Andrew Stewart Poop ’12

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1. The WalkmenHeaven
(The evolution continues: gorgeous, dramatic, intimate-yet-epic songs about love and loss. There is a certain kind of magic here, and it’s tough to resist.)

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2. Macklemore & Ryan LewisThe Heist
(Far more than the sum of its parts, this is not just a funny, inspiring, exciting R&B album – it feels important; and it rocks. Hear “Thrift Shop,” just try to not smile.)

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3. Dirty ProjectorsSwing Lo Magellan
(The disparate pieces finally come together here as they stop trying so hard, and just play. Intricate, rhythmically complex, super-cool and utterly unique.)

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4. Divine FitsA Thing Called Divine Fits
(Britt Daniel leads this mashup of Spoon and Wolf Parade, a synthy, angular collage of propulsive 80’s-inspired rock songs.)

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5. King TuffKing Tuff
(This album of stoner-rock tunes kicks out the jams and manages to deliver an eager, insanely appealing garage-pop sound that is, simply put, irresistible.)

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6. IslandsA Sleep & A Forgetting
(The prolific Nick Thorburn – also of the awesome Mr. Heavenly – here sings haunting piano ballads infused with jaunty doo-wop rhythms that light up the lounge.)

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7. WoodsBend Beyond
(This lo-fi blend of psychedelic rock and melodic pop insinuates itself and won’t loosen its grip. With nods to GBV, War on Drugs, Pavement and The Who, this is quite a treat.)

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8. Jack WhiteBlunderbuss
(On the year’s only true smash hit, JW goes mainstream without missing a step, delivering an amazing album of songs that are all instant classics, and instantly familiar.)

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9. Father John MistyFear Fun
(J. Tillman drops country-goth, erupting into a florid, sun-soaked, groovy-70’s orchestral pop. Despite dark undertones, a breezy, happy, wonderful piece of work.)

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10. Matthew E. WhiteBig Inner
(This big beardy bear of a dude unfurls his steady-rolling church-organ-pop with so much good will that you can’t not fall in love with it. The year’s best surprise.)

11. JapandroidsCelebration Rock (Even more than on their last, these guys shred hard and mercilessly, delivering a power-blow to the plexus that’ll lead to a sound sleep and a hoarse day at work.)
12. Sharon Van EttenTramp (Despite a high profile and even higher expectations, SVE delivers another powerful, intimate, awesome slice of confessional pop rock. Incredibly complex and moving.)
13. Frank Oceanchannel ORANGE (A bold, modern, soulful piece of groovy, moving R&B: this one deserves the plaudits, and is a valid choice for album of the year.)
14. BahamasBarchords (Get over the Jack Johnson-esque surf-pop sound and you’ll find a subtle gem: patient, melodic, complicated acoustic pop that has plenty of substance – and a lot to say.)
15. The BabiesOur House On The Hill (Crazy-enjoyable sugar-rush power-pop album from this Austin, TX-based trio. Full of great runs and fuck-you’s, this one never lets up.)
16. Cat PowerSun (Another bold left turn, this time into cool, crisp electronic soundscapes that seem more than ever to bring out the smoky wonder of her voice. Slowing down never sounded so nice.)
17. The Mountain GoatsTranscendental
Youth (The ‘Goats can do no wrong. Poet-laureate-in-waiting John Darnielle is arguably the most important composer of classical music working today. )
18. Raymond Byron & The White FreighterLittle Death Shaker (Ray Raposa, aka Castanets, finds a balance between folk-weirdness and haunting blues-rock and delivers a truly wonderful album.)
19. The ShinsPort of Morrow (Easy to overlook, Mercer sounds fresh and invigorated on this set of strong, layered, impeccably produced songs. The Broken Bells experience has changed everything.)
20. Plants and AnimalsThe End of That (Incorporating sounds from the Grateful Dead, Lou Reed and The Cave Singers, these hippies make a masterpiece. Takes a bit of patience, but it’s in there.)
21. River City ExtensionDon’t Let The Sun Go Down On Your Anger (Like The Lumineers, but with balls.)
22. Chuck ProphetTemple Beautiful (Fiesty veteran’s solid, compact rock songs are a San Francisco treat.)
23. HospitalityHospitality (Derivative but irresistibly charming pop – and more substantive than you think)
24. Allah-LasAllah-Las (Surfy retro-psychedelia, like Stones outtakes from Alamogordo circa 1965.)
25. CalexicoAlgiers (Less adventurous but still beautiful, evoking broad landscapes and lonely journeys.)


Fiona AppleThe Idler Wheel … (unexpectedly great album of sophisticated, poetic jazz-pop)
Beachwood SparksThe Tarnished Gold (Gram Parsons lives! Unabashed country paeans to the good life)
BuxtonNothing Here Seems Strange (fans of Dawes and Blitzen Trapper will find solace)
Cloud NothingsAttack on Memory (hard, hard, driving rock, great production, punk edge)
Chris CohenOvergrown Path (Unknown Mortal Orchestra + Burt Bacharach: a hidden gem)
Delta SpiritDelta Spirit (weak, for them – a generic pop sound creeps in – but still great)
DIIVOshin (trippy, atmospheric rock songs full of New Wave guitar lines and Deerhunter love)
Dinosaur Jr.I Bet On Sky (good clean fun, and nothing fancy; a warmer sound with a sharper edge)
Fort AtlanticFort Atlantic (a thrilling, genre-jumping blossom of joyous pop sound)
Future HistoryLoss:/self (epic, expansive progressive folk debut from Toronto, flawed but brilliant)
Gentleman Jesse Leaving Atlanta (underrated punk-pop pro pounds out skiffly retro riffs)
Daughn GibsonAll Hell (if the National did an electronic country album, it might approach this)
HigginsStraight A’s (this thing creeps up on you, straight off of 1979 AM pop radio; really easy fun)
Hundred WatersHundred Waters (a true thicket of weird: Bjork-folk, or folk-Bjork. Super.)
JaillTraps (you want to hate this New Pornographers rip-off, but damn it – you can’t)
JBM Stray Ashes (quiet, saturated Jim James-y folk album unfurls anew with each listen)
Michael KiwanukaHome Again (London’s answer to Ray LaMontagne, or Otis Redding. Sweet.)
La SeraSees The Light (Debbie Harry and Caitlin Cary are reference points for this amazing vocalist)
Lotus PlazaSpooky Action at a Distance (your Deerhunter fix in an off year)
MalaMala in Cuba (dubstep remixes of traditional Cuban songs, this is cool as shit – and sharp as a knife)
The MenOpen Your Heart (overrated punk-rock album; a little dry, but it’ll get you bristled up good)
MenomenaMoms (this exciting, program-heavy rock outfit has shrunk to two, and they’ve gone dark)
Night MovesColored Emotions (St. Paul, MN’s hipster answer to Turin Brakes)
Punch Bros.Who’s Feeling Young Now? (their last was a masterpiece, and this one also shines)
QuakersQuakers (sprawling, inspired, layered rap compilation amazes) (thanks to Brian Binetti)
John K. SamsonProvincial (Weakerthan’s front man emits signals from the Manitoban north)
Otis TaylorOtis Taylor’s Contraband (trance-blues: way, way cooler than you think)
The Tallest Man On EarthThere’s No Leaving Now (less rousing than his last, but still sweet)
Tame ImpalaLonerism (just because it’s fucking awesome, that’s why)
Two GallantsThe Bloom and The Blight (harder, straighter alt-weird two-piece is better than advertised)
Neil YoungPsychedelic Pill (the sonofabitch has still got a lot of gritty, tangled, epic rock left in him)

Animal Collective/Centipede Hz Caveman/Coco Beware
Bat For Lashes/The Haunted Man Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes/Civilized Man
Beach House/Bloom Wiz Khalifa/Rolling Papers
Best Coast/The Only Place Ox/Tuco
Sleigh Bells/Reign of Terror Santah/White Noise Bed

Andrew Stewart
Rhinebeck, NY