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Best albums of 2012: mid-year edition

Perhaps it feels a touch early for 2012 ‘Best Of’ lists, but we are only two weeks away from the middle of the year. Yep, we’re almost half way through the year that your annoying, barefoot, conspiracy theory believing mate keeps insisting will be our last. So let’s pause briefly to assess the year’s album releases.

While we can’t mention every album released in the first half of 2012 (and have no doubt failed to mention your favourite) the year so far has seen the return of The Shins and The Hives; the solo debut from Jack White; introduced us to new favourites including Quakers, Alabama Shakes, Michael Kiwanuka, Django Django, Grimes and Lana Del Rey;and added new records from the likes of Silversun Pickups, White Rabbits, Band Of Skulls, Pulled Apart By Horses, Spritualized, Mark Lanegan, Bobby Womack, Dr John and Sigur Ros to our playlists. On the local front, albums from Catcall, Ladyhawke, Bleeding Knees Club, DZ Deathrays, Bearhug, Pond, Children Collide, Deep Sea Arcade and Dirty Three have all clamoured for attention

A few publications – Spin, Stereogum, The Guardian and NPR – have all jumped the gun on the rest of the pack by dropping their mid-year list already and adding plenty of fuel to the ‘Album of the Year’ debate.

Spin favours a list of “Alt-rock legends, disco revisionists, country heartbreakers, the children of Def Leppard, sludge-metal mutations, the best rap record of 1987, and at least three pieces of Chicago footwork”; The Guardian list features everything from “avant hip-hop to disco-tinged electro”, while over at NPR their list finds space for Death Grips, Usher, and the Berlin Philharmonic.

Here are the lists from Spin, The Guardian, NPR and Stereogum – who’s on your list?

Best Albums of 2012

Spin’s list:

Action Bronson – Blue Chips

Addison Groove – Transistor

Actress – R.I.P.

Air – Le Voyage Dans Le Lune

Amadou & Mariam – Folila

Beak> – >>

Beach House – Bloom

Willis Earl Beal – Acousmatic Sorcery

Best Coast – The Only Place

Carter Tutti Void – Transverse

Ceremony – Zoo

Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory

DJ Rashad – TEKLIFE Vol. 1 Welcome to the Chi

Kathleen Edwards – Voyageur

Escort – Escort

Future – Pluto

Daughn Gibson – All Hell

Guided by Voices – Let’s Go Eat the Factory

Himanshu – Nehru Jackets

Imperial Teen – Feel the Sound

Japandroids – Celebration Rock

Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music

King Tuff – King Tuff

Mark Lanegan Band – Blues Funeral

Lindstrí¸m – Six Cups of Rebel

Spoek Mathambo – Father Creeper

The Men – Open Your Heart

Meshuggah – Koloss

Miguel – Art Dealer Chic Vol. 1 – 2 & 3

Moonface – With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery

Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded

Pallbearer – Sorrow and Extinction

Frankie Rose – Interstellar

Santigold – Master of My Make Believe

Siinai – Olympic Games

Sleigh Bells – Reign of Terror

Spiritualized – Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Torche – Harmonicraft

Traxman – The Mind of Traxman

Jack White – Blunderbuss

NPR’s list:

Ab-Soul – Control System

Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls

Berlin Philharmonic: St. Matthew Passion

Billy Hart – All Our Reasons

Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man In The Universe

Death Grips – The Money Store

DJ Burn One – Where There’s Smoke

Dr. John – Locked Down

Exitmusic – Passage

fun. – Some Nights

Jack White – Blunderbuss

Japandroids – Celebration Rock

Jeremy Denk – Ligeti/Beethoven

Kelly Hogan – I Like to Keep Myself in Pain

Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music

Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas

Mati Zundel – Amazonico Gravitante

Pallbearer – Sorrow and Extinction

Patrick Watson – Adventures in Your Own Backyard

Sharon Van Etten – Tramp

Spiritualized – Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Usher – Looking For Myself

Vijay Iyer Trio – Accelerando

Yva Las Vegass – I Was Born In a Place of Sunshine and the Smell of Ripe Mangoes

The 2 Bears – Be Strong

The Guardian’s list:

Actress – R.I.P.

Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man in the Universe

Chairlift – Something

Death Grips – The Money Store

A Time You May – Love Songs

Krystle Warren – Embrace

Dexys – One Day I’m Going To Soar

Django Django – Django Django

Dr John – Locked Down

Grimes – Visions

Hot Chip – In Our Heads

Jack White – Blunderbuss

Jam City – Classical Curves

John Talabot – fin

Lana Del Rey – Born To Die

Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas

The Maccabees – Given To The Wild

Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded

Polií§a – Give You the Ghost

Roberto Fonseca – Yo

Saint Etienne – Words and Music

Stereogum’s list:

Heems – Nehru Jackets

Ceremony – Zoo

Willis Earl Beal – Acousmatic Sorcery

Grimes – Visions

Kindness – World You Need A Change Of Mind

Spiritualized – Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Chromatics – Kill For Love

Death Grips – The Money Store

Frankie Rose – Interstellar

Tanlines – Mixed Emotions

Torche – Harmonicraft

Lotus Plaza – Spooky Action At A Distance

Julia Holter – Ekstasis

Action Bronson & Party Supplies – Blue Chips

Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music

Future – Pluto

Sleigh Bells – Reign Of Terror

Rick Ross – Rich Forever

Screaming Females – Ugly

El-P – Cancer For Cure

Beach House – Bloom

Japandroids – Celebration Rock

Chairlift – Something

The Walkmen – Heaven

Cloud Nothings – Attack On Memory