musicOMH's Top 50 Albums of 2011

Original Source

50. Cut Copy - Zonoscope

Cut Copy - Zonoscope
February 8, 2011
Electropop
Critic Score
75
25 reviews
User Score
79
78 reviews

It's another step nearer the masterpiece this band are increasingly capable of delivering.

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49. The Decemberists - The King is Dead

The Decemberists - The King is Dead
January 18, 2011
Folk Rock
Critic Score
72
26 reviews
User Score
73
48 reviews

48. Patrick Wolf - Lupercalia

Patrick Wolf - Lupercalia
June 20, 2011
Indie Pop
Critic Score
70
17 reviews
User Score
67
5 reviews

It is, all in, absolute genius.

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47. Gillian Welch - The Harrow & The Harvest

Gillian Welch - The Harrow & The Harvest
June 28, 2011
Alt-Country
Critic Score
82
14 reviews
User Score
78
13 reviews

This is one of the most defiantly traditional, non-radical and deceptively simple albums in recent memory.

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46. Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring for My Halo

Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring for My Halo
March 8, 2011
Rock
Critic Score
79
21 reviews
User Score
83
108 reviews

Where past albums touched upon all manners of influences and genres, Smoke Ring For My Halo seems content to plant its flag into barren soil.

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45. Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
February 15, 2011
Post-Rock
Critic Score
74
19 reviews
User Score
80
39 reviews

Mogwai are eager to showcase their new ideas within the first few tracks of this release, eager to prove they are still a band with plenty of fresh concepts.

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44. Zomby - Dedication

Zomby - Dedication
July 12, 2011
Dubstep
Critic Score
78
19 reviews
User Score
78
9 reviews

Dedication is an outstanding example of the possible emotional depth and breadth of electronic music.

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43. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Belong

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Belong
March 29, 2011
Indie Pop
Critic Score
74
21 reviews
User Score
78
49 reviews

42. Austra - Feel It Break

Austra - Feel It Break
May 17, 2011
Electropop
Critic Score
73
15 reviews
User Score
80
33 reviews

41. Nils Frahm - Felt

Nils Frahm - Felt
October 11, 2011
Ambient
Critic Score
82
5 reviews
User Score
83
8 reviews

40. EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints

EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints
May 10, 2011
Experimental
Critic Score
82
21 reviews
User Score
78
71 reviews

39. Cat's Eyes - Cat's Eyes

Cat's Eyes - Cat's Eyes
May 17, 2011
Dream Pop
Critic Score
76
11 reviews
User Score
80
7 reviews

38. Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise

Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise
January 31, 2011
Microhouse
Critic Score
82
14 reviews
User Score
84
124 reviews

37. GusGus - Arabian Horse

GusGus - Arabian Horse
May 10, 2011
Electronic
Critic Score
80
2 reviews
User Score
82
12 reviews

36. Washed Out - Within and Without

Washed Out - Within and Without
July 12, 2011
Chillwave
Critic Score
72
26 reviews
User Score
79
103 reviews

They’ve succeeded in making an album that does well to second-guess its listener, whilst never disowning the sound that first brought Greene to the foreground.

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35. Kanye West & Jay-Z - Watch the Throne

Kanye West & Jay-Z - Watch the Throne
August 8, 2011
Hip Hop
Critic Score
76
23 reviews
User Score
79
171 reviews

The album overall is wholly inconsistent, with weak raps and weak productions poking holes through the greatness that's present.

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34. Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes

Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes
March 1, 2011
Indie Pop
Critic Score
81
23 reviews
User Score
79
91 reviews

At other times, the album works magnificently; more so than anything on her breakthrough debut.

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33. Fucked Up - David Comes to Life

Fucked Up - David Comes to Life
June 7, 2011
Hardcore Punk
Critic Score
84
22 reviews
User Score
80
47 reviews

The hooky riffs and unforgiving pace make it a fantastic rock album in itself.

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32. Azari & III - Azari & III

Azari & III - Azari & III
August 1, 2011
House
Critic Score
75
9 reviews
User Score
79
5 reviews

31. Friendly Fires - Pala

Friendly Fires - Pala
May 24, 2011
Indietronica
Critic Score
76
15 reviews
User Score
74
26 reviews

It seems Pala is Friendly Fires' successful attempt to translate their positivity-injected carnival live performances into a record.

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30. Explosions in the Sky - Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

Explosions in the Sky - Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
April 26, 2011
Post-Rock
Critic Score
77
20 reviews
User Score
75
33 reviews

Individual elements don't feel complex, but their composition is astoundingly swallowing, and there are clever, attentive niblets of sound that add intrigue.

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29. James Blake - James Blake

James Blake - James Blake
February 8, 2011
Art Pop
Critic Score
82
26 reviews
User Score
85
346 reviews

This album will inevitably disappoint those who had their hopes pinned on Blake producing the definitive instrumental dubstep masterpiece.

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28. Beirut - The Rip Tide

Beirut - The Rip Tide
August 30, 2011
Indie Folk
Critic Score
77
21 reviews
User Score
79
60 reviews

This is the most consistently impressive Beirut record yet.

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27. I Break Horses - Hearts

I Break Horses - Hearts
August 23, 2011
Shoegaze
Critic Score
72
14 reviews
User Score
79
11 reviews

26. Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat - Everything's Getting Older

Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat - Everything's Getting Older
May 23, 2011
Jazz
Critic Score
74
8 reviews
User Score
NR

25. Ghostpoet - Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam

Ghostpoet - Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam
March 8, 2011
Hip Hop
Critic Score
80
3 reviews
User Score
77
5 reviews

24. TV on the Radio - Nine Types of Light

TV on the Radio - Nine Types of Light
April 12, 2011
Experimental Rock
Critic Score
81
22 reviews
User Score
79
82 reviews

Each listen reveals another layer, and the album wears incredibly well over obsessive revisiting.

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23. Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean

Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean
January 25, 2011
Folk
Critic Score
79
24 reviews
User Score
76
41 reviews

Some of the experiments here may work better than others in the long term, but it is far better that Beam is an artist prepared to take risks.

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22. Arctic Monkeys - Suck It and See

Arctic Monkeys - Suck It and See
June 7, 2011
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
75
24 reviews
User Score
74
160 reviews

This is another intriguing evolution for one of the country's great bands, and a shot in the arm for Britain's rather moribund 'indie guitar' scene.

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21. A Winged Victory for the Sullen - A Winged Victory for the Sullen

A Winged Victory for the Sullen - A Winged Victory for the Sullen
September 13, 2011
Ambient
Critic Score
79
6 reviews
User Score
85
14 reviews

20. Anna Calvi - Anna Calvi

Anna Calvi - Anna Calvi
March 1, 2011
Indie Pop
Critic Score
78
13 reviews
User Score
79
24 reviews

19. Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx - We're New Here

Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx - We're New Here
February 22, 2011
Dubstep
Critic Score
80
21 reviews
User Score
81
50 reviews

17. Slow Club - Paradise

Slow Club - Paradise
September 13, 2011
Indie Pop
Critic Score
78
13 reviews
User Score
76
10 reviews

16. Elbow - Build a Rocket Boys!

Elbow - Build a Rocket Boys!
April 12, 2011
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
79
17 reviews
User Score
75
28 reviews

They've recorded another Elbow album, full of quiet introspection, subtly life-affirming melodies and the usual brilliant lyrical sketches of Northern life.

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16. Kate Bush - 50 Words for Snow

Kate Bush - 50 Words for Snow
November 21, 2011
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
84
23 reviews
User Score
79
39 reviews

It’s absorbing and enchanting without having to resort to formulaic song structures, pop thrills or radio-friendly catchiness.

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15. Little Dragon - Ritual Union

Little Dragon - Ritual Union
July 26, 2011
Electropop
Critic Score
70
19 reviews
User Score
76
24 reviews

14. SBTRKT - SBTRKT

SBTRKT - SBTRKT
June 28, 2011
Dubstep
Critic Score
76
15 reviews
User Score
81
105 reviews

In the space of just over half an hour it has been possible to experience a full gamut of feelings, our sympathies firmly siding with our nameless host.

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13. Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972

Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972
February 15, 2011
Drone
Critic Score
85
14 reviews
User Score
85
85 reviews

It's certainly among his most concentrated and well crafted works - the best since Harmony In Ultraviolet and arguably the most successful of them all.

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12. Radiohead - The King of Limbs

Radiohead - The King of Limbs
February 19, 2011
Experimental Rock
Critic Score
77
28 reviews
User Score
79
340 reviews

King Of Limbs is a subtle, muti-layered affair - surprisingly low-key in places, and it certainly won't win back any fans who checked out in the late '90s.

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11. Summer Camp - Welcome to Condale

Summer Camp - Welcome to Condale
November 8, 2011
Indie Pop
Critic Score
72
15 reviews
User Score
73
8 reviews

10. King Creosote & Jon Hopkins - Diamond Mine

King Creosote & Jon Hopkins - Diamond Mine
May 23, 2011
Folk
Critic Score
83
8 reviews
User Score
81
9 reviews

9. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy

St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
September 13, 2011
Indie Pop
Critic Score
87
27 reviews
User Score
85
271 reviews

It may not be leaps and bounds ahead of previous St Vincent releases, but this is a rich and multi-faceted album to pay close attention to.

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8. Björk - Biophilia

Björk - Biophilia
October 11, 2011
Art Pop
Critic Score
78
23 reviews
User Score
76
108 reviews

There is a sense of individuality in its thematic concerns and in its use of specially constructed instruments, but in essence it feels like a synthesis of Björk’s work thus far (albeit a brilliant one).

Full Review →

7. The Horrors - Skying

The Horrors - Skying
July 26, 2011
Neo-Psychedelia
Critic Score
81
25 reviews
User Score
82
80 reviews

Skying has a new swagger and panache, but it also possesses that lightness of touch which was first audible in Primary Colours.

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6. The Antlers - Burst Apart

The Antlers - Burst Apart
May 10, 2011
Indie Rock
Critic Score
81
23 reviews
User Score
81
141 reviews

5. Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver
June 21, 2011
Indie Folk
Critic Score
85
27 reviews
User Score
86
439 reviews

Those who approach Bon Iver with open minds and open ears will with repeated listens find that Vernon has not strayed too far from his original raison d'etre.

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4. tUnE-yArDs - w h o k i l l

tUnE-yArDs - w h o k i l l
April 19, 2011
Experimental
Critic Score
85
25 reviews
User Score
83
148 reviews

There's an energy and atmosphere to w h o k i l l which seems to just pour off the record.

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3. Wild Beasts - Smother

Wild Beasts - Smother
May 10, 2011
Indie Rock
Critic Score
81
22 reviews
User Score
82
84 reviews

Smother is touching and majestic, a surprise of juxtaposition that is at once both plaintive and emotional, strident and libidinous.

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2. Metronomy - The English Riviera

Metronomy - The English Riviera
April 12, 2011
Electronic
Critic Score
76
14 reviews
User Score
80
104 reviews

1. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
February 15, 2011
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
89
27 reviews
User Score
86
231 reviews

Loose and sparse as it is, Let England Shake serves much the same function, lingering in the mind long after its engrossing runtime.

Full Review →
Original Source: http://www.musicomh.com/features/lists/musicomhs-top-50-albums-of-2011-complete-list

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