As the year comes to a close, we all sit around a think about what music has been through this past year. 2012 was by no means a mediocre year in music. In fact, in most instances it was brought to bigger and better heights, achievements that would never seem possible were achieved, barriers and limits were broken. Over the many genres of music, new precedents were set. Here is my recognition of this year’s top 15 albums.
15. Memphis May Fire – Challenger
Yeah, yeah, a metalcore “scene” band. But this was an album like no other. Memphis May Fire has exceeded new heights with this album. They have gone above and beyond the threshold of mainstream metalcore and produced possibly the best metalcore album of 2012. This album’s diversity and emotional roller coaster will send you on the metalcore ride of your life. I swear, I won’t say metalcore anymore.
14. Hoodie Allen – All American
A rapper, and a short, white, Jewish one at that. Hoodie Allen exceeds expectations on this album. He is, as some say, a lyrical genius. This guy brings a fresh feel to hip-hop and rap giving it a poppy and preppy overtone. Hoodie recognizes where his genre has become a little redundant and fixes it in this masterpiece. These songs will make you happy, sad and most of all want to party. Its a great achievement and will no doubt skyrocket him onto the scene.
13. Alex Clare – The Lateness of The Hour
Alex Clare brings his electric feel to pop with this album. The Englishman really sets an example for aspiring musicians in his genre to follow and to reach. His work on this album is incredibly diverse and each song gives you a different feeling. From his hit Too Close to the magnificent song Up All Night this album is worth the full listen.
12. The Ghost Inside – Get What You Give
This album is hardcore so get ready to start a pit and smash some faces…but not really. This album was amazing. The Ghost Inside really outdid themselves with this one. Reaching the heights of their previous album Returners and possibly breaking them, they come out hitting with a spectacular piece of work. They make you feel emotions you never thought you would feel in this, they put meaning behind every lyric, giving this album a passionate roar.
11. Hands Like Houses – Ground Dweller
Okay before anything else, I will point out these guys are Sleeping With Sirens-esque…but sooo much better. They really pushed themselves with this awesome album. They give a traditional metalcore feel but only provide you with clean smooth vocals. The emotions pulse through their music and you can feel it gripping the album cover. Every single song is a great listen, so i recommend this whole album, you won’t regret it.
10. Imagine Dragons – Night Visions
Wow. That about sums it up. Indie Rock/Alternative gods. These guys put an AMAZING album out. Night Visions really raised the bar for this genre. They put out a diverse interesting album that will keep you sitting on the edge of your seat, waiting for the next song. This talented group of gentlemen have achieved Demi-God status among music, and have just went platinum on this album. But what do you expect from an unbelievable album?
9. Mumford & Sons – Babel
I like folk rock, and you should too. I’m serious. If you thought Mumford & Sons’ last album Sigh No More was good, well you’ll think this is amazing. This band is so incredibly talented they continue to put out music that surprises the masses. This album left me speechless. The songs are so intricate and so musically detailed you will never get bored of this album. They put their emotions into every song, then they get embedded in your heart. An amazing album from an amazing group.
8. Moving Mountains – New Light EP
This EP was incredible. This is one of the greatest Ambient/Rock albums of the year. They made amazing sounds on this masterpiece of a CD. They surprised the hell out of everyone and continue to revolutionize music. Fame is not everything in music, they may not be the best known band, but they are so much better than many artists today. They have really outdone themselves this time around. New Light sheds NEW LIGHT on music. HAHAHAHA.
7. Title Fight – Floral Green
THEY ARE NOT POP PUNK…STFU. This album was so good. Title Fight combines the vocals of hardcore with the sounds of pop punk and emo, but they do it in a way where it sounds like its own genre. This album broke Title Fight onto the scene and helped them explode into peoples’ lives everywhere. The album is so emotional and powerful, it will really keep you thinking.
6. Fun. – Some Nights
Yes, pop rock. Fun. is awesome. This album is awesome. I guess you can say they have bettered Nate’s former band The Format. The Arizona native and his band Fun. have exploded into the mainstream with an album that will leave you laughing and crying. A great album from a great band, they deserve the sixth spot in my list.
5. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist
Rap/hip-hop/soul/R’n’B, these guys give you everything. This album is unbelievable and THE best hip hop album of the year hands down. These songs are sad, happy, hopeful and just plain fun. Macklemore destroyed everyone in his path and made an album of pure gold. The hit single Same Love is possibly the best song on this album and it gives you a birds eye view of everything he believes. The video will make you tear up but at the same time be happy. The Heist was art at its finest.
4. Prawn – Ships
Emo at its finest here. Prawn outdid themselves. This album was amazing and this band is amazing. They make you feel the music in your veins and the pulsing sensation makes it so much better. This album is good for early morning car rides and I have been listening to it for the past week. I cannot stay away.
3. Altars – Conclusions
Hardcore is the best core, this band shows it. The album is so good and these guys are so musically talented. They may not be very well known but they certainly seem like they will be. From the heaviest parts of the album to the soft interludes you will never get bored of the album. Its a worthwhile listen, trust me you will not regret this hour of your life.
2. Athletics – Who You Are Is Not Enough
Words can not describe this album, but i’ll try my best. They are so talented. Athletics put out the best Indie/Ambient album of the year by far. They have exceeded so many people’s expectations and went above and beyond in this beautiful masterpiece. They say the sky is the limit, well for these guys the universe is. They deserve so much recognition for this work of art. Their fan base is slowly growing but that has not stopped them from achieving great heights. Athletics will continue to prosper and grow even bigger. They really have created a work of art this time around.
1. Stick To Your Guns – Diamond
What can I say? these guys fully deserve the number one spot on my list. This album was so incredibly good and these guys put so much emotion into their music. The message they put out is acceptance, one that everyone should follow and listen to. Not only does Stick To Your Guns preach their message, they pound it into your mind. It is so great what these guys are doing. Personally, they have gotten me through so much i could not thank them enough. Their music as a whole means so much to me, it has gotten me through rough times. I lost my mother way before i knew this band but that has not stopped them from helping me through the loss of her. They mean so very much to me and deserve a listen. But now for a non-personal story: This band played a show in Arizona a while back. After their set, a kid came up to Jesse, the lead man, and says he has his friend on the phone. His friend happened to be Sam Perkins, an aspiring musician with a band on the local music scene here. The kid says to Jesse that Sam couldn’t make it to the show because he is in the hospital fighting a brain tumor. Jesse then proceeded to speak with Sam over the phone, Sam explaining how much STYG means to him and how much he wishes he could have been at the show. Jesse immediately connected with Sam, and they immediately became friends. Sadly, soon after their conversation, Sam passed away. It was a complete shock to everyone in the Arizona music scene and especially Jesse. Jesse wasn’t done with Sam there, however. On the new album, the track Against Them All was dedicated to Sam. Jesse keeps spreading his story to date and will never miss playing here in Arizona on a tour now. I can safely say this band deserves the #1, they are stuck in the hearts of everyone in Arizona’s local scene and always will be.