My Picks for the Top Ten Albums of 2011:

In my opinion, this was a pretty weak year for music overall. There was only one album I’d consider truly great; however, here are twenty albums, every one of which is worthy of a good listen or ten.

  1. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues(As I predicted back in March. A masterpiece.)
  2. Foster The People - Torches (I had no idea they’d become such a pop hit, but don’t let their success fool you - this album is solid.)
  3. Battles - Gloss Drop (Contains my most-listened to song of 2011.)
  4. tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l (Her first great album - always a great performer.)
  5. They Might Be Giants - Join Us (Another late-career gem from TMBG.)
  6. The Decemberists - The King is Dead (My least favorite Decemberists album is still a great one.)
  7. Dale Earnhart, Jr. Jr. - It’s A Corporate World (I’m tired of liking bands with shitty names. Damn this album for being so good.)
  8. CAKE - Showroom of Compassion (A return to form for one of the best 90’s bands.)
  9. Yacht - Shangri-La (First great album from Yacht.)
  10. Paul Simon - So Beautiful or So What (Paul Simon proved he wasn’t done in 1986, and again in 2011.)

Ten Runners Up (Listed Alphabetically)

  • The Black Keys – El Camino
  • Cults - Cults
  • Dawes - Nothing Is Wrong
  • Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo
  • Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
  • Middle Brother - Middle Brother
  • My Morning Jacket - Circuital
  • The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Belong
  • St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
  • Wilco - The Whole Love
Arcade Fire
Big closer to the final day of the 2011 Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco, CA. 

Arcade Fire

Big closer to the final day of the 2011 Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco, CA. 

Arcade Fire
Big closer to the final day of the 2011 Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco, CA. 

Arcade Fire

Big closer to the final day of the 2011 Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco, CA. 

The Decemberists
Day three of the 2011 Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco, CA. 

The Decemberists

Day three of the 2011 Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco, CA. 

John Fogerty
Day three of the 2011 Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco, CA. 

John Fogerty

Day three of the 2011 Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco, CA. 

Ty Segal
Day three of the 2011 Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco, CA. 

Ty Segal

Day three of the 2011 Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco, CA. 

!!!
Day three of the 2011 Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco, CA. 

!!!

Day three of the 2011 Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco, CA. 

Grouplove
Day three of the 2011 Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco, CA. 

Grouplove

Day three of the 2011 Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco, CA.