Best Albums of 2011 Lists…

Back in the times before the internet (yes I’m old), my December tradition would involve a costly trip to the newsagents to soak up the copious amount of best albums of the year lists in the various music magazines. Luckily though, I don’t have to wade through such publications infested with advertisements now and can simply cherry pick them by getting my guilty pleasure on-line. Sure there is an argument that this is contributing the death of print media, but my philosophy is that you got to evolve or die, however in the name of good karma, I thought I would share my findings with you all.

First up is the Uncut Magazine which always carries a free CD and a good read but is usually to expensive for my tastes but has an interesting top 50 albums of 2011

No Pink Floyd this month?

50 Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
49 Arbouretum – The Gathering
48 Cornershop Featuring Bubbley Kaur – Cornershop And The Double-O Groove Of
47 The Caretaker – An Empty Bliss Beyond This World
46 Iceage – New Brigade
45 Mikal Cronin – Mikal Cronin
44 tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
43 St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
42 Jenny Hval – Viscera
41 Raphael Saadiq – Stone Rollin’
40 Kate Bush – 50 Words For Snow
39 Dawes – Nothing Is Wrong
38 His Golden Messenger – From Country Hai East Cotton
37 Little Dragon – Ritual Union
36 Jonny – Jonny
35 My Morning Jacket – Circuital
34 Fatoumata Diawara – Fatou
33 Low – C’Mon
32 Gil Scott Heron & Jamie XX – We’re New Here
31 Destroyer – Kaputt
30 Tim Hecker – Ravendeath, 1972
29 Paul Simon – So Beautiful Or So What
28 King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine
27 Björk – Biophilia
26 The Decemberists – The King Is Dead
25 Bill Callahan – Apocolypse
24 Real Estate – Days
23 Thurston Moore – Demolished Thoughts
22 Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact
21 James Blake – James Blake
20 Ry Cooder – Pull Up Some Dust And Sit Down
19 Drive-By Truckers – Go-Go Boots
18 Tinariwen – Tassili
17 Feist – Metals
16 Jonathan Wilson – Gentle Spirit
15 Wilco – The Whole Love
14 Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo
13 Tom Waits – Bad As Me
12 Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
11 Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know
10 The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient
09 Bon Iver – Bon Iver
08 Wild Beasts – Smother
07 Radiohead – The King Of Limbs
06 The Horrors – Skying
05 Josh T. Pearson – Last Of The Country Gentlemen
04 White Denim – D
03 Metronomy – The English Riviera
02 Gillian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest
01 PJ Harvey – Let England Shake

With PJ Harvey winning the Mercury Prize this year, this may seem a lazy choice but we will have to wait to see what the other magazines have to say for themselves.

Next is Q Magazine, who could be criticised for playing it safe and are stuck in the past by plugging anything britpop related but lets take a look under the hood.

Playing it safe with MOR?

50 Justice – Audio, Video, Disco
49 Frank Ocean – Nostalgia, Ultra.
48 Noah And The Whale – Last Night On Earth
47 Mastodon – The Hunter
46 SBTRKT – SBTRKT
45 Miles Kane – The Colour Of The Trap
44 Death In Vegas – Trans-Love Energies
43 King Creosote – Diamond Mine
42 Josh T. Pearson – Last Of The Country Gentlemen
41 Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
40 Danger Mouse & Danielle Luppi – Rome
39 James Blake – James Blake
28 Feist – Metals
37 Washed Out – Within And Without
36 Katy B – On A Mission
35 Cass McCombs – Humour Risk
34 Gruff Rhys – Hotel Shampoo
33 tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l 
32 Radiohead – The King Of Limbs
31 Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee, Part Two
30 Lady Gaga – Born This Way
29 Kasabian – Velociraptor
28 Gillian Welch – The Harrows And The Harvest
27 Ed Sheeran – +
26 Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
25 Wild Beasts – Smother
24 Real Estate – Days
23 Björk – Biophilia
22 White Lies – Ritual
21 Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
20 The Weeknd – Thursday
19 Cass McCombs – WIT’S END
18 Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
17 Metronomy – The English Riviera
16 Kurt Vile – Smoke Rings For My Halo
15 Baxter Drury – Happy Soup
14 The Weeknd – House Of Balloons
13 Bombay Bicycle Club – A Different Kind Of Fix
12 Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know
11 The Horrors – Skying
10 Elbow – Build A Rocket Boys
09 WU LYF – Go Tell Fire To The Mountain
08 St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
07 Arctic Monkeys – Suck It And See
06 Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne
05 Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto
04 Bon Iver – Bon Iver, Bon Iver
03 Adele – 21
02 PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
01 Florence & The Machine – Ceremonials

Ceremonials is a cracking album and not many would disagree, but I got a feeling making it album of the year when it was only released a few weeks ago is going to cause a stir and trolls across the land will be rubbing their hands with glee but if these lists are created for us to debate then this certainly does that.

Mojo may be old school but they keep it dark...

MOJO have a reputation for being a little old school but are highly respected and this list impressive with more than a few hidden gems too.

50 Joe Henry – Revere
49 Frank Ocean – Nostalgia, Ultra
48 Wire – Red Barked Tree
47 Radiohead: The King Of Limbs
46 Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
45 tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
44 Glen Campbell – Ghost On The Canvas
43 Gwilym Simcock – Good Days At Scholss Elmau
42 Booker T. Jones – The Road From Memphis
41 Destroyer – Kaputt
40 Charles Bradley – No Time For Dreaming
39 Arctic Monkeys – Suck It And See
38 The Sand Bag – All Through The Night
37 Duane Eddy – Road Trip
36 Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
35 Tinariwen – Tassili
34 Gillian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest
33 Glenn Jones – The Wanting
32 Björk – Biophilia
31 Nick Lowe – That Old Magic
30 Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
29 Wilco – The Whole Love
28 Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
27 Arbouretum – The Gathering
26 Drive-By Truckers – Go-Go Boots
25 The Stepkids – The Stepkids
24 EMA – Past Life Martyred Saints
23 Bill Callahan – Apocalypse
22 Beirut – The Rip Tide
21 The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient
20 My Morning Jacket – Circuital
19 James Blake – James Blake
18 Thurston Moore – Demolished Thoughts
17 Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat – Everything’s Getting Older
16 Bon Iver – Bon Iver, Bon Iver
15 Paul Simon – So Beautiful Or So What
14 King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine
13 Cat’s Eyes – Cat’s Eyes
12 Kurt Vile – Smoke Rings For My Halo
11 Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know
10 Wild Beasts – Smother
09 Tom Waits – Bad As Me
08 Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
07 Josh T Pearson – Last Of The Country Gentlemen
06 White Denim – D
05 Kate Bush – 50 Words For Snow
04 Jonathan Wilson – Gentle Spirit
03 Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
02 The Horrors – Skying
01 PJ Harvey – Let England Shake

So another win for PJ Harvey but I’m very impressed with how MOJO has well represented albums with dark themes and for not playing it too safe.

A view from outside Hoxton and Shoreditch?

Over in the United States, Paste is a monthly music and entertainment digital magazine with the tagline  “Signs of Life in Music, Film and Culture.” It is always interesting to have a look in a the media over the pond who are not obsessed with the  Hoxton and Shoreditch scene.

50 Frank Turner – England Keep My Bones
49 Mates Of State – Mountaintops
48 Drake – Take Care
47 Real Estate – Days
46 Holy Ghost! – Holy Ghost!
45 Those Darlins – Screws Get Loose
44 Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo
43 The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar
42 Wild Flag – Wild Flag
41 James Blake – James Blake 
40 Portugal. The Man – In The Mountain, In The Cloud
39 Gillian Welch – The Harrow And The Harvest
38 Over The Rhine – The Long Surrender
37 The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient
36 Mister Heavenly – Out Of Love
35 Childish Gambino – Camp
34 Seryn – This Is Where We Are
33 The Head And The Heart – The Head And The Heart
32 Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire
31 Telekinesis – 12 Desperate Straight Lines
30 Tom Waits – Bad As Me
29 Feist – Metals
28 Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
27 Black Lips – Arabia Mountain
26 The Low Anthem – Smart Flesh
25 The Antlers – Burst Apart
24 TV On The Radio – Nine Types Of Light
23 The Belle Brigade – The Belle Brigade
22 The Black Keys – El Camino
21 Charles Bradley – No Time For Dreaming
20 Beirut – The Rip Tide
19 Cults – Cults
18 Wye Oak – Civilian
17 The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow
16 Yuck – Yuck
15 Deer Tick – Divine Providence
14 Adele – 21
13 Radiohead – The King Of Limbs
12 Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean
11 St. Vincent – Strange Mercy 
10 The Decemberists – The King Is Dead
09 M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
08 Dawes – Nothing Is Wrong
07 Wilco – The Whole Love
06 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – It’s A Corporate World
05 Middle Brother – Middle Brother
04 tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
03 My Morning Jacket – Circuital
02 Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
01 Bon Iver – Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Bon Iver seems to be a popular choice on both sides of the atlantic and there does seem to be a few more hidden gems in this list than the predictable ones we have seen in the UK so far.

Another win for PJ Harvey.

A fairly predictable line up from the NME top 50 as the familiar names now begin to appear in all of the lists, along with a few bizarre ‘next big thing’ acts that appear nowhere else but yet gain that’s what you expect from the NME.

NME Top 50 albums:

50 Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne
49 SBTRKT – SBTRKT
48 Slow Club – Paradise
47 Real Estate – Days
46 Bon Iver – Bon Iver, Bon Iver
45 Austra – Feel It Break
44 Destroyer – Kaputt
43 Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
42 Patrick Wolf – Lupercalia
41 Death Grips – Ex-Military
40 Cold Cave – Cherish The Light Years
39 Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
38 Björk – Biophilia
37 White Denim – D
36 Iceage – New Brigade
35 TV On The Radio – Nine Types Of Light
34 Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
33 Justice – Audio, Video, Disco
32 Alex Turner – Submarine Soundtrack
31 Florence & The Machine – Ceremonials
30 Friendly Fires – Pala
29 Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde
28 The Field – Looping State Of Mind
27 Black Lips – Arabia Mountain
26 Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
25 Planningtorock – W
24 Big Talk – Big Talk
23 Yuck – Yuck
22 Noah & The Whale – Last Night On Earth
21 Kasabian – Velociraptor
20 Radiohead – The King Of Limbs
19 Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know
18 Cat’s Eyes – Cat’s Eyes
17 Battles – Gloss Drop
16 Bombay Bicycle Club – A Different Kind Of Fix
15 Wild Flag – Wild Flag
14 The Vaccines – What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?
13 Suuns – Zeroes QC
12 Scum – Again Into Eyes
11 Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
10 WU LYF – Go Tell Fire To The Mountain
09 tUnE-YarDs – w h o k i l l
08 Katy B – On A Mission
07 St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
06 Arctic Monkeys – Suck It And See
05 Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo
04 Wild Beasts – Smother
03 The Horrors – Skying
02 Metronomy – The English Riviera
01 PJ Harvey – Let England Shake

NME Top 10 singles:

10 M83 – “Midnight City”
09 Howler – “I Told You Once”
08 tUnE-yArDs – “Bizness”
07 Metronomy – “The Bay”
06 Battles – “Ice Cream”
05 Wild Beasts – “Bed Of Nails”
04 PJ Harvey – “The Words That Maketh Murder”
03 The Horrors – “Still Life”
02 Tyler, The Creator – “Yonkers”
01 Lana Del Rey – “Video Games”

The Guardian bring us the first 40 but tease us with the final top ten.

The Guardian release the first 40 of their top 50 albums of 2011 and will be counting down their top 10 albums of the year next week.

50 Iceage – New Brigade
49 The Antlers – Burst Apart
48 Ryan Adams – Ashes and Fire
47 True Widow – As High as the Highest Heavens and from the Center to the Circumference of the
46 Beirut – Rip Tide
45 Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol 2: Judges
44 Marius Neset – Golden Xplosion
43 Machine Head – Unto the Locust
42 Nils Frahm – Felt
41 Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
40 Gruff Rhys – Hotel Shampoo
39 The Streets – Computers and Blues
38 Nicola Roberts – Cinderella’s Eyes
37 Kanye West/Jay-Z – Watch the Throne
36 Pistol Annies – Hell on Heels
35 Cats Eyes – Cats Eyes
34 Jamie Woon – Mirrorwriting
33 Destroyer – Kaputt
32 Lykke Li – Wounded Rymes
31 Lady Gaga – Born This Way
30 Gil Scott-Heron/Jamie XX – We’re New Here
29 Kate Bush – 50 Words for Snow
28 Jonathan Wilson – Gentle Spirit
27 Radiohead – The King of Limbs
26 Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact
25 Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring for My Halo
24 Feist – Metals
23 Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know
22 Noah and the Whale – Last Night on Earth
21 Gillian Welch – The Harrow & the Harvest
20 Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
19 Drake – Take Care
18 St Vincent – Strange Mercy
17 Björk – Biophilia
16 The Horrors – Skying
15 SBTRKT – SBTRKT
14 Tom Waits – Bad as Me
13 King Creosote and John Hopkins – Diamond Mine
12 Wild Beasts – Smother
11 White Denim – D

I will update this list with the remaining top ten as they are announced but whilst we wait, lets have a look at the highly respected Stereogum who have just revealed their top 50 albums too.

Great to see Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost getting the credit, it deserves.

50 Youth Lagoon – The Year Of Hibernation
49 Toro Y Moi – Underneath The Pine
48 Oddisee – Rock Creek Park
47 Wilco – The Whole Love
46 tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
45 Adele – 21
44 James Blake – James Blake
43 Twin Sister – In Heaven
42 Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
41 Das Racist – Relax
40 Kendrick Lamar – Section.80
39 Nicolas Jaar – Space Is Only Noise
38 Burst Apart – Burst Apart
37 Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde
36 Cut Copy – Zonoscope
35 Atlas Sound – Parallax
34 Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo
33 SBTRKT – SBTRKT
32 St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
31 Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
30 Radiohead – The King Of Limbs
29 Washed Out – Within And Without
28 Pictureplane – Thee Physical
27 Destroyer – Kaputt
26 The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Belong
25 Cold Cave – Cherish The Light Years
24 Frank Ocean – Nostalgia, Ultra
23 Wild Flag – Wild Flag
22 Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire
21 Clams Casino – Instrumental Mixtape
20 Real Estate – Days
19 Iceage – New Brigade
18 Beyoncé – 4
17 Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica
16 Neon Indian – Era Extraña
15 Zola Jesus – Conatus
14 Austra – Feel It Break
13 Yuck – Yuck
12 M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
11 Kate Bush – 50 Words For Snow
10 Kanye West & Jay-Z – Watch The Throne
09 ASAP Rocky – LIVELOVEA$AP
08 PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
07 EMA – Past Life Martyred Saints
06 Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact
05 The Weeknd – House Of Balloons
04 Fucked Up – David Comes To Life
03 Bon Iver – Bon Iver
02 Drake – Take Care
01 Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost

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