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- Matt Stalker & Fables - Seasick/Spiderwebs (live)
- Emily Danger - Peace Arch
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31-12-2011 // Album: 2011s Finest: Albums


On the break of the New Year here's a list that'll warm your heart. My personal album favourites of the year 2011. Twenty in total, with a little story to express my love for the numbers 1-10. Please enjoy (although most people will read it next year, as I'm kinda late) and have a great 2012! With hopefully more great albums!

20. Lavalier - Lavalier
19. Josh Oliver - Troubles
18. Trotting Bear - Morning
17. James Hoffman - The Union
16. Jhameel - The Human Condition
15. Lou Canon - Lou Canon
14. The Willow & The Builder - The Willow & The Builder
13. Nils Frahm & Anne Muller - 7Fingers
12. Matt Stalker & Fables - The Man Who Said This Died Of Alchemy
11. Mother Mother - Eureka

10. Small Houses - North
A beautiful soft record for the dark hours of the night. Singer Jeremy Quentin has a fine voice that is made for whispering. The whole album is nicely made around him, with fine harmonies & great backing intrumentations. Which are never too wild, but it’s perfect in synch with the rest of this truly amazing record. Also great for staring across the water in a sunny day with a cold beer & nothing else on your mind. Perfect little sweet whispering folk-record as they are rarely made.

09. The Decemberists - The King Is Dead
Actually never even mentioned this album on the blog, despite typing over 400 items this year, I should be really ashamed of myself. The thing is, I never really was into The Decemberists and received this album as a gift from someone. It ended up on my iPad and all of a sudden I realized that it’s a great almost-asleep album. That may sound bad, but I actually fell asleep to this album for at least 4 months straight this year and still know all the lyrics to the last song on the album. This record does something special, probably because I’ve never really listened to it outside of my bedroom, but it definitely deserves a place on this list. Not only because I know the lyrics and it’s among the most played records on my iPad, but mainly because it is really a fantastic album. For sure gonna fall asleep to it later tonight.

08. Bryan John Appleby - Fire On The Vine
A bit of a late bloomer is this album as I really enjoyed it for a few days when I 1st ran into it, but then it slowly faded out in the huge stream of great music I was encoutering. But these last few weeks of re-listening all my albums to find the best I’ve heard I have renewed my love for it and that love grows everytime I hear it. And I’ve been hearing it A LOT this month. Bryan John Appleby has a great voice and writes beautifully crafted songs. The more powerfull tracks like “Boys” are as great as broken hearted lovesong “Honey Jars”. His voice does it all. Simply beautiful!

07. Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver
Probably the hardest album to review in a few lines, because everyone has an opinion on it. Without a doubt Bon Iver has recorded one of the best albums of the year, yet I had a hard time letting it into my head and heart. After being hyped the f*ck out & getting 5-star-reviews all over the globe I just find it hard to listen to something that is basically a little off.. I never really got that “King of Limbs”-hype, Radiohead made another freakshow album & the whole world wanted to have their babies. But let’s focus on the album at hand here, cuz I was extremely sceptical but I have to admit that this is a phenomenal work of art. There is nothing new to be said about this album, everything has been said before, so I will just acknowledge what all the music bloggers/reviewers/fans all over the world have said before me: Great! F*cking! Album!

06. Real Estate - Days
This is an album everyone could love. It’s not the best album of the year, but it’s just impossible not to like this album. It’s 40 minutes of complete careless music, the sun is always shining in the universe of Real Estate. This is probably the perfect feel-good album of 2011 for every music lover out there, I just cannot not sing along to this and just when I feel a little sad the last track has started, I remember that it actually lasts for 7 brilliant minutes. It’s a common thing to end an album with a loooong track, trying to recap the previous songs, it’s not that common that this last track is actually very good and probably the best song on the entire album. An album that excists of highlights only!

05. The Antlers - Burst Apart
The only band/artist in this entire list I’ve seen live, I should be so ashamed, although not all bands visit my country (unfortunately). Burst Apart is one of those albums being mentioned in all the Best-of-2011 lists I see poppin’ out all over the web. And why shouldn’t it be, it is simply of an extreme high quality, from the 1st seconds of ‘I don’t want love’ to the instrumental closing minute of ‘Putting the dog to sleep’ (which should get a nominee for best title of a closing track). I was very curious if they were able to play these songs live as good as on the album and they were, it was a great performance! At least as good as the album, which is amazingly good. It was over before I know it, also just like the album, but luckily I can just start that one over again..

04. Feist - Metals
She has the best voice of the year, that she can use for sweet little whispering and strong powerfull screaming. And with this beautiful album she finally shows the world what she’s capable of. Metals is an album where she goes all out and then crawls back into a tiny corner of the world with just an acoustic guitar. But that voice is always with her & it sings the finest songs. Florence & the Machine eat your heart out, this is how you make an album in 2011. 12 songs of pure beauty, that’s Metals.

03. Jalin Roze - The Brilliance
There was not a lot of great hiphop in the year that has almost passed. Watch The Throne was not as good as we all hoped it would be, and also other big names didn’t surprise us with brilliant albums. But when the esthablished names disappoint it’s always good to look somewhere else. Shabazz Palaces & Kuhlamity released some nice things, but by far the best album comes from Jalin Roze. The Brilliance is a fresh hiphop-album that’ll keep you focussed on the great lyrics & fantastic beats from start to finish and you’ll be loving it. Jalin Roze has a great flow & is working on some new things, can’t wait to hear it, but untill then I’ll be listening to The Brilliance on a daily bases.

02. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
Fleet Foxes did it again. After their beautiful 2008-debut they took their time, but once Helplessness Blues hit the shelves it was clear they met all expectations and more. Helplessness Blues sounds familiar, but is definitely a step forward from the debut album. The songs are more powerful and have more diversity within them, which also goes for the entire album. With ‘The Shrine/An Argument’ being the perfect 8-minute example here. But as it works with the best albums over 365 days, they have to be amazing from start to finish, Helplessness Blues does that without question, once this album starts, it’s one beautiful trip towards the unevitable ending. It’s (only) 50 minutes of pure bliss.

01. The Deloreans - American Craze
The best album of 2011. Although competition was tough and there were moments I thought other albums deserved this title, I always ended up putting this record on top. It’s the most original record I’ve heard this year, it is impossible to compare with anything else I’ve ever heard. ‘Buffalo’ is among the best songs of the year, monsterrocksong ‘Leviathan’ always wakes up the neighbourhood, because it’s best enjoyed LOUD, and the tender ‘Dear’ is a surprizingly sweet, yet perfectly suitable ending to this fantastic record. And these are just 3 of the 10 highlights this 10-track album contains. Not a single second is wasted when you’re listening to this album. Guaranteed!


 
Must-Have of the Month

Coyote Armada - Crime Wave

Sept: Matt Stalker & Fables - Knots
Aug: The Lake Poets - Honest Hearts

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Recent Records On Replay
- Flannel Graph - Ribs of Adam
- The Slow Clock - The Slow Clock
- Will Stratton - Gray Lodge Wisdom