2012 IN REVIEW: Our Art Director’s Top 10 Albums

Kendrick Lamar cleans his jewelry at SXSW
Kendrick Lamar cleans his jewelry at SXSW
Photo courtesy of Kendrick Lamar; © Pop Mart Media

Since self-titled revolves around three very different people, we thought we’d share individual year-end lists from each of our editors, starting with the guy responsible for making our magazine look much more expensive than it is: deputy editor/art director Aaron Richter

10. Carly Rae Jepsen, Kiss (Interscope)
Yep. Shut up.

9. Miguel, Kaleidoscope Dream (RCA)
Tiny man, huge album.

8. 2 Chainz, Based on a T.R.U. Story (Def Jam)
Exactly how you graduate from mixtapes to albums.

7. Purity Ring, Shrines (4AD)
Trippy mane.

6. Chromatics, Kill for Love (Italians Do It Better)
I absolutely credit our self-titled interview with pushing me to finally “get” Johnny Jewel.

5. Kindness, World You Need a Change of Mind (Terrible)
Weirdly underappreciated.

4. Japandroids, Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl)
I don’t listen to rock music as much as I used to because it doesn’t sound like this.

3. Future, Pluto 3-D (Epic/A1/FreeBandz)
Endlessly personality and monstrously quotable. Future has more fun than anyone.

2. Frank Ocean, Channel Orange (Def Jam)
Big whenever it needs to be big and small whenever it needs to be small. Perfect balance throughout.

1. Kendrick Lamar, good kid m.A.A.d. City (Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope)
Outside of anything Kanye’s done, this is my favorite rap record since Aquemini.