My Favorite Albums of 2011


8. Jan. 2012, 21:19

I did one of these last year, so why the hell not do another one?

Centro-matic - Candidate Waltz - Alt-Counry/Fuzz Rock. At first I thought this was a really big change in style for Centro-matic. But as time went on, I realized this album really is vintage Will Johnson. From everything down to the fuzz-laden poppy hooks to the perhaps sometimes dissonant lyricism, this album delivers. And if you aren't singing along to at least half the songs on this album by your third listen, something is terribly terribly wrong with you.
Highlighted Tracks: All The Talkers, Solid States, Mercedes Blast

Martime - Human Hearts - Pop-Rock. Maritime debuts on their new record label "Dangerbird Records" with another quality release. Really digging the echo effect used on Davey's voice for this one. It keeps their habit of basically reinventing their sound for every album going strong, along with some great songwriting and that AWESOME album cover. Not Maritime's best album, but damn close.
Highlighted Tracks: Black Bones, Faint of Hearts, Annihilation Eyes

The Envy Corps - It Culls You - Dream Pop/Indie Rock. Insanely good follow-up to one of my favorite albums of all time. And they didn't take the easy way out and just make the same album over again. They did some serious experimentation with their sound on this one. I used to classify them purely as a dream pop band, but I'm not so sure anymore.
Highlighted Tracks: Ms. Hospital Corners, Palace On Stilts, Fools (How I Survived You and Even Laughed)

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Lenses Alien - Shoegaze, Progressive Rock. I originally looked on this album as a big disappointment. It lacked what I thought was the main draw of their first album, the feeling of being in a windstorm with indie pop blaring in your ears. Turns out I was wrong. The main draw of their music is the great songwriting and vocals. And those have only gotten better with this new album.
Highlighted Tracks: Rifle Eyesight (Proper Name), Keep Me Waiting, Another Tunguska

Astronautalis - This Is Our Science - Alternative Hip-hop. Another great release from Astronautalis. This time around, he's mixing it up with electronic beats in addition to his regular trademark live band recordings to back up his vocals. The guest vocals on a few tracks are a welcome addition this time around, too.
Highlighted Tracks: Dimitri Mendeleev, Midday Moon, Contrails

Fionn Regan - 100 Acres Of Sycamore - Folk. From acoustic to electric and now back to acoustic on his third album. But this time with a string quartet. Getting some serious Nick Drake "Five Leaves Left" era vibes from this album.
Highlighted Tracks: 100 Acres Of Sycamore, The Horses Are Asleep, For A Nightingale

The Go! Team - Rolling Blackouts - Sample-heavy Electronic/Noise Pop. I completely overplayed this album when it first leaked, so naturally I'm kind of sick of it. Which is a shame really, since it's a great pop album. Even Beth whatsherface from Best Coast (who's featured on two tracks) manages to not ruin this great album.
Highlighted Tracks: Apollo Throwdown, Bust-Out Brigade, Back Like 8 Track

William Elliott Whitmore - Field Songs - Blues-Country/Americana. I don't know who's idea it was to have farm animal noises in the background on this album, but I'd like to shake their hand. This album literally feels like I'm sitting in a barn with Whitmore while he plays songs about working hard and getting your hands dirty.
Highlighted Tracks: Field Song, Don't Need It, We'll Carry On

Asobi Seksu - Fluorescence - Dream Pop. This album is probably the most criminally overlooked of the year. Party because it came out right at the beginning of 2011, and partly because people keep expecting another "Citrus". Well it's not gonna happen, people. But that's not a bad thing. Because we ended up with this great album.
Highlighted Tracks: Coming Up, Perfectly Crystal, Sighs

Fishboy - Classic Creeps - Twee/Pop-Rock. Another album I completely oversaturated myself on. A funny little concept album about a bunch of characters whose stories are all connected. There's a comic that goes along with it, too. One for each song, so make sure you don't read ahead, or you'll spoil your first listen.
Highlighted Tracks: Alberto Simmons, Allen Moss, Victor, Aspen2K

Honorable Mentions:
Devin Townsend Project - Ghost - New Age/Ambient. DAT FLUTE. Perfect falling asleep album.

Devin Townsend Project - Deconstruction - Symphonic Progressive Death Metal concept about the meaning of life. SPOILER ALERT: It's a cheeseburger.

Battles - Gloss Drop - Math Rock/Experimental. Decent enough follow-up to one of my favorite Warp records. The singer is sorely missed.

TV on the Radio - Nine Types of Light - Art-Rock/Experimental Rock. Another Decent enough album. Not as good as Dear Science, but still good.

The Poison Control Center - Stranger Ballet - Pop-Rock/Indie Rock. Rather overlooked album (even by me for awhile).

Snowing - I Could Do Whatever I Wanted If I Wanted - Emo/Pop-Punk. Great first (and last) LP by an emo band that became popular on the internet after their "Fuck You Emotional Bullshit" demo.

ALEXANDER - Alexander - Folk-Pop with hip-hop influences. A pretty great first solo album from Alexander Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.

Incubus - If Not Now, When? - Pop Rock. Very mellow by Incubus standards. Their weakest album, sure. But I still have a weak spot for these guys.

The Whoopass Girls - The Whoopass Girls - Punk/Emo. Do you like pizza? I like pizza. This is a good album.
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