Spend Matters Album of the Year 2012 – almost here!

It’s almost time for the much awaited Spend Matters top Albums of the Year list!

2012 has been a very good year, but maybe not “great”, for music, with a particular emphasis in the UK on new artists. Several of my very favourite albums this year are debuts, which bodes well for the future.

Although I listen to a lot of music, I can’t hear everything, and I do tend to focus on newer and younger artists. So unlike some of the “best of” lists, you won’t see anything here from Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, or Leonard Cohen for instance, who all released what were by all accounts excellent music in 2012.

Neither am I right at the cutting edge. I listened to very hip music website Drowned in Sound’s top 5 albums the other day, and whilst I could appreciate the critical acclaim, four of them basically don’t have quite enough in the way of tunes for me!

The biggest disappointment of the year for me was the Mumford and Sons second album, Babel. Not a bad record by any means, but I was hoping for more. Similar comments apply to Radlands by the Mystery Jets – a few great tracks, but a bit of a letdown overall for one of my very favourite bands. And the work that has received huge critical acclaim, but I just don’t “get” is Tame Impala with their album Lonerism. I was never really into psychedelia and this just didn’t quite move me – a bit sub-Sergeant Pepper for my liking.

My gig of the year was an evening at the Borderline with Sweet Billy Pilgrim headlining, and the amazing Katzenjammer supporting – one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. Good company, a few beers, excellent music  – a memorable evening.

So, we’ll start our top 20 albums of the year on December 27th and run it through to New Year’s Eve with five albums a day. That’s a good excuse for getting readers to check us out between Christmas and New Year!  Actually, I’m lying about the 20. I have failed to get my final list down to 20 so we’ll have 3 joint number 20s, making 22 albums in all.

But to whet your appetite here are some of the other albums I listened to and enjoyed through 2012. In alphabetical order, these are 31 very good albums (and a few videos) that just missed out on my top 20!

  • Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls
  • Bat for Lashes - The Haunted Man
  • Blood Red ShoesIn Time to Voices
  • Jake BuggJake Bugg
  • Cat PowerSun
  • Chairlift  - Something
  • Graham Coxon A & E
  • The Cribs -  In the Belly of the Brazen Bull
  • Efterklang - Pirimida
  • Ellie GouldingHalycon
  • Fun  - Some Nights
  • Grizzly Bear - Shields
  • Katzenjammer  - A Kiss Before You Go
  • The Men - Open Your Heart
  • Metric - Synthetica
  • Milagres - Glowing Mouth
  • Mumford and Sons  - Babel
  • Muse – The 2nd Law
  • Mystery Jets - Radlands
  • Polica - Give You the Ghost
  • Purity Ring - Shrines
  • Lucy Rose  - Like I Used To
  • Rachel SermanniUnder Mountains
  • The Shins - Port of Morrow
  • Toy - Toy
  • Two Door Cinema Club - Beacon
  • The Walkmen - Heaven
  • Jessie Ware - Devotion
  • Jack WhiteBlunderbuss
  • The XX - Coexist
  • Young GunsBones

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