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Top Ten Albums 2012

Updated on September 18, 2014

Top Ten Albums 2012

What were the top ten albums of 2012? Everyone has their own list of the best albums of the year but I've decided to have a closer look at the list selected by a group of critics, published in the Guardian online. There's an interesting mix in there: some I love, some okay, one I detest. Browse through, play the sample tracks and let me know what you think of the selection. Feel free to leave a list of your best albums of 2012.

Bobby Womack live at Roskilde
Bobby Womack live at Roskilde | Source

Frank Ocean, channel ORANGE - Top ten albums 2012 #1

Smash hit album, hit singles, critically appraised videos: this alternative hip hop album has appealed across the genres. It's not always easy listening but it grows on you and the lyrics are way beyond the usual standard of hip hop.

channel ORANGE [Explicit]
channel ORANGE [Explicit]

Titles as diverse as Thinkin Bout You, Super Rich Kids, Pyramids, Forrest Gump, Pink Matter and Bad Religion show the range covered by the singer.


Grimes, Visions - Top ten albums 2012 #2

Grimes is a Canadian musician, Claire Boucher: she has produced an album that combines pop, psychedelia, dance and whatever else she likes into an amazingly listenable mix.


This won't appeal to those who like boy bands but it's so far musically beyond what they're up to that they wouldn't understand anyway.


Do You Buy What The Critics Like?

Do lists of critics favourite albums influence what you buy?

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Jessie Ware, Devotion - Top ten albums 2012 #3

Debut from Brit Jessie Ware, this is a great Soul/Pop/Trip Hop/Hip hop album,


Great voice, great songs, beautifully produced. It's an import to the US so you may have to order it if out of stock,


Vote On Critics' Favorite Albums 2012

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Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan - Top ten albums 2012 #4

David Longstreth's Dirty Projectors have been experimenting frantically over the last few years: now he's come up with a mature, much poppier and more accessible album.

Click for sample video

Swing Lo Magellan
Swing Lo Magellan

Electric music, African drums, strings, all quietly added to some very accessible songs.


Kendrick Lamar, Good Kid, MAAD City - Top ten albums 2012 #5

Caution: explicit lyrics - very explicit.Working with some of the biggest names in the business, Lamar's second album is the story of his growing up and experience of gang culture. Huge smash on US chart and Spotify.

Click for sample track

Good Kid: M.A.A.D City [Deluxe Edition]
Good Kid: M.A.A.D City [Deluxe Edition]

Very well structured to the concept of Lamar's early life and gang days,


Tame Impala, Lonerism - Top ten albums 2012 #6

Massive acclaim for this one: it won NME's album of the year 2012. Not your typical Australian band, Tame Impala have obviously listened to Revolver a few times but do produce some excellent material.

Click here for sample track


UK, US, Australian smash


Alt-J, An Awesome Wave - Top ten albums 2012 #7

Alt J on a Mac gives you a triangle, the mathematical Delta, symbol of change. Despite this, the music isn't pretentious. Difficult to categorise, it mixes many styles but is very listenable and it won the Mercury Prize this year.

Click here for sample track

An Awesome Wave
An Awesome Wave

Sophisticated for a debut album, bodes well for future releases.


The xx, Coexist - Top ten albums 2012 #8

Indie pop, minimalist musical style, this was a long time in the making with the lads writing individually and recording snippets on mobile phones and Macs.

Click for sample track


Guitarist Romy Madley Croft says, " late at night when I was writing things down, I eventually got back to writing about myself. And that's good. Because we've got to sing these songs for a while, so it's really important to feel close to them, to feel like they're real."


Hot Chip, In Our Heads - Top ten albums 2012 #9

A confession here: I've heard the album, my cat has heard the album - the cat has left home. I don't blame it. I'd say this is pretentious and derivative. It's self-produced and is crying out for an expert producer who could say "NO!". If you want to try it, it's a mix of electro, funk and pop.

Click for sample track

In Our Heads
In Our Heads

Try before you buy. The band reckons they went for dance and big melodies - but they would say that, wouldn't they.


Bobby Womack,The Bravest Man in the Universe - Top ten albums 2012 #10

Sixties soul star, crack addict for years, no album for ten years, Damon Albarn collaborating in the studio - what the hell was this going to be like? Simple answer: wonderful. The voice is still magnificent, albeit a little huskier, the ability to interpret a song is still there. It's modern funk and Bobby Womack is back.

Click here for sample track

The Bravest Man In The Universe
The Bravest Man In The Universe

Short but superb, get this and then start on the back catalogue.


What Was Your Favorite Album Of 2012? - Or your top ten best albums?

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    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 

      6 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      I wouldn't know, I like to listen to music (if it's not too loud) but I never remember names of singers. I'm more an oldfashioned classic music type.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Where's Adele? I thought she had the top album of the year. Never heard of any of these.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      You know lots more about current music genres than I do...I'm one of the "oldies" rock 'n roll gals, but I feel sure you know what you're talking about. I like the lens and how it's put together...very stylish!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I didn't know that Bobby Womack was back. I need to check that out. Very cool lens.

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 

      6 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Visions by Grimes sounds interesting. This is an album I would consider buying. The Hip Hop albums? I'll pass, can't stand that music. The xx, Coexist I might add to a "to buy list". The rest, not my style.

    • bigjoe2121 profile image


      6 years ago

      your intro photo is scary!

    • Richard-H profile image


      6 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      I really must be out of the loop this year, as most of these have passed me by. Have been listening to a lot of Emeli Sande this year...

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      I don't really listen to mainstream music. For me, setting up some Pandora listening for folk music and smooth jazz or 60s oldies takes care of my listening needs.


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