2012; it’s been a great year for albums. We’ve already shown you our top 50 to 41, 40 to 31 and 30 to 21, so without any further ado, here’s 20 through to 11.
20. The Menzingers - On The Impossible PastThe thing about ‘On The Impossible Past’ is that, even from the very first listen, it feels as though you’ve known it all along. Not in a repetitive sense; there’s nothing unoriginal about this effort. It’s just that listening to this album possesses that eery feeling that these songs have laid low in your bloodstream for years, but it’s only when The Menzingers released their third full-length did they really manifest and become a tangible part of your being. Whilst the musicianship is confident, the lyrics are ultimately self-deprecating, doubtful and insecure. Yet, there’s an undeniable feeling of catharsis and hope within this record, making this truly one of the best modern punk albums of our generation. (Sarah Jamieson)
Read our interview with The Menzingers here.
19. Future Of The Left - The Plot Against Common SenseBy turns acerbic, hilarious and bile-filled (actually, usually all at the same time), what separated ‘The Plot Against Common Sense’ from the previous FOTL albums was just how huge the riffs were. Guitars, keyboards and drums all reverberated together in furious harmony. Lyrically, Falko tackled the riots, the Olympics and celebrity culture with the same amount of glorious disdain and wit we’ve come to expect. And it featured, of course, the song title of the year: ‘Robocop 4: Fuck Off Robocop’. Ferociously vital – and deservedly the winner of this year’s Welsh Music Prize. (Danny Wright)
18. Django Django - Django DjangoExperimental pop quartet Django Django managed to pull one of the most inventive debut full lengths of 2012 out of the bag. Their mix of psychedelic melodies, Spaghetti Western basslines and tight harmonies make Django Django undeniably catchy and has earned them many a fan over the year. They’ve brought a new slant to the already existing Scottish scene and produced one of the most fun singles of the year in the form of ‘Default’. (Aurora Mitchell)
Read our interview with Django Django here.
17. Graham Coxon - A+EThe Blur machine sparked back into life this year ending with a Hyde Park shindig to celebrate the closing of the London Olympics. For their guitarist though, 2012 has been a golden year for another reason. Graham Coxon’s eighth solo album ‘A+E’ is a triumph. Grounded in challenging and abrasive sounds but with an ever-present melodic sensibility, it is a record that provokes and ripples with post-punk influenced intensity. It is also, importantly, bloody good fun. Featuring Graham’s most inventive guitar sounds since Blur’s ‘13’, it shows that he is still one of our finest musicians. (Martyn Young)
16. Jessie Ware - DevotionHaving negotiated the BBC Sound Of 2012 list, this year has seen Jessie Ware make the journey from tentative session singer for SBTRKT to Mercury Prize nominee. Switching effortlessly between summertime blues inducing ‘110%’ and alternative ballad ‘Night Light’ , Ware has merged the borders between glitchy underground electronica and the Radio 1 A list to lead the way for the current wave of British female soloists. ‘Devotion’ marries tasteful instrumentation and an accessibly sensitive turn of phrase to create a contemporary, yet seemingly timeless, album that gives her the limelight she deserves. (Jimmy Blake)
Read our interview with Jessie Ware here.
15. Weird Dreams - ChoreographyFrom their post punk roots you’d be hard pressed to find many that could of predicted Weird Dreams’ musical trajectory. Yet the band has learned that the power of a glorious melody can dwarf all other tools in ones armoury. The strategically placed breakdowns, expansively drawn guitar chorus’ and glittering pop craftsmanship sees Doran Edwards & co fall into their own unique place on today’s musical spectrum. Somewhere along a vague line where vintage meets contemporary sounds just about right. ‘Choreography’ as a whole feels precisely balanced and entirely cohesive. Ultimately, though, this is a debut that evokes a keen sense of fulfilment from a band who find themselves exactly where they want to be. (Wayne Flanagan)
Read our interview with Weird Dreams here.
14. Chromatics - Kill For LoveIn a romanticised ideal existence, Chromatics would soundtrack every moment of my conscious life. From grim beat-ups in elevators, to adjusting my Ryan Gosling style quiff, I would look in the dashboard mirror with ‘Kill For Love’ playing and the ‘Drive’ film would become a reality. Of course Johnny Jewel contributed material to that cinematic triumph. ‘Kill For Love’ follows the pre-existing theme, but it builds on this, telling tales of heartbreak, ecstasy and friendship. It is heart-wrenching in its candidness, and slick to the core. Through its sixteen tracks of Neil Young covers and future-pop hits and 80s disco homages, it never lets up. (Jamie Milton)
13. Jack White - BlunderbussFollowing The White Stripes’ less than sudden disbandment in 2011, many were left wondering where we were going to get our fix of the White. I mean, sure we have The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs (do they still count?), but none of them were solely his. ‘Blunderbuss’ was the answer to this dilemma. An irresistible mish-mash of blues-garage-country-rock, White’s debut solo LP is a triumph. Lord Jack is back and by the sounds of it he ain’t going nowhere. (George Boorman)
12. Tame Impala - LonerismTame Impala, eh? Our favourite loveable Australian rogues who – if the Fosters advert is to be believed, anyway – spend their days on the beach playing guitar by the campfire without a care in the world. Thankfully that awful stereotype just isn’t true, because Kevin Parker has written ‘Lonerism’ instead. An album about being alone, lost, and a little bit sad in a crowd, this is sun-drenched psychedelic jams at their very best. Powering forward towards a trippy universe at full velocity, we’ll bet we’re not loners in declaring this one of the finest rock albums of the year. (El Hunt)
Read our interview with Tame Impala here.
11. The Maccabees - Given To The WildThe Maccabees; a band who’ve teetered on the edge national treasure-dom since 2007’s debut ‘Colour It In’. The Brighton five-piece managed to pull themselves free from the wreckage of the noughties guitar-boom and keep relativity quiet about the affair. That was until January’s ‘Given To The Wild’ forced the masses to take note of a band who finally feel at one with their sound. A top ten album and a Mercury Prize nomination later, and they’ve thankfully reminded musicians that producing sickeningly memorable tracks is possible without a remix. (Jimmy Blake)
So who’ll be that all important number one in our Albums of 2012? Check back tomorrow for the Top 10.