ON THE RECORD: TOP 10 OF 2012
1. Frank Ocean
Sounds like: A startlingly unique vision from a promising new R&B rookie.
Free association: Pop music’s been waiting for a voice like his for years.
For fans of: Marvin Gaye x Odd Future, Miguel/Pharrell/Prince, gay heroes. (Bill Chenevert)
2. Hot Chip
In Our Heads
Sounds like: The fifth from the U.K. dance mavens may be their most fun yet.
Free association: They get better with age and keep their sense of humor.
For fans of: LCD Soundsystem, Simian Mobile Disco, !!!, classy, arty EDM. (B.C.)
3. Fiona Apple
The Idler Wheel...
Sounds like: The Wild Woman of indie made a perfect, hushed masterpiece.
Free association: A hash possession arrest may have made us love her more.
For fans of: Tori/Alanis/Feist, Patti Smith x Joni Mitchell, madness in music. (B.C.)
4. Here We Go Magic
A Different Ship
Sounds like: An underrated killer batch of Nigel Godrich-produced folk jams.
Free association: A Johnny Brenda’s set confirmed suspicions: Sickening.
For fans of: Stereolab x David Byrne + the Shins, groove-heavy indie folk. (B.C.)
5. Kendrick Lamar
good kid, m.A.A.d city.
Sounds like: A dazzling and coherent debut from a gifted Compton emcee.
Free association: He and Killer Mike singlehandedly revive faith in rappers.
For fans of: Dr. Dre x Ab-Soul/ScHoolboy Q/Curren$y, young brilliance. (B.C.)
Time for a big Bang breakthrough?