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musicOMH’s Top 100 Albums Of 2012: 50-6



The next tranche of 2012’s best albums according to musicOMH’s writers is upon us, this time numbering from 50 to 6.

If you missed Part 1 (Nos 100-51), you can find it here, and Part 3 (the Top 5) is here.

2:54 - 2:5450. 2:54 – 2:54 (Fiction)

WHAT WE SAID: “Devote 40 odd minutes of your time to 2:54 and you gain the full benefit from the shadowy spell the sisters Thurlow create. You become fully enveloped in the dark, hypnotic, romantic, ever-so-slightly macabre atmosphere that abounds.” – Tim Lee

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Don't Bend! Ascend!49. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – ‘Allelujah! Dont Bend! Ascend! (Constellation)

WHAT WE SAID: “Rewards immersive, though somewhat uncritical, listening: a glorious hymn to the visceral and transformative power of sound.” – Thomas May

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Dan Deacon - America48. Dan Deacon – America (Domino)

WHAT WE SAID: “Deacon deserves plaudits for taking as many risks as it does and coming out the other side completely unscathed.” – Gareth O’Malley

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Wadada Leo Smith47. Wadada Leo Smith – Ten Freedom Summers (Cuneiform)

WHAT WE SAID: “An artefact to obsess over and live in, not merely a soundtrack to enliven lifes regular monotony.” – Daniel Paton

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Breton46. Breton – Other Peoples Problems (FatCat)

WHAT WE SAID: “While their vision may to many appear decidedly singular, the music itself is highly accessible and polished, and comes with a sense of being a carefully considered, fully fledged complete package.” – Gareth Ware

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Actress - RIP45. Actress – RIP (Honest Jons)

WHAT WE SAID: “An eerie, peculiar hallucinatory world that is vivid, imaginative and, assuming the listener can yield to its demands, utterly compelling.” – Daniel Paton

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Saint Etienne - Words And Music By Saint Etienne44. Saint Etienne – Words And Music By Saint Etienne (Heavenly)

WHAT WE SAID: “One of Words And Musics greatest pleasures is that for a group of Saint Etiennes experience, it manages to sound thrillingly youthful.” – Laurence Green

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Shackleton - Music For The Quiet Hour43. Shackleton – Music For The Quiet Hour (Woe To The Septic Heart)

WHAT WE SAID: “A brilliant exploration of the inevitable interaction between sound, the passing of time and the active process of listening.” – Daniel Paton

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Susanne Sundfør - The Silicone Veil42. Susanne Sundfør – The Silicone Veil (Sonnet Sounds)

WHAT WE SAID: “Selecting examples and highlights can hardly begin to offer an impression of the boldness and confidence of this wonderful album. Sundførs combination of careful, detailed arrangement and unrepentant magic realism is visionary and enriching.” – Daniel Paton

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Sam Lee - Ground Of Its Own41. Sam Lee – Ground Of Its Own (Nest Collective)

WHAT WE SAID: “This is an album that deals in both violent and emotionally painful territory, but which also comes bathed in hope and compassion.” – Daniel Paton

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Bat For Lashes - The Haunted Man40. Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man (Parlophone)

WHAT WE SAID: “Its safe to say that Natasha Khan has once again managed to craft an album that ticks all the boxes. Pressure or no pressure, she always seems to deliver.” – Andy Baber

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Cooly G39. Cooly G – Playin Me (Hyperdub)

WHAT WE SAID: “With Playin’ Me Cooly G has served notice of her supreme potential as both a producer and a songwriter on an assuredly excellent debut album that keeps up Hyperdubs phenomenal strike rate.” – Andy Baber

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First Aid Kit - The Lions Roar38. First Aid Kit – The Lions Roar (Wichita)

WHAT WE SAID: “A beautiful album that proves that sometimes more is more.” – Helen Clarke

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Cat Power - Sun37. Cat Power – Sun (Matador)

WHAT WE SAID: “The return that many Cat Power fans were hoping for. Sun is an album that conveys the full spectrum of emotions, but at the same time it manages to never sound convoluted or patched together.” – Andy Baber

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Beach House - Bloom36. Beach House – Bloom (Bella Union)

WHAT WE SAID: “It works. Magnificently. Beach House are equipped to leave the nods to shoegaze behind and embrace a far more holistic aesthetic pop music. And this is pop. Lavish, seductive, beguiling.” – Colm McAuliffe

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Swans - The Seer35. Swans – The Seer (Young God)

WHAT WE SAID: “A work that demands to be listened to.” – Daniel Paton

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Public Image Ltd - This Is PiL34. Public Image Ltd – This Is PiL (PiL Official)

WHAT WE SAID: “The Sex Pistols were a little nipple tweak in pop history, but PiL are a Chinese burn that sticks with you forever.” – Mic Wright

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Perfume Genius - Put Ur Back In 2 It33. Perfume Genius – Put Your Back N 2 It (Turnstile)

WHAT WE SAID: “Demonstrates that Mike Hadreas is a staggeringly talented songwriter, showcasing an array of songs as deceptively simple as they are jaw-droppingly powerful.” – Gareth Ware

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Jessie Ware - Devotion32. Jessie Ware – Devotion (Island)

WHAT WE SAID: “Devotion is a truly impressive debut album from yet another talented British singer.” – John Murphy

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Lindstrøm - Six Cups Of Rebel31. Lindstrøm – Six Cups Of Rebel (Smalltown Supersound)

WHAT WE SAID: “It might not be as cultured as (his) previous efforts, but it’s hugely entertaining – even more so when played at high volume.” – Ben Hogwood

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The Invisible - Rispah30. The Invisible – Rispah (Ninja Tune)

WHAT WE SAID: “Rispah is a brilliantly sustained meditation that offers a full, enriching experience.” – Daniel Paton

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Sébastien Tellier - My God Is Blue29. Sébastien Tellier – My God Is Blue (Record Makers)

WHAT WE SAID: “Forget the furore around Fifty Shades Of Grey; this is Tellier’s Fifty Shades Of Blue, and it is a whole lot sexier.” – Ben Hogwood

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Sweet Billy Pilgrim - Crown & Treaty28. Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Crown And Treaty (EMI)

WHAT WE SAID: “This is a regal, thoroughly resplendent album and its unlikely that there will be another this year to better and more subtly subvert the mainstream.” – Daniel Paton

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Julia Holter - Ekstasis27. Julia Holter – Ekstasis (RVNG)

WHAT WE SAID: “Although its possible to find minor disappointments and flaws in Ekstasis skilfully woven tapestry, this should not obscure Holter’s manifest talents. She is a determined artist, largely refusing the easy options in favour of something more restless and exciting.” – Daniel Paton

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∆ (Alt-J) - An Awesome Wave26. ∆ (Alt-J) – An Awesome Wave (Infectious)

WHAT WE SAID: “There has already been a cornucopia of excellent new talent coming through in 2012, yet its hard to think of any act that has sounded quite as accomplished as Alt-J. This wont be the last we hear of this utterly compelling four-piece.” – Andy Baber

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Sharon Van Etten - Tramp25. Sharon Van Etten – Tramp (Jagjaguwar)

WHAT WE SAID: “For all the angsty revelations on Tramp, theres also an overriding sense of positivity. It sometimes risks bordering on cliche, but theres little doubt it will help Van Etten broaden her appeal.” – Daniel Paton

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Grimes - Visions24. Grimes – Visions (4AD)

WHAT WE SAID: “It’s an album to live in and love, to dance to and to wallow in.” – John Murphy

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Flying Lotus - Until The Quiet Comes23. Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes (Warp)

WHAT WE SAID: “At once iridescent and ambiguous, luminous and impenetrable: an elegantly conceived and executed album which may well come to be seen as Flying Lotus’ finest work to date.” – Thomas May

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Beachwood Sparks - Tarnished Gold22. Beachwood Sparks – The Tarnished Gold (Sub Pop)

WHAT WE SAID: “Other guitar bands may generate more in the way of headlines this year but few will match the quality of The Tarnished Gold.” – Steven Johnson

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Jack White - Blunderbuss21. Jack White – Blunderbuss (XL)

WHAT WE SAID: “Blunderbuss is a hell of a thing. Lovelorn, honest, poignant and emotional in the best way imaginable.” – Tim Lee

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Poliça - Give You The Ghost20. Poliça – Give You The Ghost (Memphis Industries)

WHAT WE SAID: “What does it take to become both Bon Iver and Jay-Z’s favourite indie band? Well, an album of dreamy, distorted vocals stretching across 11 tracks of urban, smoky electropop if Give Up The Ghost is anything to go by.” – Colm McAuliffe

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Bright Light Bright Light - Make Me Believe In Hope19. Bright Light Bright Light – Make Me Believe In Hope (The Blue Team)

WHAT WE SAID: “Make Me Believe In Hopes storytelling straddles two sides: self-reflection-tinged sadness of the kind Robyn would sing about, or a sort of James Yuill-esque belief in happy love endings. Bright Light Bright Light has backed both of these with the kind of towering production quality and lyrical complexity that the rest of pop surely should be striving towards.” – Ruth Follows

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Field Music - Plumb18. Field Music – Plumb (Memphis Industries)

WHAT WE SAID: “On paper it shouldn’t work – the fourth album by a critically adored but commercially ignored band who merge prog rock, funk and new wave into orchestral scripts. But it’s this stubborn obscurity that makes Field Music one of the most exciting bands these shores have to offer.” – Helen Clarke

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Neil Halstead - Palindrome Hunches17. Neil Halstead – Palindrome Hunches (Sonic Cathedral)

WHAT WE SAID: “The quality, depth, and otherworldliness that Halstead has achieved here elevates it above being just another folk album. Rather, Palindrome Hunches is really quite wonderful.” – Sam Shepherd

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TOY - TOY16. TOY – TOY (Heavenly)

WHAT WE SAID: “There’s not a weak track on here… it’s never anything other than intoxicating and brilliantly realised.” – Tim Lee

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Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball

15. Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball (Heavenly)

WHAT WE SAID: “Ultimately, it batters you into submission. It’s an impressive work from a genuine legend and as a response to our current situation, leaves us with a pertinent message: in Bruce we trust.” – Tim Lee

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Dexys - One Day I'm Going To Soar14. Dexys – One Day Im Going To Soar (BMG)

WHAT WE SAID: “By its tremendous conclusion, One Day Im Going To Soar feels like a triumph, in spite of its transparent flaws.” – Daniel Paton

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David Byrne & St Vincent - Love This Giant13. David Byrne & St Vincent – Love This Giant (4AD)

WHAT WE SAID: “Its the moments of dizzying brass playing from the backing musicians, the otherworldly pomp of Byrne and the stellar chops of Clark that saves the day. ” – Geoff Cowart

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Anaïs Mitchell - Young Man In America12. Anaïs Mitchell – Young Man In America (Wilderland)

WHAT WE SAID: “By the time the swaying horns and chiming chords of the closing, six-minute long Ships comes to its end, you realise you’ve been listening to something very special. With Young Man In America, Anaïs Mitchell has created her second consecutive masterpiece.” – John Murphy

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Portico Quartet - Portico Quartet11. Portico Quartet – Portico Quartet (Real World)

WHAT WE SAID: “It remains to be seen how their change of direction will sit with fans of their previous work, but based purely on its own merits it’s a marvel.” – Gareth Ware

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VCMG - SSSS10. VCMG – SSSS (Mute)

WHAT WE SAID: “While the brutal four-to-the-floor beats are in control, Vince Clarke and Martin Gore tease out emotions and create pop hooks with an array of warm sounds. While anyone seeking the reinvention of the techno genre would be looking in the wrong place, it works a treat.” – Michael Hubbard

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Carter Tutti Void9. Carter Tutti Void – Transverse (Mute)

WHAT WE SAID: “But rather than look at it piecemeal it’s actually better to treat Transverse as a whole. A marvellous four sided demonic groove.” – Tim Lee

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Liars - WIXIW8. Liars – WIXIW (Mute)

WHAT WE SAID: “WIXIW is a wonder of an album of endless layers and contrasts to get caught up and lost in.” – Sam Shepherd

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Diiv - Oshiin7. DIIV – Oshiin (Captured Tracks)

WHAT WE SAID: “There are, of course, echoes of the past, but there is also something pleasingly fresh in the way DIIV take an age old sound and turn it into something magical that’s at times deeply beautiful.” – Martyn Young

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John Talabot - Fin6. John Talabot – fIN (Permanent Vacation)

What we said: “A remarkably assured and instinctive piece of work, one that speaks of good times on the dancefloor while not being afraid to throw in more poignant and affecting emotions, all wrapped up in clothing that falls nicely on an ambient blend of disco and house. Even in these congested musical times, it arrives at that happy knack of being one of its kind.” – Ben Hogwood

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musicOMH’s Top 100 Albums Of 2012: 50-6
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