Top 50 albums of 2011

So I write almost the same disclaimer every year, but for what its worth I’m going to write it again.

At the current time I work full time and not in the radio or music industry. Don’t get me wrong I listen to a lot of new music, but there is only so much music I can listen to on an iPod at work.  Truthfully, I have not listened to all this years new releases, No Kate, No Bjork, I’ve not even managed to grab a listen to the Kurt Vile record. Whilst I would adore to, there simply hasn’t been the time. So people may disagree with me, or there will invariably be albums I discover from 2011 when i’ve already written my top albums list. There, disclaimer done!

The truth of the matter though, is I love sharing the music, and if you can discover one band that melts your heart or one band that gets you excited about seeing live bands and music, then my heart is warmed and It has been worth the effort.

It has not been an easy decision this year, despite people tweeting me saying they can barely find 5 great albums of the year, i’ve struggled to cut my list down to just 50.  Despite topping an array of lists elsewhere and winning the Mercury Music Prize, there could be no other winner than PJ Harvey – Let England Shake. Raw, emotional, inventive and soul destroying perfection. If you listen to one song from this post, make it this one:

My top 50 albums of 2011 are:

  1. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
  2. Other Lives – Tamer Animals
  3. Real Estate – Days
  4. Cloud Control – Bliss Release
  5. Black Keys – El Camino
  6. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
  7. Wye Oak – Civilian
  8. Veronica Falls – Veronica Falls
  9. I Break Horses – Hearts
  10. Frankie & The Heartstrings – Hunger
  11. Crystal Stilts – In Love With Oblivion
  12. The Horrors – Skying
  13. Dum Dum Girls – Only In Dreams
  14. Wild Beasts – Smother
  15. The Boxer Rebellion – The Cold Still
  16. Cults – Cults
  17. The Kills – Blood Pressures
  18. Summer Camp – Welcome To Condale
  19. The Antlers – Burst Apart
  20. Metronomy – The English Riviera
  21. The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar
  22. Sarabeth Tucek – Get Well Soon
  23. Little Barrie – King Of The Waves
  24. Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
  25. Peggy Sue – Acrobats
  26. Foster The People – Torches
  27. Dutch Uncles – Cadenza
  28. Memory Tapes – Player Piano
  29. Doyle & The Fourfathers – Man Made
  30. Ice Age – New Brigade
  31. Gardens & Villa – Gardens & Villa
  32. Colourmusic – My ______ Is Pink
  33. Swimming – Ecstatics International
  34. Tom Vek – Leisure Seizure
  35. Spectrals – Bad Penny
  36. Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
  37. Slow Club – Paradise
  38. The Vaccines – What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?
  39. The Crookes – Chasing After Ghosts
  40. Wolf People – Steeple
  41. Austra – Feel It Break
  42. Hyde & Beast – Slow Down
  43. Toro Y Moi – Underneath The Pine
  44. Still Corners – Creatures Of An Hour
  45. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Belong
  46. Pete & The Pirates – One Thousand Pictures
  47. Little Dragon – Ritual Union
  48. The Leisure Society – Into The Murky Water
  49. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
  50. Blood Orange – Coastal Grooves
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7 thoughts on “Top 50 albums of 2011

  1. icytunes

    Glad to see Other Lives so high up. Also my #2 album of the year (Josh T Pearson #1), and they were also fantastic live in less than ideal cirumstances, can’t wait to see them on their own tour. They have been my religion this year, and I have tried to convert the heathens, with some success too! Would have Tune-Yards, Thao&Mirah, Son Lux, Royal Bangs, Gotye and perhaps Active Child in my list. I think its been a great year for music, and 2012 is shaping up nicely already too!

    Reply
  2. chopper68

    Geez. I listened to more new music this year than I have done for ages and still haven’t heard half of these bands. Clearly need to tune into your show more often next year. Thanks for the tips on UMO and Colourmusic, will definitely check out Other Lives & Cloud Control.

    Totally agree about PJ too. Mogwai’s my album of the year but PJ was a very close 2nd. Stunning album.

    Reply
  3. simon gort

    Some great choices but a few glaring omissions, Shell.

    St. Vincent—Strange Mercy
    Kate Bush—50 Words for Snow
    King Creosote & Jon Hopkins—Diamond Mine
    TV on the Radio—Nine Types of Light
    Washed Out—Within and Without
    Lanterns on the Lake—Gracious Tide Take Me Home
    Tim Hecker—Ravedeath 1972
    Bon Iver—Bon Iver

    Reply
    1. shellzenner Post author

      Did you not read my disclaimer? I don’t work full time in music or radio and the majority of those I haven’t heard as I can’t afford to buy all the records I don’t get. Also some of your choices are good but not as good, in my view as the albums I’ve listed

      Reply

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