MAS’s favorite albums of 2011

[First piece of content from MAS. He missed some things, but its a nice list. Enjoy. -rw]

Hey everyone,

I got stuck in NY this evening so, naturally, instead of splitting a cab with other angry customers or  take advantage any other of the numerous options available to cross the Hudson, I chose to drink some beer and chat up bartenders until service resumed. On my way home I was listening to some ’93 vintage PJ Harvey thanks to some indie station out of Seattle, and because I’ve been digging her new album (thanks for the pointer jc) it got me thinking about my favorite albums of the year. Anyway, I’m not going to try to put mine in any type of numbered list, I’m just going to throw out what I liked and where I feel appropriate drop some commentary (post script — I’m fairly drunk, so I’ve got something to say for everything it seems).

  • M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming – Just saw these (guys?) live. Best concert by a band that is still releasing albums I’ve seen in a while — possibly ever, if one defines best as most likely to use up all of your spare serotonin and fake using E. Still think that their last album was better, but other than the epic lead single the whole album has grown on me
  • Zola Jesus – Conatus – Speaking of M83 (she does guest vocals on some song or the other), I really like Zola Jesus. Then again I love music that is derivative of/from Silent Shout. Female vocals and “neo-goth pop wave core” and I’m sold. If going forward if we can make Goth Wave the name of this any genre I would die happy.
  • Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring for My Halo – if you don’t like this, we can’t be friends anymore
  • St. Vincent – Whatever her new album is named – I feel like this album got a lot of flack, critic wise, but having seen her live last time around and now… she is immeasurably better. The cover of Big Black she did earlier this year earns her a spot even if she didn’t put out an album.
  • My Bloody Valentine – Loveless – Fuck you, my list,
  • PJ Harvey – Let England Shake – I can only speak for the first half of the album, but I keep listening to that half (spotify and my commute underground on occasion have issues)
  • ASAP Rocky – Mix tapes galore – what can I say, I like the screwed (or whatever its called these days) movement in rap. The hot blonde in Purple Swag did not influence the judge(s?) Fun research project / exploration of the internet and how white it is. TONS of online commentary over how racist it is for a white girl to lip-sync “nigga” in a rap video. Memo to the people on the internet, stop giving such a fuck.
  • Shabbaz Palaces – The Black Up – No comment needed
  • Freddie Gibbs – Mix tapes galore – (see what I did there with all the rap together?) I’m not actually sure if the mixtape that gets him on this list dropped in ’11, but his newsingle with Madlib lets me overlook simple things like chronology.
  • Feist – Metals – this had to grow on me, and I don’t have much to say about it, other than I know it will stay on rotation for the time being.
  • Bjork – Biophilia – Not a favorite album… but I’ve listened to it 3 times now and can’t get a solid bead on it, but I really enjoy playing with her iPad app. Good, bad, or ugly this is an album that needs to be thought about.
  • Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact — early favorite of the year, I may (I did) have played it out a bit for myself, but still fantastic.
  • James Blake – eponymous – best album to have on vinyl (If this had a category it would win it hands down).

I know I’ve missed a bunch, even from my personal list, even now I realize there is no chillwave on here, and full disclosure I really liked the new Washed Out (feel free to disown me). Y’all are the group that I bounce music around with so let me know what else I should listen to, and hopefully there is something on this list you didn’t catch and enjoy.


About richardwahnfried
Not named Richard Wahnfried, not krautrock legend Klaus Schulze.

One Response to MAS’s favorite albums of 2011

  1. waterhousema says:

    To be fair, IIRC, the Black Keys album hadn’t officially dropped when I made that list. But they absolutely deserve to be on it.


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