For some reason I've been largely uninterested in contemporary music this year. Too much generic indie-lite Starbucks shit, nahhmean? That said, the following is an overview of what I took from 2012.
ALBUM/ARTIST OF THE YEAR:
Visions wasn't my favorite album of the year. There is, however, no denying Grimes the title of most ubiquitous artist of 2012. And I'm still not sick of hearing Oblivion despite the fact that it's been playing fucking errwhere.
OTHER ALBUMS THAT I LIKED:
This is my high-brow pick for the year. Amazing album. Especially if you think you've heard The Four Seasons too often for it to ever sound fresh again. Max Richter discards about 3/4's of Vivaldi's original composition, yet still retains its essence.
I am tempted to claim that Lil B is the most important musical artist of his generation. At the very least he is easily the most interesting. The amount of music he's pumped out this year is huge. God's Father is one of the more consistent mix-tapes, and arguably the best thus far. 2012 also marked Lil B's first foray into rock, with the awful, but somehow compelling, and absurd California Boy.
3. CLAMS CASINO - Instrumental Mixtape 2
This is the guy who supplies many of the best beats on Lil B joints. Has also collaborated with A$AP Rocky, who I like. Game changing beats that are worth appreciating in their own right.
4. A$AP ROCKY - LiveLoveASAP
#SWAG #YOLO The 100% serious embodiment of the push-hip-hop-tropes-to-their-logical-conclusion swag rap that Lil B started as parody. Great Beats. Stylish as hell. Original and interesting flow.
5. DEATH GRIPS - The Money Store
Still not sure if I like this as much as Exmilitary but that grew on me slowly so maybe this will too. Sounds like an angry, incoherent, homeless guy yelling over the top of lo-fi electro rap-rock or some shit. Still ends up being the most quotable album of the year. Hustle Bones comin' out mah mouth; stay noided; get get get got got got.
This album is neat. Ostensibly stoner metal. Possibly too repetitive/drone to be liked by everyone.
7. SWANS -The Seer
Very consummate album. Will be adored by anyone who likes post-rock era Swans. My favorite Swans album is Filth, and I can't pretended I don't miss that harsher sound, but this was still decent.
I know people look at this shit as the butt end of the now stale Gucci Gucci meme, but I can't help it. I fucking love this shit - though it'll probably wear pretty fast. Blasé Blasé, Summertime, Left Ey3, Breakfast, were all very enjoyable. Esp Summertime, due mainly to V-Nasty.
HAVEN'T LISTENED TO YET, BUT EXPECT BIG THINGS:
FLYING LOTUS - Until The Quiet Comes
I didn't entirely 'get' 2010's Cosmogramma, sure it had some cool stuff going on, but i found it hard to listen through. I've been excited about this album though, ever since I saw this amazing preview vid.
STUFF I DIDN'T CARE FOR:
Grizzly Bear - Shields.
Very good for what it is. I might listen to it a year from now. At the moment though, I'm quite honestly sick to death of this kind of shit. For some reason, when I wanted 'serious' music I looked to the past, and when I wanted 'fresh' music I inevitably ended up listening to the lightest/least serious releases of 2012.
Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and I Thought It Would be a Good Idea to Give My Album a Longer Name than the Average Sufjan Steven's Song.
Same deal as above. Can't really fault the album, but every time I put it on I got a massive urge to switch to Extraordinary Machine or Tidal.
Japandroids - Celebration Rock.
Babby's first noise rock. The distortion and fuzz makes it sound monotonous and bland rather than menacing, and it doesn't disguise the generic rock that's taking place.
Beach House - Bloom.
Competent, just like Teen Dream. Unfortunately, for me, it still doesn't top Devotion, and the elements that made their sound unique two or more years ago have now become pretty tired. Until they do something that tops Devotion I've got enough of this sort of music to keep my satisfied.
Childish Gambino - Anything and Everything He's Done.
Fuck that nigger yo. Seriously.