I do have several requirements for any albums that will be entered into my list of personal favorites of 2012:
- No EPs. My list of favorite 2012 albums is just that: a list of full albums.
- No explicit albums. As much as I enjoy listening to a Kanye West song now and again, I'd rather not list albums with a bunch of profanity among my favorites for the year. If there are a couple curse words, though, I'll probably still be cool with it.
- Death metal and dance-pop aren't my cups of tea. I'm fine with some post-hardcore, lighter forms of metal, and some electronic music, but I'd rather not listen through albums of relentless screaming / growling or of club beats recounted ad nauseum.
- Instrumental albums are fine.
- No "various artists" albums. An album that's primarily a collaboration is fine; an album with a bunch of featured performers is fine; an album that has no main artist(s) is not. When I say "various artists album", I mean like a soundtrack that has multiple songs made by separate bands and artists.
- No greatest hits albums. Greatest hits albums aren't collections of new songs but of old ones, so I don't want to count them among my favorite new albums.
- The album must have been first officially released in 2012. This (sadly) precludes the inclusion of My Head Is an Animal by Of Monsters and Men.
My current list of must-listens before I compose my favorites list (with some recommendations added; crossed-out albums are those list items I've heard):
Vital by Anberlin King Animal by Soundgarden New Horizons by Flyleaf Away from the World by Dave Matthews Band Almería by Lifehouse Battle Born by The Killers Dead End Kings by Katatonia (III) by Crystal Castles III by Shiny Toy Guns Kids in the Street by The All-American Rejects Oceania by The Smashing Pumpkins Gossamer by Passion Pit Some Nights by fun. Babel by Mumford & Sons Hide and Seek by The Birthday Massacre The Afterman: Ascension by Coheed and Cambria Cold Hard Want by House of Heroes ThePianoGuys by ThePianoGuys Strangeland by Keane The Lumineers by The Lumineers Blunderbuss by Jack White The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw... by Fiona Apple What We Saw from the Cheap Seats by Regina Spektor Weather Systems by Anathema The Midsummer Station by Owl City
EDIT (12 / 28 / 12): I've listened to more than enough albums to make a favorites list. Thanks for your recommendations!