choose from in 2012. I hope 2013 is even half as great.

    Reply

  • December 6, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Even though I’m still compiling my Top 30, here’s my 3 favourite albums of this year (so far):
    1. Attack On Memory – Cloud Nothings
    2. Celebration Rock – Japandroids
    3. Bloom – Beach House

    Reply

    • @mattdoyle Level 5
      December 7, 2012 at 12:32 pm

      I didn’t really ‘get’ Attack On Memory… Although I never really listened to CN before, I picked up the album after seeing it get good reviews and wasn’t hugely impressed…

      Your other two choices are fine by me though!

      Reply

  • @justin Level 3
    December 7, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Nice to see great lists from the rest of the writers over here. I’ve got lots of music to catch up on before the year is done.

    Glad to see Sleigh Bells, Beach House and my fellow Canadian boys Bad Bad Not Good get a mention.

    Cheers, fellow staffers.

    Reply

  • December 8, 2012 at 2:11 am

    Great lists everybody!
    I am still working on gathering a list and listening to albums. Just a few that I haven’t seen mentioned are:
    Grizzly Bear – Shields
    Roc Maricano – Reloaded
    Kendrick Lamar – good kid, maad city
    Joey Bada$$ – 1999

    Reply

  • Anthony Veithen
    December 8, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    No Good Kid, m.A.A.d City ?

    Reply

  • @alakritz Level 5
    December 9, 2012 at 4:03 am

    My top 10 in no particular order:
    1.DIIV Oshin
    2. The Soft Moon Zeros
    3. Tame Impala Lonerism
    4. Holy Other Held
    5. How To Dress Well Total Loss
    6. Wild Nothing Nocturne
    7. Sam Flax Age Waves
    8. Ariel Pink Mature Themes
    9. ERAAS S/T
    10. Chairlift Something

    Reply

  • me7719
    December 14, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Best of 2012
    1. Metric – Synthetica
    2. Mother Mother – The Sticks
    3. Minus the Bear – Infinity Overhead
    4. Benjamin Gibbard – Former Lives
    5. Fun. – Some Nights

    Reply

  • @ldurango Level 1
    December 15, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    1. Tame Impala ~ Lonerism
    2. DIIV ~ Oshin
    3. Frank Ocean ~ Channel Orange
    4. Grizzly Bear ~ Shields
    5. Cloud Nothings ~ Attack on Memory
    6. Beach House ~ Bloom
    7. Kendrick Lamar ~ GKMC
    8. Japandroids ~ Celebration Rock
    9. Ty Segall Band ~ Slaughterhouse
    10. Baroness ~ Yellow & Green

    Reply

  • @absurdheart Level 3
    December 18, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Metric-Synthetica
    Marina and the Diamonds-Electra Heart
    Ellie Goulding-Halcyon

    Reply

  • n0ir
    December 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    cant believe that i havent read Totally Extinct Enormous Dinosours TEED yet! for me the best debut of the year

    Reply

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