Drowned in Sound's Albums of The Year 2011

Drowned in Sound's Albums of The Year 2011

Original Source

50. 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

49. Lady Gaga - Born This Way

Lady Gaga - Born This Way
May 23, 2011
Pop
Critic Score
71
20 reviews
User Score
68
132 reviews

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

Full Review →

48. Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact

Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact
May 10, 2011
Experimental Rock
Critic Score
82
23 reviews
User Score
80
48 reviews

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

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47. Tori Amos - Night of Hunters

Tori Amos - Night of Hunters
September 20, 2011
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
72
9 reviews
User Score
75
8 reviews

46. David Lynch - Crazy Clown Time

David Lynch - Crazy Clown Time
November 8, 2011
Experimental
Critic Score
66
22 reviews
User Score
73
9 reviews

45. New Look - New Look

New Look - New Look
October 18, 2011
Electropop
Critic Score
78
5 reviews
User Score
NR
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.
Full Review →

44. Panda Bear - Tomboy

Panda Bear - Tomboy
April 12, 2011
Psychedelic Pop
Critic Score
80
23 reviews
User Score
81
117 reviews

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

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43. Marissa Nadler - Marissa Nadler

Marissa Nadler - Marissa Nadler
June 14, 2011
Folk
Critic Score
79
14 reviews
User Score
80
9 reviews

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

Full Review →

42. 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

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

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41. James Ferraro - Far Side Virtual

James Ferraro - Far Side Virtual
October 25, 2011
Drone
Critic Score
73
6 reviews
User Score
79
9 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.
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40. Mastodon - The Hunter

Mastodon - The Hunter
September 27, 2011
Progressive Metal
Critic Score
80
20 reviews
User Score
77
43 reviews

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

Full Review →

39. Walls - Coracle

Walls - Coracle
September 27, 2011
Ambient
Critic Score
74
8 reviews
User Score
83
1 review

38. Katy B - On a Mission

Katy B - On a Mission
April 5, 2011
Dance Pop
Critic Score
80
20 reviews
User Score
78
41 reviews

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

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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
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
75
15 reviews
User Score
70
7 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.

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36. 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

35. Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes

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

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

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34. My Brightest Diamond - All Things Will Unwind

My Brightest Diamond - All Things Will Unwind
October 18, 2011
Indie Rock
Critic Score
75
9 reviews
User Score
74
6 reviews

33. 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

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

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32. 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

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.

Full Review →

31. Frank Ocean - Nostalgia, Ultra.

Frank Ocean - Nostalgia, Ultra.
February 18, 2011
R&B
Critic Score
75
6 reviews
User Score
80
119 reviews

30. Björk - Biophilia

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

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

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

Josh T. Pearson - Last of the Country Gentlemen
March 29, 2011
Folk
Critic Score
76
14 reviews
User Score
81
3 reviews

It is unflinchingly honest, sharp and unfiltered.

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28. The Horrors - Skying

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

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

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27. The Weeknd - House of Balloons

The Weeknd - House of Balloons
March 21, 2011
R&B
Critic Score
83
14 reviews
User Score
85
175 reviews

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

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26. 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

25. The War on Drugs - Slave Ambient

The War on Drugs - Slave Ambient
August 16, 2011
Indie Rock
Critic Score
79
21 reviews
User Score
79
69 reviews

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

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24. Austra - Feel It Break

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

23. I Break Horses - Hearts

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

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

Full Review →

21. Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges

Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
February 22, 2011
Experimental
Critic Score
81
5 reviews
User Score
81
32 reviews

20. Destroyer - Kaputt

Destroyer - Kaputt
January 25, 2011
Indie Pop
Critic Score
85
23 reviews
User Score
85
205 reviews

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

Full Review →

19. The Field - Looping State of Mind

The Field - Looping State of Mind
October 11, 2011
Electronic
Critic Score
80
20 reviews
User Score
81
34 reviews

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

Full Review →

18. 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

17. Wild Beasts - Smother

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

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

Full Review →

16. 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

15. EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints

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

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

Full Review →

14. Low - C'mon

Low - C'mon
April 12, 2011
Indie Rock
Critic Score
81
18 reviews
User Score
81
10 reviews

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

Full Review →

13. Tom Waits - Bad as Me

Tom Waits - Bad as Me
October 25, 2011
Blues
Critic Score
84
24 reviews
User Score
82
46 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.

Full Review →

12. Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver
June 21, 2011
Indie Folk
Critic Score
85
27 reviews
User Score
87
437 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.

Full Review →

11. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy

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

Full Review →

10. Metronomy - The English Riviera

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

9. Beirut - The Rip Tide

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

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

Full Review →

8. Bright Eyes - The People's Key

Bright Eyes - The People's Key
February 15, 2011
Folk
Critic Score
67
24 reviews
User Score
68
27 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.

Full Review →

7. Nils Frahm - Felt

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

6. When Saints Go Machine - Konkylie

When Saints Go Machine - Konkylie
June 21, 2011
Electropop
Critic Score
80
6 reviews
User Score
83
6 reviews

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

Full Review →

5. 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

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

Full Review →

4. SBTRKT - SBTRKT

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

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

Full Review →

3. 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

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

Full Review →

2. Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972

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

1. The Antlers - Burst Apart

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

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

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

MORE 2011 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM DROWNED IN SOUND:


Check out our 2011 Year End Summary.