Sunday, December 18, 2011

End of Year Awards: Ten Great Albums from 2011

I have been behind on a lot of music this year, jumping onto Pitchfork on occasions seeking out the Best New Music. Even though these albums are all excellent, I have found that 2011 has been a pretty weak year for music. I have turned to soundtracks for films like Hanna, Drive or Attack the Block on occasions. My favourite album of the year - Kaputt by Destroyer - came out pretty early in the year, and it was only very recently that Celestial Lineage, Days and Hurry Up, We're Dreaming came to my attention. Helplessness Blues was on heavy rotation for a while (though I do prefer Fleet Foxes' first album) but oddly, the album I listened to the most this year was Strange Mercy by St. Vincent. So, with a couple of honourable mentions, here my Top 10 Albums from 2011. With the exception of Kaputt (which is #1) these are in no particular order.

Honourable mentions: Watch the Throne - Jay-Z/Kanye West, Black Up - Shabazz Palaces, Burst Apart - The Antlers and Player Piano - Memory Tapes

Celestial Lineage - Wolves in the Throne Room

David Comes to Life - Fucked Up

Bon Iver - Bon Iver

Days - Real Estate

Hurry Up, We're Dreaming - M83

Helplessness Blues - Fleet Foxes

James Blake - James Blake

Strange Mercy - St. Vincent

Kaputt - Destroyer

Father, Son, Holy Goast - Girls


  1. OK, of the albums you listed. I have the M83, St. Vincent, Girls, and Fleet Foxes for consideration. I'm mixed on Bon Iver but I really don't get the hype on James Blake's album.

    Then again, I'm not really interested in a lot of new music as of late due to the lack of enthusiasm I have with the music world which is among the reasons why I haven't done a lot of blog posts lately in my music blog.

    There are a few records I do want to mention such as the new Cut Copy, the Joy Formidable, EMA, Washed Out, and PJ Harvey that I really liked. For soundtracks, there's Drive (obviously) as well as Hanna and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

  2. I think I might be a little out of touch, I haven't heard any of those albums & have only actually heard of a few of the artists. DO you think I can petition the UK Government to start giving free bus passes to 35 year-olds?

  3. Interesting to see Celestial Lineage in this company. I've been listening to a bit of the black stuff lately myself.

  4. Interesting mix you have there: Jay Z/Kanye West and Bon Iver! I like it- I have the same mixed taste!I haven't heard of some of them, so I will check them out!

  5. @ Steven - I listened to James Blake's album a lot, but it took me a few listens to get into it. I listened to Bon Iver a lot at work and didn't really take to it. But listening to it at home really improved it for me. Strange. Cut Copy I liked, and Washed Out too, and I'll no doubt have the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack playing on repeat following my viewing of the film.

    @ Adam - Before this year, I had only heard of a few of these artists too. Pitchfork is your friend. They rarely lead me astray when it comes to new music. I don't know how well you'd go with that petition. Thanks for stopping by - there's some great music here.

    @ James - It's pretty good though isn't it? I got a little bit obsessed with it. The female vocals in WOODLAND CATHEDRAL are beautiful.

    @ Aziza - I like almost any music. Two of my favourite albums from last year were the albums from Kanye West and Big Boi. Yet, I also loved The Suburbs by The Arcade Fire. This year Kaputt, Father, Son, Holy Ghost and Strange Mercy would be my Top 3 - having listened to them a few more times last night!

  6. I agree, I found it to be a weak year in music too. Nothing really blew me away like in previous years. However, the Destroyer and Girls albums are excellent, and I agree with Steven about EMA and PJ Harvey. M83 was good but nowhere near as good as their previous. The others you listed didn't do much for me.