A.V. Club's Best Music of 2011

A.V. Club's Best Music of 2011

Original Source

1. Wye Oak - Civilian

Wye Oak - Civilian
March 8, 2011
Indie Rock
Critic Score
78
17 reviews
User Score
79
28 reviews

Civilian continues the progress made by 2009’s excellent The Knot, bringing Wye Oak’s astral drone to blossom on a richer, fuller, and more extroverted bouquet of luminous melodies.

2. Fucked Up - David Comes to Life

Fucked Up - David Comes to Life
June 7, 2011
Hardcore Punk
Critic Score
83
20 reviews
User Score
80
35 reviews

David Comes To Life is Fucked Up’s most musically accessible album wrapped up in its most fearlessly pretentious and flat-out incomprehensible concept.

3. Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver
June 21, 2011
Indie Folk
Critic Score
84
26 reviews
User Score
87
296 reviews

For all its introspection, Bon Iver feels a lot more open than Vernon’s previous work, the sound of a lonely guy taking his first steps into a larger world.

4. Low - C'mon

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

5. Wilco - The Whole Love

Wilco - The Whole Love
September 27, 2011
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
79
25 reviews
User Score
76
35 reviews

6. The Weeknd - House of Balloons

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

7. Real Estate - Days

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

The bruised, bottomless beauty of Days suggests that growing up hasn’t always been easy for Real Estate.

8. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy

St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
September 13, 2011
Indie Pop
Critic Score
87
26 reviews
User Score
86
190 reviews

Engaging the darkness (rather than just acknowledging it) adds some flesh-and-blood humanity to an artist whose excellent output has nonetheless been marked by cold distance.

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

Kanye West & Jay-Z - Watch the Throne
August 8, 2011
Hip Hop
Critic Score
76
22 reviews
User Score
79
109 reviews

10. The Decemberists - The King is Dead

The Decemberists - The King is Dead
January 18, 2011
Folk Rock
Critic Score
72
26 reviews
User Score
75
32 reviews

It’s hard to deny the power of The Decemberists’ renewed commitment to basic songcraft.

11. TV on the Radio - Nine Types of Light

TV on the Radio - Nine Types of Light
April 12, 2011
Experimental Rock
Critic Score
81
22 reviews
User Score
78
61 reviews

12. Tom Waits - Bad as Me

Tom Waits - Bad as Me
October 25, 2011
Blues
Critic Score
84
23 reviews
User Score
81
30 reviews

Bad As Me is entry-level Waits for newcomers, and for longtime fans it’s a fun reminder of Waits’ ability to be a badass when necessary.

13. Drake - Take Care

Drake - Take Care
November 15, 2011
Hip Hop
Critic Score
80
24 reviews
User Score
81
105 reviews
His follow-up album is plenty downbeat, but it’s also gorgeous, an immersive headphone masterwork that’s tender and intimate like little else in contemporary rap and R&B.

14. Paul Simon - So Beautiful or So What

Paul Simon - So Beautiful or So What
April 12, 2011
Folk
Critic Score
79
9 reviews
User Score
76
7 reviews

15. Frank Ocean - Nostalgia, Ultra.

Frank Ocean - Nostalgia, Ultra.
February 18, 2011
R&B
Critic Score
75
6 reviews
User Score
81
79 reviews

15. Yuck - Yuck

Yuck - Yuck
February 15, 2011
Alternative Rock
Critic Score
76
24 reviews
User Score
78
53 reviews
Yuck's self-titled debut is a well-timed early-'90s period piece through and through.

17. Destroyer - Kaputt

Destroyer - Kaputt
January 25, 2011
Indie Pop
Critic Score
84
22 reviews
User Score
84
125 reviews

An album that’s as stunning for its straight-faced chutzpah as for its unrepentant, obsessively well-coiffed lushness.

17. Wild Flag - Wild Flag

Wild Flag - Wild Flag
September 13, 2011
Indie Rock
Critic Score
79
18 reviews
User Score
78
19 reviews

Considering the personnel involved, it’s no surprise Wild Flag works as well as it does, or that it picks up in a familiar place.

19. Cloud Nothings - Cloud Nothings

Cloud Nothings - Cloud Nothings
January 25, 2011
Indie Rock
Critic Score
74
13 reviews
User Score
73
18 reviews

20. Telekinesis - 12 Desperate Straight Lines

Telekinesis - 12 Desperate Straight Lines
February 15, 2011
Indie Rock
Critic Score
70
13 reviews
User Score
75
3 reviews

21. Iceage - New Brigade

Iceage - New Brigade
June 21, 2011
Post-Punk
Critic Score
82
14 reviews
User Score
81
53 reviews

22. Saigon - The Greatest Story Never Told

Saigon - The Greatest Story Never Told
February 15, 2011
Hip Hop
Critic Score
84
6 reviews
User Score
76
9 reviews

23. Britney Spears - Femme Fatale

Britney Spears - Femme Fatale
March 29, 2011
Pop
Critic Score
70
15 reviews
User Score
70
32 reviews

25. Adele - 21

Adele - 21
February 22, 2011
Soul
Critic Score
77
16 reviews
User Score
73
70 reviews

The songs hold to simple instrumentation and simple structures that allow Adele’s raspy, expressive voice to develop the story in the verses before she delivers the hook.

25. Washed Out - Within and Without

Washed Out - Within and Without
July 12, 2011
Chillwave
Critic Score
72
24 reviews
User Score
79
72 reviews

26. Florence + The Machine - Ceremonials

Florence + The Machine - Ceremonials
November 1, 2011
Indie Pop
Critic Score
78
23 reviews
User Score
79
90 reviews
Original Source: http://www.avclub.com/articles/the-best-music-of-2011,66004/

MORE 2011 YEAR END LISTS:


MORE YEAR END LISTS FROM A.V. CLUB:


Check out our 2011 Year End Summary.