Arriving a bit later than planned, here is part 3 of our Top Albums of 2012. Better late than never, and all that jazz. Oh, and if you fancy reading the list so far from 25-11, then here is a link to view it in one huge article. Woah.
15. Niki & The Dove – Instinct
It’s pretty astonishing how fickle the music industry is nowadays. Rewind 12 months, and Niki & The Dove were being tipped for stardom. Now they seem to have fallen off the radar a little, and people have gone and found some new Swedish acts they can swoon over. Whilst they haven’t yet reached the level of success some were predicting they would in 2012, the duo from Stockholm, in my opinion, did produce one of the year’s finest albums in Instinct. On an album which is both flawless in its execution and fascinating in its approach, Malin Dahlström’s unmistakeable vocals bounce over grandiose electronic pop hits, with stunning results. ’Instinct’ has been criminally overlooked in so many end of year lists this year, so please, let’s all make sure we don’t forget about Niki & The Dove.
14. The Maccabees – Given To The Wild
When Given To The Wild was released on the 9th of January this year, plenty of people were throwing around phrases like “early contender for album of the year” and “sure to feature in best of 2012 lists”. Nearly 12 months on, and I think The Maccabees third full-length has most certainly stood the test of time. Re-listening to it now, the record sounds just as brave, beautiful, and mysterious as it did when I first fell for it at the start of the year. This isn’t just another landfill indie album, this is The Maccabees honing their own sound. I for one, can’t wait to hear what they’ve got in store for us all with album #4.
13. Japandroids – Celebration Rock
Hey, Japandroids, you rule. There’s something about the duo from Vancouver that is totally irresistible. Celebration Rock was the band’s second proper full-length album, and it took off straight from where their debut, Post-Nothing left off. Bursting with youthful exuberance, the album has a raw urgency which is simply not heard in rock music these days. The album also happens to include my favourite driving anthem of the year, Fire’s Highway. WOAH OH OH OH OH OH. To summarise, I think this could well be the best rock record of 2012. Well done, Canada.
12. Hostage Calm – Please Remain Calm
If you’re a regular visitor of this blog, you’ll know I have a bit of an affinity towards the punk/hardcore genre. With ’Please Remain Calm’, Hostage Calm’s third full-length album, the Connecticut quintet have completely outdone themselves. Carrying on from the pop-punk/alternative rock sound they honed in their 2010 self-titled album, this new LP is full of huge choruses, unforgettable punchy guitar riffs, and soaring vocal melodies.Vocalist, Chris Martin’s singing voice seems to be improving with every new release, and his melodies are just as infuriatingly catchy as they were on their second album. I could write about Please Remain Calm for the next hour or so, seriously I could, because it is so excellent. But I think it’s probably a better idea for everyone, if I stop talking, and you just go listen to it. Thank me later.
11. Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream
Just missing out on my illusive top ten (ha, illusive) is Miguel’s Kaleidoscope Dream. The follow up to his 2010 commercial breakthrough album ‘All I Want Is You’, this 49 minute R&B/slow jam/neo-soul epic, is just glorious. What impresses me most about this album is how effortless each track sounds. A clear change in direction from the unabashed pop-infused R&B heard on his debut, Kaleidoscope Dream shows hints of funk, stadium rock, hip-hop, and electronic sounds, with the whole thing spilling over with sexual overtones. It’s pretty clear that Miguel was born to write an album like this, and with it,he has paved the way for himself to sit alongside the very best in modern day R&B artists.