No Ripcord's Top 50 Albums of 2011

No Ripcord's Top 50 Albums of 2011

Original Source

50. Rustie - Glass Swords

Rustie - Glass Swords
October 11, 2011
Electronic
Critic Score
85
10 reviews
User Score
79
45 reviews

49. Laura Marling - A Creature I Don't Know

Laura Marling - A Creature I Don't Know
September 13, 2011
Folk
Critic Score
79
18 reviews
User Score
80
26 reviews

48. Tyler, the Creator - Goblin

Tyler, the Creator - Goblin
May 10, 2011
Hip Hop
Critic Score
73
25 reviews
User Score
73
98 reviews

This is mostly clever, intelligently designed rap, intended to give a greater conceptual sense than mere boasts and anecdotes, which is something too often unseen these days.

Full Review

47. John Maus - We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves

John Maus - We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
June 28, 2011
Experimental
Critic Score
75
16 reviews
User Score
81
45 reviews

46. Zomby - Dedication

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

Dedication seems like a bit of a missed opportunity; as collection of ideas it may be incredible, but as an album it's just insubstantial.

Full Review

45. Foo Fighters - Wasting Light

Foo Fighters - Wasting Light
April 12, 2011
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
75
21 reviews
User Score
77
70 reviews

Catchy choruses remain, arpeggios hardly make an appearance in favor of volatile hooks, and quiet-loud dynamics are still the norm.

Full Review

44. Beirut - The Rip Tide

Beirut - The Rip Tide
August 30, 2011
Indie Folk
Critic Score
77
21 reviews
User Score
80
58 reviews

43. 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
80
160 reviews

42. Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde

Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde
January 18, 2011
Indie Rock
Critic Score
82
21 reviews
User Score
80
48 reviews

This features Smith Westerns focusing in on the things that really succeeded the first time around, then fixes up that with some more of their songwriting style.

Full Review

41. Tennis - Cape Dory

Tennis - Cape Dory
January 18, 2011
Indie Pop
Critic Score
72
18 reviews
User Score
70
20 reviews

For a brief thirty minutes, Riley and Moore opt to share a reliable set of savory pop nostalgia.

Full Review

40. Washed Out - Within and Without

Washed Out - Within and Without
July 12, 2011
Chillwave
Critic Score
72
26 reviews
User Score
80
98 reviews

It’s just flat out dull, and sounds worn out in 2011.

Full Review

39. Friendly Fires - Pala

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

38. Death Grips - Exmilitary

Death Grips - Exmilitary
April 26, 2011
Hip Hop
Critic Score
78
5 reviews
User Score
84
145 reviews

37. Arctic Monkeys - Suck It and See

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

The Arctic Monkeys of 2011 have produced, probably by a significant margin, the best British Rock 'n' Roll album you will hear this year.

Full Review

36. Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean

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

It showcases a more than self-sufficient songwriter who prefers to discover the fruits of collaboration.

Full Review

35. Cults - Cults

Cults - Cults
June 7, 2011
Indie Pop
Critic Score
76
19 reviews
User Score
77
70 reviews

34. Radiohead - The King of Limbs

Radiohead - The King of Limbs
February 19, 2011
Experimental Rock
Critic Score
77
28 reviews
User Score
78
315 reviews

It’s largely cerebral music to appreciate rather than adore; music for the head rather than for the heart or feet. Sadly, The King of Limbs – while a brave side-step – is a case of style over substance.

Full Review

33. The Mountain Goats - All Eternals Deck

The Mountain Goats - All Eternals Deck
March 29, 2011
Indie Rock
Critic Score
79
21 reviews
User Score
79
17 reviews

This album is hard work, but, inch by wretched inch, it becomes worthwhile.

Full Review

32. Deerhoof - Deerhoof vs. Evil

Deerhoof - Deerhoof vs. Evil
January 25, 2011
Experimental
Critic Score
75
18 reviews
User Score
80
12 reviews

31. Battles - Gloss Drop

Battles - Gloss Drop
June 7, 2011
Experimental Rock
Critic Score
77
27 reviews
User Score
80
59 reviews

30. The Horrors - Skying

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

With Skying, The Horrors continue to explore familiar territory whilst refining their idiosyncratic slant like proficient tastemakers.

Full Review

29. Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes

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

In moving firmly away from the happier pop tone of her debut Lykke Li has nonetheless made a better record.

Full Review

28. 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

This is perhaps his most beautiful work to date; its vulgarity is restrained but a sense of humour remains, and Wells and Moffat reach new emotional heights.

Full Review

27. Elbow - Build a Rocket Boys!

Elbow - Build a Rocket Boys!
April 12, 2011
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
79
17 reviews
User Score
77
27 reviews

It is not the finest album that Elbow have made but, I suspect, it is one that ‘everyone and everyone’s mum’ will be glad they did.

Full Review

26. Wilco - The Whole Love

Wilco - The Whole Love
September 27, 2011
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
80
26 reviews
User Score
78
52 reviews

The Whole Love is precisely an answer to those who relegate the kind of music Wilco makes as old-timey.

Full Review

25. Shabazz Palaces - Black Up

Shabazz Palaces - Black Up
June 28, 2011
Hip Hop
Critic Score
85
20 reviews
User Score
85
127 reviews

It’s fresh and idiosyncratic, compellingly cryptic, but it’s difficult to pinpoint the effect it has on the listener.

Full Review

24. The Weeknd - House of Balloons

The Weeknd - House of Balloons
March 21, 2011
R&B
Critic Score
83
14 reviews
User Score
84
162 reviews

He commands the mood better than artists who have been in the game for years and yet this his first release.

Full Review

23. Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972

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

The record is awash with the feeling of isolation and teaming with crushing amplified annihilation.

Full Review

22. Wild Beasts - Smother

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

Smother is an exercise in moderation, trying to find the precise balance between audacious beauty and emotional intelligence.

Full Review

21. Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise

Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise
January 31, 2011
Microhouse
Critic Score
82
14 reviews
User Score
85
114 reviews

20. Kate Bush - 50 Words for Snow

Kate Bush - 50 Words for Snow
November 21, 2011
Singer-Songwriter
Critic Score
84
23 reviews
User Score
80
36 reviews

If every song here had been of the same standard as the opening suite of three, and the final two, 50 Words For Snow would have been an all-time classic

Full Review

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
80
46 reviews

18. Feist - Metals

Feist - Metals
October 4, 2011
Indie Pop
Critic Score
79
21 reviews
User Score
79
64 reviews

As much as an album can be, it's pretty damn close to being flawless; not only matching the quality of The Reminder but actually bettering it.

Full Review

17. Tom Waits - Bad as Me

Tom Waits - Bad as Me
October 25, 2011
Blues
Critic Score
84
23 reviews
User Score
83
43 reviews

Bad As Me is contained and precise with each of its 13 songs hitting its target full on.

Full Review

16. The Antlers - Burst Apart

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

Burst Apart is a passable follow-up to an incredible record, but that’s all it is. Passable.

Full Review

15. Los Campesinos! - Hello Sadness

Los Campesinos! - Hello Sadness
November 15, 2011
Indie Pop
Critic Score
76
22 reviews
User Score
77
21 reviews

14. The War on Drugs - Slave Ambient

The War on Drugs - Slave Ambient
August 16, 2011
Indie Rock
Critic Score
79
21 reviews
User Score
80
66 reviews

Vile may get all the end-of-year glory, but his comrade’s first full-length effort is just as laudable and commendable.

Full Review

13. Destroyer - Kaputt

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

This is a solid album with some great ideas, and when it’s given the attention it really deserves, those qualities come out in droves.

Full Review

12. M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
October 18, 2011
Dream Pop
Critic Score
78
29 reviews
User Score
83
237 reviews

It’s a sweeping, expansive album, that covers a lot of ground and leaves the listener satisfied.

Full Review

11. Real Estate - Days

Real Estate - Days
October 18, 2011
Indie Rock
Critic Score
75
21 reviews
User Score
83
150 reviews

The air of careful conception surrounding Days is one of its most unmistakable and undeniable characteristics.

Full Review

10. Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost

Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost
September 13, 2011
Indie Pop
Critic Score
83
22 reviews
User Score
84
150 reviews

9. Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact

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

An album that plays like a voyage or single composition, taking twists and turns within gloriously maze-like arrangements.

Full Review

8. Katy B - On a Mission

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

On A Mission deftly mines non-commercial genres and repackages them for crossover success.

Full Review

7. 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
105 reviews

John Agnello has helped Vile to refine his lo-fi aesthetic and at times Smoke Ring For My Halo sounds nothing short of stunning.

Full Review

6. 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
417 reviews

Bon Iver embarks on a sustainable new direction for the band and is evidence of a successful transition from one-off wonder to durable outfit.

Full Review

5. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy

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

4. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
May 3, 2011
Indie Folk
Critic Score
84
26 reviews
User Score
85
264 reviews

Helplessness Blues is a cosmic, bombastic record, undaunted and ready to expose itself on every corner with a whole lot of heart.

Full Review

3. James Blake - James Blake

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

James Blake is an astonishing record, an early contender for album of the year and could well change the face of popular music.

Full Review

2. 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
141 reviews

It’s a massive improvement from her last album, yet it never sacrifices any of her style.

Full Review

1. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
February 15, 2011
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
89
27 reviews
User Score
86
225 reviews
Original Source: http://www.noripcord.com/features/top-50-albums-2011-part-one

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Check out our 2011 Year End Summary.