1 KENDRICK LAMAR Good Kid In A M.A.A.d City Top Dawg-Aftermath-Interscope
2 YO LA TENGO Fade Matador
3 PILE Dripping Exploding In Sound
4 EVENS The Odds Dischord
5 TAME IMPALA Lonerism Modular
6 JEREMIAH BIRNBAUM Lucky
Rest after tha jump
7 DAVID FORD Tennessee [EP]
8 HERITAGE BLUES ORCHESTRA And Still I Rise Self-Released
9 DALE WATSON AND HIS LONESTARS El Rancho Azul Red House
10 JEFF PEVAR From The Core Pet Peev
11 PSYCHIC ILLS One Track Mind Sacred Bones
12 LUST FOR YOUTH Growing Seeds Sacred Bones
13 MARIA GILLARD Mending
14 DUCKTAILS The Flower Lane Domino
15 GRAHAM PARKER AND THE RUMOUR Three Chords Good
16 PETE SEEGER Pete Remembers Woody Appleseed
17 KURT CARR AND THE KURT CARR SINGERS Bless This House
18 FURTHUR 12-13-12 Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
19 PINK FLOYD Smoking Blues
20 DUKE ELLINGTON Masterpieces By Ellington Legacy
21 DOLLY PARTON Little Sparrow Sugar Hill
22 JONN SERRIE Thousand Star
23 LUNGFISH Necrophones Dischord
24 MATTHEW DEAR Beams Ghostly
25 ONDATROPICA Ondatropica Soundway
26 PETER MULVEY Notes From Elsewhere Signature Sounds
27 ROXY MUSIC AVALON Warner Bros.
28 INNOCENCE MISSION INNOCENCE MISSION A&M
29 WAIFS Temptation
30 UMEK Spank
Raekwon has enjoyed a surprisingly excellent late-career resurgence since 2009’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. 2. This mixtape, like Raekwon himself, is not flashy. It’s mostly a solo effort, with only four features (including Freddie Gibbs and the lesser known Maino, who puts in a memorable verse on “To The Top”). The production isn’t handled by any big names, but rather a collection of hard-working veterans and up-and-comers. In particular, the relatively unknown Roads-Art makes a big impression with work on four of the 13 tracks. Overall, this mixtape is not really anything new for those familiar with Raekwon’s career, not that there’s anything wrong with that. While “gangsta rap” has basically become a meaningless term, Raekwon has made his career on literally rapping about being a gangster, doing it quite convincingly and inventively. And while rappers have referenced movies like Goodfellas and Scarface for decades, few other rappers’ albums sound like they could easily be made into excellent, grimy crime movies. The only real missteps on here are the two “love” (or as close as Raekwon songs can get to love) songs with R&B singers on them and weak production (“Hold You Down” and “86′”).
Recommended Tracks: “Never Can Say Goodbye”, “For the Listeners”
Normally I just give you the chart, but this week we have Charles Mingus topping the charts on the strength of his new box-set that we were lucky enough to get at a discount from the record label. Mingus is one of the greatest geniuses in music history–and one of the craziest. Here’s his Cat Toilet Training Program (“The main thing to remember is not to rush or confuse him”!). Here’s a nice post about the time he punched trombonist Jimmy Knepper on stage. Now, on to the charts!
After the jump
1 CHARLES MINGUS The Jazz Workshop Concerts 1964-65
2 MENAHAN STREET BAND The Crossing Dunham
3 BUDDY GUY Live At Legends
4 BEN SERETAN New Song
5 BEN HARPER AND CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE Get Up! Concord-Stax
6 RODRIGUEZ Searching For Sugar Man Legacy
7 FOXYGEN We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic Jagjaguwar
8 TORO Y MOI Anything In Return Carpark
9 A$AP ROCKY LongLiveA$AP RCA
10 CHRISTOPHER OWENS Lysandre Fat Possum
11 YO LA TENGO Fade Matador
12 BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW Cobra Juicy Rad Cult
13 BOB DYLAN Tempest Columbia
14 BLEEDING RAINBOW Yeah Right Kanine
15 CAT POWER Sun Matador
16 MYSTICAL WEAPONS Mystical Weapons Chimera
17 TAME IMPALA Lonerism Modular
18 KENDRICK LAMAR Good Kid In A M.A.A.d City Aftermath-Top Dawg-Interscope
19 PORT ST. WILLOW Holiday Self-Released
20 ZZ WARD Til The Casket Drops BOARDWALK
21 FLYING LOTUS Until The Quiet Comes Warp
22 TIM MAIA World Psychedelic Classics 4: Nobody Can Live Forever: The Existential Soul Of Tim Maia Luaka Bop
23 MASSIVE ATTACK Blue Lines EMI
24 PEOPLES TEMPLE More For The Masses Hozac
25 CLINIC Free Reign Domino
26 BORIS/ASOBI SEKSU Boris/Asobi Seksu Split [7-inch] Sargent House
27 THE COUP Sorry To Bother You Anti
28 THEE OH SEES Putrifiers II In The Red
29 MYKKI BLANCO Cosmic Angel: Illuminati Prince/ss UNO NYC
30 ANGEL OLSEN Half Way Home Bathetic
1 NEIL YOUNG AND CRAZY HORSE Psychedelic Pill Reprise
2 BOB DYLAN Tempest Columbia
Rest of chart after the jump
3 BUDDY MILLER AND JIM LAUDERDALE Buddy And Jim New West
4 DIRTY PROJECTORS About To Die Domino
5 JAPANDROIDS Celebration Rock Polyvinyl
6 KING TUFF “Screaming Skull” [Single] Sub Pop
7 KENDRICK LAMAR Good Kid In A M.A.A.d City Aftermath-Top Dawg-Interscope
8 TAME IMPALA Lonerism Modular
9 DINOSAUR JR. I Bet On Sky Jagjaguwar
10 MYKKI BLANCO Cosmic Angel: Illuminati Prince/ss UNO NYC
11 SKY FERREIRA Ghost Capitol
12 METALOCALYPSE: DETHKLOK Dethalbum III Cartoon Network
13 THE COUP Sorry To Bother You Anti
14 BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW Cobra Juicy Rad Cult
15 TOY LOVE Live At The Gluepot 1980 Goner
16 TORO Y MOI So Many Details [7-inch] Carpark
17 TITUS ANDRONICUS Local Business XL
18 TY SEGALL Twins Drag City
19 FLYING LOTUS Until The Quiet Comes Warp
20 BAND OF HORSES Mirage Rock Brown-Columbia
21 BARBARAS 2006-2008 Goner
22 ZZ WARD Til The Casket Drops BOARDWALK
23 GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! Constellation
24 MENAHAN STREET BAND The Crossing Dunham
25 SWANS The Seer Young God
26 SCOTT WALKER Bish Bosch 4AD
27 TYVEK On Triple Beams In The Red
28 PORT ST. WILLOW Holiday Self-Released
29 FRANK OCEAN Channel Orange Def Jam
30 FRIGHTENED RABBIT State Hospital Canvasback-Atlantic
2012 was a stellar year for music. Check out my post here for evidence. Just since I wrote that year-end list, Freddie Gibbs‘ Baby Face Killa mixtape crept onto my list for honorable-mention status, on the strength of this incredible video. Others like Miguel‘s Kaleidoscope Dream, Starlito‘s Funerals and Court Dates, Action Bronson & Alchemist‘s Rare Chandeliers and Roc Marciano‘s Reloaded might make it on there with a few more listens. 2013 has the potential to top that year, good as it was. Already, what I’ve heard from it– new music by A$AP Rocky, Toro Y Moi, Foxygen, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Christopher Owens, and the Azealia Banks dis track Angel Haze put out yesterday– is highly, highly encouraging. Here’s what to expect:
List after the jump:
1. Christopher Owens– Lysandre (1/15)
I downloaded a leaked version of this today (don’t worry, I’m definitely buying it when it’s out officially) and listened to it several times on repeat. This album demands and rewards your attention all the way through. I am happy to report that this album is full of sincerity, love, honesty, beautiful songwriting and musical arrangements. It’s missing some of the more rocking elements of his work with Girls, but this is a mature, classy, delightful concept album. The only comparable record I can think of is Histoire de Melody Nelson. He uses a repeated theme, like 70s albums, such as Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, Red Headed Stranger and The Last Waltz. And it stands up against any classic from that time period.
2. A$AP Rocky– Long.Live.A$AP (1/22)
The debut single for this album, “1 Train” features a veritable who’s who of elite up-and-coming rappers: Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Yelawolf (who steals the show), Danny Brown, Action Bronson & Big K.R.I.T. A$AP is definitely a good dude to see rising in popularity– even if he’s not the most talented rapper, he’s got a definite ear for beats, surrounds himself with talented individuals, and challenges common conceptions of hip-hop. As he puts it in a new interview with Complex: “Why is it so fucking hard to accept the fact that we’re heterosexual men who love fashion? We get along with gay people, we accept gay people. We get along with white people, we get along with Asian people. We love everybody.”
3. Foxygen– We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic (1/22)
I’ve covered Foxygen before here. They are a very fun group and this album is a big leap forward from last year’s EP. I pre-ordered this and the label sent me a link to download it even though it hasn’t been officially released yet. “No Destruction” has one of the best lines I’ve heard in a while: “There’s no need to be an asshole. You’re not in Brooklyn anymore.” Hopefully, this album will get a lot of recognition. Foxygen should be a big deal soon.
4. Toro Y Moi– Anything In Return (1/22)
Still associated with the joke-genre, chillwave, Toro left that behind for good in 2011 with the funk-influenced Underneath the Pine and Freaking Out. Now he’s turning his attention to pop. This isn’t exactly the type of stuff you hear on the radio, though. It’s sophisticated, exquisitely crafted, dreamy pop music. Check out the video for “So Many Details”, in which Toro wears a turtleneck and looks moody while his girl’s in the hot tub for evidence of his eccentric genius.
5. Unknown Mortal Orchestra– II (2/5)
The first single for this album, “Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark)” has been out for a while. It’s one of the best songs released in 2012, a song about isolation and loneliness that is at once beautiful, heartbreaking, and somehow hopeful, much like Tame Impala‘s Lonerism.
6. Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge– Twelve Reasons To Die (3/19)
It’s been seven years since Ghost put out the inimitable one-two punch of Fischscale and More Fish. Though he’s put out a lot of quality material since then, it’s high time for one of the best rappers alive to put out another classic. This one looks like it’s got the potential to be that. Adrian Younge has scored the Black Dynamite soundtrack, and put out the outstanding psychedelic soul record Something About April in 2011. If you’re a Ghost fan, you know the man loves his soul music and is one of the best to spit over soulful beats. So this team-up makes a lot of sense. Plus, RZA is executive producing. And, good lord, that cover is great.
7. Kurt Vile– Walkin’ on a Pretty Daze (Spring)
This is what Kurt’s saying about his new album: “The guitar playing is better and the ideas are new. It’s classic, it’s epic, with many more solos.” Can I get a hell yeah?! I’ve been a big fan of Kurt’s since 2011’s Smoke Ring for My Halo. And I would not expect him to be one for idle boasting.
8. Queens of the Stone Age– TBA (First half of 2013)
The band recently sent out this message to Mojo Magazine. Apparently “the record sounds like running in a dream inside a codeine cabaret.” And even they don’t know what that means. There are a lot of reasons to be excited about this album, especially the return of Dave Grohl and Nick Oliveri to the band (missing since 2002’s classic Songs for the Deaf, which, believe it or not, came out over ten years ago now. You’re old.
9. Danny Brown– Old (TBA)
Danny recently revealed collaborators on this album are going to include A$AP Rocky, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Kitty Pryde and Purity Ring. He also said the album’s going to be “more mature” and “If people are just looking for dick-sucking jokes, there isn’t too many of them this time.” A more mature Danny Brown is almost hard to conceive, but I’m definitely looking forward to hearing what that sounds like. And more collabs with Ab-Soul.
10. Earl Sweatshirt– Doris (TBA)
Earl’s recently released single “Chum” is probably the best thing he’s done so far in his young career– an autobiographical track that shows off his cleverness, way with words, and emotional depth (despite speaking in a monotone). It’s also far more mature than his impressive but definitely immature debut, 2010’s EARL. Maturity definitely seems to be a theme of a lot of these albums in 2013. And that’s not a bad thing. Music can be intelligent and thoughtful without being boring. Especially if you’re as ridiculously talented as Earl.
11. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib– Cocaine Pinata (TBA)
After putting out two excellent EPs together, Thuggin’ and Shame, Gangsta Gibbs and Madlib are putting out a full length. And it’s called Cocaine Pinata. I’m excited, anyway.
12. Pusha T– My Name Is My Name (TBA)
Pusha T was instrumental in bringing Chief Keef to greater attention, telling Kanye West about the young Chicagoan, leading to the G.O.O.D. Music remix of “Shit I Don’t Like.” But don’t forget that Pusha is still capable of being a vital, relevant artist himself. It’s been six years since Pusha released one of my favorite albums with Clipse, Hell Hath No Fury. The debut single off this album, “Pain” is very encouraging, as is the rest of the work he’s been doing since becoming a part of Kanye’s inner circle.
13. The Underachievers– Indigoism (TBA)
This group is signed to Flying Lotus‘ label. They have so far put out a handful of songs and videos on Youtube. Despite the limited output, The Underachievers are a very promising young group, who set themselves apart with some tremendous rapid-fire spitting and lyricism. They also share with Ab-Soul a fascination with the secrets the pineal gland (or “third eye”) may unlock.
14. Ab-Soul & JMSN– Unit 6 (TBA)
Ab-Soul & JMSN released one track together last year called “Nibiru,” which starts out with Ab-Soul theorizing that aliens probably built the pyramids. As with The Underachievers, Ab-Soul comes close to the sort of conspiracy theories you might see on the History Channel. However, that doesn’t take away from how good his music is, and there is something intriguing about this movement in hip-hop. JMSN appeared uncredited on several tracks on Kendrick Lamar‘s good kid m.A.A.d. city, and also released an experimental R&B album, Priscilla last year, which features a gorgeous Sigur Ros sample on “Hotel.”
15. My Bloody Valentine– TBA (TBA)
My Bloody Valentine hasn’t put out an album since 1991’s Loveless, the record that is the definitive, perfect, and pretty much only essential shoegaze album (and also bankrupted their label at the time, Creation). Recently the band announced that they have finished mastering this album, though other details remain sparse.
16. The Arcade Fire– TBA (TBA)
Arcade Fire have reportedly already recorded 35 songs. They’ve also been working with James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem. I’ll just leave it at that.
17. Snoop Lion– Reincarnated (TBA)
Snoop Dogg has managed to remain one of the most iconic and beloved rappers despite arguably putting out only one classic in his career, Doggystyle way back in 1993 (or two if you count The Chronic). However, his transformation into Snoop Lion will at the very least renew interest in what he’s doing musically. Since converting to Rastafarianism, he’s abandoned hip-hop for reggae and adopted a more positive persona. This isn’t exactly a shocking move for one of the most famous weed-smokers in the world. As Drew Magary puts it in a recent profile in GQ, “A hundred thousand years from now, there’ll be nothing left but a pile of rocks and Snoop, perched upon the rubble, smoking a blunt, having outlived and outsmarted us all. The lion: king of the weed jungle.”
18. Tyler, The Creator– Wolf (TBA)
His last album, 2011’s Goblin was one of the most disappointing albums in recent memory– an album so bad it almost made everyone (including me) look stupid for thinking Odd Future were anything more than a bunch of immature kids who make rape jokes and hate everything. However, Frank Ocean‘s critically acclaimed Channel Orange, Domo Genesis‘ solid No Idols mixtape with Alchemist, and Earl Sweatshirt‘s “Chum” have all proven that Odd Future definitely do have something special to them. Another reason for hope: Tyler has expressed admiration for Toro Y Moi and The Stepkids, artists making music quite a bit more mature and easy on the ears than the nihilistic mess that was Goblin.
Other artists that (hopefully) will be putting out albums in 2013: Action Bronson & Harry Fraud, Andre 3000, Angel Haze, Beck, Boldy James & Alchemist, Cloud Nothings, Deerhunter, DOOM & Ghostface Killah, Dr. Dre, Frightened Rabbit, Iceage, Juicy J, Kanye West, King Krule, The Knife, Madvillain, Major Lazer, Metal Clergy (Ka & Roc Marciano), MGMT, Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, Oab Jenkins, Schoolboy Q, Sky Ferreira, The Stepkids, Talib Kweli, Tinariwen, Vampire Weekend, Yo La Tengo and many, many others. Truly there will be an embarrassment of musical riches in 2013.
As 2012 draws to a close, it’s time to take a look back at the best music this year, and there’s a whole lot of it. This is just one man’s list and a totally subjective one– these aren’t necessarily the most important albums of the year, but they’re the one’s that I liked the most.
Click through to see the list
Kendrick Lamar’s album is getting all the attention this year, and for good reason. He’s made two classics in the past two years. But Control System has more highs than good kid, m.A.A.d city (including my favorite song of the year, “Book of Soul”). Kendrick and Ab make up half of the Black Hippy crew, which may be the best group of rappers who all seem to like each other since the heyday of Wu-Tang. Ab-Soul is the mascot of the band, the only one who actually looks like a hippy. He’s also the most out-there, rhyming about stuff like the pineal gland. This is what he said about that song in an interview with Complex, “Because you like the song you might want to ask somebody what a pineal gland is. Feel me?” I feel it. There’s a very strong theme of paranoia to Control System, much like another of the year’s best album’s, Cancer 4 Cure. As the album title indicates, Ab-Soul is drawing attention to systems of control– the military, the government, the police, etc. In “SOPA,” he takes on internet censorship. “Double Standard” takes on sexism. But there’s nothing preachy about Control System. He’s not Lupe Fiasco, railing against the system from some moralistic high-horse. His influences range from Eminem and Jay-Z to Basquiat and Banksy, but he’s definitely his own man. As he puts it on “Illuminate”: “I used to wanna rap like Jay-Z, now I feel I can run laps around Jay-Z.” That’s not empty bragging. Ab is a seriously gifted MC, who can hit you with punchlines that make you pause the track. Then there’s “Book of Soul,” an autobiographical tour de force about getting Stevens-Johnson syndrome (the reason why he’s nicknamed Black Lipped Bastard and wears sunglasses all the time) and the tragic death of his girlfriend, Alori Joh, who’s featured both on this album and Kendrick’s Section.80. It’s one of the most emotionally powerful rap songs I’ve ever heard.
2. Japandroids– Celebration Rock
Like Control System, Celebration Rock gives you a good idea of what to expect in the title. Do you like Celebrations? Do you like Rock & Roll Music? Then you, my friend, will dig this. It’s good to have a band that rocks out as hard as these guys around. There’s nothing particularly deep or game-changing about this album, but it kicks more ass than just about anything else.
3. Natural Child– Hard in Heaven
Natural Child also rocks hard. They are a group of scruffy long-haired Southerners who sound like they’re playing at the best, seediest bar in Nashville circa 1976. This was the year that I discovered Burger Records, and this is my favorite out of the treasure-trove of weird, wonderful albums that label puts out.
4. El-P– Cancer 4 Cure
This album is even more uncompromising than Control System in its dystopian vision of America as an authoritarian police-state. No song in 2012 may be more prescient than “Drones Over Bklyn.” On “The Full Retard,” he even has a cartoon voice mock him: “You are so fucking paranoid.”Oh in case you were wondering whether he cares about whether that song title offends you: “Did I give a shit? Of course not.” El-P has been an underground hero for a long time– member of Company Flow, producer for Cannibal Ox, founder of Def Jux. Recently he’s been reintroducing himself to a new generation of underground hip-hop fans, working with some of the best: Das Racist, Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, Killer Mike and Danny Brown (the last three appear on this album). He’s got an auteur’s vision for his production– dark and almost hallucinatory, like a Cronenberg movie. And “For My Upstairs Neighboor” is the best rap song about domestic abuse that I’ve heard.
5. Killer Mike– R.A.P. Music
This album starts out with the best banger of 2012, “Big Beast,” a song that teams up Killer Mike with two other legends of Southern rap, Bun B & T.I. The video is one of the best things that happened in 2012– a tribute to slasher movies and Drive with zombie strippers, El-P in a Ronald Reagan mask, and T.I. hilariously looking like a kid next to Mike and Bun. This album is a collaboration between Killer Mike and El-P, who produced every song on the record. It’s an unexpected but inspired partnering of two men from very different worlds– the Dungeon Family and the New York underground– who share a strong love for rap music and a questioning, critical political sensibility. Like Control System and Cancer 4 Cure, this is another album that challenges the persistent perception of hip-hop as a misogynistic art form. “Untitled” is Mike’s tribute to women, and he has admitted in interviews that having a daughter has made him change some of his previously-held sexist views. “Reagan” is a political dissertation in song form– the most thorough expression of hip-hop’s fascination with and hatred for Ronald Reagan. “JoJo’s Chillin'” is old-school Slick Rick-style hip-hop storytelling. “Willie Burke Sherwood” is about Mike’s late grandfather, and I saw him tear up in concert when he played it.
6. Kendrick Lamar– good kid, m.A.A.d. city
The cover tells you a lot about this album– it’s Kendrick’s coming-of-age film, a strongly cinematic album that holds together as a complete narrative about a good kid trying to find his way in a very tough place– Compton, California. The three song cycle from “m.A.A.d. city” to “Swimming Pools (Drank)” to “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” is unbelievably good. MC Eiht, a Compton veteran, delivers a scene-stealing verse on “m.A.A.d. city,” a song about how a kid gets drawn into crime. Kendrick made it to household-name stature with this album, and he’s got some big names helping him out– Dr. Dre and Wheelchair Jimmy, who appear on this album, along with Lady Gaga, who thankfully did not. But far from depending on those established acts or on input from label executives to polish him into some commercially viable rapper, Kendrick made an ambitious, personal statement without compromising his artistic integrity one bit, and it worked! This is the most reassuring story for the music industry this year.
7. Tame Impala– Lonerism
As someone who has spent a lot of time alone in the Jardin de Luxembourg, this album cover hit almost too close to home. The themes of the album– loneliness and unrequited love– are likely familiar to just about anyone. But this isn’t a album that broods in unhappiness. Rather, it’s dreamy, psychedelic music that can make you smile in spite of whatever troubles you. The boys from Perth have surpassed the high expectations placed on them after their stellar debut, Innerspeaker. This album recalls the greatest psychedelic music of the sixties and seventies, but it’s not derivative. Along with other Tame Impala-associated acts, Pond & Melody’s Echo Chamber, Lonerism is an exciting indication of a psychedelic rebirth.
8. Dirty Projectors– Swing Lo Magellan
Dirty Projectors have a pretty unparalleled ear for melodies and beautiful arrangements. Thankfully, they also know how to rock out, as the album opener “Offspring Are Blank” demonstrates, starting off pretty, but featuring some badass guitar riffery. While other “indie” acts like Grizzly Bear, the XX & Bat for Lashes went minimalist this year, making boring, lifeless music, every song on this record sound full of energy and possibilities. It’s a highly varied album musically, which makes sense, considering David Longstreth has cited everything from Lil Wayne‘s Da Drought 3 to “Homeboy” by Eric Church as influences on the record.
9. Blue Sky Black Death & Nacho Picasso– Exalted
Nacho Picasso is a character. He raps about topics like Greek and Norse mythology and makes 80s pop culture references, just as much as he touches on subjects like drugs, sex and violence. This album is one of the funniest of 2012, but it also sounds like the soundtrack to a movie about a dark, twisted criminal underworld. The beats by Blue Sky Black Death are hard hitting, dark, and synth-y, almost like the Drive soundtrack, but harder edged. Both are vital elements of a surprisingly awesome Seattle hip-hop scene, which features the likes of Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction and Kingdom Crumbs. Possible line of the year: “I say my name and I do a little chuckle.” I would too, if I was named Nacho Picasso.
10. King Tuff– King Tuff
This is a thoroughly fun glam rock album made by a man who sounds like he would be a whole lot of fun to hang out with. King Tuff AKA Kyle Thomas is perhaps best known as the singer and guitar player in Witch, a stoner metal band that features J. Mascis, who put out a killer album of his own this year, Dino Jr.’s I Believe in Sky. It’s hard not to be in a good mood when you listen to this album.
Runners Up (in no particular order):
Lil B– Obama Basedgod
The Coup– Sorry to Bother You
Cult of Youth– Love Will Prevail
Curren$y– Muscle Car Chronicles
Dinosaur Jr.– I Believe in Sky
GLC– The Anti Simp
Angel Haze– Reservation
Ka– Grief Pedigree
Gucci Mane– I’m Up
Kane Mayfield– Rhymes By Kane: Thievery Corporation Edition
Nas– Life Is Good
Niki & The Dove– Instinct
SpaceGhostPurrp– Mysterious Phonk: The Chronicles of SpaceGhostPurrp
1 EL PERRO DEL MAR The Pale Fire Control Group
2 FLYING LOTUS Until The Quiet Comes Warp
3 PRINCE RAMA Top Ten Hits Of The End Of The World Paw Tracks
4 AMANDA PALMER AND THE GRAND THEFT ORCHESTRA Theatre Is Evil 8 Ft.
5 EVENS The Odds Dischord
6 MR. MUTHAFUCKIN’ EXQUIRE The Man In The High Castle
7 METRIC Synthetica MMI-Mom And Pop
Click through to see the rest of the chart, featuring The Coup, Cactus Channel, Ex-Cult, Ab Soul & Converge
8 THE COUP Sorry To Bother You Anti
9 SUFJAN STEVENS Silver And Gold Asthmatic Kitty
10 KING TUFF “Screaming Skull” [Single] Sub Pop
11 ROC MARCIANO Reloaded Decon
12 TITUS ANDRONICUS Local Business XL
13 TOY LOVE Live At The Gluepot 1980 Goner
14 CACTUS CHANNEL Haptics Hope Street
15 KAKI KING Glow Velour
16 MATH THE BAND Get Real Anchor Brain
17 U.S. GIRLS Gem FatCat
18 FATHER JOHN MISTY Fear Fun Sub Pop
19 EX-CULT Ex-Cult Goner
20 DUM DUM GIRLS End Of Daze SUB POP
21 MENAHAN STREET BAND The Crossing Dunham
22 AB-SOUL Control System TopDawg
23 NON/BOYD RICE Back To Mono Mute
24 ALVARIUS B Alvarius B Abduction
25 MAC DEMARCO 2 Captured Tracks
26 SIDEWALK DAVE Hard On Romance Telegraph
27 KENDRICK LAMAR Good Kid In A M.A.A.d City Aftermath-Top Dawg-Interscope
28 TAME IMPALA Lonerism Modular
29 CONVERGE All We Love We Leave Behind Epitaph
30 GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! Constellation
1 MAC DEMARCO 2 Captured Tracks
2 FRANK ZAPPA HOT RATS Rykodisc
3 LITTLE FEAT Rooster Rag Rounder
4 FOXYGEN Take The Kids Off Broadway Jagjaguwar
5 EL PERRO DEL MAR The Pale Fire Control Group
Click through to see the rest of the chart, featuring Dum Dum Girls, Niki and The Dove, Panzerballett & Kaki King
6 DUM DUM GIRLS End Of Daze SUB POP
7 TAME IMPALA Lonerism Modular
8 CAT POWER Sun Matador
9 TWIN SHADOW Confess 4AD
10 EVENS The Odds Dischord
11 SUFJAN STEVENS Silver And Gold Asthmatic Kitty
12 PRINCE RAMA Top Ten Hits Of The End Of The World Paw Tracks
13 SKY FERREIRA Ghost Capitol
14 NIKI AND THE DOVE Instinct SUB POP
15 KING TUFF “Screaming Skull” [Single] Sub Pop
16 TEEN DAZE Inner Mansions Lefse
17 VARIOUS ARTISTS Chimes Of Freedom: The Songs Of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years Of Amnesty International Amnesty International
18 INDIGO Wake [EP]
19 PANZERBALLETT Tank Goodness
20 ANDRE WILLIAMS AND THE GOLDSTARS Nightclub PRAVDA
21 HUMONGOUS Miniature Pinscher
22 MENAHAN STREET BAND The Crossing Dunham
23 KATE NASH Death Proof [EP] Have 10p
24 DESERT Camins
25 KAKI KING Glow Velour
26 NATURAL CHILD Hard In Heaven Burger
27 VARIOUS ARTISTS More Music Compilation 2012
28 FOUR TET Pink Text
29 MATH THE BAND Get Real Anchor Brain
30 EX-CULT Ex-Cult Goner