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Best Albums of 2012

       Before beginning this list I think that it's only fair to state that Unorthodox Jukebox (Bruno Mars), One Night (Timeflies), and Halycon (Ellie Goulding) were the best sophomore albums this year had to offer, that it was a tie between North (Matchbox Twenty), Overexposed (Maroon 5), and Scars and Stories (The Fray), I fully expect Momma Holler's full length album to be on this list next year (it's not their fault that Mumford & Sons already had the indie folk sound covered), and that Strange Clouds (B.O.B) was bumped off the list only after Ke$ha released Warrior earlier this month.
       It's rare that you hear an album where every song is just as good, or better, than the last; not just in instrumental merit or lyric construction, but better in a way where I can listen to every song on repeat and love it just as much as the other songs.
       This EP is amazing and makes me even more excited for a full length Walk off the Earth album than any cover of a popular song could. The only song better for relaxing than "Summer Vibe" is "Gang of Rhythm" and the only song more amazing than "Speeches" is "Red Hands".
       There always seems to be a stigma surrounding American Idol winners because they come from a show that supports the bank accounts of aging artists and only gives young, good-looking singers (you don't even have to be an actual artist) a shot at fame, but Phillip Phillips had this competition won after his first audition (the only time I have ever called the outcome of that show right [though I was rooting for Heejun Han]). This album is amazing and contains not a single song which I cannot listen to on repeat.
       Some people say that this is the most commercialized album from K'naan and, if that's true, then I guess I just really love commercialized sounds, because this album is amazing. It's up there with the albums that were completely perfect this year (The Peace of Wild Things, Scars and Stories, R.E.V.O., Operating) where every single song was amazing.
       In all seriousness, Isaac Slade is the only nearly bald man I have ever loved; he's amazing and the only artists who can even come close to his on (and off) stage presence are Michael Franti, Brendon Urie and the boys of lady danville. If "Heartbeat," "I Can Barely Say," and, especially, "Run For Your Life," does not make you love this album just as much, if not more, than their other amazing albums then you must not have heard anything from the band before; listen to anything by them ("Cable Car," "Ungodly Hour," "Never Say Never," "All At Once," "Look After You," and, of course, "How To Save a Life") and you will fall in love with them and this album will become so much more amazing than it is upon a cursory listen.
       This is one of the best first albums from an artist and, even though the songs may not sound 'deep', they are still going to be popular and they are all great. That's the reason this album made the list so easily; every song is just as good as the last.
       This album just makes me happy; this year needed a charismatic electronic pop artist with a great album to pick it up out of its indie rut (I love alternative rock just as much as the next person, but I only can only take so much before I need to cleanse my palate with pop beats and heavy bass). Each song is put together perfectly and Marina's voice never fails to make the song sound amazing.
       I make fun of Swifty (and the video for "I Knew You Were Trouble" is an embarrassing mess), but this album really is amazing. Every song from "Treacherous" to "Begin Again" is fantastic and I'm amazed that Swift was able to create something so flawless and mature.
       When Mumford & Sons announced their next album, I thought for sure that nothing could be more pure, amazing, or just plain heartbreaking than their first album (Sigh No More); I was wrong. Babel is, simply, perfection and the fact that the band has already stated that they are working on music for their next album makes me inexplicably excited to see what they will present us with in another year or two.
       Ke$ha has come a long way from "Tik Tok" and "Blah Blah Blah" and I cannot get enough of her new sound; it's amazing and she deserves so much more credit than she has already received. Each song is great enough to be released as a single and Ke$ha should be praised for seamlessly intertwining pop lyrics and heavy bass and autotune with their adverse counterparts (vocals which contain no autotune, acoustic guitars, and vulnerable lyrics).
       They are not a band anymore and I almost left them off this list because of that reason, but their not being a band anymore has no impact on the perfection of this short EP. If there has ever been a band whose music speaks to me as fluently and consistently as lady danville's, I have yet to find them; this album, and all of their music, is perfection.
- E

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