Mtv news presents: the best albums of 2012.. So far

There’s been a ton of great music released this year, from Lana Del Rey’s Born To Die, to Madonna’s MDNA, but we at MTV News decided to set out and put together a panel of music experts to definitively pick the top 5 best albums of the year.. so far!

Rick RossRich Forever
Rich Forever is the mixtape that ‘The Boss’ released in January of 2012 featuring some of the biggest names in hip-hop, like Diddy, Drake, Nas and Wale. Due to the health scares the rapper suffered in late 2011 he was unable to release his 5th studio album, God Forgives, I Don’t as planned, leading to his decision to put out the critically acclaimed mixtape. Dark, gritty and flawlessly produced, Rick Ross’ Rich Forever is the perfect hip-hop album for summer, making it the #5 pick on our list of the best albums of 2012.. so far.

JapandroidsCelebration Rock
Celebration Rock is the second full-length album from Vancouver-based Japandroids and came out in June of this year. The album has received a ton of critical appraise including a shout-out on Pitchfork and a place on this years Polaris Music Prize list.  Heavy, catchy and raw – Celebration Rock is the perfect album to put on if you feel like rocking out, and for that reason it’s #4 on our list of the best albums of 2012.. so far.

Nicki MinajPink Friday: Roman Reloaded
Nicki Minaj’s third single from her sophmore album, Beez In the Trap recently took the #1 spot on our Best Songs Of 2012.. So Far list and it’s no surprise as the album is chocked full of hits. Nicki’s second offering was released just six months after her debut album, Pink Friday came out, feeding a musical appetite of a growing number of fans. The album is basically divided in to two parts: the first half plays up her rap persona’s, spitting hard rhymes over harder beats, satisfying her original pre-pop fans. The second is all about the aforementioned pop personality, with dance singles and ballads that perfectly cross her over to several different markets. If you like music, there’s something for you on this album, and for that reason it’s our #3 pick of the best albums of 2012.. so far.

After a few indie-label releases, it was Grime’s third album Visions that propelled the Canadian performer in to stardom. With hard electronic beats, paired with sweet melodies, Grime’s style is difficult to define. Think Nine Inch Nails, meets Drake, meets Mariah Carey. Grime’s record has already received a ton of critical acclaim, with the New York Times listing it as one of their best albums of the year. Perfect for a party, or a wind-down after the party, this album easily takes the #2 spot on our list of the best albums of 2012.. so far.

Beach HouseBloom 
This album was our panel of judge’s favourite album of the year (so far) by a landslide. Beach House released their 4th studio album in May to immediate critical praise. The Baltimore-based duo have become masters at creating dreamy-pop music that is perfect for any number of occasions. Not only are critics loving it, but fans ate it up: Bloom sold more copies then any previous release from the band, landing the record at #7 on the Billboard charts. This album is a music-lovers dream (seriously, it’s so airy that it’s the perfect nap-soundtrack) and for that reason, it’s our #1 pick for the best album of 2012.. so far.

What do YOU think about our panel’s picks for Best Album Of 2012.. So Far? Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments section or Tweet us at @MTVNewsCanada with the hashtag #BestAlbumsOf2012!