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

  2. 2

    Bruce Springsteen Have to admit, while (like all of his comeback records) I liked this from the start, I didn't ...

  3. 3

    Bob Dylan Though consistently good, the last 2-3 songs are where this gets great, which puts it a notch ...

  4. 4

    Jack White Most Valuable Rocker of 2012?

  5. 5

    Dr. John Producer Dan Auerbach is also a strong contender for MVP of the year.

  6. 6

    Alabama Shakes I have had a couple of these songs for a year and a half now and they still pump me up every ...

  7. 7

    The Smashing Pumpkins 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

  9. 9

    Animal Collective Doesn't blow me away the way Merriweather Post Pavillion did, but great stuff nonetheless.

  10. 10

    Godspeed You! Black Emperor The two main (long) pieces on this album are songs they have been playing live these past two ...

  11. 11

    Sweet Heart Sweet Light Spiritualized

  12. 12

    Mirage Rock Band of Horses Another strong BOH record - and it might grow on me more, like the last one did

  13. 13

    Rush Even more shocking than how good the Pumpkins record is, this is the first Rush record I have ...

  14. 14

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

  15. 15

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

  16. 16

    Lonerism Tame Impala

  17. 17

    Sun Cat Power

  18. 18

    Grace and LIes Family Band

  19. 19

    >Album Title Goes Here< deadmau5 Deadmau5 is the one new (tidal) wave of EDM artist who consistently blows me away

  20. 20

    Home Again While the rest of the record (tho quite good) doesn't quite scale these heights, check out ...

  21. 21

    Blues Funeral Mark Lanegan Band Maybe his best

  22. 22

    Muse Bit of a letdown from the last two, though Madness may be their best song yet

  23. 23

    The Magic Door Chris Robinson Brotherhood Very much beneath the radar, Chris Robinson's new jamband released 100+mins of quite strong ...

  24. 24

    Big Moon Ritual Chris Robinson Brotherhood

  25. 25

    Handwritten The Gaslight Anthem


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