Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 10 Albums of 2011

10. Janes Addiction, The Great Escape Artist

This one probably didn't make too many 10 top lists but I don't care. There are three bands that will likely always make my list, regardless of their material. They are Linkin Park (!), Smashing Pumpkins and Janes Addiction. Plus, this album is actually pretty darn good. The first four songs are terrific and then it drops a bit but it still gets heavy rotation, especially when I'm running.

9. Black Keys, El Camino

Though certainly not a new band, I'm kind of just getting turned on to these guys. I saw them live at Outside Lands in San Francisco this Summer and they blew me away. Plus, this album is co-produced by Danger Mouse. I don't know how that dude does it, but virtually everything he produces blows me away. I think with a few more listens this one would move up even higher on my list.

8. The Weeknd, Thursday

I don't know who this dude is and I don't know why he gives away all his music as free downloads (go to his website; easy enough to find via Google) but boy does he create some fantastic music. He just released another mix tape last week, Echoes of Silence, and though I've only listened to it a few times it seems equally as good as his previous works. Dude is pretty prolific, too.

7. Keep Shelly in Athens, in Love with Dusk

This genre is described as "downtempo." I'd describe it as ethereal. I usually don't like ethereal, but this just has a great beat. It's one of those albums you keep on your phone/iPod and don't think much about until a song comes on and you think to yourself, holy crap, that's great, who IS this? And when that occurs time and again ... well, it makes your list at number seven.

6. Phantogram, Nightlife.

This is a band that I am growing to love. I saw them this Fall at the Portland Music Festival (look at me, getting out to see all this music this year!) and they too blew me away. The singer just might be the hottest woman I have ever laid eyes on and they absolutely rock. As good as this album is - and I really do like it quite a bit - it isn't quite as good as their previous one, Eyelid Movies, which I think might be a classic (for me at least).

5. My Morning Jacket, Circuital

I saw these guys too just a few weeks ago (detect a trend here?) with my boy Nick and they were fantastic. I've long admired Jim James and dig the whole southern fried rock thing. I'm not nearly as knowledgeable as Nick about their catalogue, but I think Circuital might be my favorite MMJ album.

4. Coldplay, Mylo Xyloto

Part of me is embarrassed to have this album on my top ten list, let alone at number four, but screw it; it's terrific and ridiculously listenable. Yes, these guys are a bit over the top and their formula is a little TOO dialed in, but damn if they don't create excellent pop music.

3. Girls, Father, Son, Holy Ghost

These San Francisco dudes are awesome. I didn't fully love their first album, though it did grown me over time, but this one resonated from the beginning. I suspect the more I listen to this one, the more I will regret not putting it in the one position. It's that good. This is a band that excites me because as good as they are, I suspect they haven't yet tapped their full potential.

2. The Beastie Boys, Hot Sauce Committee

The Beasties are BACK. How could my three Jewish boys from Queens not make my list? Truth be told, this is far from my favorite Beasties album, but it doesn't matter; this is the Beasties we are talking about. Is there any other band out there that's nearly as fun?

1. Jay Z and Kanye West, Watch the Throne

"You are now watching the throne. Don't let me get in my zone. Don't let me get in my zone." Each year I have a clear cut favorite and this year was no different. This is the one. I'll be listening to it years from now. Though I am a big Jay fan, I think Kanye actually carries this one. No matter - this is a classic. It was massively overhyped and in typical Jay Z and Kanye fashion, somehow managed to exceed expectations.

And there you have it. I'll conclude with my favorite song of the year, which is Midnight City by M83 and the worst album of the year; the Metallica/Lou Reed collaboration. Holy unlistenable, Batman. I wanted so bad to like this, but it's simply dreadful in every respect.

1 comment:

aquarium supplies said...

Jay Z ? no way, he is a terrible singer there's no doubt about it.