KRUA’s top 5, must-listen album picks of 2012

5) Tame Impala: “Lonerism” – Tame Impala’s lead vocalist Kevin Parker continues the psychedelic vibes the band has become known for, while experimenting with new sounds and instruments. Profoundly inspired by Todd Rundgren’s classic 1973 concept album “A Wizard, a True Star,” “Lonerism” is particularly synth-heavy and visionary. Must Listen: “Elephant



4) Grizzly Bear: “Shields” – Grizzly Bear’s fourth studio LP is a break out album for the band. It propels Grizzly Bear from hipster favorite to the forefront of indie music. Much of “Shields’” success is due to the collaborative effort the band instills in one another. Each member adds creative input, making “Shields” one of the best albums of the year. Must Listen: “Sleeping Ute



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3) Frank Ocean: “Channel Orange” – Two weeks before the debut of “Channel Orange,” Frank Ocean released a letter on his Tumblr account revealing his sexual orientation. Considered a groundbreaking moment in music history due to perceived homophobia in the R&B industry, Ocean followed this by releasing “Channel Orange” a week early on the night of his national television debut. Needless to say, Ocean’s impact on music is defiant in 2012. Must Listen: “Thinkin’ Bout You



2) Beach House: “Bloom” – Beach House’s dream pop genre can be described in one word: mesmerizing. The duo’s music begins with Victoria Legrand’s distinct voice and dark lyrics and is followed by Alex Scally’s superb instrumentation and production. Together Beach House has crafted “Bloom” into a record that from beginning to end is 2012’s version of complete music bliss. Must Listen: “Myth



1) Kendrick Lamar: “good kid, m.A.A.d. city” – In his debut album, Kendrick Lamar illustrates the realities of being raised in Compton, California. The album puts Lamar in his late teens and throws him in situations of gang violence, theft, lust and death in a manner that is so raw and realistic that it is almost shocking. A concept album in its own right, the record has drawn critical acclaim for its originality, themes and composition. Must Listen: “Art of Peer Pressure