Another good year for music, and with all the Best Of lists around i thought I would do mine again. So here goes.
THE BEST ALBUMS OF 2011
#1 BATTLES – GLOSS DROP
This was a much looked forward to album and it did not disappoint. If you are a fan of percussion, this is a great album. I saw them live at Glastonbury this year, and they were one of my highlights. It was a close run thing but I think this just pips Bjork to the #1 spot!
#2 BJORK – BIOPHILIA
Weird and wonderful, Bjork is at least interesting, even when she miss fires. A genuine genius and someone always looking for the off the wall idea. This album takes her music a step forward in linear production. This one will keep me interested for the months ahead.
#3 ZUN ZUN EGUI – KATANG
This band is a Bristol favourite and much championed new band who have been steadily releasing EP’s over the past couple of years. I first saw them live when supporting Tinaweren at the Academy. They were superb. An eclectic mix of African Rythms, screeching vocals and Hendrix like guitar licks. Simply unbeatable and unique!
#4 BAXTER DURY – HAPPY SOUP
Alternative Pop at it’s best, this album was a wonderful surprise and with the catchiest tunes.
#5 LYKKE LI – WOUNDED RHYMES
With a moodier persona, Lykke Li has still proven her ability to write a catchy song and to wow her audience. A more rounded album than her debut, this is again unmissable.
#6 ANNA CALVI – ANNA CALVI
The new kid on the block, much was expected and much delivered. A unique voice, so powerful, with a unique sound. Superb. Live review here
#7 JAMES BLAKE – JAMES BLAKE
Innovation is the name of the game with James Blake, pushing the boundaries while still acquiring the fans. A superb live performer and an excellent album.
#9 KURT VILE – SMOKE RING FOR MY HALO
Wonderful album finally getting the recognition he deserves.
#10 METRONOMY – THE ENGLISH RIVIERA
I was amazed at how much attention Metronomy got this year, but it is all well deserved, along with the Mercury nomination. A step on from their last offering, this band is excellent on so many levels.
#11 RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – I’M WITH YOU
This album was received with a lot less fanfare. With the loss of John Frusciante many have written the Chili peppers off. Not me. This album is a grower, and the more subtle sound of Josh Klinghoffer adds to the enjoyment. They are also a live act to reckon with.
# 12 BON IVER – BON IVER
Another masterpiece from Bon Iver. A lot more polished than the last album, and perhaps less surprising, but a superb listen for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
#13 THE HORRORS – SKYING
Carrying on from where they left off, while taking on some more 80’s sounds. An excellent album
#14 THE KILLS – BLOOD PRESSURES
Their sound has been changing over time from their raw first 2 efforts. With the distractions of side projects this album is a welcome return.
#15 GANG OF FOUR – CONTENT
My my, this album could have been a disaster, however, with this offering, they have finally laid to rest the idea that they could never compete with their first 2 albums. Having been so influential on so many bands, it is nice to see them come up with the goods again. A superb album.
#16 WIRE – RED BARKED TREE
Another new wave classic artist coming up with the goods.
#17 PETE AND THE PIRATES – ONE THOUSAND PICTURES
This album passed without so much a whimper in the music press, yet it is remarkably good. This is one that needs a good listen and you will be going back to it for months ahead. Live review here
#18 PJ HARVEY – LET ENGLAND SHAKE
The indie darling came up trumps again this year and took the Mercury prize to boot.
#19 RADIOHEAD – KING OF LIMBS
They keep doing it – probably the most innovative popular music band on the planet came up with an offering that was a lot less accessible than “In Rainbows” – this album needs a bit of love to appreciate it.
#20 – Frankie and the Heartstrings – Hunger
Another great live band with the energy most can only hope to have.
21 – Duke Spirit – Bruiser
22 – Pains at being pure at heart – Belong
23 – Scum – Again into Eyes
24 – Cold war Kids – Mine is Yours
25 – Nicholas Jaar – Space is only Noise
26 – Woods – Sun and Shade
27 – Kate Bush – 50 words for snow
28 – Smith Westerns – Dye it Blonde
29 – Black Keys – El Camino
30 – J Mascis – Several Shades of Why