The Best Albums of 2011: The Definitive List

Definitive as decided by me, of course.  Another year is over, and all those old timers who think classic rock is the only good music can go scratch.  I listened to 31 albums this year (and we are NOT doing the math on how much that cost) and had a hard time narrowing it down to my ten favorites.  Admittedly I typically only buy albums that I think I’ll like, so I end up liking a decent percentage of them, but there are still plenty that fall into the “Eh” category.  It was all I could do to narrow the list, and trying to rank them almost did me in, so here they are in no particular order.  (A full list of those I listened to this year with links to the corresponding reviews follows)

 

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Florence + The Machine – “Ceremonials” I consider this one a “triple threat”: interesting lyrics, incredible vocals, beautiful music.

 

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Kanye West/Jay-Z – “Watch the Throne” It’s a battle of the egos with these two, but I think it brought out the best in them.  This one wins the prize for most gilded cover.

 

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Paul Simon – “So Beautiful or So What” Paul is now 70 years old and still making beautiful music.

 

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Adele – “21” Not much to say about this one- it's on everyone's list.  I loved it when it first came out and haven’t grown tired of it.

 

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Raphael Saadiq – “Stone Rollin’” I am a sucker for that seventies Motown vibe, and this hits the mark with a contemporary feel.

 

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SuperHeavy – “SuperHeavy” This super group includes some super heavy hitters, including one Mick Jagger.  This is like an eclectic mix tape- love it.

 

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The Roots – “Undun” The songs on this album relate to the story that goes with it.  It’s too complicated to explain, but the album is good.  Trust me.

 

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Ellie Goulding – “Lights” Ellie was the only performer at William and Kate’s wedding reception.  If she’s good enough for them, I think she’s good enough for you.

 

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Fitz & The Tantrums – “Pickin’ Up the Pieces” This band flies under the radar a bit but not for lack of hustling.  They’re energetic and, I predict, up and coming.

 

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Bon Iver – “Bon Iver”.  Bon Iver was nominated for multiple Grammy awards, the critic’s choice favorite to cancel out the Bruno Mars nominations.  Don’t mistake mellow for boring, but Bon Iver is alternative in a non-threatening way.

 

Now, the full list:

All the best (music) in 2012!

 

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  • fb_avatar

    Excellent choice! Will check out the few I haven't as of yet!!

  • In reply to Kimberly Garcia:

    Hope you like- thanks for reading!

  • fb_avatar

    What about "Torches" by Foster The People?

  • In reply to Dave Elliot:

    Someone at work mentioned that one, too. Must put it on my list.

  • Is it too late to add the Black Keys new album?

  • In reply to Dmband:

    You're right- that is on a lot of "best of" lists. I need to get that, and the new Common album is supposed to be really good.

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