My Top 12 Albums of 2012

2012 saw the release and debut of  many amazing records! but there were good ones and there were great ones that captivated my attention from their release till very much now. These are the albums that kept my love for music up and running (a lot of debuts on the list) check it out

Ceremonials (Florence + The Machine)

first of all, iv got to say that this album was my best for the end part of 2011 and all of 2012 so that goes without saying how much the record resonated with me and here's why. Ceremonials rolls in like fog over the Thames, doling out a heavy-handed mix of Brit-pop-infused neo-soul anthems and lush, movie trailer-ready ballads that fuse the bluesy, electro-despair of Adele with the ornate, Gothic melodrama of Kate Bush and Floodland-era Sisters of Mercy. The steady hand of Paul Epworth on production has helped Florence to take the winning formula of her distinctive vocals and melodies, the twinkling harps and thundering drums, and augment it with string arrangements, subtle electro touches, and gospel choirs to make a remarkable record that i think will be a vocal reference point, not only in her career but in the totality of music for ages to come.

Born To Die (Lana Del Rey)
Born to Die is the debut studio album by American singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey. (a little back story) Del Rey stated the use of her lower vocals on the tracks claiming that people weren't taking her very seriously, so she lowered her voice, believing that it would help her stand out (and boy did it help). Now she sing quite low... well, for a female anyway. Born to Die is a bevy of beautifully turned pop music, which is more than enough, with most melodies constructed magnificently. i remember always listening to this record and thinking gosh! the urban community would love this cause of the deep lyrics wrapped in urban flavor beats which some critics panned as repetitive (to be honest, there were similarities but that in turn is what stringed the album together) but i feel is also what other non-urban listeners picked up too because the production techniques combined the usual formula but with deep classical elements which (maybe unknown at the time) eventually would have a world wide spread appeal (i mean how can u explain Lana selling 3 million records in a year without individual singles success). i think that one thing that kept me going back to the record was the fact that it unlocked a very retrospective part of me cause i could relate to the mood of the record, period!

Electronic Earth (Labrinth)
ever since the Tinie Tempah collaboration and the first single way back in 2010, i was already anticipating this record that it would be uniquely impressing to my sensibilities and boy did it win my heart in spades. he's the one artist Cowell has on his label who has the X Factor in abundance and that can easily be heard on the record. songs like "Treatment" and "Vultures" still melt my soul when i listen to it and the very compelling "Beneath Your Beautiful" with Emeli became one of the years biggest Eauropian records and duely so. yeah there are some forgettable songs on the record but the good ones totally overshadow them thus making Electro Earth very ambitious with arguably little or no pit falls (gotta give it to him for fusing such genres as R&B with dub step, drum and bass, synth pop, pop rock etc ... not the easiest feat) and did you know that he produced a vast majority of the record! wow

Perfectly Imperfect (Elle Varner)
Perfectly Imperfect is the debut studio album by American singer-songwriter Elle Varner. For the production of the album Varner enlisted writers and producers including Jermaine Lamar Cole, Andrew "Pop" Wansel, Warren "Oak" Felder, Frankie Storm and Darrhyl Camper. what can i say! I'm in love with this record like you cant imagine! AND FOR A DEBUT!!!! too epic to write in words! but (lol) Perfectly Imperfect sounds like the assured work of a singer and songwriter; one who co-composes and co-produces her material like one who is on her third or fourth album. it does not sound like its a debut album THAT a FACT!!!! there is something about her record and her vocal ability that often reminds me of diversity of Jill Scott, the jazzy-influences of Chrisette Michele and  the emotional depth of Jazmine Sullivan all wrapped in one. i remember feeling this way when i first got into Alicia Keys (not that i was matured in my record-listening ability then tho lol). I foresee Elle making a great mark in R&B music period (who knows she may even dive into other genres and become a global treat!!!!)

good kid, m.A.A.d city (Kendrick Lamar)
its his second album put together with he help of a variety of producers; Just Blaze, Pharrell Williams, Hit-Boy, Scoop DeVille, T-Minus and more. Good Kid, M.A.A.D City has a low-key, downbeat production, with atmospheric beats and subtle, indistinct hooks. It eschews contemporary hip hop tastes, and generally features tight bass measures, subtle background vocals, and light piano. to quote Lamar "this album helps you feel the internal struggles of a good kid who may not be good enough as he risks derailing his life by succumbing to the knee jerk loyalty, petty criminality, and gang warfare of the hood he calls home." its just to accurate cause you are drawn into the prevailing themes almost immediately. how? through Lamar's perfectly painted scenarios. its almost like listening to a play on the radio and with the help of imagination, watching it in your head. The songs address issues such as economic disenfranchisement, retributive gang violence, and downtrodden women, while analyzing their residual effects on individuals and families. Lamar introduces various characters and internal conflicts, including the contrast of his homesickness and love for Compton with the city's plagued condition. If anyone had bad things to say about Hip hop and rap music today, this record is the best answer to shutting them up quick!!! Kendrick is the future!

Born and Raised (John Mayer)
First i have to say iv likes Mayer in passing so to speak because well i never listened to his records but i could never overlook my deep love for some of his songs like "Waiting on the World to Change", "Say", "daughters" and so on so when i heard this album i was half expecting to respectfully give it a round and call it a day but i was stopped in my tracks! The fifth studio album by American musician John Mayer after a two-year break from the public eye due to the surgical removal of a granuloma near his vocal cords. Born and Raised marks yet another change in Mayer's musical style, incorporating musical elements of folk and Americana that take influences from Bob Dylan, Neil Young, David Crosby and Graham Nash. Mayer approaches Born and Raised like a method actor, diving headfirst into his new sound — a mix of Laurel Canyon folk and California country-rock. i have to praise Mayer's technical skills as well as Don Was' production  cause the fusion brought about a hearty record for the ages! its just subtle sweetens and it lingers in your head plus his lyrics are very introspective for both parties, the singer and the listener. Very captivating ... almost like a green snake among grass (stabs-you-from-behind kind of music) maybe due to fusing old tricks with new technological advances but not selling out in anyway! and all so full of Hart!

Our Version Of Events (Emeli Sandé)
its the debut album by Scottish singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé. Inspired greatly by Nina Simone,  Joni Mitchell and Lauryn Hill, Sandé and regular collaborator Naughty Boy, came up with this immaculate record with huge epic songs containing sweeping strings. I must admit i expected the album to be very poppy as she has wrote for pop acts, Sugababes, Leona Lewis and Alesha Dixon prior so going left was a positive surprise  its just charming and an occasionally moving record full of care and polish, effort and grace often reflecting Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige and Beyoncé Knowles. the album gives off a passion, desire and an overcoming-the-odds message that resonates deep whenever and however its manipulated. This is an album that deserves all the success its received (the highest selling album in the UK in 2012 with more than a million albums sold in the UK alone is no joke). it's hard to imagine Sandé was destined to do anything else in life. Better yet, it sounds like she's only just got started.

21 (Adele)
What can i say that you have not heard about this album!! but ill still emphasize that the album's artistic leap from Adele's debut in both its production and songwriting. 21 is so soulfully deep, its basically universal and Adele's voice fully expresses the right emotion with every track on the record. There is obviously rhythmic drive and drama in the arrangements. A coming-of-age record with thematic correlation to Amy Winehouse's Back to Black, because they both share themes of pain, sadness and anger. Where 19 marked the turbulent swan song to a teenage life, 21 introduces the realities of adult life, where grown-up responsibilities collide with heartache and emotional scars run deep. 21 combined the best bits of Aretha Franklin's old-school soul with Lauryn Hill's sass and sense of cynical modern femininity thus evoking one of the great 'break-up' albums, and the first truly impressive record of 2011. I found out that i held on to one song after the other on the album for basically 2 whole years because  all through 2011 i was hooked on the singles of the albums but in 2012 i was stuck on "Take it All" and now i cant get enough of "One and Only". as if that was not enough, She released a live album recorded at The Royal Albert Hall with a new covered track "I Can't Make You Love Me" which electrifies my soul in a bipolar way which i cant even fully understand but i totally enjoy. She kept me going too with "Skyfall" (tho it wasn't a part of the album it can still be categorized as being under the 21 era). 21 will surely be a music reference point for generations to come.

The Truth About Love (P!nk)
A fun sixth record by one of my favorite outlaws!!! P!nk is full of fun and this record embodies it both don't get it twisted cause she has perfected the act of making classic songs in a trendy format which is not the easiest feat if you write songs yourself. I mean she has seen and done it all but when it comes to changing the game and redefining her craft for the sixth time, P!nk has no trouble with the transition and the music sounds like she didnt leave on a break to give birth to her kid because the record is so damn in the present but i can honestly see myself picking up this record in 3 years to jam up (the same feeling i got from "FunHouse" and all her other records .... i actually mean every single one). She makes pop/rock sound so effin easy and combines her formula with new mixes of Nate Ruess, Lilly allen and eminem (stints she never tried in the past exept for "Missundaztood!") to eventually give a stunning up-beat record. "Blow Me ...." is such a stand out P!nk-record like i cant even explain! Even when she vulnerable on a few mid-tempo tracks, she scares you with her realness and heart, i mean you can just hear it in her voice like shes singing words from her diary. Very captivating!!!! This record is the answer to some people who feel that you cant have a hit and trendy record with extreme depth (Congratulations on first No1 album and platinum status in the US .... Much deserved)

A Joyful Noise (The Gossip)
its the fifth studio album by American indie rock band Gossip. The album was produced by Xenomania founder Brian Higgins. the involvement of Brian Higgins on A Joyful Noise enables the group to break new ground with confidence (not like their last album didn't have all the confidence and ground it required but this record had more legs sticking out in many more directions if you get my drift). with a sound influenced by Abba and Madonna, Gossip—especially Beth Ditto, in waspishly fine voice here—seem very much at home with it the new direction. Its not the best record to listen to and if your not deeply vested in Dance-punk, indie rock, synth pop or alternative dance, you might just get really really lost in the mix. It could have been better but honestly that can be overlooked because the songs really stand out and once you get in the groove, you are stuck for a considerably long time. Beth sounds confident as ish!!! and dishes out her take on many ideas and scenarios with a care free edge very much like her stage persona. its not fully a mainstream record but i feel that fact actually adds to my fascination of the record as a whole. The next step would be how to make this kind of music very main stream and the puzzle would be complete.

Pink Friday Roman Reloaded (Nicki Minaj)
Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded is the second studio album by Trinidadian-American recording artist Nicki Minaj. the album is divided by a first half of hip hop tracks and a second half of dance-pop songs (which i think was a stroke of genus but could easily be seen as selling out). A clear fact that actually draws me to this record is the first half of the record as well as the fourth quarter because they are basically hip hop banger"s as well as emotional rap/R&B/pop songs that paint nice pictures enough to keep ones attention but the Electro part (mostly produced by the likes of Red one) is easily skip-able because the track are not memorable. the album shows range, sure, but it sometimes feels a tiny bit disparate and eager to please that craft was a bit overlooked. It happens at times so its nothing to run to the hills about because for every track that was not quite there, she provided three other tracks that excel beyond expectation. Has Nicki Lost her steam? the answer is no but the fact that record enables one to even ask such a question poses some small issues that must be tackled quick and i think shes going to show the world that shes here to stay on the follow up album which should be out later this year (please Nicki after the next record you could drop the whole Pink Friday thingy ... its getting a bit over stretched case in point Pink Friday, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - The Re-Up (Has dope tracks too) and the to be released Pink Friday: The Pink Print). and not to Nicki, stop the beep with Musicians because its hurting your appeal< just focus on your craft and the haters will come and go (when are they gonna give her a Grammy tho!!!)

My Head Is an Animal (Of Monsters and Men)
its the debut studio album by the Icelandic indie folk band Of Monsters and Men. The record fuses Indie folk, indie pop, indie rock, folk rock to come up with an album that reads like a fire side folk session fully equipped wih chanting and call and respond sequences. from the high tempo dance filled first part to the more sober emotional second part, There is this feeling of tribal solidarity that i feel on this record very simmilar to that of Arcade Fire. They are alot like Mumford and Sons but a little less complexities involved. its like they recorded adventures not just in lyrics but in the general tone of the album. I was drawn to their adventrous sound with their first single "Little talks" and from time to time whenever i want to feel a diffent sence of freedom, i turn to this record to dish out a certain folk/dance extacy. I love the record alot and i feel they are going to go far.

Albums That Should have Made The List
Channel Orange (Frank Ocean) Deeply Captivating and very honest in lyrics and musical emotion

Girl On Fire (Alicia Keys) Embodies all that is Alicia plus a new awareness and edginess

Based On A T.R.U. Story (2 Chainz) Fresh Rap songs that's fun and uninhibited, trendy and materialistic but still really cool with a pinch of depth 

Lotus (Christina Aguilera) If not for Bionic, this record would be a hit now but you never know what 2013 can do to this really good body of work that is fresh and current

Unapologetic (Rihanna) I'm Not one to rep trendy songs and truth be told, this album had to grow on me to make since but i had the patience to let that happen due to my love for the ever evolving singer. 2013 will make me a bigger believer

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