TME’s Favorite Albums of 2012

There were some surprises this year.  A couple albums came out of nowhere to be gems.  There were a couple that were highly anticipated that ended up being duds and did not make this list.  After looking at the list of favorites I would have only predicted about two of them to be in the top 10.

1.  Anathema – Weather Systems

Weather_Systems

Most beautiful album of the year.  An emotional rollercoaster that needs to be heard to get the full effect.  The atmosphere and Lee Douglas’s beautiful vocals set this one at the top.

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2.  Alt-J – An Awesome Wave

Alt-J_-_An_Awesome_Wave

Once you get past the oddness of it you find the intricacies of the album that make this special.  With every new listen you will hear something you missed before.  There sound is like nothing else and that is a huge compliment.

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3.  Miike Snow – Happy To You

HappyToYouStandard

I didn’t think they could do better than their first album.  At first I didn’t feel this one.  That didn’t last long as it is one of the best of the year.  It is a little darker than their self titled debut which gives it a little more character.

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4.  Joshua James – From The Top of Willamette Mountain

joshua james

Joshua is able to drum up so much emotion and he does it by usually by not doing much.  Less is more at times.  A folky soul sound that sounds straight from the heartland.

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5.  Deftones – Koi No Yokan

Koi_No_Yokan

Definitely heavier than “Diamond Eyes.”  After their last two records I didn’t think the heaviness would return like it did on this record.  This won’t be mistaken for “Adreniline,” but it is there is no arguing this is heavy.

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6.  Matthew E. White – Big Inner

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Slow paced soul.  The stand out is the music.  White’s imperfect voice adds the character.

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7.  Of Monsters and Men – My Head Is An Animal

My_Head_Is_An_Animal

Unbelievably catchy indie rock album.  I really enjoy the way the male and female voices are used.  From start to finish the songs are great.

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8.  Murder By Death – Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon

Bitter_Drink,_Bitter_Moon

I don’t think any MBD album is going to touch “Red of Tooth and Claw.”  It is just a personal favorite.  This is much better than “Good Morning, Magpie” though.  A golden low toned voice telling binge drinking stories.  Who wouldn’t like that.

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9.  Minus the Bear – Infinity Overhead

InfinityOverhead

They took what they did on their previous effort “Onmi” and fused it with their older sound.  I think it makes fans of both sounds pretty happy.

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10.  Fear Factory – The Industrialist

The_Industrialist-_album_cover

Heaviest record they have come out with in a while.  It is still accessible to fans of the “Digimortal” sound since it has some great crooning moments as well.

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11.  Circus Maximus – Nine

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This took me by suprise.  A real solid prog metal album.  Takes me back to what Dream Theater was doing in their heyday.

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12.  Ramona Falls – Prophet

Romona Falls_

It is almost like we got old Dredg back.  There are some real similarities and enough differences that they won’t get tagged as a copy cat even though most Dredg fans would like more copy cats since our beloved band has regressed so much lately.

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13.  OSI – Fire Make Thunder

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Kevin Moore is one of my favorites.  Don’t like this as much as “Blood” but the ablum as a whole is still really good.

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14. The Temper Trap – The Temper Trap

The_Temper_Trap

Don’t discount this album just because it is a different direction than their first one.  The change in sound took me by surprise, but it did not take long for me to get used to and enjoy.  If you listened once and didn’t like it because it was different try it again.

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15.  Greg Laswell – Landline

greg laswell

Really enjoy this record.  The increased use of female guest vocals really makes this album shine.  Makes a singer/songwriter more interesting when they add a touch of someone else.

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16.  Anders Osborn – Black Eyed Galaxy

Anders Osborne

A man and his blues.  Its gritty, it’s bluesy, it’s funky.  He looks just like he sounds.

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17.  Bahamas – Barchords

Bahamas_

The sound is in the name.  Cool, laid back, with a little bit of soul.

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18.  Milo Greene – Milo Greene

Milo_greene_album

Such great harmonies.  Since they are all previous lead singers this is a natural fit.  Done very well.  The musics atmosphere is what makes this album special.

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19.  Mumford and Sons – Babel

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Pretty much just an extension of their last album.  Nothing groundbreaking and not as single oriented.  A solid effort, but I was hoping for a little more.

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20.  Alberta Cross – Songs of Patients


alberta cross

They stripped some of the dirty blues out and added in some poppiness.  This was an evolution I saw coming.  They have the formula to get popular and this is a necessary step to get their.  I like the dirty blues sound better, but hey you gotta eat.

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21.  Atoma – Skylight

Atoma

Another beautiful prog album.  It has great post rock/metal atmosphere and much of the vocals act as an additional instrument.

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22.  The Unwinding Hours – Afterlives

The unwinding hours

There are remnants of previous band Aereogramme, but it is a much softer sound.  It is a progression they have been making their whole career.

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23. Flying Colours – Flying Colours

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When Mike Portnoy, Neal Morse, Steve Morse form a supergroup you know you are going to get a progressive album.  The fact they add in some alternative, folk, and pop make this much more than a prog metal album.  Very accessible for non prog lovers.

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24. Good Old War – Come Back As Rain

Good old war

Very simple lyrically, it just seems to put the listener in a good mood.  If the goal was a bunch of simple catchy tunes they accomplished it.

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25.  Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits

divine fits_

A great 80s new wave vibe throwback.  Dan Boeckner(Spoon) and Britt Daniel(Wolf Parade) joined together to form a sort of supergroup.  The album has some great singles on it.

 

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