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
Battles at the Echoplex in Los Angeles - 5-2-11
This band is killing it. I didn’t think three people could recreate the many layers of their stunning new album, but with the guy on the left performing on several keyboards and a guitar going through a computer, the guy on the right using a loop pedal and various instruments to create various layers, and the drummer just all around rocking it, they made it look easy.
My favorite songs on the album feature guest vocalists (including the track I posted earlier.) For those, the singer was projected in the background singing along - here, Matias Aguayo on “Ice Cream.” I’ve never seen video synced with triggers like that - very cool.
(one more pic on wigglegifs)

Battles at the Echoplex in Los Angeles - 5-2-11

This band is killing it. I didn’t think three people could recreate the many layers of their stunning new album, but with the guy on the left performing on several keyboards and a guitar going through a computer, the guy on the right using a loop pedal and various instruments to create various layers, and the drummer just all around rocking it, they made it look easy.

My favorite songs on the album feature guest vocalists (including the track I posted earlier.) For those, the singer was projected in the background singing along - here, Matias Aguayo on “Ice Cream.” I’ve never seen video synced with triggers like that - very cool.

(one more pic on wigglegifs)

Album Art
ArtistBattles
TitleSweetie & Shag (Featuring Kazu Makino)
AlbumGloss Drop

Battles - Sweetie & Shag (Featuring Kazu Makino)

Album doesn’t come out until June, but Battles’ Gloss Drop is instantly one of my favorites of 2011.