Okayplayer best albums of 2012

It’s the most wonderful time of the year–time to drink spiked eggnog, reconnect with friends and argue about the best albums of 2012. So start mixing up your favorite recipe for coquito, pull up a comfy chair (and comfy headphones) and let the argument begin. Don’t get too faded, though, or let the “discussion” drag out too long. You’ll undoubtedly want to raid this list for gift ideas and at the time of writing you only have 11 days 5 hours 44 minutes and 36 seconds left on the Christmas clock. And even less on the Doomsday clock. So let the countdown begin! (Actually, it’s not a countdown. What follows are the 12 albums we cared about most in 2012, in no particular order).



  • Sgqemz

    The Oddisee omission was a damn shame. Loved most of the list though.

  • victor

    Really, no Black Radio????

  • Oddfather

    Disappointed … no Oddisee?

  • Jonathan

    Great list. Some additions, in my opinion:
    Akua Naru – Live & Aflame Sessions
    Nneka – Soul Is Heavy
    Criolo – No Na Orelha
    Robert Glasper Experiment – Black Radio
    THEESatisfaction – awE naturalE
    Jessie Ware – Devotion
    Oddisee – People Hear What They See

    • all great records and i would venture to say that at least 3 or 4 of those artists will be poppin up on other OKP years best lists! stay tuned

  • Mello

    Great list! All deserving albums. I too was bummed to see no Oddisee or Blackhouse on the main list, but appreciate the honorable mention.

  • thomas

    its pretty great to see that even though the grammy’s ignored them, Killer Mike and El-P are getting the respect they deserve for their albums from all the credible sources

  • Francky

    Robert Glasper’s Black Radio!!!!!?????!!!!

  • vlaizaflygirl

    thanks for the music, something to marinate on into the New Year!

  • toine

    Eddie, I agree with you on this list, totally. But, could you explain why Black Radio isn’t in this one. To me, and to most of who responded, it should be in there.
    To Me Black Radio was one of the revelations of last year.

    • Man, I respect that. Glasper is a jazzy beast and certainly Black Radio was one of the biggest releases of the year for okayplayer. I can’t give you any specific reason other than the fact that were 12 LPs we felt more strongly about. Its not like he lost points for losing three points of contact on the dismount or something. This list reflects the subjective feelings of me and others on the okp staff and speaking for myself the only criteria that really mattered was the desire to keep playing a record over and over again (the rest is just trying to explain why you want to listen over and over). By that score i found myself drawn to tracks from the Black Radio Recovered remix EP much more than the album itself, as well as some of the amazing live moments Glasper was at the center of. Some of those will definitely be reflected in my votes for the other years best lists we’re cogitating on but in terms of an lp to listen straight thru, i found i picked my spots with Black Radio a lot more than any of the other LPs on here.

    • toine

      Thanks for your reply, always dig it when a writer takes his time to answer questions like this.


  • FAP 93

    Im down with everyone commenting on Oddisee, that was my personal album of the year. Glad to see it get some love at least though. HHDX didnt even have it in the top 25

  • Godzilla Jr.

    Blu & Exile “Give Me My Flowers…” should be on this list, most def

  • The R

    I clicked in to this article with the absolute expectation that Oddisee would be on the list

  • King Kazma

    Very good year for EL-P. That man rules!

  • am

    You had Frank Ocean over Robert Glasper. I’m very disappointed Frank should not have even made this list.