The Parallax II: Future Sequence- Between the Buried and Me
Words cannot even describe how much I love this band. I have been completely infatuated with them since the release of Colors in 2007 and they continually surprise me with each new release. This album is definitely something to pick up ASAP. (Anthony Frith)
Paralytic Stalks– Of Montreal
Of Montreal is a band like none other. More specifically, Kevin Barnes is a songwriter like none other and the most recent release, Paralytic Stalks, is one more reason why I say it. Paralytic Stalks is 100% brilliance, combining the outlandish style of Barnes and his group with a beautifully arranged strings section. The result is unlike anything else that has come out in recent memory…scratch that…ever. Buy it. (Eric Monfette)
Collide With the Sky- Pierce The Veil
Their unique sound has been honed over time, and Collide is truly their best work for that reason. The album does not let up anywhere: it is fast, fun, and even in its most melancholy moments, still catchy.
Also, it is the type of album that has a song for everyone. Whether you like fast-paced aggressive songs (“Hell Above”), completely catchy (“Bulls in the Bronx”) or are facing a breakup and need a melancholy outlet (“I’m Low on Gas and You Need a Jacket”), there is something you can enjoy listening to. (Brooke Daly)
Album stream right here.
Don’t Panic-All Time Low
Am I biased? Yes. I have loved All Time Low for a very long time, so I love watching them evolve as artists. While I could have picked numerous releases from this year, excluding EPs, Don’t Panic has my vote. Alex Gaskarth wrote every song, which is a change from their 2011 release, Dirty Work, which had a few co-writers. Each track is worthy of pressing the replay button and you can see the band changing as more than just musicians, but also as people. (Liv Simister)
Channel Orange- Frank Ocean
Just when you thought R&B was done, Frank Ocean comes along and blows the whole damn thing up. Make no mistake though, this isn’t a straight-up R&B album. Instead of focusing on smooth melodies and songs about trying to get laid, Ocean pulls you in with his atmospheric arrangements, spoken/sung vocals and surrealistic lyrics not normally found in R&B. When was the last time that an R&B star released an album with a 10-minute song with lyrics about Cleopatra? Channel Orange is to R&B what The College Drop-Out was to rap 8 years ago: a complete game-changer. (Matt Satterfield)
Atlas- Parkway Drive
Australia’s best metal act has once again outdone themselves with the release of their latest album, Atlas. They enlisted Matt Hyde, producer of Slayer and Hatebreed, so it was expected to be outstanding and it has delivered.
They have stepped it up a few notches this time, making one brutally heavy and fast 40 minutes of listening. When mixed with the vocals of Winston McCall and some striking lyrics it was truly worth waiting most of the year for the release and, at least for me, it was the one album this year I could not get soon enough. (Rick Formby)
The Heist-Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have the best album of 2012. Macklemore turned from YouTube rapper to worldwide rapper in the span of a few months. His producer Ryan Lewis put together some of the catchiest and most inventive beats that are the perfect backdrop for Macklemore’s progressive lyrics. (Abbey Williams)
To be honest, I’ve never heard an Anberlin album I didn’t like. But man, did these guys outdo themselves this time. The follow up to 2010’s Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place, but sounding more like 2007’s acclaimed Cities, this year’s Vital is a hard-hitting, aggressive, emotive album which oozes passion and fervor. Don’t let the year slip away without treating yourself to this gem. (Angela Mastrogiacomo)
Some Nights- fun.
2012 was without a doubt fun.’s year. Not only did their breakout hits, “We Are Young,” and “Some Nights” get incredible mainstream success (well deserved, might I add), but it was 2012 that really brought them further into the spotlight, and gave so many the chance to hear the album that, in many ways defined 2012. Plus, there was that amazing NPR live recording that we simply cannot get enough of!