Category Archives: 2012 FOWRies

Our 2012 Awards!

Best Songs of 2012

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I’m Matt McMillan: Our 2012 Album of the Year Special

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Finally, despite personnel and technology issues, I give to you this… podcast. Join Andrew, Stephen and I as we try to shit out a trophy.

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Best Album of 2012: The Personal Picks

As disclosed in the award announcement, our album of the year category this year is composed of the winners of all our genre categories, as well as one personally chosen record from each writer. Since the Best Album podcast is due up within 24 hours, now is the time to talk about those personal picks. So, let’s! Continue reading

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Best Rock Album

This is the genre most of us on FOWR live for. It is the backdrop of the music we listen to and make and typically the thing we have the most authority in talking about, so naturally we save this one for last. 2012 was the year where we all felt rock regaining purpose and that prospect became one of the most exciting and uplifting things about this year. Cloud Nothings turned into something bigger than anyone could have seen coming, The Men created their resolution to the world of music, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Fiona Apple returned with reminders of their ingenuity, Swans fashioned everything Michael Gira wanted to achieve, and Mount Eerie invented a strong two-part narrative filled with relentless progression and scope. All of these records were amazing. Like, fucking all of them. Continue reading

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Best Rap Album

Rap is always tricky to decide. The results of each year since 2010 have been pretty odd, especially with Das Racist winning best rap album over Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”. The way we look at things in the rap category tends to vary in strange ways, but in the end it’s what turned the genre on its head or changed the way we listen to hip hop. The nominees this year range from the west coast titanic Kendrick Lamar, to Killer Mike’s claim to legitimacy with “R.A.P. Music”, to Death Grips’ societally-involved aural assaults. These were our heavy hitters this year and each of them had something to say about the genre in its own way. Killer Mike created astoundingly hard southern rap that serves as a solid traditional record and Kendrick Lamar perfected the rap narrative and turns it out as a great success story. Continue reading

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Best Pop Album

This is my first year writing the pop category. Usually I immediately defer this to Halverson because it’s a style that he’s usually more immersed in and comfortable talking about. Then again, as we’ve said, this year has been utterly amazing.

Also it felt weird writing Best Rock Album every time we’ve done this. Unfair, even. So he’s gonna do that.

ANYWAYS. Pop music, as we tend to describe it here is about the pursuit of beauty in conventional musical standards. Melodies and lush soundscapes and ruminations on the world, things like this. This year had such a number of worthy contenders that at a point it was painful to narrow down to a final six- a problem we’ve usually had with rock and rap, our primary focuses. So our decision comes down to the ingenuity of Daughn Gibson, the strong growth of Frank Ocean’s range, Grizzly Bear’s sweeping dynamics, the stunning comprehensibility of the Dirty Projectors, and the complete doubling down of both Mesita and Sharon Van Etten. Continue reading

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Best Electronic Album

Electronic has always been a category that comes together at the last minute for us, usually centered around one or two obvious choices from earlier in the year. This is both more and less true this year. More than half of the category comes from before the halfway point of the year: Grimes and her Visions, Laurel Halo’s time in Quarantine, iamamiwhoami’s cohesive and living kin, and funny wordplay involving WIXIW by Liars. Yet, the two albums that made the biggest initial impacts on us came in the last three months of the year in the return of Flying Lotus and the (in my case) literal houseshaking appearance of Raime. As with all of our categories these are all truly excellent records, but I’m sure the winner seems obvious. Continue reading

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