Live4ever’s Essential Albums Of 2012…So Far

Summer 2012. We’ve just had the wettest June on record, the festival season has been fractured by a series of cancellations, and album sales have fallen in their millions.

And yet, for every music fan, there’ still reasons to be cheerful.

The Stone Roses have just completed – with no major hiccups – the fastest selling weekend of live music in UK history, Blur have deemed us worthy to sample the fruits of their studio labours, some faith in humanity was restored when The Voice had its live tour pulled and, most importantly, for seven months now artists both new and established have been releasing a steady stream of truly impressive albums, proving once again that, if you’re prepared to look hard enough, quality is still out there in abundance.

So, take a look through just some of those releases we’ve pulled together for our latest Essential Listening rundown, and maybe you’ll spot something which will soon occupy a prominent place in your own record collection for the remainder of the year. And when you’ve been through the list, why not do the same for us by leaving a comment below highlighting your own favourites of 2012…so far.


paulweller sonikkicks 450x45025: Paul WellerSonik Kicks

“Groundbreaking does not necessarily go hand in hand with earth shattering, in this case meaning merely that as a collective nothing of this ilk has really been heard before.”

Full Review

spiritualized 300x30024: Spiritualized Sweet Heart Sweet Light

“For fans of Pierce’s expansive catalogue of gospel-infused space rock ruminations this latest installment will come as a welcomed, even refreshing addition to the canon.”

Full Review

aande23: Graham CoxonA + E

“An irrefutably creative musician cut loose in a studio with a bass guitar, a drum machine, and assorted other delights that facilitate a wonderfully abrasive racket.”

Full Review

forgeflagon22: Skinny ListerForge & Flagon

“May dip below the radar when up against the big summer releases, but this is an album that will be winning friends and influencing people long after the sun has disappeared.”

Full Review

apocalypticlove21: Slash Apocalyptic Love

“Guns N Roses as we know and love them are never coming back, but as long as Slash is still around and on this level of form the JD soaked spirit of 1987 will never die.”

Full Review

TribesBaby600Gb12011220: Tribes Baby

“Drawing from your inspirations and doing something new and fresh with those ideas is not easy to pull off, but Tribes have managed it.”

Full Review

heaven119: The Walkmen Heaven

“The Walkmen have grown up, slowed down, and found contentment in the songs they’re making. ‘Heaven’ is a mature album, and it may just be their best yet.”

Full Review

inourheads18: Hot ChipIn Our Heads

“Pushing boundaries with an astute subtlety; mining the art of deception to perfection. Progressive and revolutionary, yet understated.”

Full Review

bigpink17: The Big Pink Future This

“The fruits of this triumphant record should be enjoyed in unison, and perhaps following the release of this record  The Big Pink will get the commercial recognition they deserve.”

Full Review

giventothewild16: The MaccabeesGiven To The Wild

“The band clearly enjoy what they are doing, something that is no surprise when you consider their success in instrumental experimentation; truly a wonder to behold.”

Full Review

bellybrazenbull15: The Cribs In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull

“For the closing four tracks of the album The Cribs create a rather ambitious medley. It is without question the most impressive and elaborate music they have ever produced.”

Full Review

talltales14: American GospelTall Tales Vol. 1

“Musically it’s packed with grand cacophonous gestures, lyrically it’s deceptively dark, structurally it’s well conceived. This is clearly a very personal album.”

Full Review

nathaniel13: Fifth NationNathaniel

“The record twists and weaves its way through a labyrinth of genres, ensuring the band are fundamentally impossible to tie down to one specific category.”

Full Review

womack12: Bobby Womack The Bravest Man In The Universe

“And it is that very same voice, now stark and unapologetic with experience, that will continue to carry his legacy long after he himself is gone.”

Full Review

alabama shakes cover11: Alabama ShakesBoys & Girls

“A record that musicians will envy and listeners will adore. If there’s a bad word to be said against this music, you’re not going to read it here. Listen to this. Listen to it all.”

Full Review

bloom10: Beach HouseBloom

“‘Bloom’ is exactly the music you’d play if Jennifer Connelly had stayed trapped in that freakish masquerade ball with David Bowie in Labyrinth.”

Full Review

yourstruly9: Beth Jeans Houghton Yours Truly…

“She already has more than enough talent and gusto to stand alongside her contemporaries and prove herself to be something vastly different and worthwhile.”

Full Review

standingskysedge8: Richard HawleyStanding At The Sky’s Edge

“Hawley diehards rejoice, Mr Reliable has struck again with a mesmerising composition of nine dwindling, ruminating pieces of eccentricity.”

Full Review

band of skulls sweet sour7: Band Of SkullsSweet Sour

“A polished and accessible second offering from a group that made a point to rise to an occasion they could have just as easily shrank away from.”

Full Review

off6: Off! Off!

“There’s an arguable lack of visceral attitude in the current musical climate, and it’s fitting, if not ironic, that Morris is once again bringing that to attention.”

Full Review

Jack White Blunderbuss 300x2955: Jack WhiteBlunderbuss

“White has already secured his spot in history by allowing his raw eccentricity to speak for itself, and this outing confirms that eccentricity still has plenty left to say.”

Full Review

bruce springsteen releases wrecking ball tracklisting and new single4: Bruce Springsteen Wrecking Ball

“He’s angry, so very very angry, but he channels that anger into something immense and beautiful; something to lift the heart and bring you out in goosepimples.”

Full Review

ellen3: Ellen & The EscapadesAll The Crooked Scenes

“Ellen and the Escapades have made a record that cannot stay in the underground. It’s too big and too beautiful to simply live its life out as a password for hip-ness.”

Full Review

BluesFuneralart2: Mark Lanegan Band Blues Funeral

“His voice, the bruised communicator, relays contempt and corruption consistently, bearing a rare romance that can be compared to few other artists.”

Full Review

theresnoleavingnow1: The Tallest Man On Earth There’s No Leaving Now

“We should all applaud those that strive for something else. The album is a triumph. Bejewelled but uncluttered. The times are a-changing.”

Full Review

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  1. The Importance 6 July, 2012
  2. Aussie Koromov 6 July, 2012

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