Happy New Year, hello 2012! I’m a bit late but finally had some time and on the first day of 2012 thought I would compile my list of favorite albums of 2011.
There are big shifts in music going on right now, and with the decline of physical albums and the launch of services like Rdio & Spotify it seems we’re shifting back to a singles and playlists world.
I worked at HMV (British owned music retailer that was sold in June to a British restructuring company) at a high point for the compact disc so this is an odd shift for me but I’m coming around to it now. I remember when 50 Cent’s first album “Get Rich or Die Trying” came out it sold so fast we had to keep shuffling stock around to have enough for weeks and people would buy 2 copies – one to keep sealed and the other to listen to.
Unfortunately the compact disc and album way of thinking isn’t working anymore in the new world of music. iTunes charts rule and if you hear a song you like, you download that song and add that to a playlist of other songs you specifically are into. Everyone I ask listens to something different and the amount of music out there is staggering. I make it a point to ask all of my friends what’s on their playlists to try to keep up to date but feel I’m always trying to attain the knowledge of music I had while working at HMV.
For 2011 I still have my favourite albums below but for 2012 I think I’m subscribing to Rdio (only because Spotify isn’t available in Canada, that’s another blog post in itself) and although on Rdio you add albums there’s a big push towards playlists. For 2012 think I’ll do a “favourite music of 2012 playlist”.
All that said I’m still really psyched to see where music heads in 2012, for now here’s my favorites…
1. Radiohead – King of Limbs
I’ve read a lot of disappointed reviews on King of Limbs but I can’t stop playing it still and also the TKOL rmx album, that counts for two and makes it #1 for me. They’re evolving with music and are excelling at it.
2. Adele – 21
She was everywhere in 2011, and played everywhere. That turned some folks off of her but not me, her voice gives me chills and I would love to hangout and have a tea with her. I’ve been a big fan of Adele fo a while, her album 19 was on my favorite albums of 2008.
3. M83 – Hurry up, we’re dreaming
Gotta love a group that’s named after an actual galaxy. I spent a lot of time with Saturdays = Youth and it was a big album for me to work to and Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is much the same. Thank you M83 for helping me get my work done.
4. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
My friend and I have a joke. Whenever we make a decision it’s “The answer is always Dave Grohl”. It’s funny to us. The man makes the most amazing music that lasts. Everlong is one of my favorite songs of all time and some of the tracks on Wasting Light in my opinion are as amazing to me right now.
5. James Blake – James Blake
I could not escape James Blake in 2011. Really amazing music and he even grabbed Feist for a track – win.
6. The Roots – Undun
If you have never listened to The Roots, you are at a huge disadvantage in life. Seriously go now and purchase some, don’t google it, purchase it and put it on – you will be better in your life for it. They’ve been on my list before on my favourite albums of 2010.
7. Florence & The Machine – Ceremonials
I was really psyched for the release of this album. I remember listening to “What The Water Gave Me” in the summer and it hooked me, that was it. The rest of the album does not disappoint.
8. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
Pitchfork gave Fleet Foxes an 8.8 which is pretty high on their very tough scale of music reviews. Despite that (as no Pitchfork review should be a decision one way or the other) they are amazing as is the album – my favourite is the title track itself, just put on Helplessness Blues and go.
9. Black Keys – El Camino
I heard a DJ compare this album to when the White Stripes released “White Blood Cells” because they broke into the mainstream with that album. Although I don’t completely agree with it I can see where the DJ was coming from and know the Black Keys are going to be around for a long time.
10. Feist – Metals
She’s amazing and Canadian. She’s really well known in Canada so she didn’t make it on my Canadian Music You Should Hear but if you have never listened to Feist – go. now.
And we can’t leave the list without adding the honourable mentions! Including…
- TV On The Radio – Nine Types of Light
- Childish Gambino – Camp
- The Strokes – Angles
- Phantogram – Nightlife (it’s an ep but still counts) – Don’t Move is my favourite song of the year.
- Drake – Take Care
- Talib Kweli – Gutter Rainbows
- Arkells – Michigan Left
- The Dears – Degeneration Street
- Broken Bells – Meyrin Fields
So that’s it! Let me know what you think, I love music and love chatting about it.