2011 In Review

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Jan 3 2012, 3h32

"Son, you should know that my recommendation is essentially a guarantee" - Ron Swanson


2011 was a fantastic year for music. I can tell because my top 10 list turned into a top 20. Then 25. And in it's final form, a top 30.
My favorite part of this year in music was its spread. On this list, you'll find a lot of electro-pop (DOM,Toro Y Moi, Modern Skirts), and on a similar level, a bunch of dream pop (Starfucker, Craft Spells, Memory Tapes). But 2011 also followed up a lot of what i loved a year ago- Beach Fossils, Real Estate, Male Bonding and Wavves were among the bands that set the tone for me in 2010. Joining the sound of a beach house basement was newcomer Cloud Nothings who had two solid releases, with a third expected in early 2012. And this was all pretty well rounded-out by Yuck, whose self-titled managed to become a best-of 90's indie rock.
Everything that was released in 2010 was pretty much rendered pointless once My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy arrived. Even though Watch The Throne didn't deliver quite as hard, nor did I expect it to, Drake's Take Care came very close. [Place obligatory nod to The Weeknd here.]
Coming down to the number one album of the year, there was never much doubt about Destroyer destroying the competition. I can't even explain what makes Kaputt such a wonderful album, so you should simply let your ears do that for me. And while the numbers don't show it, Kevin Devine and Bon Iver made legitimate pushes for the top spot also.

Top 30 Albums (and EP's) of 2011

30. Wilco - The Whole Love
29. Cymbals Eat Guitars - Lenses Alien
28. M83 - Hurry Up We're Dreaming
27. The War on Drugs -Slave Ambient
26. Wavves - Life Sux
25. The Lonely Island - Turtleneck & Chain
24. EMA - Past Life Martyrdom
23. The Antlers - Burst Apart
22. Youth Lagoon - The Year of Hibernation
21. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
20. Bon Iver - Bon Iver
19. Starfucker - Reptilians
18. Beach Fossils - What a Pleasure
17. Male Bonding - Endless Now
16. Memory Tapes - Player Piano
15. Real Estate - Days
14. Modern Skirts - Gramahawk
13. Jay-Z & Kanye West - Watch the Throne
12. Washed Out - Within Without
11. Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring for My Halo
10. Toro Y Moi - Underneath the Pine
9. WU LYF - Go Tell Fire To The Mountains
8. The Weeknd - House of Balloons
7. Kevin Devine - Between The Concrete And Clouds
6. Craft Spells - Idle Labor
5. Cloud Nothings - Cloud Nothings
4. Yuck - Yuck
3. Drake - Take Care
2. DOM - Family Of Love
1. Destroyer - Kaputt



Top Ten Tracks of 2011 (as if there were any question about the number 1 spot.. at all.)

10. Craft Spells - After the Moment
9. Destroyer - Savage Night At The Opera
8. Toro Y Moi - Good Hold
7. Lil' Wayne How To Hate (Feat. T-Pain)
6. Bon Iver - Beth/Rest
5. Starfucker - Bury Us Alive
4. Cults - Go Outside
3. St. Vincent - Cruel
2. Yuck - The Wall
1. Jay-Z & Kanye West - N****s In Paris



Most Ambitious Artist of 2011

Curren$y

Rolling Stone gave this honor to The Flaming Lips. I think it's silly to disagree with them, because the manner in which they released music in '11 was incredible. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flaming_Lips#2011_releases
I, however, feel that someone with a little less notoriety deserves some recognition. The only reason this guy doesn't crack any of my top lists is because he literally put out too much good music for me to keep track of. In 2011 alone, he released his fifth album, Weekend at Burnie's, and appeared on releases from Jet Life and Covert Coupe. Oh yeah, and dropped two more mix tapes, Return to the Winners Circle and Verde Terrace. Curren$y isn't all 2011 either. This was the follow-up to three releases in 2010, and he seems likely to keep the pace in 2012. Muscle Car Chronicals and The Stoned Immaculate, both studio albums, are expected to drop this year, and I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see Pilot Talk III finally drop.



What's to Come in 2012

The Miniature Tigers, who spent most of 2011 wedging their way into my heart, are expecting to release their third full-length this year. You're foolish if you're not looking forward to it.

Speaking of foolish, I may be for putting any stock into what Jay-Z said recently. But if we get anything that even comes close to the combination of solo-releases from both HOV and Ye PLUS another Watch The Throne record, then the mayans might as well be right.

Other artists with releases to look forward to in 2012:

Oberhofer
No Age
Cloud Nothings
Male Bonding
Lana Del Ray
Sleigh Bells
The xx

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