Sunday, December 18, 2011

Favourite Albums of 2011

Here's the annual, requisite list of my 20 favourite albums. These are the albums that I listened to most over the past year; the ones that inspired me and kept me going. Once again, while I've been waiting for the last half of December to yield that one final amazing album that would make the list, most of the other major music critics had jumped the gun and already posted theirs.

I always find it so hard to actually put these in any sort of order, but I can say that the #1 album was definitely my favourite by a lot. Your favourite albums from the past year will inevitably be different from what's on my list. But as I've said before, that's one of the great things about music - that it all affects each person in different ways. It's for that same reason that I've also refrained from writing any long-winded explanations of why I love these records so much. Though I know it's a rarity in the world of music critique, I really believe that that great albums must be heard rather than analyzed in writing. Indeed, the only long winded writing in this post is the introduction you are (possibly still) reading right now.

I hope you can give these records a listen, as maybe you'll find something that you really love as well. And because I'd rather share the actual music with you than write about it, there are songs from each one of these albums on the quarterly mixes that I regularly post here for free download. Stay tuned for the next mix coming in late March of 2012, and in the meantime keep discovering great new music!

Alright, here's the list...

1. Destroyer - Kaputt
2. Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver
3. The Drums - Portamento
4. Cut Copy - Zonoscope
5. Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact
6. James Blake - s/t
7. Handsome Furs - Sound Kapital
8. The Horrors - Skying
9. Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo
10. The Field - Looping State Of Mind
11. Jay-Z & Kanye West - Watch The Throne
12. M83 - Hurry Up We're Dreaming
13. Neon Indian - Era Extra├▒a
14. Washed Out - Within And Without
15. Radiohead - The King Of Limbs
16. Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972
17. Toro Y Moi - Underneath The Pine
18. Tuneyards - Whokill
19. Holy Ghost! - s/t
20. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy

There are a few other great albums that just barely missed the top 20 cut. In no particular order, here they are...

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Mirror Traffic
Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
Feist - Metals
WU LYF - Go Tell Fire To The Mountain
The Strokes - Angles
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx - We're New Here
Cat's Eyes - s/t
The Black Keys - El Camino
Oneohtrix Point Never - Replica
The various singles released by Burial this year

And here are the download links for those mixes...

January-March mix: http://www.mediafire.com/?827uv628k3s3a8y
April-June mix: http://www.mediafire.com/?24w9x9cihojcy16
July-September mix: http://www.mediafire.com/?ckr626tm2agzq4q
October-December mix: http://www.mediafire.com/?8q5tc2erpy8551v