It’s that time of the year again!
BEST ALBUMS OF THE YEAR TIME!!!
This year, there’s an influx of hip-hop and other things that weren’t typically on my list last year. There’s a bunch of underground hip-hop albums backing up the rear of the list (Kendrick Lamar, A$AP ROCKY, Cities Aviv), along with some jangly lo-fi pop (Ty Segall, Dum Dum Girls, Yuck) and then some albums that came out of my left-field taste peppered throughout the list (Lady Gaga, Oneohtrix Point Never, Fucked Up). The #1 will REALLY surprise most of the readers that visit the site and it won’t really align with any other “Top 2011” list that has come out thus far, or ones that I have seen. But hey, it’s my favorite.
Let’s get started, shall we?
50. Florence + the Machine – Ceremonials
49. Kendrick Lamar – Section .80
48. Cities Aviv – Digital Lows
47. Destroyer – Kaputt
46. A$AP Rocky – LIVELOVEA$AP
45. Born Gold – Bodysongs
44. Thundercat – The Golden Age of Apocalypse
43. Yuck – Yuck
42. Ty Segall – Goodbye Bread
41. Fucked Up – David Comes to Life
40. Dum Dum Girls – Only in Dreams
39. Iceage – New Brigade
38. The Field – Looping State of Mind
37. Washed Out – Within and Without
36. Wild Beasts – Smother
35. Bjork – Biophilia
34. Korallreven – An Album by Korallreven
33. The Black Keys – El Camino
32. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
31. Portugal the Man – In the Mountain, In the Cloud
30. Cults – Cults
29. Toro Y Moi – Underneath the Pine
28. Lady Gaga – Born this Way
27. Active Child – You Are All I See
26. Real Estate – Days
25. Youth Lagoon – Year of Hibernation
24. Tune-Yards – WHOKILL
23. SBTRKT – SBTRKT
22. James Blake – James Blake
21. Young Galaxy – Shapeshifting
20. Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica
19. Nerves Junior – As Bright As Your Night Light
18. Neon Indian – Era Extraña
17. Cut Copy – Zonoscope
16. Handsome Furs – Sound Kapital
15. Battles – Gloss Drop
14. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
13. Ford and Lopatin – Channel Pressure
12. Smith Westerns – Dye it Blonde
I feel like if I were older, this album would be further back on my list or maybe even not on my list at all. But I am a teenager at the moment and this album came out while I was in my senior year of high school. I had already been accepted into college, my grades were great, my friends were great and life was going okay. Just floating along in a building waiting to get out of it. Considering that the members of Smith Westerns were just teenagers, this music they created really spoke to me.
That teen angst energy woven into it makes me want to go back to my hometown, gather up my friends, hop in a car and drive somewhere to have the best of times before we all grow up to be boring adults.
11. Atlas Sound – Parallax
10. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
It’s Bon Iver. He got Grammy nominations! You have to like him, right? Best New Artist! Oh yeah all day! He never had a release previous to this one, let alone one that “established his public image!” Nah man. Yeah his music is great. He’s truly a wizard. Him and his band. Justin Vernon. Cmon.
9. The Weeknd – House of Balloons
My friends were really surprised when they heard the “newest, hottest group of the year” I had told them about previous to putting on earphones and pressing play on my iPod while I stared intently at them, waiting for their facial expressions. “Trevor…” they’d usually start with, “is this really what you’re talking about? This R&B kind of sex jam? This is so unlike you! I thought you only liked indie rock/folk stuff!” Well my dear friend that I am forcing to listen to this great album, yes. I do really like this. Abel Tesfaye’s vocals are one in a million fantastic and the dark, haunting beats are the perfect story tellers for this tale of drugs, women and self-deprecation. Fokken fantastic.
8. Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
This list is full of artists who have not impressed me in the past and then BLOW ME AWAY with the next album they release. This is exactly the case with this album. The perfect combination of heartfelt melodies, surfy-guitars, gospel singers… This album has it all, basically.
6. Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
Shabazz Palaces, the oddest yet best hip-hop I’ve heard in a very very long time has been chilling in my Top 10 of the Year since it came out in June. The beats are… so good. Like nothing that has ever happened. Ever. The lyrics are fantastic. Gah. Everything is just so well put together on this album it’s mind blowing. How songs can turn into a demented rap song that you would find on an Odd Future mixtape or something of that nature, then it turns into a super jazzy breakdown that melts my brain.
5. White Denim – D
This album is what finally put White Denim on my “To Watch for” list for all time. White Denim crafted an album that combined psychedelic rock, classic Zeppelin hooks, Black Keys soul and groove, plus their own signature sound that is not to be reckoned with. This album, along with their other EP they released this year “Takes Place in Your Work Space” is something that both me and my dad could get into this year.
4. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
One of the most anticipated albums of the year lived up to the hype and then some with it’s sweeping epic synth melts going across an electronic plain of the brain. Is that too much? Nah. It’s M83, the most epic of all. The funny thing about this record is that it really reminded me of my childhood with it’s melodies and sound effects put into it. Like the song “Midnight City”, when I first heard it I instantly thought of my early childhood playing video games like “Donkey Kong Country 1-3”, sitting in my family room with a juice box while my parents shuffled around me trying to get work done. Gah. It’s just too good. It turns everything you see into something magical. Send this to Africa! It will help them!
3. Panda Bear – Tomboy
Panda Bear, no matter what he does will always rank high in my books. Well, almost everything. This definitely.