The year is halfway complete and the best albums of 2011 lists are starting to appear so I thought I'd add my two cents and highlight some from our fantastic music collection.
Knowing how fickle my tastes can be, it will be interesting to see how many of these will survive into my year end lists when December rolls around. Some of these have a lengthy request queue, but worth the wait in my opinion.
What are your favorites so far?
- Wye Oak - Civilian : I stumbled upon this album without listening to the band's other stuff, but it's been on repeat ever since. When it starts to get a bit soft, beware of sudden turns and grinding guitars.
- tUnE-yArDs - Whokill : One of the most infectious albums of the year (in a good way, not in Rebecca Black's Friday way), but I've already raved about her previously, so I'll stop here.
- Destroyer - Kaputt : You never know what exactly you'll get with a Destroyer album. This time around it's lounge-singer jazz and ironic poetry.
- Cults - Cults : After tons of internet hype and signing to Sony, Cults' album was even better and darker tinged than I'd anticipated.
- Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues : While not charting a lot of new territory, this album feels more mature and solidly rests on good songwriting and their harmonies.
- Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde : This has been a large part of my summer soundtrack with its raw, garage rock esthetic.
- Tennis - Cape Dory : Great debut by this local band. Full of fuzzed out guitars and pop vocals.
- Explosions in the Sky - Take Care, Take Care, Take Care : Another crescendo-laden album by the instrumental rock veterans. A great eye-opener in the morning hours when you're not quite feeling up for the day to begin.
- Bon Iver - Bon Iver : Everything that made his debut great is built upon and expanded with more players. I was pretty smitten by the end of the opening track.
- WU LYF - Go Tell Fire to the Mountain : Although we don't own a copy of this album, I couldn't help but include it. Much has been made of their mysterious refusal to do any PR and their dismissal of all label interest. Hopefully that will all be put aside in light of this amazing debut. With all it's energy and emotion, it's closer, Heavy Pop, leaves me almost as exhausted as the singer sounds.
Here are some other "Best of 2011 So Far" lists:
Stereogum's Top 20 Albums of 2011 So Far
Paste Magazine's The 20 Best Albums of 2011 (So Far)