Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Top 70 Albums of 2011: What Do You Think?

I've mistakenly thought, for the past few months, that 2011 may have been a stinker for music. But then I started to compile my list of favorite albums, and there was actually a lot I loved this year.

To make this list, an album needed to capture my imagination all the way through. Which means that a record with only a couple of great songs (like those of Paul Simon, Jeff Bridges, Britney Spears, or Lady Gaga, for a few examples) would have a very difficult time making my list.

What's impressive about this year is that at least the top 20 (from Girls to a supposed Amy Winehouse posthumous throwaway) are potential classics. The list goes deep with tons of promising new bands appearing as well.

Listen to my "Top 20 Albums of 2011" playlist for free at my Spotify account. And if you haven't discovered the Spotify streaming-music phenomenon, I recommend you dig in. It's my favorite online music system and has just about everything. I subscribe to the $10 monthly option, which gives me Spotify on all my laptops, desktops, and devices. But there are also free and $5 monthly option.

For my favorite 20, plus my other favorite 50 behind that, here you go:

70 - Cage the Elephant - Thank You Happy Birthday
69 - Death Cab for Cutie - Codes and Keys
68 - Brian Wilson - In the Key of Disney
67 - R.E.M. - Collapse Into Now
66 - Daryl Hall - Laughing Down Crying
65 - Ben Lee - Deeper Into Dream
64 - Boston Spaceships - Let It Beard
63 - Bill Callahan - Apocalypse
62 - Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
61 - Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes
60 - Iron and Wine - Kissing Each Other Clean
59 - Garfunkel and Oates - All Over Your Face
58 - A.A. Bondy - Believers
57 - Jay-Z and Kanye West - Watch the Throne
56 - British Sea Power - Valhalla Dance Hall
55 - Robert Pollard - Space City Kicks
54 - Foo Fighters - Wasting Light
53 - F*cked Up - David Comes to Life
52 - St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
51 - Wild Flag - Wild Flag
50 - J. Mascis - Several Shades of Why
49 - Bright Eyes - The People's Key
48 - Widowspeak - Widowspeak (Shoegazer)
47 - Sonny and the Sunsets - Hit After Hit
46 - Jason Isbell and the 400 Units - How We Rest
45 - The Elected - Bury Me in My Ring
44 - Fountains of Wayne - Sky Full of Holes
43 - Ash - The Best of Ash
42 - Thurston Moore - Demolished Thoughts
41 - The Streets - Computers and Blues
40 - Veronica Falls - Veronica Falls (Power Pop)
39 - Let's Wrestle - Nursing Home
38 - Admiral Fallow - Boots Met My Face
37 - Young the Giant - Young the Giant (Power Pop)
36 - Those Darlins - Screws Get Loose
35 - Ryan Adams - Ashes & Fire
34 - The Kooks - Junk of the Heart
33 - Foster the People - Torches
32 - CSS - La Liberacion
31 - Charles Bradley - No Time for Dreaming
30 - Comet Gain - Howl of the Lonely Crowd  ?
29 - Meat Puppets - Lollipop
28 - Urge Overkill - Rock and Roll Submarine (Power Pop)
27 - Big Talk - Big Talk
26 - Beirut - The Rip Tide
25 - Glen Campbell - Ghost on a Canvas
24 - The Cars - Move Like This
23 - Givers - In Light
22 - Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde
21 - Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers - Rare Bird Alert
20 - Amy Winehouse - Lioness: Hidden Treasures
19 - My Morning Jacket - Circuital
18 - Arctic Monkeys - Suck It and See
17 - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Belong
16 - Buffalo Tom - Skins
15 - I'm From Barcelona - Forever Today
14 - Big Sean - Finally Famous
13 - Destroyer - Kaputt
12 - Deer Tick - Divine Providence
11 - Jonny - Jonny
10 - Tommy Stinson - One Man Mutiny
09 - Telekinesis! - 12 Desperate Straight Lines
08 - The Decemberists - The King is Dead
07 - Megafaun - Megafaun
06 - Architecture in Helsinki - Moment Bends
05 - Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Mirror Traffic
04 - Wilco - The Whole Love
03 - Mazes - A Thousand Heys
02 - Yuck - Yuck
01 - Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost

Tell me what you think. What did I miss? What was your favorite album(s) of the year?

2 comments:

  1. Good list. While not exactly my styles, I would think that the pitch perfect pop stylings of the Generationals' Ten-Twnty-Ten would get their album on the bottom half of the list. M83: Hurry Up, We're Dreaming should be on there just for trying so hard. Typhoon (A New Kind of House) has some cool Neutral Milk Hotelesque songs on it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5I19hNzDgs

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  2. Thanks, Anonymous. I really liked Generationals Trust EP from 2010. Not sure why or how I missed their 2011 full-length. I will check it out. And there have been several albums I've heard from 2011 since I compiled this list that I have to admit I missed and would be included if I rewrote the list today. I'll have to do a blog on some of the top albums that slipped under the radar. I'll check out the others again too, but I wasn't crazy about my first listens of M83 and Typhoon.

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