Best Albums of 2012 Albums
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Best Albums of 2012

List Criteria: As usual, I don't include live albums, compilations, or reissues

No stone classics this year on par with last year (Black Keys and Adele), but overall about 10 truly excellent releases, and many really good ones. In many cases I've added a video of a track to check out. Overall, a lot of good releases in the rock field (I don't like hip-hop or contemporary-sounding R&B and country for the most part).

While I listen to a lot of new music, I am also loyal to bands that I love and will typically pick up their new albums and give them a shot. On that front:

Surprises: Rush, ZZ Top, Smashing Pumpkins, Dr. John, Neil and the Horse.

Letdowns: DMB, Muse (just a slight letdown - "Madness" is at least a killer track), Heartless Bastards, Sigur Ros, Paul Weller, Soundgarden, and the 3 Green Day records, which combined maybe have 10 decent songs on them and very few great ones.

(I didn't include Aerosmith and Van Halen in either bucket because my expectations weren't very high to begin with, but at least each of their albums have a few solid songs).

If you want to really go deep, here's my top albums of the '90s and the '00s, as well as my Top 500 Bands Of All Time.
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  1. 1
    Neil Young & Crazy Horse More
  2. 2
    Bruce Springsteen More
    Have to admit, while (like all of his comeback records) I liked this from the start, I didn't ... more
  3. 3
    Bob Dylan More
    Though consistently good, the last 2-3 songs are where this gets great, which puts it a notch ... more
  4. 4
    Jack White More
    Most Valuable Rocker of 2012?
  5. 5
    Dr. John More
    Producer Dan Auerbach is also a strong contender for MVP of the year.
  6. 6
    Alabama Shakes More
    I have had a couple of these songs for a year and a half now and they still pump me up every ... more
  7. 7
    The Smashing Pumpkins More
    Wow. Billy is back, full-on. If you don't believe me check out this song Quasar.
  8. 8

    Blak and Blu

    Gary Clark Jr More
  9. 9
    Animal Collective More
    Doesn't blow me away the way Merriweather Post Pavillion did, but great stuff nonetheless.
  10. 10
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor More
    The two main (long) pieces on this album are songs they have been playing live these past two ... more
  11. 11

    Sweet Heart Sweet Light

    Spiritualized More
  12. 12

    Mirage Rock

    Band of Horses More
    Another strong BOH record - and it might grow on me more, like the last one did
  13. 13
    Rush More
    Even more shocking than how good the Pumpkins record is, this is the first Rush record I have ... more
  14. 14

    Silencing Machine

    Nachtmystium More
    At first I didn't like as much as their last few, but that has definitely changed. 
  15. 15

    Noctourniquet

    The Mars Volta More
    This record was largely ignored, but while it may not be their best work it is still pretty ... more
  16. 16

    Lonerism

    Tame Impala More
  17. 17

    Sun

    Cat Power More
  18. 18

    Grace and LIes

    Family Band More
  19. 19

    >Album Title Goes Here<

    deadmau5 More
    Deadmau5 is the one new (tidal) wave of EDM artist who consistently blows me away
  20. 20

    Home Again

    Michael Kiwanuka More
    While the rest of the record (tho quite good) doesn't quite scale these heights, check out ... more
  21. 21

    Blues Funeral

    Mark Lanegan Band More
    Maybe his best
  22. 22
    Muse More
    Bit of a letdown from the last two, though Madness may be their best song yet
  23. 23

    The Magic Door

    Chris Robinson Brotherhood More
    Very much beneath the radar, Chris Robinson's new jamband released 100+mins of quite strong ... more
  24. 24

    Big Moon Ritual

    Chris Robinson Brotherhood More
  25. 25

    Handwritten

    The Gaslight Anthem More

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