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The Best Music of 2012

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We've had "halftime reports," but we don't have a year-end thread.

Here's NPR's early peek at the their favorite music of 2012.

Warning: Opera ahead! You Paste fans are gonna hate this NPR segment. :)

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Warning: Opera ahead! You Paste fans are gonna hate this NPR segment. smile.png

To get picky, the St. Matthew Passion isn't opera.

It is, however, absolutely sublime, and the Berlin Philharmonic is arguably the cream of the orchestra crop. Of the recordings mentioned above, it's the only one I'm likely to purchase. tongue.png

Edited by Ryan H.

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We've had "halftime reports," but we don't have a year-end thread.

Here's NPR's early peek at the their favorite music of 2012.

Warning: Opera ahead! You Paste fans are gonna hate this NPR segment. smile.png

As a Paste fan and an opera lover (and a fan of Bobby Womack!), I'm ecstatic! :)

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Speaking of Paste, they've already posted their 50 Best Albums of 2012.

Any opera on it?


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Sharon Van Etten's Tramp is a real grower so I second Paste's high place (#5 I think) for this one. Songs that live powerfully with a sense of tension close to Patty Griffin or Kurt Cubain. And for this type of song, a voice that fits without being raucous: affecting, heartful, sensual, soft.

Albums like these are being rare these days.

Edited by Hugues

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Any Top List that fails to mention David Crowder Band's Give Us Rest, the very best album I've heard in almost a decade, (up there w Sufjan Stevens' Illinoise), had lost every shred of credibility w me.

Or, 2012 is the greatest year for music of all time.


Nick Alexander

Keynote, Worship Leader, Comedian, Parodyist

Host of the Prayer Meeting Podcast - your virtual worship oasis. (Subscribe)

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There are a few albums from this year that I haven't listened to all the way through, nor have I listened to many thoroughly. But I think that my album of the year is Wovenhand's The Laughing Stalk. I think it's David Eugene Edwards (pray for him, he is recovering from pneumonia) best album since 16 HP's Secret South.


He finds no mercy

And he's lost in the crowd

With an armoured heart of metal

He finds he's running out of odd-numbered daisies

From which to pull the petals

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I thought Om's Advaitic Songs was definitely the best album I heard all year, and probably one of my favorites of all time. Though it has received rave reviews, it's absent from quite a few people's lists. Maybe it snuck under too many radars. Here are a couple tracks.


Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, Υἱὲ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐλέησόν με τὸν ἁμαρτωλόν.

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My favorite albums of this year would be among this list, which is alphabetical order. I can't say that any one of these stands out enough to call one favorite of the year, but I have managed to divide this list into my first tier and second tier of favorites. Until I spend the next six months catching up on all the albums I've missed so far:

Top Tier:

AC Newman - Shut Down The Streets

Bad Plus - Made Possible

Calexico - Algiers

Dr. John - Locked Down

Matthew Perryman Jones - Land of the Living

Lovedrug - WIld Blood

Rodrigo y Gabriela - Area 52

Shearwater - Animal Joy

The Choir - The Loudest Sound Ever Heard

Vijay Iyer Trio - Accelerando

Almost as good:

Andrew Bird - Break it Yourself

Ben Folds Five - The Sound of the Life of the Mind

David Byrne and St Vincent - Love This Giant

Jack White - Blunderbuss

Marillion - Sounds That Can't Be Made

Muse - The Second Law

School of Seven Bells - Ghostory

Shel - Shel

The Rocketboys - Build Anyway

Tu Fawning - A Monument

Edited by Crow

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I'll just list mine too. I'm kinda more indie rock than the rest of ya.

No particular order, still not sure about the order.

Grimes - Visions (latecomer to this one, very Bjork meets Enya)

Lord Huron - Lonesome Dreams

Woods - Bend Beyond

John K Samson - Provincial

Bob Dylan - Tempest

The Lumineers - The Lumineers

The Mountain Goats - Transcendental Youth

Tame Impala - Lonerism

The Shins - Port of Morrow

First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar

Beach House - Bloom

Sharon Van Etten - Tramp

M.Ward - A Wasteland Companion

Passion Pit - Gossamer

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Here

Langhorne Slim - The Way We Move

Tennis - Young and Old

Trailer Trash Tracy's - Ester

The American Dollar - Ambient Three

The XX - Coexist

Perfume Genius - Put Your Back N 2 It

Sigur Ros - Valtari

Twin Shadow - Confess

Purity Ring - Shrines

Animal Collective - Centipede HZ

Bowerbirds - The Clearing

The Oh Hello's - Through the Deep, Dark Valley (free on bandcamp)

Islands - A Sleep and A Forgetting

The Dandy Warhols - This Machine

Shearwater - Animal Joy

Sea Wolf - Old World Romance

White Arrows - Dry Land Is Not a Myth

Spiritualized - Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Melody's Echo Chamber - Melody's Echo Chamber

Fang Island - Major

Crocodiles - Endless Flowers

PS I Love You - Death Dreams

Horse Feathers - Cynic's New Year

Mono - For My Parents

Stepdad - Wildlife Pop

Sera Cahoone - Deer Creek Canyon

Caspian - Waking Season


"The truth is you're the weak, and I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin Ringo, I'm tryin real hard to be the shepherd." Pulp Fiction

Justin's Blog twitter Facebook Life Is Story

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Despite making the most effort to hear new music this year than I have in almost a decade, I find I've still not heard about half the albums I'm seeing on the lists from Paste, NME and (so far) AllMusic.

I will note, I'm very pleased to see Grimes Visions popping up (and at #2 on NME's list!) - that one's definitely in my top 10 this year. Time to jump on Spotify and try to catch up...


"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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Yeah Visions is great.

You all definitely need to check out Perfume Genius' Put Your Back N 2 It. I know the cover and the singer himself look like indie pop electronic or something but it's actually really amazing folk/piano based rock. And it's honestly one of the best records you will hear all year.


"The truth is you're the weak, and I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin Ringo, I'm tryin real hard to be the shepherd." Pulp Fiction

Justin's Blog twitter Facebook Life Is Story

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Two songs of this year's Lori Carson's Another Year. Also look for "Cracked and broken things" and "Oh the world" from the same album (available on CD). I don't necessarily share her view about "brokenness", but can't deny she makes beauty of it.

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AV Club's top 25 albums.

Top 5.

5. Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel…

4. Sharon Van Etten, Tramp

3. Cloud Nothings, Attack On Memory

2. Japandroids, Celebration Rock

1. Frank Ocean, Channel Orange

Edited by Tyler

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
Twitter Blog

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Patrick Jarenwattananon at NPR, on the year's best jazz albums.

(EDIT: Am listening to the clips now, and that Ryan Truesdell "Punjab" tune is HOT!)

Also at NPR:

The year's best folk and Americana (some good ones here!)

Best Classical

And a number of critic-specfic Top 10s by people whose names I don't recognize.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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