Is there anything harder than taking ALL of the music you listened to that came out this year and whittling it down to 20 AND putting them in order? I avoid doing this every year because it takes more thought and effort than I usually like giving…well, anything.
#1 is never hard, it’s 2-20. The first spot for me this year goes to Akron/Family. S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT really didn’t get a lot of pub this year and I’ve been amazed all year. It was my favorite when it came out and nothing was able to dethrone it. Just a fantastic album in my opinion.
All my picks(22….I couldn’t keep it to 20) are below the fold. Also, I decided this was a great opportunity to use Spotify for the first time, so a sample of my list is available here.
1.)Akron/Family – S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT – By far, my favorite album of 2011. Perfectly put together for the headphones and I can’t believe it hasn’t gotten more pub.
2.)Future Islands – On The Water – From what I can tell, this pick makes no sense unless you see them live. So…see them live.
3.)Bon Iver – Bon Iver – Hard not to have this in the top 5…you may fall asleep, but it’ll be the best sleep of your life. I love the Bruce Hornsby/Steve Winwood channeling on ‘Beth/Rest’.
4.)tUnE-yArDs – WHOKILL – One of the most inventive albums I’ve heard in awhile. Infectious.
5.)Wye Oak – Civilian – This is just a fantastic album. ‘The Altar’ stands out to me.
6.)Megafaun – Megafaun – An album that jumps all over the place from jam, folk, jazz, ambient. Big fan.
7.)Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues – What can ya say? You know what you’re gonna get….but you also know you’re going to enjoy it. Only reason it’s not in the top 5 is because they didn’t reach.
8.)Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr – It’s A Corporate World – Not gonna lie, didn’t listen for awhile due to their name. Glad I did, one of the more ‘fun’ albums of 2011.
9.)Okkervil River – I am Very Far – One of my favorite surprises of 2011. They’d always been ‘solid’ but this one stood out to me this year as incredibly well done.
10.)Gruff Rhys – Hotel Shampoo – I always feel like I’m being taken to another time and place…just not sure where or when. Good feeling though.
11.)M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming – I love it when I find albums my girlfriend can dance to AND I love hearing it. M83 is exactly that.
12.)War on Drugs – Slave Ambient – Love this album.
13.)The Mountain Goats – All Eternals Deck – I always enjoy spirit behind an acoustic guitar.
14.)Beirut – The Rip Tide – Once again, you know what you’re getting. A Beirut album is most likely going to get a lot of rotation with me…not sure when/if it’ll get old.
15.)TVOTR – Nine Types of Light – I don’t care that the sound at your live shows constantly disappoints me…the sound on your albums constantly pleases me. I’ll take it.
16.)Childish Gambino – EP – I really like Camp, but this EP was just right for me. Lyrics may be cheesy at points, but man, I enjoy it.
17.)Antlers – Burst Apart – I love the direction this took after ‘Hospice’ a couple years ago. Just a fantastic album.
18.)Elbow – Build A Rocket Boys! – Classic Elbow. Inspired way too(read: just the right amount of) many late night texts to friends this year.
19.)Agesandages – Alright You Restless – I can’t tell if liking this album is supposed to “hurt your rep” but then again, I don’t care. It kept finding it’s way in the rotation. Just fun.
20.)Wu Lyf – Go Tell Fire To The Mountain – Get past the vocals…because the songs are great.
21.)St. Vincent – Strange Mercy – See Beirut.
22.)Friendly Fires – Live Those Days Tonight – The first track by itself gets them on the list.