Matthew Simone: Top Albums of 2012

Philadelphia, PA

All and all, I’d have to say that the best albums I listened to this year all came out last year. I’m no critic, but for my time these albums leave me the most satisfied. So here’s to 2013 bringing the heat.

top ten albums

10Dr. Dog: Be the Void

Not their best album, but still gives me a lot more enjoyment than most of the albums I’ve heard this year.

Standout Track(s): Do The Trick, Over Here, Over There

09Godspeed You! Black Emperor: ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!’

This is wonderful stuff if you have the patience for this kind of music.

Standout Track(s): There’s only four songs.


I’ve been looking for some good heavy, dance tracks. I found it on this list. Thanks.

Standout Track(s): Higher Ground

07Dirty Projectors: Swing Lo Magellan

More accessible to me than their previous albums, I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. At times disjointed

Standout Track(s): Gun Has No Trigger, Dance For You, Impregnable Question

06Alabama Shakes: Boys and Girls

Top heavy and only 50% there, but in that 50% is the potential for something big. Brittany Howard has a powerful voice that brings to mind the passion of Joplin, but it sounds like this album was slapped together and crammed out before they were ready. If they can find themselves – and a decent producer – they have a bright future ahead.

Standout Track(s): Hold On, I Found You

05Bruce Springsteen: Wrecking Ball

Having always wanted an excuse to dive more into his catalog, news of a CBP show peaked my interest. But hearing Wrecking Ball sent me into a Springsteen hole that took me two months to get out of. With this album and a show at CBP, my respect turned into idolistic admiration. Don’t hate people, educate (yourself).

Standout Track(s): We Take Care of Our Own, Land of Hopes and Dreams, Death to my Hometown

04Grizzly Bear: Shields

Their best album yet.

Standout Track(s): Sleeping Ute, Half Gate, Sun in your Eyes

03River City Extension: Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Your Anger

The best folk/americana/bluegrass/indie/pop band you haven’t heard yet. And they’re from Jersey.(Oh wait, I’m trying to get you to listen)

Standout Track(s): Welcome to Pittsburgh, There and Back Again

02Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, M.A.A.D City

It took me until the fourth listen, but the lyrics on this album finally sunk in. They possessed a depth and insight unrivaled in hip hop today all hidden behind hooks that suck you in and sizzle. The characters of Compton he brings out crawl into your sub-conscious and create a powerful reflection that I hope all its listeners can see.

Standout Track(s): The Art of Peer Pressure, Swimming Pools

01Tame Impala: Lonerism

I’m out of steam so I cop out to Pitchfork – “Lonerism is portable and joyous in an unforced way, a soundtrack for the times when you’re walking downtown and look up at a collection of skyscrapers, or driving through a mountain pass on an interstate or even looking at a Ferris wheel next to an ocean thinking, “Holy shit, how did this all get here?”

Standout Track(s): Why Won’t They Talk to Me, Feels Like We Only Go Backwards

honorable mentions

Dan Deacon – America, Sharon Van Etton -Tramp, Shins – Port of Morrow

similarity to overall top ten: 38.83%, 3 matches

top songs

10Dan Deacon – America, Sharon Van Etton -Tramp, Shins – Port of Morrow

07Japandroids, “The House That Heaven Built”This might have been my favorite song – if I was a 16 year old boy.

06 Beach House, “Myth”You can pick any song from this album. They’re all the same. Can anyone honestly tell me they can listen to this album straight through without going insane? It usually happens to me around song 6.

05Fun., “Tonight”It’s got that drunken Bon Jovi sing along vibe. Which we all love. Right?

04Lumineers, “Ho Hey”Coming to a rom com near you.

03Kendrick Lamar, “Swimming Pools (drank)”

02The Shins, “Port of Morrow”

01Tame Impala, “Feels Like We Only Move Backwards”

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