1) AA Bondy – Believers
Beautiful songs, amazing atmosphere and bags of style. This rapid departure of Bondy’s normal sound/style is a masterpiece of an album.It is very unusual for me pick a record this moody as my album of the year but Believers set me back a few steps when I first heard it and that’s what I’m looking for.
2) Frank Turner – England Keep My Bones
This album could have easily been my album of the year. I love it and I think it’s a classic. For sure, some of the best songs I’ve heard in a while. Perfect cohesion and depth.
3) Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire
This record is very hard for me to place. Ryan Adams is my favorite but this album didn’t immediately blow me away. I love it but it’s sound is still growing on me. This record has the potential to be that record that in a year I wish I would have placed at number one.
4) Jay Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne
I hate to say it but Watch the Throne was the best rap record I heard this year. This record is probably under appreciated by most rap fans. I don’t care if it sold a shit ton. I think it’s a classic and proof that even big labels can put out good rap.
5) Deafheaven – Roads to Judah
Best metal album I bought this year. Glad Juan was going on about it cause this is fantastic. The blend of shoegaze and black metal is an amazing combination. I watched youtube clips of these cats live and it looked intense.
6) Atmosphere – The Family Sign
Atmosphere finally created a very instrument rich album that isn’t over the top wuss rap. To me this record is kind of a comeback album for Atmosphere. I like The Family Sign as much as Sevens Travels or God Loves Ugly.
7) Black lips – Arabia Mountain
This record is just fun! I wondered what a Black Lips record would sound like produced by Mark Ronson and it just sounds like the next Black Lips record. This is my favorite of their stuff so far.
8) Jason Isbell – Here We Rest
This is the year I have really discovered Jason Isbell and I think he’s a genius. I kept thinking that this record would place a lot higher on my list but I really don’t listen to it as much as the stuff I have higher than it.
9) Samiam – Trips
Samiam are one of my favorite bands of all time. This record isn’t as good as their classic material but it smokes that last hunk of crap they put out so it’s good enough for a top ten place.
10) Helms Alee – Weatherhead
I love the feel and the space of this record. It’s not as focused as their first album but it is still really great. I am a huge fan of old 60’s psych records and this is like the modern day equivalent.
Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring for my Halo (this was left out of the top ten only because I bought it so late)
The Felice Brothers – Celebration, Florida
Destroyer – Kaputt
Whirl – Distressor
The Twilight Singer – Dynamite Steps
Danny Brown – XXX
Trap Them – Darker Handcraft
Das Racist – Relax
Windmills By The Ocean – II Lp
Cave In – White Silence
Touché Amore – PTSBBAM
Best 7″ of 2011 for me was…
Against Me! – Russian Spies/Occult Enimies
Also comeback record of the year.