top 10 albums of 2011 (or the ones i listened to the most)

i had lunch with a friend last week and he asked me what i had been listening to lately.  i gave him three albums: pearl jam vs., pearl jam vitalogy, and the smashing pumpkins siamese dream.  i figured he’d make some joke about it being 2011, but instead he said, “that’s amazing.  you’re listening to music from 20 years ago.”  that’s when it hit me: either new music is incredibly boring or i’m getting older and finding relief in the music that shaped my teenage years.  whatever the reason, 2011 was a down year for new music.  i did manage to find a few diamonds in the rough and here they are:

10. the weeknd house of balloons – not sure where the weeknd came from but i hope he makes music for a very long time.  “the morning” is on constant rotation in my car.  makes me feel cooler than i really am.

9. girls father, son, holy ghost – a stellar follow up to their debut album.  sounds like surf music from the 1960s.  be sure to check out “honey bunny” and “vomit.”

8. my morning jacket circuitalcircuital is full of everything: uppers, downers, and in-betweeners.  when i reviewed it in may, i called it an “instant classic.”  i stand by that.  “holdin’ on to black metal” really whoops my ass with a belt.

7. a$ap rocky liveloveasapbelieve the hype.  this kid is good and this album is addictive.  i didn’t want to love it (because every blogger on the internet did), but it’s hard not to. 

6. wilco the whole love – sounds like jeff tweedy and co. are having fun making music again.  it’s about time.  their last couple of releases have been a bore.  welcome back wilco.

5. jay-z and kanye west watch the throne – there was no way this album was going to live up to expectations, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad.  “n****s in paris” is the single of year.  bonus points for the blades of glory intro.

4. noel gallagher noel gallagher’s high flying birds – this album surprised the hell out of me.  oasis were my favorite band throughout the 90s.  i liked noel because he played guitar and wrote the songs.  “if i had a gun…” is my favorite song of 2011.  hands down.

3. black keys el camino – remember when i said i wasn’t crazy about this album?  i’m an idiot.  it’s amazing.  thank you black keys for making rock music based on the blues.  let’s think of some other bands that did that…rolling stones anyone?

2. bon iver bon iver – the bon iver backlash has started, but i don’t care because this is a great album.  i had the opportunity to see them tour behind bon iver and they blew me away.  go see them live if you have the chance.

1. dawes nothing is wrong – i listened to this album more than any other album in 2011, so it’s worthy of the #1 spot.  it makes me want to quit my job, move the laurel canyon, and make music for the rest of my life.  they played in nashville twice this year and i missed them both times.  i won’t make that mistake in 2012.      

just missed the list: ryan adam ashes & fire, cults cults, real estate days, frank ocean nostalgia, ultra., drake take care

  1. Like the list Cooper. Nothing is Wrong is a fantastic listen. Saw them in 2010 in Philly before the new album was released. They have great energy and are a must see next time they are in your area.

    • Jim
    • December 15th, 2011

    Do NOT sleep on the Fitz & The Tantrums album, “Pickin’ Up The Pieces.” That’s easily my #1 of the year. Incredible modern party soul/funk.

  2. Great list man. Similar to mine. Check it out…

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