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Anthony Carew

The 50 Best Albums of 2012

By December 10, 2012

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2012 found the music industry in its now-familiar state of near-constant change; the way listeners consume music in the digital age straying ever farther from its analog roots. The consumption of tunes track-by-track on streaming services could suggest a death-knell for music's traditional measuring-stick —the album— and, yet, it's done anything but.

This suggests the greater cultural phenomenon of musical plenty; in which the unfathomable proliferation of music out in the digital world hasn't lessened the artistic value of sound, but only emphasized it. In short: there was lots and lots and lots of music made in 2012, and it was chopped up a disseminated unto the world in fragmented digital fashion.

But there was still a vast amount of great albums. Whole, cogent, longplaying works. Albums that delighted, inspiring, provoked, confused, and aroused in equal measure. Albums by acts peering at imminent pop-stardom (Grimes, Bat for Lashes (pictured!)), toiling in obscurity (Grand Salvo, Sophia Knapp), or coming back from the dead (Swans, Godspeed You! Black Emperor).

So, with 2012 coming to a close, here they are. The definitive discs of the year, the best of the best. The Top 50 Albums of 2012...

Photo © Ryan McGinley


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