Drowned in Sound's Albums of The Year 2011
Burst Apart deserves all the plaudits that can be thrown at it; albums are rarely as unashamedly, gut-wrenchingly, genuinely emotional as this.
Let England Shake is neither damning, patriotic, nor angry and its gristly lyrics do not dictate the mood.
SERIOUSLY, this record is fucking good, flawless, almost, and hard to stop listening to.
And jolly spectacular it is too, which is never a guarantee
Konkylie is an impressive, accomplished collection of songs from a band coming into their own.
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.
The Rip Tide is neither a sandblasted version of Beirut, nor the band at their most idiosyncratic.
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.
Justin Vernon and his crew have changed things up here for sure, but the results are every bit as beautiful as you might expect.
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.
C’mon is an intriguing, essential addition to their discography, one which might even propel the Minnesotans towards much wider renown.
Not easy, but often fascinating, wholly rewarding and genuinely cathartic.
It’d be reductive to try and describe a timeless album like Smother as a step up from its two predecessors.
This is Willner’s finest record yet, a composition of effortlessly gorgeous, technically fantastic, genuinely awe-inspiring music.
He approaches near perfection by combining complex song structures with simple pop melodies.
Mogwai have released another jumper, but not quite like we know it.
Given time and attention, the detail behind that wave of fuzz soaks through and seduces.
For what The Weeknd have produced, regardless of what genre it is or isn’t, is a very good record.
Skying leaves me perhaps more interested in where they'll go next, than where they are now.
It is unflinchingly honest, sharp and unfiltered.
Biophilia carves out brave new territory for an artist who’s been colonising the fringes of music all her career
With whokill, Merrill Garbus has somehow managed to encompass more ideas into just over 40 minutes than most artists manage in a lifetime.
The mild disappointment of this record can be firmly classed as a first world problem in itself.
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.
Essentially, the only tracks that aren’t commercial radio hits-in-waiting are the ones which already achieved that status.
The Hunter is a pitch for the mainstream - but it doesn’t compromise on Mastodon’s core ambition.
To be disappointed with Watch the Throne is to be disappointed with the rap game in 2011.
Marissa Nadler is a good record with a couple of standout moments within it.
Here these 11 much shorter songs don’t so much buckle under Panda’s voice as become absorbed into it.
It’s challenging yet fairly catchy beneath all the layering. It’s abstract vocally yet painfully direct musically.
Born This Way essentially finds Gaga doing more of the same but with a few new production tricks.
MORE 2011 YEAR END LISTS:
MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM DROWNED IN SOUND: