December 30, 2012

QuickCrit's Top 40 from 2012: 11 - 20

11. First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar
Loved this album, and played it just about every day at work. I would like to think this is what my sister and I would sound like if we were an indie pop due. And Swedish. Oh, and able to actually sing. - LVD
Lovely ladies making some sweet pop music! The soundtrack of my life for the first three months of the year. - ve1cro
Tift Merrit didn’t make my top 10 this year, so I had to find another group to hit my folksy/country music spot. Lovely voices and harmonies accompanied by the trusty ‘ol slide guitar. - Brasilliant
I really like what these ladies do. - Ancient Indian Wizard 
12. Tame Impala - Lonerism
Everything here works. Great vocals (perhaps eerily) similar to John Lennon. Pop hooks straight out of the 60's. Fantastic drumming and fuzzed out guitars. This is psychedelic pop music that plays as homage to the past, while still moving things forward. - Ben 
Buried underneath a thick blanket of sonic swirl, lies a treasure trove chalk full of unforgettable melodies. - Max D 
These dudes rock. - Joey P 
Given my love of Aussies and melodious psychedelic rock, I purposely waited to make my list until I heard this one.  Turns out, that was a good move.  I absolutely love this album and will likely be taking it with me for additional listens well into the new year. - Mona 
13. The Mynabirds - Generals
This is my top pick this year. There can only be one reason that it’s not yours, you haven’t yet heard it. Not for the weak -- hard headed broads need only apply. - Brasilliant 
Awesome voice and bad-ass. - ve1cro 
An album that is not only political but also deeply feminist but eschewing the tripe that comes from both of those adjectives. Reality, this album reminds us, is socially constructed. - JC Hackett
Generals still has the touches of 60’s pop I loved on her debut, just with more pounding beats and attitude. - awmercy 
14. Passion Pit - Gossamer

Its catchy and sad. Passion Pit lyrics is like Taylor Swift for suicidal indie rockers with drinking problems, also less famous boyfriends. - Julia
Peel back 'Gossamer's' initial layer of electro pop sunshine and you will find some pretty dark subject matter in the lyrics. Some topical, most personal lyrical growth is evident- so are his demons. This is what top 40 sounds like in an alternate universe. - Lucas
They did a good job of branching out a bit while also sticking to their original formula in places.  Makes for a maybe a more disjointed album but I sure kept going back to it. - Ancient Indian Wizard
Manners was like, whoa!, this is new and interesting. Gossamer, not to the same extent, but still really good. "Take A Walk" is killer... and I like killer songs, so its all good in my book. - NightraiN
Another solid album by one of my favorite bands. - Graham 
Great live, fun running music. - Ashley 
15. Father John Misty - Fear Fun

Really well realized album, with catchy melodies, great song concepts, and colorful lyrics. - Tex
Everything about the lyrics on this album is tongue-in-cheek, but everything about the music is all business. Fear fun is damn fun, ironic, and humorous, but also has about 4 singles that will stand the test of time. - NightraiN
With every spin I love Fear Fun even more. A perfect mix of laid-back irreverence, cynicism, and humor. - awmercy
J. Tillman solo project that's better than Fleet Foxes. - Lucas 
16. Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls
I played the hell outta this album all spring, mostly to/ from work. I still pick up up & It moves me. - Chris
OMG. Her voice. Amazing. - Ann
Worst irony of my year -- I misread the calendar and bought a plane ticket that forced me to miss the Shakes' show (which I had tickets for already) to go visit my folks… in Alabama. Sad. - JT 
17. Grimes - Visions

Pop music by a space pixie.  This surprised me with it's staying power, I thought I'd burn out quickly.  Nope, still enjoying it, almost a year and countless listens later. - Tex
It has all the makings of dream pop that somehow ended up on the wrong side of the tracks.  And then, someone went and put a hex on it.  Call it witch house, call it experimental electronica, call it just really weird shit. - Mona
The first 3 songs on this album are so amazing that I never make it to the rest. That's gotta count for something! - thebrownshaun
Truthfullly, this album was #1 for a long, long time. Unfortunately, I think in the end it does get beat out. But, Oblivion is definifely my favorite song of the year. - MikeIsTall
Genre bending and blending... a meticulously crafted GarageBand album that doesn't skirt emotionality in all its talk aobut physicality. - JC Hackett
A great debut that requires more spins. - Lucas
18. Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of 
      the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than 
      Ropes Will Ever Do
Sometimes I just need to listen to someone smarter and more messed up than me. Also, anyone who cancels a tour because her dog is sick deserves some recognition in my book. - CloningMishap
Most interesting mainstream "pop" artist. - thebrownshaun
This was a surprise for me!  Great comeback from Fiona! - Tex
I must admit, I was never a Fiona fan but this album was so engaging, I worked my way back through her discography. - MikeIsTall 
19. Titus Andronicus - Local Business

Politics aside, an even better album than "The Monitor". A musical defibrillator. - Nesto
Patrick talked to me at their show! Well if you count on stage to audience banter as talking.  Either way, swoon. - Julia
Pared down and less epic but still ambitious, Jersey's own (from the tiny northern burb of Glen Rock, no less) still rock it hard articulating the dualism of the suburbs--nihilism about the future and assurance that everything will be alright. - Dr. Shithead 
20. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange

I've been listening to this so much I should probably be pregnant. - Julia
Incredible production and lyricism. The lyrics seem a little silly and playful at first but then deeper meaning and focus becomes very clear. This dude is incredibly clever, it's no wonder he's been ghostwriting for star performers for years. - Joey P
I don't fully get it, but I cannot ignore it. - JC Hackett