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Top Ten Records Of 2011

Added on by Jay Bond.

Tougher to do this year than last.  Many great records in 2011.  Two bands cracked the Top Ten for their second year in a row.  And not just on my list but many others...hard to do.

This is based, for me, not only on overall quality but listenability - is it good from beginning to end and is it getting a lot of play.

Strong Honourable Mentions (If the list was Top Fifteen):

15. Gregg Allman - Low Country Blues (Blues)

First recording in 14 years.  Great blues album.

14. Unpersons - The Pack A.D.  (Garage-punk)

Fourth record from Vancouver duo.  Getting better each time out.

13. The Bright Lights EP - Gary Clark Jr.  (Blues)

I know it's only an EP but it leaves me wondering how good the full release next year will be.  Tasty guitar licks.

12. Bon Iver - Bon Iver (Alternative / Indie-Folk)

Solid.  But in my opinion it's just lacking in listenability and not worthy of the all the critical hype to crack the Top Ten.

11. Go With Me - Seapony (Indie-Pop / Low-Fi)

Don't know where I found this but it's getting a lot of plays.  Female vocals, reminds me of 80s brit-pop.  Name...Lame.


Top Ten

10. Within And Without - Washed Out (Chillwave)

Synthy, electronic, easy-listening nonsense.  Perhaps, some might say.  But it's getting a lot of plays.

9. King Of Limbs - Radiohead (Alternative / Rock)

Not their best work but worth inching into my list.

8. No Time For Dreaming - Charles Bradley & Menahan Street Band (Soul)

Um, listen to it.

7. Morning Comes - Cuff The Duke (Alt-Country / Indie / Rock) 

Been following CTD since their first record and they're only getting better.  Little less exprimental on this and more traditional alt-country but the musicianship is fantastic.

6. Metals - Feist (Alternative / Folk / Indie)

Solid, diverse.  

5. Undun - The Roots (Funk / Hip Hop / Soul)

Bam! Great listen.

4. Bad As Me - Tom Waits (Singer-Songwriter / Experimental)

Really strong record.

3. Circuital - My Morning Jacket (Acoustic / Indie / Rock)

Top to bottom, love listening to this.

2. The Whole Love - Wilco (Acoustic / Alternative / Rock)

Complete toss-up between #1 and #2 this year.  This could easily be my number one.  Very diverse record with great sound to it.  Guitar work is second to none...well, one.

1. El Camino - The Black Keys (Alternative / Blues / Rock)

The hype is now huge for this band but each time out the music is top-drawer.  For me just the most listenable record of the year.