13. Grimes, Visions
Released: January 31st
Before Visions, Grimes was making inaccessible lo-fi music. With her third album, she polished her sound and sharpened her aesthetics just enough to let people in. Her self-produced, electronic brand of pop still isn't going to produce any Top 40 radio hits, but even if you can't understand many of the lyrics, you'll find yourself humming along with the melodies for months.
Pop music is getting more interesting, and in 2012 Grimes was perhaps the most interesting character on the scene. Her gothic roots and medieval influences may not be the norm, but they made Visions one of the most unique pop albums in years.