So it’s that time of year again. It’s the Top International Albums 2012 and we’ve got team GP into their ballot boxes and each of the writers and photographers submitted a top 5 International albums of 2012 and we tallied up the votes, and this is the result.
So many great album were released this year and the variety of albums voted for was extremely broad. Fortunately there was a fair degree of concurrence at the top of the list. So with the votes tallied, the list numbered tantalisingly 10 – 1 – this is Team Goldenplec’s Top 10 International albums of 2012. We hope you agree.
10) The Jezabels – Prisoner
An album that was technically released in 2011, but only received an Irish release in 2012, so our writers insisted that this means it’s an album of 2012 to them. A debut album that captures the imagination, jam packed with multi instrumental indie anthems and ballads. It’s the opening gambit on our 2012 top 10 and is a perfect start to our countdown.
9) Jessie Ware – Devotion
The first of our Mercury nominated albums to make our team’s top 10, Jessie Ware’s ‘Devotion’ is an album that quietly worms away in the background until without realising, you’ve been swept up in the Jessie Ware love in. Gentle, soft and unassuming, Jessie Ware’s vocals are the highlight on a delectable album. Worthy of your ears if you’ve missed it thus far.
8) Marina & the Diamonds – Electra Heart
Marina and The Diamonds entered second album syndrome territory and emerge out the other side successfully with a corker of an album. Following up on ‘The Family Jewels’,it had the potential to be one of the best pop albums of the year. It’s an album based on an alter ego and is probably the biggest limit to the album. It does however feel like Marina and her diamonds could be on the precipice of writing one of the best pop albums ever. This time around it’s impressive, but not perfect. Still it easily slots into our top 10.
7) Purity Ring – Shrines
Canada is producing some cracking acts right now, and despite not overly impressing live recently in Dublin, the album ‘Shrines’ stands alone as an example of why we won’t be writing them off any time soon. The male/female duo produce an thrilling, euphoric album that flitters through fantasy worlds and dreamscapes. It’s a beautiful listen, but excites us also for their future potential.
6) Jack White – Blunderbuss
Larger than life, cooler than ice and more in demand than ever, Jack White went solo and there was little doubt that a solo album would be anything other than top brass. Never one to disappoint, ‘Blunderbuss’ delivers on all front, sonically attacking you from all corners, heavy and heart racingly pounding at times, telling tales of a wronged lover. It’s primal and raucous and Jack’s vocals as always are one of its most alluring and strongest aspects.
5) Django Django – Django Django
A Mercury nominated album, rightly so, Django Django delivered to us a phenomenal debut album. Thrilling hooks, melodies and beats feature heavily throughout in this “get up and dance” album. If you caught them live in The Button Factory, you know exactly how good this album translated live. If they return in 2013, grab a ticket and catch this album live, though either way, if you’ve not given this album a full listen, that should be your first port of call.
4) Of Monsters and Men – My Head is an Animal
An album that truly sticks in your head. Of Monsters And Men have managed to produce an array of tracks to drill open a hole in your head, casually stroll inside and seal up the gap, so it can’t get out. It’s gloriously folky pop and they firmly pushed their way further and further up our yearly list through it’s infectious nature.
3) Bruce Springsteen- Wrecking Ball
This year saw a new release from The Boss, which always requires investigation. Does he still have it all these years on, quite simply, he effortlessly does. He came, saw and thrilled all at The R.D.S. on the Wrecking Ball tour and tracks like We Take Care Of Our Own and Death To My Hometown went on heavy rotation on our iPods. Those tracks aside it’s a classic Springsteen album, with The Boss at his most confrontational lyrically, as he blazes through tracks affronting the troubles of his nation. Truly worth a listen and a worthy number 3 on our list.
2) Grimes – Visions
Canadian experimental electro-pop act Grimes released her third studio album Visions this year and finally delivered on years of promise. It’s an album that has sent her to global recognition, intriguing throughout and deservedly was nominated for the Polaris award 2012, which amazingly they didn’t take home. It is however one of our favourites this year.
1) Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
Alt-J’s debut An Awesome Wave is packed full of complex riffs that swoop and soar majestically. Sonically magnificent, it truly captures the imagination of the listener with its warm and rich vocals that enrapt you in the music. Having caught the debut album in its entirety in The Academy 2 and only being disappointed by the venues lack of capability to cope with the music, we really do look forward to catching this album in the acoustically phenomenal surrounds of The Olympia Theatre.