Doing a year end top 10 list is always a dilemma for me. I often find myself including records based on how much I like the band in general, rather than how much I actually enjoyed the record. I find myself trying too hard to find albums that will stand the test of time, albums that I'll always regard as classics, rather than ones that really define a year for me. So this year, I'm doing it differently. Those reading will notice some surprising absences. Three of my all time favorite bands released albums this year that didn't make the cut. That doesn't necessarily mean that I disliked the albums, far from it actually. Some albums take time to be fully appreciated. Maybe somewhere down the line, I'll look back on records as classics that I didn't really appreciate enough at first. It's happened many, many times before, and it will happen again. The albums that made my top 10 this year are the ones that kept me coming back for more all year long. These are the records that defined 2012 for me, for many reasons. They may not all stand the test of time and become all time favorites, but they will always remind me of where and who I was this year.