Top 10 of 2012: #10 The xx - Angels 

The xx - "Angels"

I wasn't sure a sound could get more sparse than The xx's debut album and still be considered music.

Then, Coexist came out this year, and I found out I was wrong. There's so little energy here, that on many songs, you might wonder if the band went to sleep and just left a beat echoing. Which isn't to say it's bad, it's not; The xx make really great Sunday morning music, and make really great songs for someone else to come along and remix into something danceable.

That sparseness, that minimal instrumentation, though, is what makes "Angels" so heavy. These aren't just lyrics being sung, they're words pouring out of someone's heart. It's a song that, I can imagine, might be uncomfortable to actually see live. This isn't a sing-along, it's a confession.