The best music of 2012: Pop
Sunday 30 December 2012
At the fag-end of 2012, it seems pertinent to reflect not only on the musical year, but also on all the other end-of-year-lists – and two albums whose widespread omission has turned me into one of those end-of-year-list bores.
Santigold's Masters of My Make Believe boasted a humid sensuality and fantastic tunes; naturally, it barely grazed the charts. Meanwhile, Fiona Apple's The Idler Wheel ... slipped out in June with a non-existent marketing campaign, yet may be the best thing she's ever done.
Indeed, those who shined brightest definitely didn't shout loudest. Piano balladeer Perfume Genius's second album, Put Your Back N 2 It, was a work of hushed wonder, while bedroom-popster How to Dress Well cast an equally powerful spell with Total Loss. In fact, haunted R&B was justifiably all the rage this year, from Frank Ocean to The Weekend, whose debut's acknowledged brilliance makes his categorisation as a new artist on the BBC Sound of 2013 list a bit baffling.
Other unassailable truths? Plan B was robbed at the Mercurys for the zeitgeist-garrotting Ill Manors. Hot Chip's Joe Goddard made the most purely pleasurable album of the year, Be Strong, as part of retro-house duo The 2 Bears and with her debut album, From the Roots Up, Delilah should have been bigger than Emeli Sandé.
'At times I thought he was me'film
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Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars
TVNetflix gets cryptic
TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth
Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 2 Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
- 3 Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services