Monday, December 5, 2011

Top Albums of 2011

Every year I like to publish my favorite albums of the last 365(ish) days. Without further ado, my list for 2011 in no particular order:

1. Bon Iver - Bon Iver

Ok minus the 80s revival at the end this album is GREAT. Wonderful followup to For Emma. Although a tad less lonely and aching, it has the same persuasions as his first album. With more and more time it crawls up your soul and branches out into your heart where pretty soon you realize that you just can't get enough of his falsetto goodness and are committed for the long run.
Don't miss "Michicant" or "Towers"

2. Radiohead - The King of Limbs

 Radiohead continues on with their trademark dark and atmospheric style oozing with a dense textural quality that I dig.
Definitely don't miss THE ENTIRE ALBUM. Ok just kidding but "Lotus Flower" is worth it if you have to just listen to one.

3. Daft Punk - Tron Soundtrack

Electronica fuel. The remixed version is also pretty sweet.
Don't miss "The Son of Flynn", "Armory" and "End of Line".

4. Beirut - The Rip Tide

Beirut is this indie band that spent too much time with some gypsies wandering around the Redwood Forest. If they start a whole new genre called Totally Eclectic I won't be surprised.
Don't miss "East Harlem"

5. Feist - Metals
One word - that you don't usually associate with Fiest - subtle. That is what gives this album it's weight. Give it a "alone at home and not wanting human interaction" listen to fully appreciate it.
 Don't miss "How Come You Never Go There"

6. Florence and the Machine - Ceremonials
Her echo-y sultriness combined with techno charm led me to adding this routinely into the rotation.
Don't miss "Shake It Out"







7. Adele - 21
Seriously she is 22? Seriously??? What the heck, I have done nothing with my life. The album, along with 19, is about heartbreak and you definitely can feel it. Every song reminds me precisely how crappy a good heartbreak feels but then still manages to make me strive for something good rather than wallowing in a pint of Ben & Jerry's and some self pity. I believe every word that comes out of her smoky sul... forget it just listen to it yourself and tell me you don't believe her too:





Ok one more:



Don't miss "Someone Like You" and "Rolling in the Deep"

8. The Head and the Heart - The Head and the Heart
When I first heard "Winter Song" (Thanks Tracy!) I knew I had to somehow, somewhere get their entire album into my system of listenership. And they didn't disappoint. This album just brings straight joy to my gut, the watching a Pixar film kind of joy.
Don't miss "Winter Song" (duh) and "Sounds Like Halleluiah"

9. Mates of State - Mountaintops
As poppy as I go these days, this married duo pump me up in the morning while making my lengthy commute.
Don't miss "At Least I Have You"


10. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
No comments. I am kinda tired of writing them frankly :)
But still don't miss "Helplessness Blues"
11. Iron and Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean

Any Iron and Wine album always seems long awaited even though front man collegiate Sam Beam seems to release new tunes fairly often. This is definitely a progression from the last album, with almost an upbeat good-natured vibe to it.  Especially the first track, "Tree by the River". Don't miss it.

12. Devotchka - 100 Lovers

For some reason this album rested within me more than other Devotchka albums.
Don't miss "Rest in Bed"

14. Tegan and Sarah - Get Along

This live album of my T&S favorites is a fun compilation and refreshing to listen to. A lot of the songs are remixed and acoustic which is a nice change.
Don't miss "I know I know I know" AND "Back in Your Head"






Runners Up - Still good, but not on constant repeat.

Death Cab for Cutie - Codes for Keys - A bit disappointing actually but it might be because I have high expectations of my formally favorite band
Explosions in the Sky - Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
Okkervil River - I Am Very Far
Laura Marling - A Creature I Don't Know

Wilco - The Whole Love
St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
A She and Him Christmas
The Civil Wars - Barton Hollow

Oh and I didn't add The Black Keys new album which JUST came out. Not that the jury will have a hard time deciding... I seem to consistently love their stuff.


Oh and just one more thing:
Not my favorite - Ryan Adams (I just don't get it guys, sorry)

Anything I missed that made yours?  Anything you hated I loved?

3 comments:

BREMILY said...

Nice list. There's a great interview with Justin where he explains the last track on the Bon Iver album. Don't shrug it off just yet. It will grow on you. After 6 months of digesting the album, it's one of my favorite tracks.

B

Ashley Smith said...

I know I know everyone keeps saying that, but still after all this time I still click next midway through the song. And I even like a lot of 80s thanks to you B :)

Tracy said...

Yay this list!!