My first contribution to this thread. I was supposed to post here last month, but the month changed before I did so I kind of missed my chance (no, I didn't forget February had only 28 days, LOL, the days just flew by so fast). I had really strong feelings for my album choice for February, so as a special exception I'll post two albums this one time, one for February and one for March.
My album for February would have been 'Lucid' by Circus-P, which to my knowledge is only available on Bandcamp as a digital download. You can stream it there for free as well (link below the album artwork). Matthew Farnham a.k.a. Circus-P is an electronic Vocaloid producer from the USA and 'Lucid' is his debut album. The album features a wide selection of different Vocaloid singers and the songs are either in English or Japanese (Farnham had help with the translations).
Some of the songs are very bold and take a lot of inspiration from the modern electronic music that's popular today and often done with very bad taste but Circus-P has added his own twist to them and managed to make them into tunes with integrity and artistic value. In contrast some of the songs are slower, less electronic, truly beautiful, but also often incredibly sad. Many of the songs feature deep and meaningful lyrics and so much emotion both in the instrumentation and the programmed vocal performances that I simply am unable to listen to the album all the way through without being forced to hold back tears at several points during its well over an hour duration. Check out the music video for 'Lie' below the artwork in the spoiler section. It's not even close to my favorite song on the album (that honor goes to 'mErcy'), but the video is one of the best done music videos I've seen so far in my life. Just gorgeous.
The album is very likely an acquired taste, but I for some reason find it incredibly accessible myself. Definitely one of my favorite album released in 2012.
(Don't judge the album by its artwork; I think it's awful.)
Official YouTube videos for some of the songs. (Click to show)
My album choice for March was immediately obvious when I encountered this album. I'm still waiting for the CD to arrive to me in the mail but in the meantime the lossless download from Bandcamp has seen quite extensive play – to the extent that I've had to limit myself to prevent ruining the album for myself. The album is a collaboration between Danimal Cannon and Zef and it was done solely using two Gameboys to create the sounds (or software that perfectly emulates the sound, as I understand it). I don't have all that much more to say really. It's a bit too early to say, but this might very well be one of my new favorite albums of all time; it's definitely already earned its place in my personal top 100.
Like 'Lucid', 'Parallel Processing' can be streamed for free on Bandcamp and can be purchased there either as a digital download or as a CD which also comes with the download so you get the files on you computer right away while you wait for you copy of the CD to arrive.