Best of 2012 (A personal list)

December 29, 2012 at 11:13 pm (Uncategorized)

I thought I might post my top 10 albums of 2012 for kicks and to make people upset with my taste in music. I listen to a lot of music, though perhaps not as much as many of my more musically inclined friends, and I have diverse-ish tastes that tend towards the acoustic and pop genres. In any case, it was fun to think back about the albums I really loved this year and why I loved them.

The criteria were as follows: 2012 needed to be the first time I heard the album–I couldn’t have heard more than a single off of any of the albums released prior to this year and they had to be albums by a single artist/group (mix tapes wouldn’t really make sense, though I got some great ones).

Without further ado, here are my personal top 10 of 2012:

10. Lonely Avenue-Ben Folds and Nick Hornsby

This album came out in 2010, but I for whatever reason hadn’t jumped in and listened to it until this summer. I really enjoy Ben Folds in general, and I feel like this collaboration (him doing the melody, Hornsby providing the lyrics) works far better than it has any right to. It tapped into a lot of solid emotional places for me, and “Picture Window” is easily in the top 5 songs of the year for me, were I to make such a list. “Claire’s Ninth” and “Password” are also songs I will continue to love for a long time–but the rest of the album is really good too. It doesn’t get higher billing because there are a few songs on the album I care less for, and because I missed the train for a couple years before listening to the album.

9. channel ORANGE-Frank Ocean

This album makes the list because it is a) excellent and b) reminds me of spending most of the summer at Yellow House with Avery broing out and having a great time. So do Rumours and Tusk, but unfortunately for Fleetwood Mac I have solid experience listening to them. The only experience I had with Frank Ocean was his appearances on a few songs in Watch the Throne. His solo album does not disappoint. The highlight for me is “Sweet Life.” It isn’t higher because while I legitimately enjoy this album, it wasn’t one I came back to a ton. But it’s solid and the memories I have associated with it give it top 10 status.

8. The Lateness of the Hour-Alex Clare

I will tell you that this is just one of several albums on the list recommended to me by the one and only Danny Schneider, and it is a good one. It’s great for parties or riding in the car, as most of the tunes have a certain techno-y dubstep-lite vibe to them. “Hummingbird” is my favorite track on the album. I really enjoy this album, but for whatever reason to me 8 is as high as I could put it. It’s not any one thing, I just didn’t like it as much as the albums above it (what a blatantly obvious thing to say. Sorry readers).

7. First Love-Yiruma

Another older album, this was released in 2006. It’s a collection of piano music. I love this album. It’s fantastic for just laying in bed, or reading, or deep thought. I almost never listen to purely instrumental music (what can I say, I’m a vocalist) but this was 100% one of my top albums of 2012. I found it randomly when a song came on spotify radio, and I liked it so much I listened to the album. Then I listened to it again and again. “It’s Your Day” is the first song I heard as well as my favorite track. It’s not higher simply because I enjoy songs with vocals too much. In terms of how often I listen to it, this album is top 5 or 3.

6. Human Again-Ingrid Michaelson

What a wonderful and different album from Ms. Michaelson. She branches out in terms of instrumentation and the feel of several of the songs on this album from what you’re used to hearing with her, and in my opinion it works fantastically. I love Ingrid and I love this album. “Ribbons” is the favorite track here. It’s not higher because I listened to nothing but this album for a little while and then it got pushed to the back burner and only recently has made a strong listening comeback. Highly recommend.

5. Red-Taylor Swift

A great example of an excellent pop album. I think it’s her best yet. I am a sucker for T. Sweezy in the first place, but I was really impressed with this album. I actually didn’t love it on the first listen through, but after giving it a second chance I was hooked. I know a lot of people like to dismiss Taylor Swift outright, but it’s worth a listen. It pisses me off that this album isn’t on spotify, because “We are Never Getting Back Together” is not a great representation of the album as a whole. Favorite track is “Sad Beautiful Tragic.” It’s not higher because there are a couple ehhhh songs on the album and I’m still upset that it isn’t on spotify for the world to hear. You sold like 10 bajillion copies, Swift! Isn’t that enough?!

4. One Upon Another Time-Sara Bareilles

This is a 5 track EP that SarBare released earlier this year. I already loved her, and this EP doesn’t disappoint. If anything you’re left wanting more because it’s so short. Favorite track is “Bright Lights and Cityscapes.” That song gives me all the feels. It isn’t higher because it’s only 5 songs, and I have to be in the right mood to want to listen to “Sweet As Whole.”

3. Lungs/Ceremonials-Florence + the Machine

I discovered Florence this year, and thus I discovered both albums. I think Lungs is better, but Ceremonials has a lot going for it as well, so I lumped them together. I don’t know why I hadn’t started listening to her earlier, but I’m certainly glad I found her now. Favorite tracks off of those albums are probably “Cosmic Love” and “Heartlines” respectively. I also have an inkling that you could make a super weird/indie rock opera using just Florence + the Machine songs, so that amuses me. These albums aren’t higher because the next couple albums just carry a lot of emotional resonance for me that isn’t present here.

2. Casey Abrams-Casey Abrams

Casey Abram’s self titled album is an album I was built to love. It’s a lot of acoustic guitar, smooth poptastic vocals, and it’s just sugary and emotional enough to hit me at a time where I was mourning a relationship and really sit with me. I love the guy’s voice, and I’m hoping he has more albums forthcoming. “Blame it on Me” is my favorite track. Just a super solid album. I have listened to it more times than I can count. Why isn’t it number one? Because number one will probably be my favorite album for years and years to come.

1. Love is a 4 Letter Word-Jason Mraz

I don’t know how to express how much I love this album. It gives me all the feels. It resonates with my Buddhism. It resonates with how I feel about life and love and relationships. I love the vibe of this album, Jason Mraz’s voice, and how this album came at a perfect moment in time to make me love it. This album cuts to the core of me. If you want to know me, listen to this album. I will continue to love it for the rest of my life. Words fail. If I had to pick a favorite off of this album (and every track is great) I would probably go with the live version of “I Never Knew You” at the end. That’s the other thing. Buy the deluxe edition because the bonus/live stuff is gold. The demo version of “I Won’t Give Up” is better than the radio edit/normal album version. This album. Go listen to it. So good. Best album of 2012.

Honorable Mention: Lights-Ellie Goulding; PTX: Vol. 1-Pentatonix

 

So there you have it. Do you agree? Disagree? I would love to hear about YOUR favorite albums–I’m always looking for new music to listen to.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Best of 2013 (A Personal List) | Jordan's Blog said,

    […] If you missed 2012, you can find that list here. […]

  2. Best of 2015 (A Personal List) | Jordan's Blog said,

    […] you’re curious, here are my top 10 lists from 2012 and 2013. A lot of really wonderful music showed up for me in 2015, and top to bottom this might be […]

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