Top 10 Albums of 2012 | Laura Hamlett

best2012 sqHonestly, I just clicked on the link as a lark. I had never so much as heard Adam Lambert, although I knew too much about him from reading Entertainment Weekly.

2012 maroon


  1. Maroon 5 | Overexposed (A&M)
    Truly, if I made this list based on the number of times I’ve listened to each album, Overexposed would have taken up all 10 slots. I just discovered Maroon 5 this year and have now fully come to terms with my pop music side and set my indie snobbery aside.
  2. Snow Patrol | Fallen Empires (Universal)
    It’s safe to say that anything Snow Patrol does will be amazing, but they’ve upped the ante with this one. Fallen Empires monopolized my car stereo for an entire month, and I turned up the title track every single time.
  3. Bad Veins | The Mess We’ve Made (Modern Outsider)
    I loved Bad Veins’ self-titled debut and expected equally good things from this year’s release; what I didn’t bargain for is how good The Mess We’ve Made is. Start to finish, this is a stunning indie rock offering from two Midwestern guys.
  4. Morning Parade | s/t (Astralwerks/EMI)
    Brit rock is alive and well, as evidenced by such acts as Morning Parade, Bastille, and Miike Snow, among others. Morning Parade’s single “Headlights” is an absolutely gorgeous song, and the rest of the album impresses, as well.
  5. Adam Lambert | Trespassing (Sony)
    Honestly, I just clicked on the link as a lark. I had never so much as heard Adam Lambert, although I knew too much about him from reading Entertainment Weekly. I just wanted to hear what he sounded like; I had no idea I’d like it so much. This is a glam-dance record to beat all others. You’ll be singing along before you know it.
  6. Various Artists | The Perks of Being a Wallflower soundtrack (Atlantic)
    I’ll admit it: I relived my adolescence with this soundtrack. With such gems as “Come on Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners, “Heroes” by David Bowie, and XTC’s “Dear God,” the Perks soundtrack is a reminder that, despite the big hair and puffy sleeves, the ’80s truly are a time to remember.
  7. Frightened Rabbit | State Hospital EP (Canvasback/Atlantic)
    As I said in my review, State Hospital “delivers a walloping reminder of why this band deserves to be at the top of playlists everywhere.”
  8. Placebo | B3 EP (UM3)
    Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal, along with newer addition Steve Forrest, consistently produce some of the most intriguing songs around. And let’s not overlook Molko’s utterly unique and captivating voice…
  9. David Sylvian | A Victim of Stars: 1982-2012 (EMI)
    So nice to hear songs both new and old from the frontman of the ’80s indie precursor band Japan, especially the gorgeous “The Banality of Evil.” With his honey-smooth pipes, David Sylvian could sing the phone book and it would still sound great.
  10. Gotye | Making Mirrors (Universal Republic)
    Would you believe I had never heard “Somebody That I Used to Know” before I listened to this album? The most intriguing part about this album is that (admit it) it doesn’t sound like it should be as popular as it is.

Top 10 Albums I Kept Meaning to Review

  1. Maroon 5 | Overexposed (A&M)
  2. Zack Weber | Funk (s/r)
  3. Paul Banks | Banks (Matador)
  4. The Late Call | Pale Morning Light (Tapete)
  5. Boy Omega | Night Vision (Tapete)
  6. Various Cruelties | s/t (Almanac)
  7. Miike Snow | Happy to You (Republic)
  8. Paper Route | The Peace of Wild Things (Tree of Hearts)
  9. Stomacher | Clara (s/r)
  10. Harlan | Night Loop (Still Beat)

Top 5 Disappointments

  1. Muse | The 2nd Law (Warner Bros.)
  2. Clinic | Free Reign (Domino)
  3. Shout Out Louds | Optica (Merge)
  4. Ultravox | Brilliant (EMI)
  5. Patrick Wolf | Sundark & Riverlight (101 Distribution)
About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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