Friday, December 30, 2011

Albums of the Year 2011

As most years, 2011 was a great year for new music if you know where to look. For me it was a year in which I discovered more new music than I had in previous years, as I kept expanding my horizon beyond my indie guitar rock roots. Below is a list of my top 5 favorite albums that were released in 2011.

Best Albums of 2011

1.  Wild Flag Wild Flag - Carrie Brownstein had a helluva 2011 with her new rock band and the popularity of her TV show Portlandia. After too many years of female vocalists trying to channel 1920s jazz singers, it's great to hear a group of women who want to rock. Of course they come from the prior generation of music, but nowadays rock musicians don't need to burn out by 30 to prove themselves. Thank God for that.




2.  The Roots Undun - You may know them as the house band on Jimmy Fallon's TV show, but they've been around for almost 20 years and are kickin' out the jams better than ever. This is the way albums are supposed to be made, a true piece of art that also includes a bunch of kickass tunes.



3.  Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi Rome - A modern day spaghetti western soundtrack featuring vocalists Norah Jones and Jack White in the best work they've ever done. Great for road trips across the American West or for a mellow evening on the couch (not that I'd know anything about either of those).




4.  Glenn Campbell Ghost on the Canvas - With a little help from Paul Westerberg and Bob Pollard on songwriting duties, Glenn Campbell records what feels like his farewell album. It's a beautiful, sad chronicle that makes one reflect on all the great music from the his era.




5. The Antlers Burst Apart - This is the one album on my list that best typifies the quality music being made in 2011 -- lush, beautiful, dense with falsetto vocals, keyboards and only a light touch of drums and guitar. It's what the kids are into and I appreciate it in doses. Here's a sample...

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