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Iggy Azalea is Australia's Most Courageous Rapper

Iggy Azalea doesn't appear to give a fuck. On her break-out hit "Fancy", a track that stole the coveted number 1 position on t...

Top 50 of 2012: 40 - 31

40. Bat For Lashes - The Haunted Man (Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man)
Whilst Two Suns and Fur And Gold could be tentatively classifed as dream pop, The Haunted Man shines a brutally revealing light upon the haze Khan was so adept at conjuring. The result is quite staggering. It is a delightfully good pop record, and those layers you always felt stood between the listener and the creator have been stripped (sorry) back somewhat. Not entirely. Khan is more smoke and mirrors than most contemporary pop icons. It is Laura of course that steals the show. A stunningly under-nourished affair, propelled forwards by a piano, Kahn's hauntingly beautiful delivery, and her description of a tragic figure, languishing in some untold torment. It's one of the tracks of the year, if not THE track. Best Tracks: Laura, All Your Gold (Gotye, anyone?)

39. JJ Doom - Key To The Kuffs (JJ DOOM – KEY TO THE KUFFS)
It's Doom's unrelenting flow that will hook you in to this release. Paired with Jneiro Jarel's production, which at times manages to make simple loops complicated and complex sounds simple, Key To The Kuffs is one of the best hip hop releases of 2012. But with Doom how could it not be? Jarel captures the perfect Doom sound immediately, and the veteran obliges. On Borin Convo he raps as if his mouth is full of food, dropping off the giant beat then running back up to it, displaying his tongues dexterity. His themes are easy to pin. Stuck in Britain due to a visa issue, his lyrics remain pointed and ever quotable, if with a slightly more political edge: Vocals spill over like the rolling hills of Dover \Or the Gulf Oil Disaster if preferred you’re after \ Depends on your status or your stature \ Whether you benefit from the prior or the latter-er. You'll be double taking. Best Tracks: Guv'nor, Borin Convo

38. Thomas Newman - Skyfall (Thomas Newman – Skyfall)
Suspenseful, informative, complementary. And background. All words you need to use to describe a good soundtrack. As you sit back and relax in to the brilliant opening scene of Skyfall, Grand Bazaar, Istanbul expertly controls your heart rate to match your visual sense. Newman hasn't over-indulged, a Bond film is an excuse for excess, instead he perfectly crafts the soundtrack so no note sounds out of place, no rise is unsuported and no lull drawn too long. It's brilliantly Bond, but rooted firmly in 2012, not in the past. Best Tracks: All of them, it's a soundtrack!

37. Muse - The 2nd Law (Muse – The 2nd Law)
Muse took a beating amongst the critics for this album. All manner of criticisms were trotted out. Basically, it was too big. But that's what makes it brilliant. In a year when big bands were making middle of the road records, Muse, arguably one of the biggest in the world, turned it up well past 11. Survival was the 2012 London Olympics theme, and whilst some called it 'corny' and 'overblown', it sets the tone for a record that looked at convention and threw up on it. Turn this up VERY loud, it's the only way to play it. Even with ill-advised dalliances in to dubstep and EDM things still work. Madness is one of the tracks of the year, it's infectious and catchy groove pushed in to the stratosphere with this new found energy Muse has conjured. This is Queen levels of epicness laced with synthesizers. Excellent! Supremacy will blow your mind and your speakers. Best Tracks: Madness, Supremacy

36.  The Coup - Sorry To Bother You (The Coup – Sorry To Bother You)
The Coup only slightly toned down their political agenda's on Sorry To Bother You. The record is an aggressive, funk-laden romp through the thoughts and beliefs of Boots Riley, the leader. You could just as easily move through this record connecting only with either major elements - the party atmosphere or the social and political messages. If you're so inclined you can double the impact of the record and take notice of what Riley is saying as he delivers you music to groove to. Lines like 'Stomach's so loud it'll cancel the speech'  highlight his insightful humour, and despite claiming to not be quotable, there are more than enough memorable lines in this record. Best Tracks: The Magic Clap, This Year

35. Death Grips - The Money Store (Death Grips – The Money Store)
Make sure you are adequately prepared before pressing play on this. Ensure no-one with sensitive tastes is within 50 feet of you, ensure you're not about to blast through a set of speakers you actually care about, and prepare your ears for an onslaught. Yes it is aggressive. Yes it is insane. It's all over the bloody place. Whilst they are capable of creating standard rhythm, such as on I've Seen Footage, they're also able to blow your stereo up with insane sounds, like the second half of Punk Weight or Fuck That. This is hip hop. Kind of. It's hip hop with such raw, unprocessed energy it makes Tyler, The Creator look restrained. Best Tracks: I've Seen Footage, Hustle Bones

34.  Mark Knopfler - Privateering (Mark Knopfler – Privateering)
There are 20 tracks on this record, but don't be overwhelmed. Rather than navigate your way through 10 songs of filler to find the gems, the entire album flows, almost as if it is a single track itself. Knopfler paints himself as a journeyman, whilst combining elements of Blues and Country with his brilliant skill as a guitarist, to create a wonderful soundscape that is just as easily digested as it is to drift off to. The record does explode occasionally, I Used To Could for example breaks open and grooves, and these instances only serve to complete the full picture. Find Knopfler's personal musings in amongst story telling and general observations. Best Tracks: Privateering, Redbud Tree

33.  The XX - Coexist (The xx – Coexist)
 Coexist starts with the brilliant Angels, creating a direct comparison between the guitar based haze of The XX with the synth created haze of Beach House. For Coexist, an edge has been taken off. It's hard to place, but there is a softer overall element to the record than their debut. It is an endearing quality that actually serves to enhance the sparse messages they communicate across. It's an album of love songs, but in no way you've heard before. On Chained, the lyrics 'Did I hold you too tight? / Did I not let enough light in?' echo around such a minimalist space. It's a lovely space to inhabit, but tinged with longing. Best Tracks: Angels, Chained

32.  Santigold - Master Of My Make-Believe (Santigold – Master of My Make-Believe)
2012 provided the most promising news in years for pop music fans of old, that it would be back. And good pop music can still be found if you know where to look. Santigold is leading the charge at the moment (along with Grimes), and Master Of My Make-Believe is an excellent pop record. Energetic, exciting, and with enough tinge of understatement to shield it from the temptations of synth excess, the album excels. Santigold has such an ability to create and maintain melody with little more at times than a robotic monotone. The first half of Fame she barely gets out of first gear, yet the song is hurtling along at the speed of light. Borrowing from such a diverse range of genres, to create such a well-oiled package is an achievement. Best Tracks: Go!, Disparate Youth

31.  The Smashing Pumpkins - Oceania (The Smashing Pumpkins – Oceania)
From the aggressive throw-back gesture Quasar all the way down to the surprisingly soulful Wildflower, this album is a progression and a regression in all the right areas. It is all that is good about 90s grunge delivered to you in the perfect 2012 package. There is synth, but it serves to add weight and depth to the record rather than feeling tacked on. Corgan opens up too, Oceania and Wildflower are wailing, screaming affairs that remind us all of 90s unhappiness. I suggest you turn it up very loud. Best Tracks: Quasar, Oceania

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