Continuing my lists of favorite songs, albums, artists and much more from the year, we present The Top 12 Albums of 2012. Just like the Top 40 Songs, it was quite hard to choose the album’s rankings. I spent hours switching and revamping the list.
I chose to do 12 albums, due to the year being 2012, as I thought it would be a little fun, however, there are some honorable mentions as well.
Along with my cohorts here at Sinuous Mag, I encourage you — the readers, to give us your two cents about my lists or make your own to share with us. Take a look at the list below:
Teonny Spear’s Top 12 Albums of 2012
1. Madonna — MDNA: There is no secret that I love Madonna. To me, MDNA set the tone for what every pop album of this year should sound like: catchy choruses, great production, and feel good writing. MDNA has all of that. The album can be played like it’s new at least up until 2014 and that’s why it’s my #1.
2. Rihanna — Unapologetic: This was almost my #1 favorite album, but when I listened to MDNA while making this list, it was every clear that Unapologetic had to be #2.
Of all of Rihanna‘s albums, this is the first album that I can listen to all the way through without skipping a song or playing a song to a certain part.
Every single song on the album has great production and manages to keep my attention, and let’s not even begin on how much her vocals have improved and it defiantly shows.
This album also manages to be very much so Rihanna. It shows the personality that we’ve known her to have and it’s also very personal. Don’t believe me? Listen to “What Now” or my personal favorite “Love Without Tragedy”/”Mother Mary,” and you be the judge.
3. One Direction — Up All Night: I was so late jumping aboard the One Direction train. I thought that they were just another attempt at making this generation know a little bit about what the Backstreet Boys and ‘NSYNC were all about, but I was wrong.
Taking the formula of both of those groups, One Direction not only managed to make great music that got me to shake my fanny, but they proved that they can ALL indeed sing. Up All Night is a fun mix of pop, rock, electro-pop, and even R&B. I can’t see the group being together for a long time, but I can see them picking up where ‘NSYNC left off.
4. Maroon 5 — Overexposed: When Adam Levine stated that this would be the bands most pop album of their careers, he was correct. I was very worried at first, but after the first listen, I had to agree. Overexposed caused many fans to call Maroon 5 sellouts for making a radio-friendly and top-40 centered album, but I commend them.
They just do a pop record, they they created one. The band was already a pop act, they just so happened to blend Rock, Soul, and Funk into their music. They did the Top 40 a major favor by infusing it with some damn catchy tunes.
5. Frank Ocean — Channel Orange: I have been on the Frank Ocean wagon since February of this year, thanks to a close knit group of friends of mine who call ourselves The Bloginati. Though our soul purpose of forming was to cause hell, and ruin people’s internet lives, we are much more than that.
We’re a family, and like all families, we share things. When I was told to listen to Frank Ocean, I didn’t know what to expect, but I’m glad that I did.
His ability to tell a story and paint a visual is just amazing. He’s a very good song-writer and his vocals are smooth and draws you in, much like Maxwell does.
Channel Orange manages to dip into various genres of music, thus making Frank Ocean the perfect example of what an artist should be. Did I mention that the fact that he’s gay, makes his music more relatable for me? You girls and straight aren’t the only people who have heartache!
6. Justin Bieber — Believe: I’m not a big Bieber fan, in-fact, I don’t actually like him at all. But I do LOVE pop music, and for that, I cannot deny a great pop song or album when I hear it and Believe is one of them. I can almost call the album Pop Perfection, but in an attempt to stay on my anti Bieber side of the street, I won’t.
Though the album manages to dive into the world of R&B and Hip Hop and mix it with Dubstep, it all manages to work well enough to shake my tush.
7. P!nk — The Truth About Love: P!nk has always been of the few artists in the world of pop that I loved that could actually sing, and in the world of Pop, that is not necessary. But P!nk didn’t care and that’s what I love about her.
Filled with songs about being yourself, never giving up, and the up and downs of love, The Truth About Love is a great mix of pop, rock, and R&B.
8. Taylor Swift — Red: Since the Kanye incident, Taylor Swift has become America’s Sweetheart, even though she manages to date around like she’s trying on a new pair of shoes. Red not only solidifies her as a country music star, but as a pop star as well.
Red is hands down a pop album, no matter how much you try to convince me or yourself other wise. With her usual writings about her troubled relationships and ex-boyfriends, Taylor also manages to become 100% mainstream with this record, and that’s why I love it.
This is defiantly an album that even non-fans would enjoy, even if they refused to admit it. A country artist doing dubstep? Come on, admit it!!!
9. Machine Gun Kelly — Lace Up: MGK is so sexy to me, but that isn’t the reason to why I’m a fan. He came from nothing and turned himself into something and didn’t let anyone stop him from doing so.
his album is a diary of his hardships, troubles, and inner demons. It’s very inspiring. The album also manages to flow very well. It kept you waiting for the next song to start, but at the same time, not wanting the current song to end.
Now I don’t know much about rap delivery or lyrical content, but I do think that MGK is a great rapper and has a nice career ahead of him.
10. fun. — Some Nights: After hitting the scene last year with their Janelle Monae-assisted “We Are Young,” fun. had me wanting more and because of that, they delivered.
The band lives up to its name, and takes you on a ride. It’s like going to a play or listening to a movie because every single song tells a story and somehow manages to tie into each other. Nate is an amazing writer and the combination of alternative hip hop with indie pop is just flawless.
11. Adam Lambert — Trespassing: Adam Lambert is one of the best vocalists, in my opinion, of our time. Yes he tends to over due it, but to be a Rock-star isn’t that what one must do? I Thought so. This album is much different from For Your Entertainment.
While it was more pop rock, Tresspassing manages to be just Pop. This album is exactly what was needed this year in the world of pop. It’s fun, upbeat and as I mentioned before, different.
He also manages to have different emotions for every single song, even those that are just about having fun and feeling good. It’s hard to capture that essence in pop music, but he does. This people, is a clear example of Pop Perfection.
12. Elle Varner — Perfectly Imperfect: Elle first stepped on the scene in 2011 with her debut single, “Only Wanna Give It to You,” which featured J. Cole. The song received praised for its production and Elle’s vocals but it didn’t do too well.
When Elle released the album’s second single “Refill,” she not only managed to catch my attention, but everyone else’s as well. Every single song on the album was penned by Varner and her vocals pull you in during with each note.
People have stated that R&B/Soul music is dying, but the truth is, that it isn’t. People just don;t support it like they should. Elle Varner is showing that great R&B music still exists and puts listeners in a comfortable and relaxing mood.
**REMOVED FROM FINAL LISTING**
Kendrick Lamar — good kid, M.A.A.d city
Ke$ha — Warrior
Carrie Underwood — Blown Away
Brandy — Two Eleven
Bruno Mars — Unorthodox Jukebox
Leona Lewis — Glassheart