Drowned in Sound's Albums of The Year 2011

Drowned in Sound's Albums of The Year 2011

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49. Lady Gaga - Born This Way

May 23, 2011
Critic Score
71
20 reviews

Born This Way essentially finds Gaga doing more of the same but with a few new production tricks.

48. Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact

May 10, 2011
Critic Score
82
23 reviews

It’s challenging yet fairly catchy beneath all the layering. It’s abstract vocally yet painfully direct musically.

47. Tori Amos - Night of Hunters

Tori Amos - Night of Hunters
September 20, 2011
Critic Score
72
10 reviews

46. David Lynch - Crazy Clown Time

David Lynch - Crazy Clown Time
November 8, 2011
Critic Score
65
25 reviews

45. New Look - New Look

New Look - New Look
October 18, 2011
Critic Score
78
5 reviews
Fascinatingly and thankfully, they’ve grasped that the elegant sound we all need to hear right now, is one that gives us space to punctuate our thoughts and the result is pure bliss. Easily one of 2011’s finest releases.

44. Panda Bear - Tomboy

April 12, 2011
Critic Score
79
24 reviews

Here these 11 much shorter songs don’t so much buckle under Panda’s voice as become absorbed into it.

43. Marissa Nadler - Marissa Nadler

June 14, 2011
Critic Score
79
14 reviews

Marissa Nadler is a good record with a couple of standout moments within it.

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

August 8, 2011
Critic Score
74
26 reviews

To be disappointed with Watch the Throne is to be disappointed with the rap game in 2011.

41. James Ferraro - Far Side Virtual

October 25, 2011
Critic Score
73
6 reviews
There’s a lot to admire about James Ferraro, and for better or worse there’s no-one really like him in modern underground music, but you need to be cool with the possibility that you’re getting pranked.

40. Mastodon - The Hunter

September 27, 2011
Critic Score
79
21 reviews

The Hunter is a pitch for the mainstream - but it doesn’t compromise on Mastodon’s core ambition.

39. Walls - Coracle

September 27, 2011
Critic Score
75
9 reviews

38. Katy B - On a Mission

April 5, 2011
Critic Score
79
21 reviews

Essentially, the only tracks that aren’t commercial radio hits-in-waiting are the ones which already achieved that status.

37. ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - Tao of the Dead

...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - Tao of the Dead
February 8, 2011
Critic Score
75
15 reviews

Tao Of The Dead is Trail Of Dead taking the strengths and hallmarks of their 17 year career into one beautifully orchestrated concept and returning back to form.

35. Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes

March 1, 2011
Critic Score
79
26 reviews

The mild disappointment of this record can be firmly classed as a first world problem in itself.

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

April 19, 2011
Critic Score
85
26 reviews

With whokill, Merrill Garbus has somehow managed to encompass more ideas into just over 40 minutes than most artists manage in a lifetime.

32. Radiohead - The King of Limbs

February 19, 2011
Critic Score
77
31 reviews

The King of Limbs definitely represents new ground for Radiohead in its cohesiveness and its unnerving, stifling mood. For these reasons alone, it is a good album.

31. Frank Ocean - Nostalgia, Ultra.

February 18, 2011
Critic Score
75
6 reviews

30. Björk - Biophilia

October 11, 2011
Critic Score
79
24 reviews

Biophilia carves out brave new territory for an artist who’s been colonising the fringes of music all her career

29. Josh T. Pearson - Last of the Country Gentlemen

March 29, 2011
Critic Score
75
15 reviews

It is unflinchingly honest, sharp and unfiltered.

28. The Horrors - Skying

July 26, 2011
Critic Score
81
27 reviews

Skying leaves me perhaps more interested in where they'll go next, than where they are now.

27. The Weeknd - House of Balloons

March 21, 2011
Critic Score
80
15 reviews

For what The Weeknd have produced, regardless of what genre it is or isn’t, is a very good record.

25. The War on Drugs - Slave Ambient

August 16, 2011
Critic Score
78
24 reviews

Given time and attention, the detail behind that wave of fuzz soaks through and seduces.

23. I Break Horses - Hearts

August 23, 2011
Critic Score
72
14 reviews

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

February 15, 2011
Critic Score
75
22 reviews

Mogwai have released another jumper, but not quite like we know it.

20. Destroyer - Kaputt

January 25, 2011
Critic Score
85
25 reviews

He approaches near perfection by combining complex song structures with simple pop melodies.

19. The Field - Looping State of Mind

October 11, 2011
Critic Score
80
22 reviews

This is Willner’s finest record yet, a composition of effortlessly gorgeous, technically fantastic, genuinely awe-inspiring music.

17. Wild Beasts - Smother

May 10, 2011
Critic Score
81
25 reviews

It’d be reductive to try and describe a timeless album like Smother as a step up from its two predecessors.

15. EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints

May 10, 2011
Critic Score
82
23 reviews

Not easy, but often fascinating, wholly rewarding and genuinely cathartic.

14. Low - C'mon

April 12, 2011
Critic Score
81
18 reviews

C’mon is an intriguing, essential addition to their discography, one which might even propel the Minnesotans towards much wider renown.

13. Tom Waits - Bad as Me

October 25, 2011
Critic Score
85
28 reviews

Bad As Me sees the performer reaching back into his bag of tricks to pull out a few favourites in a characteristically exhilarating, terrifying, heartbreaking, tear jerking, bone-rattling style.

12. Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver

June 21, 2011
Critic Score
84
30 reviews

Justin Vernon and his crew have changed things up here for sure, but the results are every bit as beautiful as you might expect.

11. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy

September 13, 2011
Critic Score
88
29 reviews

This is an album that rockets toward you, ricochets through your emotions and finally decides to lay you down on the floor, headphones on, tumbling around like a blissed-out cat in the sun.

9. Beirut - The Rip Tide

August 30, 2011
Critic Score
77
22 reviews

The Rip Tide is neither a sandblasted version of Beirut, nor the band at their most idiosyncratic.

8. Bright Eyes - The People's Key

February 15, 2011
Critic Score
67
25 reviews

A collection of fleet, shimmering pop songs; a master-class in sonic splendour; a bold, beautiful and brilliant reinvention that should surprise as many as it will enthrall.

7. Nils Frahm - Felt

October 11, 2011
Critic Score
85
7 reviews
Nils Frahm is clearly a prestigious talent and this is a remarkable tumble through the sounds and shapes of his imagination.

6. When Saints Go Machine - Konkylie

June 21, 2011
Critic Score
80
6 reviews

Konkylie is an impressive, accomplished collection of songs from a band coming into their own.

5. Kate Bush - 50 Words for Snow

November 21, 2011
Critic Score
84
26 reviews

And jolly spectacular it is too, which is never a guarantee

4. SBTRKT - SBTRKT

June 28, 2011
Critic Score
77
17 reviews

SERIOUSLY, this record is fucking good, flawless, almost, and hard to stop listening to.

3. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

February 15, 2011
Critic Score
89
30 reviews

Let England Shake is neither damning, patriotic, nor angry and its gristly lyrics do not dictate the mood.

2. Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972

February 15, 2011
Critic Score
85
15 reviews

1. The Antlers - Burst Apart

May 10, 2011
Critic Score
80
25 reviews

Burst Apart deserves all the plaudits that can be thrown at it; albums are rarely as unashamedly, gut-wrenchingly, genuinely emotional as this.

Original Source: http://drownedinsound.com/in_depth/4144253-drowned-in-sounds-albums-of-the-year--5-1
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