• Record Label: Milan
  • Release Date: Jan 17, 2023
Metascore
89

Universal acclaim - based on 7 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
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  1. Jan 13, 2023
    100
    The diaristic, stripped back process it was necessary to use to assemble 12 makes it a much looser, more instinctive listen. ... What we are left with is a record of endurance, struggle and the lingering ability to create something new. 12 shows a path can be made, even into that unknown.
  2. Jan 18, 2023
    90
    ‘12’ is not an album to take lightly. It is an album to listen to intently as often as you can. With each listen you learn something about what it takes to be a great artist, Ryuichi Sakamoto is a great artist, but it also teaches us not to take things too seriously because one day it could all be over.
  3. Jan 17, 2023
    90
    Sakamoto has made a workaday logbook into something transcendent, partly because of its intimacy. Whether it's one of his major works is a question for future historians, but coming amidst an ongoing struggle with cancer, its bravery is defiant and splendid, the sound of an artist's soul laid bare.
  4. Uncut
    Jan 13, 2023
    90
    As much as these graceful and meditative pieces became threnodies for Sakamoto's condition, 12 is also something of a personal and creative victory for the composer. [Mar 2023, p.30]
  5. Jan 13, 2023
    80
    Unlike albums such as David Bowie’s Blackstar or Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’s Skeleton Tree, both of which confront death head-on, 12 is decidedly more reserved in its reckoning with human impermanence. Yet, even if it’s less forceful in its execution, Sakamoto’s poetic, metaphysical approach—a paradoxically delicate yet fearless plunge into the unknown—is equally as daunting and devastating.
  6. Jan 13, 2023
    80
    The methodical way in which the album has been put together is surprisingly artful and induces touching moments of real beauty.
  7. Jan 17, 2023
    76
    Rarely does an album this understated say so much.