Oh 2012, where have you gone? In the span of another year, time has aged us, helped us grow into better people, and led the way for relationships to develop. Whether you stuck to your New Years resolution or tossed it out with your spring cleaning, there’s no doubt that you probably had some motivating music to help you get through it all. Or maybe you had that summer fling, which was pushed to the wayside come Fall. If you’re like me, winter brought a new outlook on life with an exciting view of the future. Whatever season or mood, there was a ton of excellent music that was released this year to help pass the time. Here’s my top five albums of the year, in the order in which they were released.
Make sure to to check out all of our Best of 2012 coverage.
Of Monsters and Men – My Head Is An Animal
My Head Is An Animal started off the year great with songs that captured the possibilities of something new and epic lying ahead. To me, this was the start of the year: big, bold and and enticing, leaving us wanting more. Of Monsters and Men made a great first impression on me with their songwriting and the way they built up their songs.
SPRING – SUMMER
Beach House – Bloom
Bloom came out at a time when the year’s music so far was full of really catchy songs (Gotye, and fun. anyone?) , but didn’t really ask a lot of us as listeners (Lana Del Rey). It was a time when I wanted to escape to something new. Beach House was there for me. With Bloom, they delivered a celestial dreamscape to plan out the rest of the year. At the time I was aimless, but wih the synths, pianos and the soothing quality of Victoria Legrand’s voice I was able to connect the dots later on. It’s a deeply haunting album that reeks of something not so optimistic. But it’s greatness lies in how wonderfully its gleam outlook is composed and spread out. It’s a moment of true bliss during another wild year.
SUMMER – FALL
Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
An R&B album at face value, but an introspective collection of stories built upon real experiences, on the inside. Frank Ocean gives us something that goes beyond labels and genres, and is just purely, great music. With so many different notes on love, he gave us a platform that everyone can relate to. But what makes its sum great than its parts are the undertones that disprove social misconceptions of what is love. Its messages of yearning for something real, all while staying young and enjoying the moment–this is what summer was for me. I wasn’t quite lost, just looking for a way out.
Passion Pit – Gossamer
Here in Passion Pit’s second full length studio album we’re getting a nicely wrapped package. With most of the songs on the album, I felt I was being greeted by a friendly warm feeling, but soon discovered a darker stranger within. With personally deep lyrics I was consumed in self-reflection with this album. If something can make us think about our role in life, our contribution to society, than I think it’s worthy of a special nod. And just by listening to “Constant Conversations,” we can tell that the leader of the group, Michael Angelakos, was doing some personal thinking of his own. Ultimately, whatever we are put here for or whatever our pursuit is, we are sure to be ok in the end.
Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
Towards the end of the year, we start the mad dash of realigning ourselves on the tracks of life. If we were at all derailed, here is where we turn our gaze back towards the front again. It’s that dark moment before the light of spring. Kendrick Lamar, unleashed this game changer of an album just in time for us to see how he handles self-reflection. At a time where we are doing the same, he shows us what his past was like. We can all learn from him and his words of personal growth, ambition, and ultimately, being truthful to himself. The cohesiveness of the album is one of its strong points, giving us a solid dose, of “check yo’ self, before you wreck yourself,” the only way Kendrick knows how: lyricism.
Now it’s time to welcome the present, to be excited about everything coming to us, and to keep listening for that song that will get us through the day. Happy New Year.