Top 25 Albums of 2011

This list has been a long time coming. I have had it sitting in my WordPress dashboard for weeks, waiting for a night where I could sit down and write about each album. I have since realized that night just isn’t going to come, so I am posting this as-is. This list will pretty much wrap-up my “Best of 2011” series, and it was the hardest one to compile. Last year was a good one for music, and there were several albums that could have been my top choice at one point or another.

This is a pretty varied list that dabbles in “indie” rock, electronica and hip-hop. My tastes are always all over the place. I have included links to songs from each album in case you want to listen for yourself.

Honorable Mentions:
Xander Harris – Urban Gothic
Dominik Eulberg – Diorama
The Kills – Blood Pressures


Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde
25) Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde

Check out: Weekend

Mark E - Stone Breaker
24) Mark E – Stone Breaker
Check out: Black Moon

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - S/T
23) Unknown Mortal Orchestra – S/T
Check out: Ffunny Ffrends

Cults - S/T
22) Cults – S/T
Check out: Go Outside

13 & God - Own Your Ghost
21) 13 & God – Own Your Ghost
Check out: Death Major

Gold Panda - Companion
20) Gold Panda – Companion
Check out: Back Home

araabMUZIK - Electronic Dream
19) araabMUZIK – Electronic Dream
Check out: Streetz Tonight

Thee Oh Sees - Castlemania
18) Thee Oh Sees – Castlemania
Check out: I Need Seed

Cornershop - Cornershop & the Double 'O' Groove Of
17) Cornershop – Cornershop & the Double ‘O’ Groove Of
Check out: Topknot

The Antlers - Burst Apart
16) The Antlers – Burst Apart
Check out: Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out

Jay-Z & Kanye West - Watch the Throne
15) Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne
Check out: Otis

The Rapture - In the Grace of Your Love
14) The Rapture – In the Grace of Your Love
Check out: How Deep Is Your Love?

The Roots - Undun
13) The Roots – Undun
Check out: Make My

Drive (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
12) Drive (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Check out: College ft. Electric Youth “A Real Hero

Destroyer - Kaputt
11) Destroyer – Kaputt
Check out: Chinatown

Kendrick Lamar - Section.80
10) Kendrick Lamar – Section.80
Check out: A.D.H.D

Mayer Hawthorne - How Do You Do
9) Mayer Hawthorne – How Do You Do
Check out: Hooked

Maceo Plex - Life Index
8) Maceo Plex – Life Index
Check out: Dexter’s Flight

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
7) Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
Check out: Montezuma

Radiohead - The King of Limbs
6) Radiohead – The King of Limbs
Check out: Lotus Flower

The Black Keys - El Camino
5) The Black Keys – El Camino
Check out: Lonely Boy

Real Estate - Days
4) Real Estate – Days
Check out: It’s Real

The Field - Looping State of Mind
3) The Field – Looping State of Mind
Check out: It’s Up There

TV on the Radio - Nine Types of Light
2) TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light
Check out: Will Do
Tycho - Dive
1) Tycho – Dive
Check out: Dive

So what do you guys think? Did you enjoy any of these albums/songs? What were your favorites of the year?

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20 thoughts on “Top 25 Albums of 2011

  1. Joshua Rosema says:

    This has been the year of me finding new music (thanks to Spotify). I’ve never been happier with the abundance of good music. It’s inspiring as a musician and also humbling. I’m excited to get our band in the mix of things and offer something (hopefully) fresh.

    • Eric says:

      Hey Josh, thanks for commenting! I completely agree about Spotify. This service really is the future of music, and I would estimate that 80% of the albums were ones I listened to for the first time via Spotify. There are just so many great ways to find new music these days that it’s actually overwhelming. Still, it’s better to have too much rather than too little. Best of luck with your band!

  2. Matt Stewart says:

    I actually have not listened to most of these albums, but there are some really good artists on here Eric!

    Excuse my randomness, as this is completely off topic, but have you seen 50/50? Thoughts?

  3. Scott Lawlor says:

    Apart from the DRIVE soundtrack I haven’t heard of most of these. But to be honest I am stuck in the 1920s – 60s blues music as a whole. I know I am a freak

    I do like Friendly Fires though, you should check them out!

    • Eric says:

      Hey, no need to be ashamed. Some of the best music was made during that time period. I am a HUGE fan of 60s psychedelic/garage rock myself.

      I can’t say I have heard too much from Friendly Fires, though I absolutely love Aeroplane’s remix of their song “Paris”. I’ll look into more of their music, thanks!

  4. rtm says:

    Sorry I won’t be much help here Eric as I don’t listen to much contemporary music. I’m such an old school as I listen mostly to classic radio and soundtracks 🙂

    • Eric says:

      No problem at all, Ruth. The great thing about music is that there are so many different styles/genres that there is always something for everyone.

  5. Max says:

    Okay we need to talk. Where is M83 on this list? Or Kurt Vile for that matter? I see some albums I enjoyed as well. Real Estate and Smith Westerns would be in the top 10.

    • Eric says:

      Haha. M83 was a narrow miss for me. “Midnight City” may be my favorite track of the year, but nothing else on the LP connected with me on that level. Still some great songs, but it seemed like there was a bit of filler as well. I should probably give it a few more spins…

      I liked Kurt Vile’s album, but not to the extent that so many others have. At least we can agree on Real Estate and Smith Westerns. 🙂

  6. Chris says:

    Good to see Destroyer and Drive on there, both I love
    The Radiohead-esque track Its Own Sun – 13 & God was really good, thanks for recommending.

    If you love Tycho – Dive, I’d direct you toward
    Jon Hopkins and his debut album Opalescent (2001), which I’m a fan of. Pretty similar music !

    • Eric says:

      Glad to hear you enjoyed that 13 & God track. That album isn’t quite as good as their debut, but it’s still a nice listen. Makes me wish The Notwist would put out a new LP, though.

      Thanks for the rec. I’ll give it a listen on Spotify right now.

    • Eric says:

      No problem! I liked that Jon Hopkins album — great background music for working.

      With The Notwist, I would recommend starting with Neon Golden. One of my favorite albums from the last decade.

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