Best of 2011:
In no particular order after #1:
- Bon Iver -- Bon Iver (Best. That is all.)
- Radiohead -- The King of Limbs (Also one of 2011's biggest disappointments. See below.)
- TV On the Radio -- Nine Types of Light (Not as good as 2008's Dear Science, but pretty good – particularly "Killer Crane".)
- Ryan Adams -- Ashes and Fire (Ryan Adams, not drunk. It works!)
- The Weeknd -- House of Balloons (Out of the three [3!] albums he self-released this year, this seemed to hold the most promise.)
- Adele -- 21 (I know, I know. But it was pretty good. Admit it.)
- 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.)
- PJ Harvey -- Let England Shake (Not usually a PJ Harvey fan, but: Whoa.)
- 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.)
- 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?
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.