Top albums of 2011

Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Best of 2011:

In no particular order after #1:

  1. Bon Iver -- Bon Iver (Best. That is all.)
  2. Radiohead -- The King of Limbs (Also one of 2011's biggest disappointments. See below.)
  3. TV On the Radio -- Nine Types of Light (Not as good as 2008's Dear Science, but pretty good – particularly "Killer Crane".)
  4. Ryan Adams -- Ashes and Fire (Ryan Adams, not drunk. It works!)
  5. The Weeknd -- House of Balloons (Out of the three [3!] albums he self-released this year, this seemed to hold the most promise.)
  6. Adele -- 21 (I know, I know. But it was pretty good. Admit it.)
  7. Gary Clark Jr. -- The Bright Lights EP (On its way to being the album the Black Keys were trying to make before they let Danger Mouse fuck with everything again.)
  8. PJ Harvey -- Let England Shake (Not usually a PJ Harvey fan, but: Whoa.)
  9. Dan Mangan -- Oh Fortune (Not as good as Nice, Nice, Very Nice but a solid effort. Lots of sing-along-y bits and oh-oh!-ing, as one might expect and deserve.)
  10. Antlers -- Burst Apart (Probably here on the strength of "Putting the Dog to Sleep". Rest of it's pretty decent, too.)

Shit Sandwich Award 2011 (for Biggest Disappointment of the year):

The Strokes -- Angles: ...the fuck happened there?

Notable disappointment:

Radiohead -- TKOL: In the top 10 almost entirely (but not entirely) due to it being a much more interesting album to watch the band play (From the Basement) than to simply listen to. I trust in five years, we’ll all realize this was not a complete shit show, but instead something insanely great. And if not, whatever. It wasn’t that bad.

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