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The Rock’s Best 50 Albums, 5 Mixtapes, and 5 EPs of 2012

This guy just went Gold. Not every day that an album to do that anymore, unless you blatantly appeal to tweens. I guess it helps to have Dr. Dre as your producer though.

It is amazing that the year of the Mayan doomsday prophecy, the 44th Presidential election, the London and Hunger Games, and of Honey Boo Boo, of course, has begun its final descent into 2013. We took a bunch of albums, EP’s and mixtapes, threw them at the Rock Staff and saw what stuck. This is a collaborative piece in which we, like most editorials this time of year, asked ourselves, “What are the best releases of 2012?” just in time to make a New Year’s Party Playlist. So here it is, A year of music in review…


Albums of the Year:

  1. Kendrick Lamar: good kid, M.A.A.D. city
  2. alt-j (∆): An Awesome Wave
  3. Grizzly Bear: Shields
  4. The xx: Coexist
  5. Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls
  6. Frank Ocean: Channel Orange
  7. Tame Impala: Lonerism
  8. Jack White: Blunderbluss
  9. Godspeed You! Black Emperor: ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
  10. Grimes: Visions
  11. Animal Collective: Centipede Hz
  12. Neil Young: Psychedelic Pill
  13. Killer Mike: R.A.P. Music
  14. Leonard Cohen: Old Ideas
  15. Cloud Nothings: Attack on Memory
  16. G.O.O.D. Music: Cruel Summer
  17. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs: Trouble

    Alt-j snuck up on a lot of music fans this year with their unique sound combining the likes of Radiohead, Grizzly Bear, and Maps & Atlases
  18. Django Django: Django Django
  19. John Talabot: ƒin
  20. Norah Jones: Little Broken Hearts
  21. Flying Lotus: Until the Quiet Comes
  22. Hot Chip: In Our Heads
  23. Fiona Apple: Idler Wheel is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords will Serve you more than Ropes will Ever Do
  24. Japandroids: Celebration Rock
  25. Father John Misty: Fear Fun
  26. Swans: The Seer
  27. Jessie Ware: Devotion
  28. Purity Ring: Shines
  29. Tennis: Young and Old
  30. Four Tet: Pink
  31. Zedd: Clarity
  32. Dirty Projectors: Swing Lo Magellan
  33. Beach House: Bloom
  34. David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant
  35. Dinosaur Jr.: I Bet on Sky
  36. Macklemore + Ryan Lewis: The Heist
  37. Dr. John: Locked Down
  38. Bat for Lashes: The Haunted Man
  39. Flume: Flume
  40. Delta Spirit: Delta Spirit
  41. The Walkmen: Heaven
  42. Imagine Dragons: Night Visions

    Mmmmmmm….. Alligator Skin
  43. Cat Power: Sun
  44. The Lumineers: The Lumineers
  45. Chromatics: Kill for Love
  46. Fake Blood: Cells
  47. Efterklang: Piramida
  48. Bob Dylan: Tempest
  49. Titus Andronicus: Local Business
  50. Mumford & Sons: Babel

Mixtapes of the Year:

  1. Joey Bada$$: 1999
  2. Action Bronson: Blue Chips
  3. Captain Murphy: Duality
  4. Childish Gambino: R O Y A L T Y
  5. Clams Casino: Instrumentals II

EPs of the Year:


Perhaps the most significant hip hop release of the year, Joey Bada$$’s 1999 is backed by heavyweight underground producers MF DOOM and J Dilla.
  1. Daniel Rossen: Silent Hour/ Golden Mile
  2. Knife Party: Rage Valley
  3. Jack Beats: Careless
  4. Azealia Banks: 1991













  1. awesome. so much incredible music on here, and so much new stuff to explore!!

  2. Yeaaaaaaa Delta Spirit

  3. strong genre bias in this one

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