Now that those New Year's hangovers (and subsequent existential chills and sniffles) are starting to heal, it’s time to turn 2012 from a potential Mayan catastrophe into a jubilant musical carnival. To that end, SPIN’s editors have chosen 25 highly anticipated albums that should keep your heart full and the specter of the Long Count calendar at bay. Enjoy!
Snow Patrol, Fallen Empires (Island)
Release date: Jan. 10
Ideally suited, it would seem, to release records during the wintry months, Snow Patrol return touting their sixth studio album as a break from form — or at least a tasteful extrapolation. Glimmers of electronic music figure in the pent-up, propulsive singles "Just Say Yes" and the title track; hints of more elaborate arrangements come by way of collaborative help from composers Owen Pallett (Final Fantasy, Arcade Fire) and Nico Muhly (Jonsi, Antony and the Johnsons). The overall sound of the album falls in line still with Snow Patrol's post-Radiohead/post-Coldplay allegiances, but their sense of scale has widened to create a more evocative tableau.
Fast Fact: Maybe Snow Patrol's comparatively expansive new palette on Fallen Empires owes to the art of the mix. The band's previous release, an installment of the artist-curated compilation series LateNightTales, included songs by Captain Beefheart, Arthur Russell, and dubstep devotee Martyn. ANDY BATTAGLIA