View Full Version : Albums and Songs Of The Year

26-11-2011, 03:55 PM
Even though its only nearly the start of December I think its time for us to see what the albums we loved this year maybe in a handy list for other people to peruse. December will just be full of X Factor crap and whatever stupid song someone wants to decide to be the anti x-factor number 1. So here goes my list

1) Panda Bear - Tomboy

I think in 2009 when I first heard Animal Collective I was blown away with what music could be at the time. I was just listening to the safe stuff like the 80s and 90s songs i grew up with and just you know the normal pop and rock you hear. But Animal Collective changed my mind about music, it had so many weird sounds and had so many layers to it, you couldn't understand the lyrics but it was still kind of listenable. Sometimes Art tries to be so obscure and especially music unlistenable. But hear was something I like to call Art Pop. This Art Pop would basically be my music calling, and Animal Collective was the highest spot for the genre.

Anyway here is one of the lead singers Solo work, its as you expect, weird, layered and so catchy. Its not as complex as AC but I wasn't really expecting it to be. It doesn't have that nice album as a story feel that AC had its more a bunch of singles wrapped together in an album, but I don't mind that that's cool. The music is lovely, the voice sounds like its coming from heaven and the lyrics are very relatable. All I ever need from music really.


2) Neon Indian - Era Extrana

When i was saying about loving layered music with a nice pop beat, this album this year came to mind as well. The sonics and the music is lovely, the voices are very hard to hear but the emotional context of the music is not. Its something called chillwave, basically made from a bedroom but it has more artistry and skill then any modern pop band has really. it takes awhile to really get into, some of the songs might feel a little alienating but once you do get into it its a great time. More on Chillwave later on, this doesn't really feel like a chilling album though its more of a danceable one.


3) Zomby - Dedication

Now here is an album that really surprised me. In fact to call this an album is weird, its more experimental then that. There i don't think any songs, It is basically someone trying to be experimental. And it really really works. The whole album really feels like someone has lost someone that's dear to them and the pain is just to much, you feel in some of the "songs" that the most. Its really affecting and moving. Its also quite catchy as well. Some songs feel like they are to long, and to repetitive, some songs are way to short, and then you get those sweet songs which are perfect. I wouldn't say its the best album to listen to but it is the most interesting and it does have me coming back to it quite a lot so that definitely makes it go up quite far.


4) Washed Out - Within and Without

Now this is more like Chillwave, the songs just feel like you are floating in the sea just bobbing towards the end. The music, the voices, the layers al kind of blur into one thing and allow you to drift. Thats not to say its kind of boring, no a lot of it is catchy and has hooks and you can sing along to some parts but it is definitely more atmospheric then anything else.


26-11-2011, 03:57 PM
5) Bon Iver - Bon Iver

Usually i don't like Folk and Country, because I find the music a little to dull for my tastes. Its a bit anaemic and I find I want to skip any songs. But not this album. I know its been around for ages this year but I've only discovered it because I was a bit put off by the folky genre it puts itself in. When I listened to it though I listened to one of the most beautiful and moving albums I think i've heard. I don't understand what the hell the guy is singing but he does it really beautifully so it doesn't really matter.


6) Wild Beasts - Smother

Now this is sexy music. Its full of songs about different sex and how great sex is but that makes it sound crass and stupid its not. Its done really atmospheric and very catchy as well its also really smart. Its just very slight drums, guitars and keyboards and for some reason it just creates that nice evening atmosphere where you and your lover can be together.


7) Radiohead - The King Of Limbs

Now I'm not to big a fan of Radiohead, the only albums I like is when there going into weird territory thats why Kid A is probably their best album. This is quite similar but it ecwews some of that weirdness for more accessibly stuff. Its still quite nice. Only downside is it feels a bit to slight for my liking. I want a few more songs in it.



After liking Zomby I had a look at some of the reccomendations on Amazon and it showed me this album, and so I thought I would have a look. the best thing to say about it its that its quite good and the songs are very full and catchy and I do like listening to it. But weirdly because they are so normal it doesn't hold a candle to Zomby's effort. But its still good in its own right.


26-11-2011, 03:58 PM
9) The Antlers - Burst Apart

Here is another album filled with lovely music, a bit more organ led though. Its filled with some heartbreaking tunes and for that reason i don't listen to it that much. It would be higher but there are so many great albums this year, it kind of gets lost in the shuffle. Its really lovely though and i do recommend it.


10) Justice - Audio, Video, Disco

Great stuff, its so catchy and well disco. For some reason some of the songs kind of remind me of Queen especially the singing voice. Pure danceable music that gets you pumped up to do work or exercise. A bit to full though, some of the songs on here sound a bit to fillery and who made basically a 1 minute silence on the final track should definitely change that, its a bit annoying.


26-11-2011, 04:07 PM
Other Albums Of Note

M83 - Hurry Up Were Dreaming

I like a lot of the sings on here, but because its a double album it feels way to long and you definitly want it to end before long and get a bit bored with it. But the songs it does have are all wonderful so definitely seek it out and maybe have it on shuffle.


I'm From Barcelona - Forever Today

Pure fun, bubbly, bouncy, kind of cheesy pop music from Sweden. Its an absolute treat, I smile all the time. You need at least one album like this in your list.


Ear Pwr

Nice and natural, and very pop like. Catchy songs with a nature subject.


Little Dragon

Catchy R&Bish tunes with a women with a great voice. It doesn't always work as a whole album but there's definitely a few songs on there that make it worth it.


28-11-2011, 08:11 PM
Wait . . . someone beat me to this thread! What heresy is this?

Anyway nice list, plus the i'm From Barcelona (whose debut album's cheeriness I absolutely adored) album slipped past my radar, will definitely have to check it out.

Anyway there's quite a few albums this year I've loved and a hell of a lot more I've really liked so sorting into some sort of vague order is going to require a touch of thinking time on my part (plus a cheeky check at my half year roundup topic to make sure I haven't forgotten anything!).

28-11-2011, 11:41 PM
Smash by Martin Solveig. His collaborations with Dragonette are my favourite.


Something to Die For by The Sounds. Crossing the Rubicon is still their best album, but this would be second or third.


The King is Dead by The Decemberists.


The M83 and Justice albums that Xercies mentioned are also good.

30-11-2011, 07:01 PM
A bit too early to compose a list of fave albums yet. Haven't really found that many great ones this year. The only three albums I really liked this year was "KMAG YOYO" by Hayes Carll, "Showroom Of Compassion" by Cake, and the debut by Holy Ghost!. The Dirty Beaches and Tom Waits albums were good too. Can't say I loved any of those albums though, just liked, so it's not been a great year for albums for me. Lots of great songs though!

My top 4 tracks of this year(because that's the most videos I can put in 1 post):

Tune-Yards - "Gangsta"


I wasn't too fond of the album but this track is unstoppable!

Noah and The Whale - "L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N."


Listened to this alot during a roadtrip I took last spring. Really feelgood.

Holy Ghost! - "Some Children"


Their sound is somewhere between The Rapture and Daft Punk. The album is one of the most dancable things I've heard this year.

Cake - "Mustache Man"


I listen to this album in my car all the time. One of my fave bands many many years ago. This track is right up there with their best stuff from the late 90's.

30-11-2011, 07:05 PM
I always come to RPS for the hip music stuff, and it never disappoints. From this list I barely know M83, and because I listened to it in Norway.

One of mine's.


Also this one is nothing special but I went to see this guys in concert and stuff, me being not a indie small pub guy.


30-11-2011, 09:04 PM
Oh goodness, I missed out Florence + The Machine's Ceremonials, due to its not being on the Wikipedia list of albums released in 2011. It's an excellent album, probably my favourite one this year.

30-11-2011, 10:06 PM
I'm reserving judgement until i've heard the new Black Keys album. Apparantly it's a good 'un.

01-12-2011, 03:32 AM
Almost forgot:

The Wombats - This Modern Glitch
Made my spring and good part of my summer.


01-12-2011, 04:54 AM
Had to take to the Wiki to find anything that I actually liked that came out this year.

Mogwai's Hardcore will never die but you will. Brilliant name, and consistently brilliant work coming from those lads.

Tom Waits' Bad as Me. Haven't listened to it that much, but it's solid.

Radiohead's King of Limbs. It's good, it's radiohead-good, but it's not as good as the Hail to the Thief, Kid A or OK Computer.

Puscifer's Conditions of my Parole. Some people seem to hate Puscifer because it isn't Tool or APC, but if you do like what Maynard's trying to do then the new album is really great.

Mastodon and Boris had new releases, but I haven't actually listened to them yet.

ETA: Might add stand-out songs later when I have time and headphones.

01-12-2011, 10:16 AM
Manilla Road, Negative Plane, In Solitude and Hell all put out albums that did it for me this year. Ranking them would be a hard job but that order's pretty good so I'll leave it at that.

The Mechanical Aggressor
02-12-2011, 01:30 AM
Within Temptation - The Unforgiving:



Evanescence- Evanescence



02-12-2011, 02:10 AM
I've fallen so far behind trying to keep up with new music in recent years I've almost stopped trying, but my album of the year is probably Zorya by Floex.


02-12-2011, 03:16 AM
Hmm. I would have to say my album of the year is The Roots by Radical Face. It's somewhat low-key, but it has some really lovely use of percussion and a neat concept. The songwriter wrote stories about a fictional family following it from the 19th to the (mid? late?) 20th century. He picked some of the stories that lent themselves well to song and went to town. I like the idea of that sort of cross-pollination, and while it's not the first time I've seen it done well, the songs earn their keep in any event.

It reminds me a little of Iron and Wine. Not because of the sound, but because of the somber, lo-fi air about it all. Like Iron and Wine it can sound a little similar after a while, but there's still a fair bit of meat to the composition. I feel like Radical Face understands that piano and acoustic guitar are fundamentally percussion instruments, and good things happen as a result. Hope you like it. :)


I haven't listened to much new music this year--that is, music newly released--so I'm not especially qualified to give out an Album of 2011 award. I could add more insight to the "Best Album Found by Gwathdring in 2011" competition. ;)

Edit: So ... turns out I forgot a bunch of awesome albums I discovered this year WERE new. A few other things I would be remiss not to mention:

Beirut's The Rip Tide doesn't have my favorite songs on it, and sadly their studio versions try to clamp down on some of the open spaces that make a lot of their songs great by throwing in some fast synths. But the songs themselves are lovely as ever, and as refreshingly filled with brass and weird Sousa March/European Folk/American Southwest vibes as ever. And that puts it above a lot of other albums I've heard, even if nothing on it tops Rio and Elephant Gun.


When I first listened to Fleet Foxes, I was enchanted by their floaty folk style. You just don't hear music that open often (you may be noticing my Theme of the Year). I love tightly restrained sounds as much as the next fellow, but every song off that album made me think of sitting around a campfire belting out folk tunes. Appalachian Folk music was lovingly enshrined in that album, and it was just unusual enough I almost loved it for that alone.

Their second album wasn't quite as consistent. But in some ways this was good. It branched out a fair bit from their initial outing, without ditching the sound that makes them so interesting to me. While more hit and miss than their first album, I think both for what it's trying to do and what it succeeds in, Helplessness Blues is one of my albums of the year.


And finally, Iron and Wine gets my Biggest Surprise In Some Time music award. Long known for a soft acoustic folk sound, Sam Beam has been trying more and more things over the years. Starting with the EP Woman King he went for more instrumentation, more variety, and an overall thicker sound. He kept his southern anthem lyrics and sensibility, however. Then he did a collaboration with Southwest band Calexico titled In the Reins. This is still one of the best albums in my collection, as there's a lot of variety and style crammed into those eight songs pairing the always reliable lyrics and melodies of Iron and Wine with the thick and wonderful instrumentals of Calexcio. This lead nicely into Shepard's Dog which interspersed his typical fare with an immense amount of different and energetic sounds--including a reggae inspired piece. But none of that really prepared me of Kiss Each Other Clean, or the EP lead in. While I mostly like the album, and I'm absolutely in love with the EP ... well, whether or not you are familiar with Iron and Wine, this next song is coming from an artist most known for his acoustic guitar and folk-anthem style borrowed from the American South.


It's an interesting album. I love song of the new techniques, and find some of them make the sound more crowded rather than more colorful. Either way, surprise of the year. :) I think it's a good surprise, but some fans disagree.

02-12-2011, 03:35 AM
Not sure how many of you like classic style rock, but I would have to nominate The Sheepdogs album "Learn and Burn" for album of the year. They're a Canadian band who won Rolling Stone magazine cover contest to have the first unsigned band on the cover of the magazine. For straight up rock and roll, these guys are where it's at!




02-12-2011, 06:33 PM
I am, as usual, hopelessly outdated on current music. With that being said, unless I find something properly amazing in one of these threads, I'm pretty sure Let England Shake by PJ Harvey is my album of the year.


The JG Man
02-12-2011, 07:10 PM
Noah and The Whale - "L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N."

Listened to this alot during a roadtrip I took last spring. Really feelgood.

That song irritates me. Just...argh, don't like it.

Radiohead's King of Limbs. It's good, it's radiohead-good, but it's not as good as the Hail to the Thief, Kid A or OK Computer.

Sacrilegious I'm sure, but I just couldn't get into it. I like Lotus Flower, but I never have any interest to listen to it.

Foo Fighters - Wasting Light as album of the year for me. Just consistently fantastic rock. I'll say my favourite song also comes from that, it being the lead track, Bridge Burning.


That's how you start an album.

02-12-2011, 07:49 PM
I am, as usual, hopelessly outdated on current music.
Yeah. Music is easily the thing I'm least interested in keeping up with, well in terms of album releases anyway. Anything within the past 2-3 years still feels very new to me.

So it mostly comes down to whether the people I like have released anything this year. That'd be:

Wild Flag (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jXhr0gnMSs#t=3m55s) - "Wild Flag"
An Horse - "Walls"
Tegan and Sara - "Get Along"

Oh yeah, and Jonathan Coulton has a new thing, but I'm not a big fan.

02-12-2011, 09:01 PM
I used to be like that but then I heard a load of bands and albums that I really liked. Now pretty much every week i go to the reviews of what's come out and sample it to see if I like it. This is why 2011 has been a good year for music for me :)

02-12-2011, 11:22 PM
I used to be like that but then I heard a load of bands and albums that I really liked. Now pretty much every week i go to the reviews of what's come out and sample it to see if I like it. This is why 2011 has been a good year for music for me :)

Yup this is me also. The way I find music has completely changed. Recommendations from friends have always been there but back in the day my other main source was the radio (that and Planet Sound on Ceefax, which I still kind of miss), mainly listening to the likes of Steve Lamacq's evening session on Radio 1 (his replacement by Zane Low coincided with when I stopped listening to Radio 1 by choice). Now it's pretty much scan the RSS feeds of review sites I like, check on an aggregator like anydecentmusic.com to see what is new and then listen to anything that sounds like my kind of thing on Spotify or wherever.

I tend to find a lot more music this way (plus i've got the money to spend on CDs that I didn't have as a kid!) than I ever did on the radio. Oh and now that Oxford has a nice independent record store I quite often buy things I hear in there or people in there reccommend to me. Which is nice, has a more personal feel than the internet spoonfeeding me stuff (even if it is wonderful, wonderful stuff).

03-12-2011, 11:01 AM
Yes I do kind of wish Radio would put up some of that alternative stuff out there, I mean sometimes you get the occasional Indie breaking out but its quite rare. I mean I went and looked for stuff, but if I was my teenager self i wouldn't even know where to go for that kind of stuff so if i had it on the radio or something it would be great.

03-12-2011, 04:20 PM
5. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

This album basically epitomises everything that was going through my head during the riots earlier this year and ended up being this year's soundtrack, if you will. Great music and a true & important message.


4. Zomby - Dedication

This is just a perfect iteration of small ideas each with their own singular mood. The biggest grower of the year for me but I am a huge fan anyway.


3. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

Just a great record; fantastic songwriting, killer harmonies and it's better than the debut.


2. Raphael Saadiq - Stone Rollin'

All killer, no filler. This is a perfect amalgamation of genres centering around the foundations of soul and rock n' roll. He has never disappointed.


1. Machinedrum - Room(s)

This was the most exciting I heard all year, I love albums with different styles and sounds and this is Stewart messing with almost every kind of electronic music you can think of. His history with hip-hop is something you can here along with juke, bass music, IDM, garage and techno. Thoroughly impressive and most definitely my favourite record of the year.


04-12-2011, 11:08 AM
This year was kind of empty music-wise, at least in a part of a 'scene' I'm interested in( mostly non-experimental post-industrial electronic stuff like modern EBM, old-style Dark-electro, some random IDM, some Industrial Rock and some synthpop). Not a single band I liked made anything worthwhile in 2011. There were a couple of okay-ish releases, but nothing more. Last year was much better. Last.fm suggests that I listened to Pop Will Eat Itself this whole year. Anyway, I'll post some 'songs' I liked from this year, mostly straightforward danceable stuff with beats.

1. S.K.E.T. - Wrong Way Ticket to Bagdad

Couldn't find this on YT, Soundcloud then.


2. Skinny Puppy - Cullorblind


3. Flint Glass and Polarlicht 4.1 - Sleaping Beauty

Couldn't find this on YT and even Soundcloud, so I'll post another track


4. UCNX - Generation Damaged


5. Dryft - Clustr2


6. Kindneythieves - Invisible Plan


Juan Carlo
04-12-2011, 02:52 PM
I'm going to plug a homegrown band (from here in Minnesota). It's a hiphop collective called "Doomtree," and their new album is entitled "No Kings." They are pretty awesome. Definitely my favorite hip hop album of the year:


One member of the group in particular, "Dessa," has some awesome solo stuff. She kind of straddles the line between "hip hop," "spoken word," and "R&B":


But homegrown bands aside, my favorite album of the year thus far has to be St Vincent's "Strange Mercy':


I really liked Beirut's "Riptide" as well:


04-12-2011, 06:27 PM
OKay so looking back on my half way through year topic (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?497-Albums-of-the-year-so-far) it seems to me that the first half of the year definitely contained many of my favourite albums though there has been a late flurry of excellence with 3 albums I've bought this week all appearing in my top ten (which perhaps highlights that the ordering of this list should be taken with a pinch of salt)!

So here goes:

10) John Knox Sex Club - Raise Ravens

Scottish folk/post-rock hybrid thingy. Basically think epic, swelling songs which gradually build to an awesome climaxes.


9) The Moth and The Mirror - Honestly, This World

More Scottish indie rock, this time fronted by an ex Arab Strap cellist and featuring members of Admiral Fallow and Frightened Rabbit. So perhaps not big enough names to call themselves a supergroup but it's another in a long line of collaborative projects that make me glad that the Scottish music scene is such an incestuous affair.


8) Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes

Hooray for Swedish pop!


7) The Black Keys - El Camino

Another album released in a seeming effort to avoid the best of lists it would inevitably make. Wheras Brothers was a longer, more languid effort El Camino lauches into straight up garage rock which is, in RPS parlance, "tight."


6) Emmy the Great - Virtue

This album grew from rather liking it to absolutely loving it, particularly after seeing her live.


5) Half Man Half Biscuit - 90 Bisodol (Crimond)

In a fair and just world Half Man Half Biscuit would be national treasures not just to those who know them but to all the fair citizens of the UK. Full of more great lyrics than several stick weilding people could shake their collective sticks at it's a fine collection of witty, occasionally bleak songs. Only HMHB could segue from pavement ettiquette to Johnny Cash. i will also never cease to smile at the line "crazy Razer's gonna get him in a headlock, crazy Razer headlock!"


4) The Amazing - Gentle Stream

Having only got the album this week I may be putting it in to high but I don't think so. A Swedish supergroup featuring members of Dungen, it's a hazy psychadelic folk rock slab of brilliance. Check out the guitar solo at the end of the title track.


3) tUnE-yArDs - w h o k i l l

Gloriously mental. Looped arrangements just about held together by some brilliant bass work and some immense vocals.


2) Lia Ices - Grown Unknown

Gorgeous voice, sparse arrangements, a thing of beauty.


1) Fucked Up - David Comes to Life

This fucking rocks. That's all I'm going to say.



To supplement what I did in the other topic here's some other albums I really liked from the second half of the year, in no particular order:

The Unthanks - The Songs of Anthony and the Johnsons and Robert Wyatt


Justice - Audio Video Disco

Feist - Metals

Meg Baird - Seasons on Earth


We Were Promised Jetpacks - In the Pit of the Stomach


Cashier No. 9 - To The Death of Fun


Buther Boy - Helping Hands


Blitzen Trapper - American Goldwing

Bill Wells and Aiden Moffat - Everything's Getting Older


Mastodon - The Hunter

Beirut - Rip Tide

The Fruit Tree Foundation - First Edition


Sparrow and the Workshop - Spitting Daggers


04-12-2011, 06:36 PM
Oh and while I'm at it I fail to understand the near universal acclaim for PJ Harvey. Don't get me wrong I like the album, but I didn't love it. i can certainly understand some critics putting it high in year end lists but it's one of those albums that almost gives me the impression some critics for websites and papers are putting it high in their lists because they think they should be putting it their rather than because they adore it and don't want to feel belittled by all the other critics if they stick it in at no. 30 or something. Or maybe I'm just jaded and cynical!

04-12-2011, 07:53 PM
Phonte - Charity Starts at Home

Won't win any awards sadly, but a damn good album.


04-12-2011, 09:39 PM
Hexvessel pretty much stole the title of "Album of the Year", coming completely out of the blue. Nice psychedelic occultic folkish music.


Then we have another band with pretty much the same recipe, though more with blues and rock-sound, namely Ancient VVisdom.


Though I wasn't really expecting anything from The Haunted since their album Versus was pretty boring (the EP I got with the collector's edition was really good, though). So, Unseen really came out of nowhere, driving the melodic gothenburgian metal towards more blues-ish and grooving sound.


And then at last, but not the least, Obscura which pretty much swept the table clean in technical death metal. Seriously, one of the best albums in this genre ever.


And then some honorary mentions:
Cynic's new EP, Carbon-based Anatomy, and especially the song Box Up My Bones (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=639uwpbgbAs). If you like jazz-rock-metal, this is a must-listen.
Shining's new, lighter sound is really good contrast to their black metallish sounds, and especially when accompanied by the singer Nordman from Swedish folk-music group, it sounds really good. Tillsammans δr vi allt (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyvb5WyEWzk).

Juan Carlo
04-12-2011, 11:22 PM
I really like Fucked Up's "David Comes to Life" musically--I just can't get past the singer's voice. I know some people like that sort of death metal screaming, but I just find the lack of modulation in his voice (everything is 100% screamed all the time with no variation) unpleasant. It's a shame as musically it's a brilliant album, I think. It reminds me a bit of "Husker Du" in their heyday.

04-12-2011, 11:38 PM
Tapping this out on the iPad so there won't be anything in the way of explanations or examples, but here's some of the albums I've loved this year:

Hyetal - Broadcast


Wolves in the Throne Room - Celestial Lineage

Deafheaven - Roads to Judah

Baobinga - Joint Ventures

I Break Horses - Hearts

05-12-2011, 12:36 AM
Phonte - Charity Starts at Home

Won't win any awards sadly, but a damn good album.


That is the closest we are gonna get to another Little Brother record so I will take it. 9th Wonder's album is pretty dope too, if such language is permissible here.

06-12-2011, 02:59 PM
I really like Fucked Up's "David Comes to Life" musically--I just can't get past the singer's voice. I know some people like that sort of death metal screaming, but I just find the lack of modulation in his voice (everything is 100% screamed all the time with no variation) unpleasant. It's a shame as musically it's a brilliant album, I think. It reminds me a bit of "Huser Du" in their heyday.

That's how I felt. It's kind of cool, in a way, that they have a "hardcore" singer with their style of music ... but it also makes the vocals utterly unappealing to me even though I love everything else about their sound. Oh well. I like that such a band exists. :)

06-12-2011, 09:11 PM
The more I listen to it the more I realise El Camino by the Black Keys should be in the top 10. it's almost like they released it now just so all the critics would look damn silly when they didn't include it in their end of year lists.

In a year that saw the White Stripes call it a day it seemed like the last of the survivors of the wave of garage rock bands of the early 2000s had disappeared. That scene threw up a lot of shite bands and bands that seemed to lose ideas after the first album or two (The Strokes being perhaps the biggest waste of potential) so its good to see one of those bands gradually building their way to become a huge success. I admit I kind of dismissed them at the time (I remember hearing a few tracks from Thickfreakness and quite liking them, but not enough to buy the album - in fact I'm fairly certain I bought Permission to Land instead) and it wasn't until Brothers that I really took note of them again. Definitely feel like it might be worth checking out their back catalogue.

Anyway when that type of music works, it fucking works and this is a fine example of that. It might not be massively original but it's really good fun.

moth bones
07-12-2011, 09:39 AM
Oh and while I'm at it I fail to understand the near universal acclaim for PJ Harvey. Don't get me wrong I like the album, but I didn't love it. i can certainly understand some critics putting it high in year end lists but it's one of those albums that almost gives me the impression some critics for websites and papers are putting it high in their lists because they think they should be putting it their rather than because they adore it and don't want to feel belittled by all the other critics if they stick it in at no. 30 or something. Or maybe I'm just jaded and cynical!

Ha, that's what I thought about most of her previous albums, but this one really is the real deal imo. I think this is possibly the first time ever (or at least since My Bloody Valentine) that my year's number one will match the critics', which I find quite worrying!

07-12-2011, 11:38 AM
The place I get most of my music reviews has done their top 25 have to say None of the ones up there i think I've listened to this year. Also Britney Spears...really?


08-12-2011, 03:43 PM
I'm just going to leave this here, without comment.


08-01-2012, 06:15 PM
Better late than never (please don't say never)! The reason I've been waiting to post up my favourites came down to knowing if I did it too soon I'd end up leaving off tracks like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mDdP82eBLM&feature=youtu.be), which I heard on the 31st! Worth waiting for though, eh.

They aren't in any order and it's by no means definitive, there was just too much I really liked this year. I'm also acutely aware, thanks to some of your posts, just how much music I've missed out on or not gotten around to hearing. Honestly I'm still going to be going through 2011s music for most of 2012 it seems like. Anyway, Boomkat (http://boomkat.com/collections/boomkat-charts-2011) have a great selection of top tens for last years music, so I'll let them fill in my blanks.

In no order, favourite albums:

Julia Holter – Tragedy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXWv-iTJcck)

First listen of this is one of those special ones that give you an actual thrill, I almost don't want to link to a song because hearing just a track out of context would be almost a spoiler of sorts. If you like it, get the album and spend time with it. It's one of those albums that makes me want to slap any of the people that try to say there is nothing exciting in music anymore. Complete nonsense. This isn't exactly obscure but it's the kind of album that would be easy to miss. It makes you realise how pointless it is to try and judge the state of music by what you hear on the radio or in the charts. There is so much under the surface that just needs the smallest amount of effort to dig out. Julia Holter has made something that stands with anything else from last year.

Kuedo – Severant (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1V8_FJGAxA)

Probably my album of 2011, but it's a love based purely on musical taste more than thinking it's objectively better than other albums I heard last year. It just pushes all of my buttons. It's one album that I'd be completely OK to see ripped off by others or used as inspiration, just in the hope we could end up with another album like this. Along with Balam Acab's debut it was probably the album I'd heard the most hype about, and lived up to it completely. It's essentially updated Vangelis, and I'm totally fine with that.

Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiwi7d0f91Y&ob=av2e)

It's OPN...

Stephen Malkmus &The Jicks – Mirror Traffic (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EaIwUbxyfQ)

Not much to say on this one, it's Stephen Malkmus doing what he does, but I love him for it.

Sepalcure – Sepalcure (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhZyRYfS588)

Wasn't expecting to like this one quite as much as I did. Unlike a lot of albums that get released by producers, this one feels more together, like a bit more thought went into making it an album rather than a collection of 12” tracks. Like a lot of post-dubstep this has an obvious house influence, and while I don't have the ear to say if this does a better job than anyone else, it's grown into one of my favourites.

Laurel Halo - Hour Logic (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3H-fO0EeDA)

Still one of my favourite artists going at the moment and this album confirmed it. Instead of going the easy route and using her wonderful voice to build off the King Felix EP by becoming another girl behind a keyboard, she took a different road with Hour Logic. She pretty much represents what I love about electronic music. Instead of sticking to a cycle of album, tour, album, tour, with an apparent "progression" of sound, she goes off and tries new things. Remixes, edits, one off songs, collaborations. Seeing what she does next is as exciting as the music itself. Not all of it will work, but to me it's better than playing safe by just sticking to what she knows. The pitchfork review of this album was the only time I think I got really angry with a music critics opinion. Essentially they seemed to want another indie pop star with a nice face, making soft easy synth beats to fit alongside the current trend. To me that would be a boring waste of talent. She's got more to offer than that and I hope she never just settles for one style.

Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtNlc5Ezv3I)

Probably the album I listened to most last year, nothing on it needs skipping. And it actually is an album, rather than a collection of singles scrapped together. I keep switching between which song I love the most and discovering new bits I'd missed with every listen. I said above about liking certain music because it doesn't stick to traditional albums, but this is the other side of the coin where you can clearly see where Gang Gang are moving towards, and I like the look of the direction. My kind of pop music.

Balam Acab – Wander / Wonder (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsH9p-AV3bw&feature=related)

Such a beautiful album. The vocal samples might not to be everyone’s taste, but I think much like Burial they are used in such a perfect way that rather than seeming silly they add to the haunting nature of the whole album. The whole thing has an almost fairytale quality to the beats which make even the slower, introspective tracks still feel uplifting.

Clams Casino – Instrumental Mixtape (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddwo_kcT-WQ&feature=related)

Not a huge hip-hop fan, although I do have most of the classics and Clams Casino takes me back to my love of DJ Shadow and instrumental hip-hop. He also released an album on Tri Angle this year but when this mixtape got put on vinyl I ended up loving it more. Amazingly weighty and textured music coming from a guy who made this in his mums attic.

Ayshay - Warn-U (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJobaxZqy18)

Wonderful music that's finally got a physical release through Tri Angle. Made by Fatima Al Qadiri who builds the songs out of her own vocals, distorting her voice and layering it to create the different sounds. The Nguzunguzu mix of all the songs is also stunning.

Silkie - City Limits Vol. II (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6QMTJaISQU)

If you're still looking for what could be classed as dubstep these days, you can't go wrong with Mala's label Deep Medi. Silkie's second album was probably my favourite, along with Old Apparatus which I've put a link to bellow. If you want a taste, the FACT mix he did earlier last year is a great way to listen to the album. Bass music done right.

Grouper – A I A: Alien Observer / Dream Loss (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6HrhFG3Dyk)

Two very distinct albums released side by side. Liz Harris is yet another female artist doing amazing work away from the spotlight. Alien Observer is more song-based and feels like a blend of quiet folk drowned in layers of drone. Dream Loss has a murkier, muddy sound but still retains a touch of beauty. I'm not a huge fan of drone, but when I latch onto something it can pull me in completely. What I love about Liz Harris is the way she threads in a more melodic sound amid all the hiss and darkness, which pulls you through the songs. There's also a hint of Godspeed! to some of the songs, which is maybe the key to why I found myself more willing to stick with it.

Rustie – Glass Swords (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4AqCrR_nAU&ob=av2e)
Certainly the most fun I had with an album last year. Ultra Thizz is a definite contenter, along with Bax, as my favourite track of 2011. Totally unapologetic in the way he throws everything at this album and a real testament to Rustie's talent that he makes it all work rather than coming off as a derivative mess.

Christina Carter – Texas Blues Working (http://soundcloud.com/experimedia/christina-carter-texas-blues)

Wonderful counter to the huge amount of computer made music I'd been listening to in 2011. Like Julia Holter it's something that I think will be new to most people but deserves some light shining on it. It's also similarly the kind of album you can get lost in. Completely. There's nothing on youtube so all I could get was a collection of bits, but the first few seconds made me want to go and listen to whole thing again. I should say the first track you hear is her most sparse and meandering track, which is actually at the end of the album. It doesn't really work as a first taste. So don't feel put off, skip ahead for the more melodic stuff.

Surgeon - Breaking the Frame (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAT-ziqpMDA)

I've yet to get into techno and house, to properly explore it, but with the way a lot of post-dubstep producers are looking to those genres for influence I'll have to take the plunge. So basically I have no idea how to describe this album in terms of it's genre, other than saying I think it's amazing. It's a refreshing listen in comparison to the more dance floor focused music I listened to last year.


Instra:mental - 8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMyDxGJRhQI&feature=related)
Anna Calvi – Susanna & I (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIDj0SVWeBU&ob=av2n)
Mosca – Bax (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoAi_xY0taU&ob=av2n)
Damu – Ridin' the Hype (Ft. Trim) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge5ivBG9GcY)
Sully – I Know (ripped from a mix so it's not the complete original track) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixbw3g4nTO8)
Twin Sister – Bad Street (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUxja0z1WZs)
Egyptrixx – Rooks Theme (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaDhMFVNvTk&feature=related)
Hype Williams – Mitsubishi (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2-qyVAlgfo)
Burial – Street Halo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_ijVnXIWBk)
Old Apparatus – Side B (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuH9uWCm4FM)
Braids – Plath Heart (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrwzENziqTE&feature=related)
Grimes – Heart Beats (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJEnkJHumLU)


Keysound - Sully, Damu, LV & Joshua Idehen
Hotflush - Sepalcure, Scuba, George FitzGerlad
Deep Medi Musik - Silkie, Old Apparatus, Quest
Hippos In Tanks - Laurel Halo, Hype Williams, Grimes
Modern Love - Andy Stott, G.H, The Oram Tapes

Special mention to Creel Pone who released a series of CD's from forgotten electronic pioneers. The stuff ranges from Radiophonic type atmospherics and musique concrθte, to early experiments with the Moog synthesiser. It's also commendable that after digging up old vinyl they put it out on CD to make it more accessible, unlike a lot of labels that reissue old music. I've barely scratched the surface of the stuff I picked up from them but some of it is fascinating listening.

Phew. If you read all that, thank you. If not, I can understand why...