Posted in music on December 21, 2012

by Andrew Sacher

Kendrick LamarFrank Ocean

Today, we finally get the much anticipated list of Pitchfork's Top 20 Albums of 2012. They revealed Nos. 30-50 yesterday and spent the rest of this week posting Honorable Mentions and tracks. None of the albums that made the top 20 are surprising to see there (which doesn't mean they aren't deserving), but the surprises come from the albums that missed the list all together. Passion Pit got ROBBED! Twin Shadow too! And Wild Nothing! If you're looking for Converge or Baroness, you'll have to redirect yourself to Pitchfork's Metal list (though Pallbearer was in the main top 50). And we could've guessed that Nos. 1 and 2 would be Frank Ocean and Kendrick Lamar... but who took the No. 1 spot? Head below to find out and you can check out individual writer's votes too...

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Pitchfork's Top 20 Albums of 2012
20. Jessie Ware - Devotion
19. Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory
18. Ty Segall Band/Ty Segall & White Fence - Slaughterhouse/Hair
17. Bat For Lashes - The Haunted Man
16. Burial - Kindred EP
15. Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan
14. Andy Stott - Luxury Problems
13. Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music
12. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
11. Japandroids - Celebration Rock
10. Grizzly Bear - Shields
9. Death Grips - The Money Store
8. Chromatics - Kill For Love
7. Beach House - Bloom
6. Grimes - Visions
5. Swans - The Seer
4. Tame Impala - Lonerism
3. Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel...
2. Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
1. Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d city

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Comments (85)

7000 comments

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:09 AM

8:59 is Gerald

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:10 AM

Why do people like Death Grips?

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:11 AM

RIP Frank Grimes

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:12 AM

Damn.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:13 AM

OH GRIMEY!


Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:19 AM

blogs blogging about blogs

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:19 AM

Who the fuck is Kendrick Lamar?

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:20 AM

Grimes's next album will be the biggest album since Pet Sounds.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:22 AM

If those are the best two albums of the year, then I am just totally out of the scene. Swans/Misty/Cloud Nothings/SVE/Diloway/Swanson/Shins/Grizzly/AnCo/METZ/Dino

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:23 AM

I'm a little surprised how many of these lists over look the Lower Dens album from March. I thought that it was really strong and I listened to it many times.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:24 AM

There are some good albums on that list, but compared to some recent years, it wasn't a very impressive year overall.

Posted by Lyn Brook | December 21, 2012 9:26 AM

AnCo didn't even make the top 50? Darling, we're not 2009 anymore....

Posted by Regular reader | December 21, 2012 9:29 AM

Shins album seems totally forgotten, not only by Pitchfork, who gave it an 8.4 and didn't even include for honorable mention, but everyone.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:31 AM

Passion Pit got robbed.

Posted by Eduardo | December 21, 2012 9:31 AM

We've seen a lot of diversity among top-50 lists this year suggesting that there were no clear cut front-runners as in prior years.

I just can't believe that Bob Mould received little or no love for "Silver Age." That album is fantastic from beginning to end, but since it was omitted from basically every list, it will just fall into obscurity.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:33 AM

Grimes was robbed!

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:36 AM

Does Kendrick Lamar work at Pitchfork? Never heard of him.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:37 AM

Alabama Shakes chick was robbed!

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:40 AM

The Shins album wasn't that good. Surprised Pitchfork was so kind to it.

That Swans guy must be really psyched.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:42 AM

9:40

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:45 AM

ditto 9:24.


i hope fiona apple goes back into hiding for a while so i don't have to see anymore gushy gushy, all the live-long day, fawnathon folly.

Posted by anonimous | December 21, 2012 9:47 AM

Grimes is #1 in the people's hearts

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:51 AM

I thought Frankie Ocean would have taken the top spot. When did P4k become a hip hop site? I'm confused.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:52 AM

completely agree with 9:33 on the Mould album, and I'm lukewarm on everything else he's released since the Beaster EP. the new album was a great return to form out of nowhere.

Lonerism was still the album of the yr for me. I'll be shocked if they anyone is ranking Fiona Apple ahead of it when they do their "decade list" in 7 yrs.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:56 AM

if the ARCTIC MONKEYS didn't make the list, then it ain't worth spit

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:57 AM

enough of this esoteric BS. ALL these bands blow big time

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:58 AM

Who the fuck is Frank Ocean please? Why should I care?

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 10:01 AM

Pitchfork used to like guitars, now they like beats.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 10:05 AM

Indie turds <3 negroes.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 10:14 AM

The best album that came out this year was the D'angelo "Voodoo" re-issue.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 10:16 AM

Pitchfork might as well be Billboard. No difference. Terrible taste in music. The only thing good on this list is
-Swans
-Burial
-Tame Impala
-Godspeed You! Black Emperor
-Beach House

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 10:19 AM

Pitchfork has turned Top 40. Lost respect for them a long time ago.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 10:20 AM

10:01 -- Frank Ocean is Billy Ocean's Nephew.
That's why he gets so much Hype.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 10:22 AM

finally, a list that recognized tame impala's lonerism. about damn time.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 10:27 AM

Just a few more years and Pitchfork will officially be MTV.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 10:28 AM

wow, second list from pitchfork without animal collective. The love affair is over...

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 10:29 AM

Did they mean to say Lamar Latrell from Revenge of the Nerds instead of Kendrick Lamar?

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 10:36 AM

Well, let's not be completely crazy. P4K is still better than Spin or Rolling Stone. Last I checked, the new Bob Dylan, Taylor Swift and John Mayer albums are not on P4K's list.

Also, P4K has been into "beats" for a long time. This is nothing new. Wasn't The Knife's "Silent Shout" the number one album a few years back? It's a sign of the times. Electronic music is huge and not going away.

I think P4K's list, for the most part, is sufficient. Plus, I give them credit for disregarding prior P4K darlings such as Animal Collective and The Xx who released sub-par albums.

2013 is going to be a better year seeing new releases from: Arcade Fire, The National, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, James Blake, Atoms for Peace, (and maybe even MBV). Happy New Year everyone!

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 10:36 AM

2013 belongs to FOALS

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 10:42 AM

^I hope so..I loved Total Life

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 10:49 AM

Can't wait for Gov Ball

Posted by Sarah | December 21, 2012 10:53 AM

Of course, they have to stand behind the bands they invite to play their festival(s), but when does that become myopia? Trying hard to get Death Grips. Think Alt J ranks in the top 20. Otherwise, disenheartingly predictable.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 10:56 AM

"BLAH BLAH BLAH LISTS BLAH BLAH GRIMES BLAH BLAH PITCHFORK BLAH BLAH!!"

There, we're done.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 11:15 AM

farrrrt

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 11:20 AM

No one was buzzier than Grimes this year.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 11:24 AM

I am officially sick and tired of 2012 best of lists.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 11:25 AM

Isn't Kendrick Lamar Married to one of the Kardashians?

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 11:28 AM

10.Pitchforks Top 20 Albums of 2012
9. Pitchforks Top 20 Albums of 2011
8. Pitchforks Top 20 Albums of 2005
7. Pitchforks Top 20 Albums of 2010
6. Pitchforks Top 20 Albums of 2003
5. Pitchforks Top 20 Albums of 2006
4. Pitchforks Top 20 Albums of 2009
3. Pitchforks Top 20 Albums of 2004
2. Pitchforks Top 20 Albums of 2007
1. Pitchforks Top 20 Albums of 2008

...nerds...start your fappin'...

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 11:43 AM

10:36 you nailed it except for the optimism about those acts making worthwhile shit next year but yeah i figured everyone got over "pitchfork lykes beats" when My Love was the song of the year and I was young and virginal and fuck the internet music sucks

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 11:49 AM

Passion Pit got completely shafted.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 12:01 PM

fiona at number 3..... pitchfork has never let any female have the top spot.... just sayinnnnnn

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 12:02 PM

11:49. My optimism for those acts I mentioned is cautious optimism. I am repeatedly let down by bands I once liked who release garbage. This year alone saw disappointing releases from Metric, The Helio Sequence, The Raveonettes, and Sleigh Bells to name a few. But every once in a while, band you thought was done releases something great (e.g. Spiritualized and Bob Mould in 2012.) Heck, I thought Arcade Fire was done after Neon Bible, but The Suburbs is quite good.

I'm pretty confident that if you like James Blake, the new one will be good. Also, I'm hopeful that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have another good album in them. I like pretty much everything in their catalogue to date.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 12:25 PM

passion pit sucks.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 12:36 PM

i still love you wild nothing

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 12:39 PM

Stick a (pitch) fork in it. Nobody cares about Pitchfork.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 12:48 PM

Lots of that urban music on here. Surprising given the Midwest white bread staff.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 1:03 PM

they forgot the j'acuzzi boys

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 1:03 PM

12:02 went to sarah lawrence

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 1:05 PM

Lists by white apologists.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 1:20 PM

Pitchfork should really give it up. There lists are so watered down.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 1:37 PM

2013 is going to be an awesome year.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 1:53 PM

RIP Carl Grimes

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 3:42 PM

What will we do when Grimes plays MSG?

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 3:49 PM

1149 "Heck, I thought Arcade Fire was done after Neon Bible," Huh? That album was huge! James Blake sucks - period! Agree on Bob Mould though. He is back!

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 3:53 PM

Ha ha! They think this is the best music that came out in the entire world? Or is it the top 10 indie with a little hip hop and Frank Ocean thrown in list? They live in their own little dull musical cocoon. Most of their top 10 is the same as most of the other lists. Has music really sunk this low when people are wowed by Grimes, Tame Impala & Frank Ocean? I'll take Swans and you can keep the rest!

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 4:03 PM

1. Moyen-âge by Ange
2. Weather Systems by Anathema
3. Viljans Oga by Anglagard
4. The Black Chord by Astra
5. Consequences by Peter Hammill

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 4:55 PM

dudes, these list are simply the most PR'ed albums in the years, not necessarily the best. It's all part of the corrupt indie machine, DONT BELIEVE THE BUZZ AND IF YOU DO YOU"RE FUCKING LAME. I didn't even bother listening to most of these albums, because it's all manufactured bullshit. This ain't 2k9 anymore, when everyone bought the buzz so easily. Tame Impala and Wild Nothing were only worthy of recognition this year (oh yes, and DIIV's clothes/Grimes crazy mind/Franky Ocean turning gay, because they're only famous for that)

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 7:00 PM

Wild Nothing's album was fantastic. So bummed to see it I overlooked.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 7:53 PM

Somebody Still Loves You Father John Misty

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 9:12 PM

The Andy Stott album is basically on every year end list.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 10:25 PM

700 "It's all part of the corrupt indie machine," If you think Tame Impala is anything special then you "believed the buzz". More regurgitated 60's music. Yawn. "I didn't even bother listening to most of these albums" Then how do you know if they are any good?

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 10:34 PM

Too songs 2012


1-Reach Out-Mary J and Nas ( resurrection of 90s intellect rap and reflection on midlife)

2-Bitch Don't Kill My - Kenderick Lamar and Lady Gaga ( Kenderick is to hip hop what Gaga is to pop)

3-Thinkin About You- Frank Ocean bc you totally re- examined that song when you realize it was written for another man,got over it and went back to liking it.

4- Get Free -- Major Lazer cause this was the cool kids' " Somebody I used to Know."

5-Bones- MS MR -- they sound like Florence they aren't freakishly tall or resemble a drag queen from Twilight.

6-Take a Walk-- Passion Pit they made a poppy song which captured the times while 'selling out' to mainstream then they had a 90s grunge style mental breakdown .

7-Flutes- Hot Chip -as they mature they can put out the most complicated dance build up which makes Skrillex sound like an angry kid pounding on a toy keyboard.

8-Forest Gump-frank ocean- just bc he can get straight guys at a concert singing along lyrics like "I know you Forrest
I know you wouldn't hurt a beetle
But you're so buff and so strong
I'm nervous Forrest "

9-# 1 Heaven- MNDR - why she's not " grimes" and is so under rated live and in studio.

10-Fitzpleasure- Alt-j - bc it was a song written to be heard with a j

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2012 10:53 PM

Hey why don't we all post our top tens? Nah, bad idea. No one gives a shit!

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2012 3:46 AM

Lonerism is a perfect album.

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2012 10:12 AM

Lonerism is a perfect album.

Perfect for what? It sounds like it was recorded in his basement. It's 2012.

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2012 2:35 PM

a scoop of dirt knocks me over to death

Posted by Anonymous | December 22, 2012 2:48 PM

King Tuff, Divine Fits, The Walkmen. I guess these bands aren't precious enough to make Pitchfork's list.

Posted by Edoc | December 24, 2012 9:03 PM

Beatleism gets most of the praise. There's a shocker.


A sad state of affairs indeed.


That said, there's definitely some talent in this list... but heavy on the "some"...

What a rough fuckin' year.....

Posted by Anonymous | December 26, 2012 12:19 AM

For those of you that don't know Kendrick Lamar and are completely outraged and confused on why he got top spot (and it is hip-hop, WHAT!?!? Ugh pitchfork suck so bad now) Kendrick released truly one of the best conceptual hip hop albums I have heard in a long time. Now most alt or rock fans in general may not like this, but if you keep an open mind and take in the lyrics and the story found in the album, you may realize why it achieved the top spot. But even being a fan of Kendrick, I'm still surprised as most of you are.

Posted by Anonymous | December 29, 2012 1:52 AM

Passion Pit got robbed.

Posted by Aswaqcity | December 30, 2012 12:43 PM

Passion Pit sucks.

Posted by Anonymous | December 30, 2012 1:52 PM

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Posted by Michal | February 24, 2013 4:47 PM

Your article is a mixed feeling. But it remains the best in his own style!!!

Posted by Number Book | March 31, 2013 9:50 AM

best top 20 list ever.

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