Archive for the ‘25 Best Albums of 2011’ Category

2011 – Top 50 Albums of the Year – A Complete List

A Complete List to the Top 50 Albums of the Year


Here’s a complete list of my favorite 50 albums of the year. This is definitely not a a list of a random 50 albums.  Every one of these albums I really enjoyed.  This year I listened to almost 200 of them, and you can pick any single one from this list and most likely enjoy it. Check them out.

50.  Cults – Cults
49.  MuteMath – Odd Soul
48.  Youth Lagoon – The Year of Hibernation
47.  Young Bleed – Preserved
46.  Adele – 21
45.  Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
44.  Cymbals Eat Guitars – Lenses Alien
43.  Saves the Day – Daybreak
42.  Drake – Take Care
41.  Handsome Furs – Sound Kapital
40.  Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
39.  …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead – Tao of the Dead
38.  Fruit Bats – Tripper
37.  Wild Beasts – Smother
36.  The Weeknd – House of Balloons/Thursday
35.  Russian Circles – Empros
34.  The Go! Team – Rolling Blackouts
33.  Explosions in the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
32.  Handsome Furs – Sound Kapital
31.  The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong
30.  Cold Cave – Cherish the Light
29.  Raveonettes – Raven in the Grave
28.  Danger Mouse & Danielle Lupi – Rome
27.  Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
26.  GB3 & Steve Kilbey – Damaged/Controlled* (technically a late 2010 release)
25.  Memory Tapes – Player Piano
24.  Rival Schools – Petals
23.  Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo
22.  Low – C’Mon
21.  We Were Promised JetPacks – In the Pit of the Stomach
20.  Kate Bush – 50 Words For Snow
19.  The Antlers – Burst Apart
18.  Elbow – Build A Rocket Boys
17.  Gotye – Making Mirrors
16.  Foster the People – Torches
15.  The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient
14.  Bombay Bicycle Club – A Different Kind of Fix
13.  TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light
12.  My Morning Jacket – Circuital
11.  Matthew Good – Lights of Endangered Species
10.  Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
9.    Cut Copy – Zonoscope
8.    Bon Iver – Bon Iver
7.    A. A. Bondy – Believers
6.    Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math
5.    Washed Out – Within and Without
4.    M83 – Hurry Up, I’m Dreaming
3.    The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar
2.    The Black Keys – El Camino
1.    Twilight Singers – Dynamite Steps

2011 – Top 25 Albums of the Year – #5 – 1

Top 25 Albums of 2011 – #5 – #1

5.  Washed Out – Within and Without – released 7/12/2011


9 songs that ooze chill.  This is the type of album that you just listen to beginning to end.  I honestly couldn’t pick out one song to listen to because it’s that type of album that you stick on, and let play in the playground as you absorb it.

4.  M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming – released 10/18/2011


Epic is an understatement for M83’s new album.  Double albums can be quite tedious at times, but their new release shows great depth as they pulled influences from all over the place.  It plays like a long children’s storybook.  There’s just some crazy, amazing stuff going on here.

3.  The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar – released 1/24/2011


The first time I heard The Joy Formidable I was blown away.  It was definitely a jaw dropping event.  A three piece band that throws down with the best of them.  They have one of the most enigmatic female lead singer/guitar players of all time.  This album just kicks your ass start to finish.  They’ve become one of my favorite bands.

2.  The Black Keys – El Camino – released 12/6/2011


The Black Keys dial it back just a bit on this one.  They had consistently upped the production value on their past couple albums, but not here.  The album sounds like 70’s arena rock at it’s zenith.  Imagine rolling around in your el camino, and popping in this album on your eight track deck.  That’s exactly what it sounds like.

1.  Twilight Singers – Dynamite Steps – released 2/14/2011


For me albums need to tell a story, and they need to ebb and flow like the tide.  Dynamite Steps does this to perfection.  The album is so vicious at times, and that’s what makes it so beautiful when lead singer Greg Dulli brings it down with some of the softer songs on the album.  Dulli has always been one of those artists who is able to punch you in the face and spit on you, but still make you love him in the end.  Phenomenal album.

2011- Top 25 Albums of the Year – #10 – 6

Top 25 Albums of 2011 – #10 – #6

10.  Foo Fighters – Wasting Light – released 4/12/2011


I’ve been a huge Foo Fighters fan for years but I don’t think they’ve made more than a mediocre album since There’s Nothing Left to Lose over a decade ago.  This is definitely a return to form and shows them just rocking out nonstop.  No filler here.

9.  Cut Copy – Zonoscope – released 2/8/2011


Cut Copy has taken their 80’s synth and new wave sound to new heights on their new album.  This album just sounds epic and their synth and keyboard work is some of the best I’ve heard in a long time.  There is no one else that even sounds like them out right now.

8.  Bon Iver – Bon Iver – released 6/21/2011


Bon Iver’s first album was an experiment in subtlety.  His follow up expands upon that and dials it up just a bit with some higher quality production, without losing any of that feel.  It’s an album that feels lonely but full of love at the same time.  He’s shaping up to be one of the premiere singer/songwriters out there.

7.  A. A. Bondy – Believers – released 9/13/2011


Solo singer/songwriter folk rock is hard to pull off these days in the realm of originality, but somehow A.A. Bondy is able to do it.  His 90’s grunge rock roots add something special and different to these stripped back, and muted acoustic songs.

6.  Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math – released 5/9/2011


This album just kept creeping up my list further and further after multiple listens, and to me that’s the most important sign of a great album.  Most of it is straight forward alt rock, but underneath it all are some prog rock tones and movement that push this album, and band, above and beyond other bands in their genre.

2011 – Top 25 Albums of the Year – #15 – 11

Top 25 Albums of 2011 – #15 – #11 

15.  The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient – released 8/16/2011


Dream infused folk rock is the best way I can explain Slave Ambient.  The album borrows from songwriters like Bob Dylan (including the vocals) and is a very euphoric and dreamy journey into the aether.  Lots of cool sounds and exposition going on here.

14.  Bombay Bicycle Club – A Different Kind of Fix – 8/26/2011


Bombay Bicycle Club went from being a muted and stripped down acoustic band to a full on shoegaze hit making machine.  Production value went a long way in polishing up their sound and creating this album.

13.  TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light – released 4/11/2011


TV on the Radio have been making some of the most interesting and intelligent music I’ve heard in a long time.  I have a hard time even describing their new album and influences it borrows from, because it sounds completely original on its own.  It’s 10 songs that just power and fuel a fantastic album.

12.  My Morning Jacket – Circuital – released 5/31/2011


My Morning Jacket is probably one of the 5 greatest American rock bands making music today.  Circuital takes a step back from their previous effort Evil Urges and is more in line with their masterwork Z.  They know how to rock, but also how to tap into their folk rock roots as well.

11.  Matthew Good – Lights of Endangered Species – released 5/31/2011


Matthew Good is one of those artists that comes out with an album and I hate it initially, and then once I really dive into it and listen to every thing that is going on within it begin to understand it more.  His new one is no different.  Here he begins playing with brass even, giving his work an entirely new texture.