Top Albums of 2012…So Far (My Take)

So for those of you who don’t look at Freshly Pressed when you sign in to WordPress – perhaps you dont have WordPress – there was a blog post here where a guy talks about his favourite albums of 2012 so far. Seeing as we’re halfway through the year and how I havent made an aggregated list of my favourite albums so far on here, I thought I may as well jump on the bandwagon.

Bearing in mind this is an in-progress list, accurate only as of now. I’ll do a proper, Top 25/Top 50 at the end of the year. If you want to check out my current, continuously updated full list (around 90 or so albums), here it is on Rate Your Music (hit me up if any of you are members, by the way).

10. Dropxlife – Furthur

I previously, ie months ago, lauded this as one of the finest albums of the year. That was a little premature on my behalf, but it certainly has stood the test of time and stiff competition. It is literally creeping in to the top 10, only just edging out Biosphere. Not sure if it’ll last. Very cool, downtempo Trillwave, sounds a bit like Burial.

9. Alt-J – An Awesome Wave

I reviewed this one. It really did leave quite an impression on me; the weird folkstep fusion tickled me. It’s a little inconsistent, I’ll concede, and it does try very hard to bring a lot of different ideas to the table but I think it pulls it all off rather well. Seriously, it’s like nothing you’ve heard before, highly original.

8. Reptar – Body Faucet

Never got round to reviewing this one, sadly. I struggled enough trying to muster the words for Alt-J, but this is a whole other ballpark. Really energetic and bright Indie Pop-Rock, fantastically catchy melodies, soaring vocals; I just can’t help but crack a smile whenever I put this album on. It has a few introspective, serious moments but it doesn’t take itself too seriously for the most part. Fun, fun, fun.

7. School Of Seven Bells – Ghostory

I was a bit damning with my original review on Ghostory; mostly I was pretty disappointed that they’d changed their sound so much. In hindsight I wrote about it way too early on; like every SVIIB album, this one really grew on me after a bunch of listens. It still feels a bit clinical compared with their softer, more harmonious Dream Pop ala Disconnect from Desire but this is punchier and faster.

6. Geographer – Myth

Have some more Indie Pop. Sadly, these guys have slipped under the radar (compared to Reptar for example), which is sad because I love this. Not quite so energetic by any means, but the vocals are gorgeous and very honest and heartfelt, and there are some great pulses of instrumentation (synths and guitar). Hard to pin down what I like about this exactly, it just feels really earnest.

5. Celer – Evaporate and Wonder

I think I made my thoughts on this particular release pretty clear, this is some stellar drone. Super quiet and super minimal, it really forces you to take some time out to be still and silent and listen to what it has to say. Celer may be stupidly prolific but he isn’t a dunce, he does still crank out some astonishingly beautiful works. Not for anyone with a short attention span.

4. Saltillo – Monocyte

Everytime Classical music is brought together with Electronic, in whatever form or subgenre, the results are always intriguing. There is so much scope in both genres that it’s fairly easy to be original, albeit difficult to pull of successfully. Saltillo really has done an amazing job here though; Trip-Hop, with its big electronic beats and shuffling nature, coupled with lots of spoken word samples and incredible classical string breakdowns. Really dark and menacing, brilliant.

3. Grimes – Visions

The album art sucks. There, I said it. It really is shit. I didn’t listen to this for ages because I thought it was going to be some shitty post-punk album or something. Actually it’s a highly original, quirky, cutesy synth pop album. Sure, it’s a bit repetitious and, well, girly, but it all just comes together and is annoyingly infectious. A few weak moments towards the end but it still feels really consistent throughout.

2. 36 – Lithea

I’m a self-confessed 36 fanboy. There is no other artist out there right now, for me, that is producing work that I love more than this guy’s. Every single album is carefully thought out, beautifully executed and has so much emotional resonance; Lithea is no exception. Glacial drone creeps, euphoric drone soars, electronically produced rhythms tap and sparkle, it has it all. A culmination of all his previous works into one. Just misses out on top spot simply because it’s too long, which is actually quite ironic because…

1. Chromatics – Kill For Love

…Kill For Love is 90 minutes long. I know, it is just a ridiculous length. Honestly, I am coming to question whether it is still deserving the crown of AOTSY because of its crippling length but…it has so much goodness stuffed into it and the sound is so wonderful I can’t help myself. Deeply 80’s vibe with stunning crystalline vocals, a warm tube amp glow and great guitar work. You dont have to agree with me, but I really do adore this album.

Well, there you have it, my Top 10 so far. Feel free to leave a comment or a message and outline your Top 10!

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