Top Ten Albums of 2012: # 8

imperial teen

8. Imperial Teen – FEEL THE SOUND

They’ve maintained an enviable consistency, leaving their fans wanting more (just five albums in 16 years) while continually polishing their once-scrappy aesthetic. Devotees of the early rambunctious stuff may feel some initial revulsion towards the airy, smoothed-out cathedrals of song here—all of the interlocking guitar, piano and vocal hooks (especially on the striking, dramatic “Over His Head”) avoid any hint of dissonance. So they’ve matured, obviously, although “Runaway” still bespeaks a sense of carefree abandon while “Hanging About” suggests some pursuits remain no matter how much one ages, as does the peppy, perfect “Out From Inside” (which could’ve played over a chase montage in a vintage episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?).

Favorite tracks: “Out From Inside”, “Runaway”, “Over His Head”

Video for “Out From Inside”