Albums to watch

Chromatics: raising a glass - just - to the fact that their album is the readers' No.1

Readers' Albums of the Year

The votes are in, the counting's done. Here's YOUR views on the best music released in 2012

Huge thanks to the many many hundreds of you who sent us your top five albums of the year.

Spreadsheet-king Ally is now a broken man and has taken himself off to do some gentle adding up on his fingers in a quiet corner, but not before delivering the finally tally of what you, the ADM readers / users see as the musical highlights of 2012.

Without further ado, here's the top 50. And below we offer our thoughts on what it all means.

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  1. 372 Chromatics Kill for Love
  2. 318 Frank Ocean Channel Orange
  3. 300 Tame Impala Lonerism
  4. 264 Alt-J An Awesome Wave
  5. 258 Grizzly Bear Shields
  6. 228 Kendrick Lamar good kid, m.A.A.d city
  7. 210 Fiona Apple The Idler Wheel ...
  8. 204 Godspeed You! Black Emperor 'Allelujah! Don't Bend!...
  9. 180 Swans The Seer
  10. 156 Grimes Visions

  11. 155 Sharon Van Etten Tramp
  12. 138 Death Grips The Money Store
  13. 133 Japandroids Celebration Rock
  14. 126 Beach House Bloom
  15. 110 Animal Collective Centipede Hz
  16. 108 Polica Give You The Ghost
  17. 104 Baroness Yellow & Green
  18. 102 Django Django Django Django
  19. 101 The Walkmen Heaven
  20. 96 Anais Mitchell Young Man in America

  21. 94 Burial Kindred
  22. 90 Dirty Projectors Swing Lo Magellan
  23. 88 Jessie Ware Devotion
  24. 85 The Shins Port Of Morrow
  25. 84 Liars WIXIW
  26. 78 First Aid Kit The Lions Roar
  27. 72 Menomena Moms
  28. 72 Twin Shadow Confess
  29. 70 Andy Stott Luxury Problems
  30. 68 Hot Chip In Our Heads
  31. 66 Deftones Koi No Yokan

  32. 65 Donald Fagen Sunken Condos
  33. 60 Dexys One Day I'm Going to Soar
  34. 56 Jack White Blunderbuss
  35. 54 Niki & The Dove Insitnct
  36. 54 School Of Seven Bells Ghostory
  37. 53 Susanne Sundfor The Silicone Veil
  38. 51 The Menzingers On the Impossible Past
  39. 50 Bob Mould Silver Age
  40. 48 Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes Here

  41. 48 Father John Misty Fear Fun
  42. 47 Flying Lotus Until The Quiet Comes
  43. 46 Jon Talabot Fin
  44. 46 Mark Lanagan Band Blues Funeral
  45. 44 Pepe Deluxé Queen of the Wave
  46. 44 Perfume Genius Put Your Back N 2 It
  47. 43 The xx Coexist
  48. 43 Trust TRST
  49. 42 Lana Del Rey Born To Die
  50. 42 Tindersticks The Something Rain

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You would imagine, given that this website is primarily concerned with bringing together the opinions of music critics and that as users of ADM you probably pay at least some heed to said opinions, that there would be strong similarities between this list and that of our Poll of Polls based on the ratings from our source publications and sites.

And yes there are plenty of familiar names around. But there are some striking deviations, not least at No.1. On the critics' rankings Frank Ocean is so far out of site there is a veritable Pacific between his Channel Orange album and the nearest contender. However you made Chromatics your No.1 - and by a more than respectable margin at that.

Other notable differences concern albums from Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Grizzly Bear, Baroness, Poliça and Animal Collective, each rated markedly higher by users than by the "professionals". Indeed the Animal Collective album has barely garnered any critical ratings whatsoever, while it would take a big late surge for either the Poliça or Baroness albums to trouble the top 40.

From the other perspective, it is fascinating to speculate why it is that albums by Jack White, Julia Holter and Bat For Lashes which all figure prominently in the reviewers' list (particularly White's Blunderbuss which has been ever-present in the top 10) fare so badly in comparison in the users' list.

Likewise those representatives of what could be termed "the old guard". Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Dr John and Bill Fay have all attracted varying - but healthy - numbers of nominations from the critics but minimal mentions from readers.

One further anomaly: Burial's Kindred appears at No.20, whereas it seems to have been discounted from the critics' voting, presumably on the basis that at three tracks and 32 minutes it didn't constitute an album. We also received votes for The Antlers' four-track, 22-minute Undersea release, and requests from users on behalf of both for them to be included. These mini-albums / EPs seem stranded in a format no-man's land between albums and singles, overlooked in the reckonings for both, despite attracting a lot of acclaim (in the case of Burial, enough to see it at No.14 in our all-time top-rated chart).

Read into all this what you will. What can't be contested is that, across the board, albums from Frank Ocean, Tame Impala, Kendrick Lamar, Grimes, Swans, Fiona Apple and Chromatics have been both lauded and cherished by a lot of music lovers.

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