Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Steph's Picks: Best Albums of 2012

2012 has been an excellent year for new music! It is always a difficult task to summarize a year in any terms, but fortunately, the world of music has made my job easy by providing an outstanding selection of albums by seasoned veterans, soon-to-be-legends, and exciting new talent. In a year that's seen new albums from the likes of Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, David Byrne and Leonard Cohen, this was a challenging list to make. Just the same, here are my mildly subjective choices for the best 2012 had to offer. 

You can purchase any of these albums from the Bookshelf. For music samples, see our Tumblr page.

Jack White, Blunderbuss

The solo debut of one of today's most prolific musicians is emotive, bluesy and hard-rocking all at once!

For fans of: The Yardbirds, Loretta Lynn, any of Jack White's 300 other bands.
Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel is Wiser...

Another awe-inspiring turn from the eloquent singer-songwriter. Apple ruminates on love and loss with an enchanting darkness all her own.

For fans of: Kate Bush, Chrissie Hynde, Tori Amos
Beach House, Bloom

At times a psychedelic wonderworld, at others a delectable lullaby, the newest from this sonically-inventive duo is a feast for the ears.

For fans of: PJ Harvey, Nico
Grizzly Bear, Shields

An incredible rock odyssey, featuring roaring guitars interspersed with more subtle arrangements. A triumph of musicianship!

For fans of: Fleet Foxes, Brian Eno, Radiohead
Purity Ring, Shrines

A marvelous debut from the Montreal-based synth-pop duo! Atmospheric yet danceable--I can't wait to hear more!

For fans of: Bjork, Lykke Li
Frank Ocean, Channel Orange

The R&B revolution will be led by this man! A provocative, sexy voice and excellent songwriting mark this soulful debut.

For fans of: Drake, Marvin Gaye, Kid Cudi
Twin Shadow, Confess

The sophomore effort of this Dominican artist is funky and wild, featuring a one-of-a-kind voice. An excellent dance record!

For fans of: Prince, Morrissey
Miguel, Kaleidoscope Dream

The second album of this rising star plays like sweet soul music punctuated with energizing guitar riffs and funk fury!

For fans of: Usher, The Weekend, Pharrell Williams
Jessie Ware, Devotion

The voice of this remarkable Brit has to be heard to be believed! An album that breathes new life into dance-pop.

For fans of: Alicia Keys, Sade, Annie Lennox
Calexico, Algiers

The seventh studio LP from this alt-country group features expert songwriting and superb musicianship.

For fans of: Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Neko Case
Jamey Johnson, Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran

This wonderful tribute album includes guest appearance by the likes of Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, and Leon Russell, among others.

For fans of: Any of the above
Lindi Ortega, Cigarettes & Truckstops

An inspired second outing for this Canadian country artist. Sweet-voiced, with a razor-sharp undertone.

For fans of: Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells

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