No Ripcord's Top 50 Albums of 2011



LIST SUMMARY
VIEW ORIGINAL LIST

List Rating: 81
Based on 583 album ratings

Genre Breakdown:
Indie Pop (8), Indie Rock (6), Alternative Rock (5), Hip Hop (4), Dubstep (4), Experimental (3), Indie Folk (3), Experimental Rock (3), Art Pop (2), Folk (2), Singer-Songwriter (2), Rock (1), Electronic (1), Chillwave (1), Blues (1), Neo-Psychedelia (1), Drone (1), Indietronica (1), Post-Punk (1), Dance Pop (1), Alternative Dance (1), Jazz (1), R&B (1), Dream Pop (1), Synthpop (1)

1. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
February 15, 2011
Alternative Rock
CRITIC SCORE
89
22 reviews
USER SCORE
87

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
86
20 reviews
USER SCORE
84

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


3. James Blake - James Blake

James Blake - James Blake
February 8, 2011
Dubstep
CRITIC SCORE
85
20 reviews
USER SCORE
86

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


4. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
May 3, 2011
Indie Folk
CRITIC SCORE
87
20 reviews
USER SCORE
86

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


5. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy

St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
September 13, 2011
Indie Pop
CRITIC SCORE
89
21 reviews
USER SCORE
86

6. Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver
June 21, 2011
Indie Folk
CRITIC SCORE
84
20 reviews
USER SCORE
88

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.


7. Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring for My Halo

Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring for My Halo
March 8, 2011
Rock
CRITIC SCORE
80
15 reviews
USER SCORE
83

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


8. Katy B - On a Mission

Katy B - On a Mission
April 5, 2011
Dance Pop
CRITIC SCORE
80
15 reviews
USER SCORE
79

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


9. Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact

Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact
May 10, 2011
Experimental Rock
CRITIC SCORE
83
19 reviews
USER SCORE
79

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


10. Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost

Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost
September 13, 2011
Indie Pop
CRITIC SCORE
84
19 reviews
USER SCORE
82

11. Real Estate - Days

Real Estate - Days
October 18, 2011
Indie Rock
CRITIC SCORE
79
12 reviews
USER SCORE
83

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


12. M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
October 18, 2011
Dream Pop
CRITIC SCORE
77
16 reviews
USER SCORE
83

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


13. Destroyer - Kaputt

Destroyer - Kaputt
January 25, 2011
Indie Pop
CRITIC SCORE
86
19 reviews
USER SCORE
84

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.


14. The War on Drugs - Slave Ambient

The War on Drugs - Slave Ambient
August 16, 2011
Indie Rock
CRITIC SCORE
82
13 reviews
USER SCORE
80

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


15. Los Campesinos! - Hello Sadness

Los Campesinos! - Hello Sadness
November 15, 2011
Indie Pop
CRITIC SCORE
79
16 reviews
USER SCORE
78

16. The Antlers - Burst Apart

The Antlers - Burst Apart
May 10, 2011
Indie Rock
CRITIC SCORE
84
20 reviews
USER SCORE
82

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


17. Tom Waits - Bad as Me

Tom Waits - Bad as Me
October 25, 2011
Blues
CRITIC SCORE
85
19 reviews
USER SCORE
83

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


18. Feist - Metals

Feist - Metals
October 4, 2011
Indie Pop
CRITIC SCORE
79
15 reviews
USER SCORE
80

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.


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
81
14 reviews
USER SCORE
82

20. Kate Bush - 50 Words for Snow

Kate Bush - 50 Words for Snow
November 21, 2011
Singer-Songwriter
CRITIC SCORE
84
16 reviews
USER SCORE
79

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


21. Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise

Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise
January 31, 2011
Electronic
CRITIC SCORE
82
11 reviews
USER SCORE
85

22. Wild Beasts - Smother

Wild Beasts - Smother
May 10, 2011
Indie Rock
CRITIC SCORE
81
18 reviews
USER SCORE
83

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


23. Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972

Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972
February 15, 2011
Drone
CRITIC SCORE
87
13 reviews
USER SCORE
85

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


24. The Weeknd - House of Balloons

The Weeknd - House of Balloons
March 21, 2011
R&B
CRITIC SCORE
84
14 reviews
USER SCORE
87

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


25. Shabazz Palaces - Black Up

Shabazz Palaces - Black Up
June 28, 2011
Hip Hop
CRITIC SCORE
88
14 reviews
USER SCORE
86

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


26. Wilco - The Whole Love

Wilco - The Whole Love
September 27, 2011
Alternative Rock
CRITIC SCORE
79
16 reviews
USER SCORE
76

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


27. Elbow - Build a Rocket Boys!

Elbow - Build a Rocket Boys!
April 12, 2011
Alternative Rock
CRITIC SCORE
79
13 reviews
USER SCORE
80

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.


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

Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat - Everything's Getting Older
May 23, 2011
Jazz
CRITIC SCORE
76
7 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.


29. Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes

Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes
March 1, 2011
Indie Pop
CRITIC SCORE
82
15 reviews
USER SCORE
81

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


30. The Horrors - Skying

The Horrors - Skying
July 26, 2011
Neo-Psychedelia
CRITIC SCORE
84
20 reviews
USER SCORE
83

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


31. Battles - Gloss Drop

Battles - Gloss Drop
June 7, 2011
Experimental Rock
CRITIC SCORE
77
16 reviews
USER SCORE
80

32. Deerhoof - Deerhoof vs. Evil

Deerhoof - Deerhoof vs. Evil
January 25, 2011
Experimental
CRITIC SCORE
75
15 reviews
USER SCORE
81

33. The Mountain Goats - All Eternals Deck

The Mountain Goats - All Eternals Deck
March 29, 2011
Indie Rock
CRITIC SCORE
81
16 reviews
USER SCORE
82

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


34. Radiohead - The King of Limbs

Radiohead - The King of Limbs
February 19, 2011
Experimental Rock
CRITIC SCORE
81
17 reviews
USER SCORE
80

35. Cults - Cults

Cults - Cults
June 7, 2011
Indie Pop
CRITIC SCORE
77
15 reviews
USER SCORE
76

36. Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean

Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean
January 25, 2011
Folk
CRITIC SCORE
79
16 reviews
USER SCORE
79

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


37. Arctic Monkeys - Suck It and See

Arctic Monkeys - Suck It and See
June 7, 2011
Alternative Rock
CRITIC SCORE
77
17 reviews
USER SCORE
77

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


38. Death Grips - Exmilitary

Death Grips - Exmilitary
April 26, 2011
Hip Hop
CRITIC SCORE
78
4 reviews
USER SCORE
84

39. Friendly Fires - Pala

Friendly Fires - Pala
May 24, 2011
Indietronica
CRITIC SCORE
78
11 reviews
USER SCORE
76

40. Washed Out - Within and Without

Washed Out - Within and Without
July 12, 2011
Chillwave
CRITIC SCORE
71
16 reviews
USER SCORE
80

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


41. Tennis - Cape Dory

Tennis - Cape Dory
January 18, 2011
Indie Pop
CRITIC SCORE
75
15 reviews
USER SCORE
69

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


42. Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde

Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde
January 18, 2011
Indie Rock
CRITIC SCORE
83
18 reviews
USER SCORE
80

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.


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

Kanye West & Jay-Z - Watch the Throne
August 8, 2011
Hip Hop
CRITIC SCORE
79
15 reviews
USER SCORE
78

44. Beirut - The Rip Tide

Beirut - The Rip Tide
August 30, 2011
Indie Folk
CRITIC SCORE
78
12 reviews
USER SCORE
80

45. Foo Fighters - Wasting Light

Foo Fighters - Wasting Light
April 12, 2011
Alternative Rock
CRITIC SCORE
78
15 reviews
USER SCORE
79

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


46. Zomby - Dedication

Zomby - Dedication
July 12, 2011
Dubstep
CRITIC SCORE
79
16 reviews
USER SCORE
82

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.


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
78
13 reviews
USER SCORE
82

48. Tyler, the Creator - Goblin

Tyler, the Creator - Goblin
May 10, 2011
Hip Hop
CRITIC SCORE
73
18 reviews
USER SCORE
76

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.


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

Laura Marling - A Creature I Don't Know
September 13, 2011
Folk
CRITIC SCORE
80
14 reviews
USER SCORE
84

50. Rustie - Glass Swords

Rustie - Glass Swords
October 11, 2011
Dubstep
CRITIC SCORE
83
6 reviews
USER SCORE
79

Original Source: http://www.noripcord.com/features/top-50-albums-2011-part-one

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