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(25) Kevin Devine – Between the Concrete and Clouds

Between The Concrete and Clouds is perhaps Devine’s calmest album, but it is also his fullest instrumentally. Lush atmospheres complement Devine’s sensitive crooning like we have never heard before, and his lyricism here is brilliant enough to stand alongside former tour mates Jesse Lacey and Andy Hull. This is an essential listen for anyone whose taste leans towards alternative rock and/or acoustic songwriting…definitely one of Kevin Devine’s most mature and complete recordings.

Sample: “Off-Screen”

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(24) Sleepingdog – With Our Heads in the Clouds and Our Hearts in the Fields

Utilizing a minimalist approach to achieve a sense of calm still, this album is strikingly reminiscent of an afternoon spent lazily staring out the window while droplets of water collect on the outside edge of the sill. The soft, supple arrangements and electronic inclusions contribute to a natural flow within the album that makes it quite the cohesive work – with nary a forced or artificial moment to break up the magic created by string after string of beautiful, almost celestial, atmospheres. Full of spacey, haunting, and charged atmospheres, Sleepingdog have once again shown us that less can be more.

Sample: “He Loved to See the World Through His Camera”

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(23) 1,2,3 – New Heaven

New Heaven sounds eerie, unfamiliar, and unpredictable the majority of the time. This can be directly traced to 1,2,3’s unlikely fusion of indie-folk with harder, borderline industrial rock and heavy doses of electronica. They waste no time enveloping you in their unique brand of experimentation, and somewhere between the thunderous drum beats, searing guitar riffs, and gentle, rural-vibe acoustic strumming, it is impossible not to become immersed in this imaginative world that 1,2,3 have crafted.

Sample: “Heat Lightnin”

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(22) Maybeshewill – I Was Here For A Moment, Then I Was Gone

I Was Here For A Moment, Then I Was Gone gives me hope that post-rock can still flourish. This album is ridiculously compelling. It is urgent, yet fragile and emotive. Its careful balance between gentle soundscapes and metal-leaning instrumentation keeps the record thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who likes purely instrumental compositions.

Sample: “Take This To Heart”

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(21) Sarabeth Tucek – Get Well Soon

There’s something overwhelmingly peaceful about the cover of Sarabeth Tucek’s latest endeavor, Get Well Soon. While clearly a painting, it seems to divulge subtle undertones of harmony and tranquility through a row boat – one that rests on the still, glass-like surface of a small lake. The music of Tucek’s second album is definitely a reflection of that image, plunging into a rich but organic acoustic atmosphere that would never reveal what Sarabeth was actually going through at the time: the tragic passing of her father due to a massive heart attack. But upon careful listening, somber moments and moving tributes can be found around every corner of Get Well Soon, as Sarabeth Tucek displays admirable doses of fortitude and delivers the simplest yet most moving album of her young career.

Sample: “Wooden”

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(20) dEUS – Keep You Close

Perhaps no album came as a bigger surprise (at least to me) in 2011 than Keep You Close, a release from a band that I hadn’t even heard of until discovering the title track. That track, like the record as a whole, features magnificent vocal harmonies, dense alt-rock atmospheres, and swelling violins. It all blends together in a way so satisfying that you will begin to wonder yourself why you haven’t heard of them before.

Sample: “Keep You Close”

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(19) The Boxer Rebellion – The Cold Still

The Boxer Rebellion have crafted a sound that is undeniably haunting – something between the likes of Coldplay, Radiohead, and The National – and spread it out across layers of alt-rock ambiance. The instrumentation anchoring The Cold Still is almost exclusively geared towards concocting a vivid atmosphere, as the weighty drums, U2-like ooh ooh’s, and echoed acoustic picking all come into play at various points in the album. The wave-like progression from one track to another is expertly arranged, and it is just one aspect that allows the album to thrive to such an admirable extent. At ten songs that total just under forty minutes, The Cold Still will leave you salivating for more.

Sample: “Locked In The Basement”

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(18) Fair to Midland – Arrows and Anchors

Arrows and Anchors is discernibly different from prior endeavors by this band. The album’s sound maintains their progressive qualities, but also fuses it with heavy alt-rock and metal that ranges anywhere from System of a Down (“Rikki Tikki Tavi”) to Coheed and Cambria (“Golden Parachutes”). This is a record capable of satisfying fans from multiple different genres, and its complete lack of hesitation to try new and weird things makes it one of the most interesting listens of 2011.

Sample: “Whiskey & Ritalin”

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(17) Street Chant – Means

Means is a raw affair, charged by frantic drumming and angst-ridden riffs that give the album a definite punk feel; one that is also accessible enough for a mainstream audience. The record is packed with eleven quick, punchy tunes that will have listeners tapping their feet, rocking in their seats, and occasionally even jumping out of them. Brown’s perfect-for-punk vocals, Littler’s short but effective electric riffs, and Rogers’ audible bass contributions make this a full band effort – one that occasionally packs a punch comparable to the Ramones in their heyday.

Sample: “Scream Walk”

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(16) Yellowcard – When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes

Yellowcard’s seventh studio album is a gentle nudge towards tomorrow, reminding us to always keep an eye on the road ahead. If the band’s reunion wasn’t symbolic enough to convey that very notion, then the opening track ‘The Sound of You and Me’ makes certain to ring it loud and clear. With lines like “someday everything ends” and “I’ve never been more ready to move on” lead vocalist Ryan Key sets the tone for change. There are definitely still tracks that reminisce, but they always manage to bring the lyrics full circle and tie it to the future in a positive way. From start to finish, this is an album that does everything it can to lift your spirits and point you in the right direction…and amazingly, most of the time it does a pretty damn good job.

Sample: “The Sound of You and Me”

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(15) Florence and The Machine – Ceremonials

I didn’t think anything could top Lungs, but lo and behold, Florence and The Machine had to go proving me wrong with their very next release. Ceremonials may not have as many stand out hits, but it is a better complete album. It is darker than the band’s debut, and it also fulfills a lot of the promise laid out by Lungs a few years ago. As you would probably expect, Florence Welch is what makes this record. Her distinctly powerful voice and sinister lyrics drive this thing forward, and there are many spine chilling moments to await listeners from what has become one of rock music’s best female-led groups.

Sample: “Leave My Body”

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(14) Thrice – Major/Minor

Major/Minor carries darker undertones which are brought to the surface by a heavier overall style. Moments that would have been filled with soft croons and acoustic passages on recent works are now characterized by coarse vocals, controlled/melodic screams, and sludgy, temperamental electric guitar riffs. The album never makes a full return to the intensity of Thrice’s youthful days, and there is nary a ‘Deadbolt’ present here, but Major/Minor treads on at a consistent level that never sacrifices its fire at the wrong time. Perhaps it is yet another byproduct of Thrice’s ever-growing wisdom, but this is a record that knows when to amp up its sound, when to slow it down, when to balance tempos, and when to fill a void with plain silence. The band’s ability to prove their vitality without sacrificing a single aspect of maturity is nothing short of admirable, and it is just another reason why Major/Minor is able to grow and progress within itself for almost a full hour.

Sample: “Anthology”

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(13) Lanu – Her 12 Faces

There is a peaceful, almost sublime air surrounding Lance Ferguson’s first solo release. The Bamboos’ front man, who goes by the moniker Lanu, has collaborated with Australian vocalist Megan Washington to compose an album that is equal parts indie, dream pop, and electronica. Her 12 Faces blends these eclectic styles effortlessly and yields something so pure and smooth that it hardly feels like a fusion of anything at all. With heavily textured atmospheres, funk undertones, and a laid back Caribbean vibe, Lanu has bestowed upon us the perfect summer album.

Sample: “Hold Me Down”

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(12) Bon Iver – Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Justin Vernon’s sophomore release is a flourishing, pastoral folk album that will elevate you to the pristine mountains of northwestern Wisconsin. There, you will find that not only has Vernon prepared another rich and vibrant soundscape for you, but that he has also put some coal on the fire to take the chill off the wintry For Emma gusts that still occasionally leak through the drafty, boarded-up cabin walls. Synths and strings sway liberally, horns blast out joyfully, and Justin Vernon sings in a delightfully soulful falsetto that, like a warm cup of cocoa in front of the fireplace, will put you in a trance. Seriously, did you expect anything else?

Sample: “Perth”

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(11) Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto

The last time we heard Coldplay, they were gently closing the door on 2008’s smash success Viva La Vida with chants of “I don’t want to follow death and all of his friends.” Suffice to say, the only thing that has departed is their musical direction, as Mylo Xyloto ushers in a new era to follow a string of award winning albums dating back to their turn-of-the-millennium debut Parachutes. Although that brand of reserved, contemplative indie rock still surfaces periodically, it appears to be nothing more than a brief cameo in a much more diverse scheme. Mylo Xyloto presents us with a new Coldplay; one that isn’t afraid to indulge its every eccentricity. The result is a pop album bursting at the seams with vivacious melodies, along with electronic fibers that have been skillfully woven into their time-tested fabric to give fans something quite unlike anything they have ever heard.

Sample: “Princess of China” ft. Rihanna

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(10) Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean

Kiss Each Other Clean is the boldest step Iron & Wine has ever taken. Trading in Sam Beam’s trademark acoustic sound for a more multi-faceted approach is bound to come with its share of risks, including the polarization of his ever loyal fan base. He has pushed the boundaries of his music with his major label debut, spurring a transformation towards a style that is completely fresh and, remarkably, every bit as fascinating as his celebrated back catalog. The result is an album unlike anything Iron & Wine has created to date, one that is saturated in a pool of exciting new ideas and musical directions.

Sample: “Walking Far From Home”

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(9) The Milk Carton Kids – Prologue

I would like you to take a moment and study the cover of the album. What adjectives come to mind? Frigid, desolate perhaps? Or maybe unfamiliar and distant? Anything is really possible based on your perceptions, and even though the cover has a bleak, wintry look, I was immediately welcomed by its outward appearance. Something about it, even with its solemnly gray artwork, told me it was just a shell – and that underneath that exterior, something much warmer was waiting to be embraced. As the opening strums of ‘Michigan’ graced my ears, I couldn’t help but crack a smile because I could tell that Prologue would end up being everything I hoped it would be. ‘Michigan’ is nothing short of a perfect introduction, demonstrating the crystal clarity of the slow rhythmic strumming, the more intricate picking, and the swaying-in-the-breeze vocal harmonies that surface frequently throughout the duration of Prologue.

Sample: “Michigan”

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(8) Frank Turner – England Keep My Bones

England Keep My Bones is the perfect tribute to one’s homeland. Frank Turner sings the praises of England, as can be heard in the delicate ‘Rivers’ and the more exuberant ‘Wessex Boy.’ However, he also celebrates everything from rock n’ roll to atheism. I could go on for quite some time listing all the reasons why this album is a timeless masterpiece, but to make a long story short, this is just one grand celebration of life. Find out for yourself by listening to the sample below entitled ‘Glory Hallelujah.’

Sample: “Glory Hallelujah”

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(7) The Decemberists – The King Is Dead

The King is Dead is an album that is difficult to completely take in the first time. The sudden change in style from over-the-top concepts to a quietly confident, country-tinged record might portray an initial illusion that this is rather dull. But fear not, because such a first impression is just that – an illusion. The Decemberists deserve all the credit in the world for avoiding both of the possible pitfalls following The Hazards of Love: an uneventful snoozefest indicative of change for the sake of change, or even worse, another overblown, fully-realized rock opera. The King is Dead, for all of its undoing of previous material, is actually a progression in The Decemberists’ sound. This is the kind of moment we all wait for. As music enthusiasts, hearing an artist play straight from the heart is as rewarding of an experience as any.

Sample: “January Hymn”

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(6) Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

Helplessness Blues just may end up being one of the definitive folk albums of our generation. Fleet Foxes have combined the melodic chants of their debut with a more fully realized sound. The acoustic based style, smooth flow between tracks, and deep lyrics combine to make one remarkably unforgettable experience. Even the instrumental track – ‘The Cascades’ – is breathtaking. If you have not yet boarded the Fleet Foxes bandwagon, I suggest you do so now.

Sample: “Helplessness Blues”

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(5) The Antlers – Burst Apart

It is obvious from the get-go that Burst Apart is in an entirely different vein than Hospice, with a sparkling, up-tempo sound propelled by the combination of glittery guitars, spacey drumming, and dynamic keys. Silberman’s falsetto still more than gets the job done, and it is often the peak of the song….however, he is no longer the main catalyst moving The Antlers forward, as that responsibility is now far more evenly distributed amongst the trio of musicians. They do a splendid job of gelling as a band and sharing responsibilities, and Burst Apart is much better off for it.

Sample: “Parentheses”

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(4) Papercranes – Let’s Make Babies In The Woods

Hailing from Gainesville, Florida, Papercranes is not exactly a household name in folk/alternative rock. In fact, everything about them begs to be left alone. Their raw sound doesn’t aim to please anyone besides themselves, and their work is an indication of the reclusive style that they integrate into their music. Papercranes’ sophomore effort, Let’s Make Babies in the Woods, is a spiraling stream of consciousness expedition into front woman Rain Phoenix’s mind, a black and white soundscape of hurt and abandonment. With folk and psychedelic influences as the impetus, everything from Phoenix’s tortured wails to the music’s underlying depression is put on full display during this unpolished gem.

Sample: “Headphones”

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(3) Hey Rosetta! – Seeds

Hey Rosetta! possesses an ever-changing rock sound throughout all of Seeds. It twists and it turns, often without warning, and leaves you no choice but to continue listening. It is completely accessible and very easy to get into, yet never boring. From the epic build up in the opening track to the absolutely gorgeous closing of ‘Yer Fall’, Hey Rosetta! deliver track after track of memorable, diverse rock n’ roll with an indie flavor. Easily one of the best albums of 2011, and sadly, it doesn’t get anywhere close to the amount of recognition that it deserves.

Sample: “Yer Fall”

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(2) The Dear Hunter – The Color Spectrum (Complete Collection)

The Color Spectrum is an impressively consistent and shockingly varied album from a band that is likely gain a whole new level of respect as a result. It takes your ears and your mind to destinations that you never thought The Dear Hunter was capable of going before. It rocks out with songs like ‘Filth and Squalor.’ It brightens your day (‘A Sua Voz’). It puts you on the quiet hills of the countryside (‘Crow and Cackle’), and then takes you out to the hottest night club in town (‘Therma’). The Color Spectrum may not be perfectly executed from a conceptual perspective, but you have to hand it to The Dear Hunter for trying because they end up making one hell of a rock album in the process. In fact, The Color Spectrum may be most appreciated when listened to as nothing more than that; or perhaps when observed as nine individual EPs instead of one cohesive work. Either way, it is difficult to find flaws damning enough to consider this anything other than one of 2011’s premier releases in alternative rock. It is simply too grand – too overwhelmingly impressive in its scope – not to be enjoyed by fans of all genres. The Dear Hunter present to us their crowning achievement to date; enjoy it.

Sample: “Misplaced Devotion”

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(1) Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math

Simple Math is colossal in every way imaginable. It takes every hint of brilliance that Manchester Orchestra has subtly displayed in I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child and Mean Everything to Nothing, and nurtures and cultivates it into the single greatest sounding thing that the band has ever and likely ever will create. At times glossed over with heart-swelling strings and at other times perfecting the band’s nitty gritty sound from songs like “Shake It Out”, Simple Math is the perfect balance of Manchester Orchestra’s best traits. It is utterly breathtaking upon first listen, and every subsequent listen will only cause your jaw to drop an additional inch or two. It will stand the test of time as it makes its mark on a generation, simultaneously inspiring others to follow in its footsteps. This is simply the greatest album to be released in the past five years, and it will be worth every drop of hyperbolic acclaim that it receives.

Sample: “Simple Math”

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SowingSeason
11.16.11
It's been a good year, to say the least.

Adabelle
11.16.11
Quite a few non-surprises on here haha. But I love what you have as 1, so I can't really complain..

Trebor.
11.16.11
Great write up
We only have a couple albums in common though

psykonaut
11.16.11
TOO EARLY
also didn't like simple math at all
13 intrigues me though gonna check it out

SowingSeason
11.16.11
--TOO EARLY--

Normally I'd say the same thing, but the rest of this year is SO empty as far as quality releases

Rihanna comes out next week but not like that's gonna crack my top 25

Xenophanes
11.16.11
List is for the most part really really awesome.

InAbsentia
11.16.11
Great year, and awesome list, Sowing.

I haven't heard some of these. I'm going to use your list as reference.

Xenophanes
11.16.11
"Rihanna comes out next week but not like that's gonna crack my top 25"

You say that now but when she releases the next Abbey Road we'll see who's laughing.



Trebor.
11.16.11
sup pitchfork


pizzamachine
11.16.11
predictable list is predictable

predictable comment is also predictable

RosaParks
11.16.11
had to be a blog post. Mad with power

psykonaut
11.16.11
"Normally I'd say the same thing, but the rest of this year is SO empty as far as quality releases"
i'd be inclined to agree with you but so many of my favorite albums this year aren't albums i was looking forward to, but albums that kind of came out of nowhere and didn't get any buzz until after they were released. but man i didn't even realize it's the second half of november already so i guess it's not THAT early but still

SowingSeason
11.16.11
When 4 came out all the way back in January I knew it'd be something special

And it's probably the least popular album on here so anyone who wants to try something new start there

FromDaHood
11.16.11
Glad I'm not the only one with Burst Apart in his top 10

SowingSeason
11.16.11
I know some of these are predictable, but that doesn't make it a bad list. The reason they are predictable is because they are so good.

Also: 4, 9, 13, 17, and 19-25 really shouldn't be all that expected. Even 5, although well received, is probably a surprise to make the top 5

Xenophanes
11.16.11
Love that 22 is on here.


Getting 9 asap

IAmHollywood
11.17.11
quite a few of these are probably going to be on my list

twlichty
11.17.11
2,6,8,12,14 will definitely be on my top of 2011 list.

Need to hear a lot of these

twlichty
11.17.11
could've picked a way better sample from England Keep My Bones tho

AliW1993
11.17.11
Mean Everything To Nothing was my album of 09 but I found Simple Math to be slightly disappointing. I still really like it but I doubt it'll make my top 10.

Great list otherwise, especially the inclusion of Hey Rosetta! Quite a few I've not heard so I'll check them out.

Xenophanes
11.17.11
After reading the description for 1, I feel weird because I only found it to be "pretty good."

AliW1993
11.17.11
Yeah as much as I love Manchester Orchestra I can't see it making as big an impact as you seem to suggest

ILJ
11.17.11
Great list for the most part. Definitely gonna look into the ones I haven't heard yet.

theacademy
11.17.11
i was thinking today that I won't include color spectrum in my list because it's not really fair to consider it an LP.

wabbit
11.17.11
also it doesn't have breakdowns

klap
11.17.11
"the dear hunter" and "hottest nightclub in town" is really giving me some dissonance :0

toxin.
11.17.11
Cool, I'm really liking 20

KeithStone582
11.17.11
1 is pretty good, but the legacy you speak of is doubtful.

Knott-
11.17.11
your top 3 is fucking aweeeeeeeeeeesome you already knew i think this

cinaedus
11.17.11
yay coldplay

Hawks
11.17.11
Well this reminded me that I need to listen to 6 as soon as possible.

ThyCrossAwaits
11.17.11
Get promoted to staff


Too good for lists

zxlkho
11.17.11
Great list Sowing. I really like most of the albums on here, and The Dear hunter is my number 2 as well!

SowingSeason
11.17.11
"Get promoted to staff


Too good for lists"


yeah that basically sums up my thought process

mallen-
11.17.11
Nice

been trying to figure out what mine is going to look like lately

SowingSeason
11.17.11
im sure it will look nice

if i remember correctly our tastes usually line up somewhat similarly, although im more of a mainstream whore

mallen-
11.17.11
yeah I'd say that's about right

and I'm more of an org-core whore

Eko
11.17.11
its not even Thanksgiving

as much as I usually agree with you sowing there's some overrated stuff here imo

MO
11.17.11
20 is a key

SowingSeason
11.17.11
Its almost Thanksgiving, and there are no other key released that I can see. So now's as good a time as any.

What do you think is overrated?

Eko
11.17.11
2, 3, 6, what I've heard of 11 and 15

12 is top 3 for me tho and 1 is like top 5-7 ish and lots I haven't heard

SowingSeason
11.17.11
If anything 3 is underrated IMO

Eko
11.17.11
yeah I guess that's true I forgot like no one has heard it lol. its solid but not THAT good I think. they have a live EP with a couple of the songs from it tho thats awesome.

Knott-
11.17.11
yeah it really is

i mean if by overrated you mean "sowing you like this more than me" then ok

but most people on sputnik havent heard it so

Jethro42
11.17.11
1 is 1
18 is 2
I dislike 7
8 is intriguing
I've never heard the rest.

Eko
11.17.11
yeah for some reason I was thinking it was like moderately popular here but its not so never mind

Jethro42
11.17.11
oh and 15 is pretty good

Athom
11.17.11
holy shit, that was fast.

SowingSeason
11.17.11
haha redsky I had it typed up for a while

was just waiting for the ok to submit, didn't throw it together just now

Knott-
11.17.11
THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID

Knott-
11.17.11
FUCK YOU SOWING BREAKING UP THE SET-UP AND THE PUNCHLINE HOW DARE YOU COMMENT ON YOUR OWN BLOG POST FUCK YOU

SowingSeason
11.17.11
sorry adam(s) :(

aok
11.17.11
steve is like a way manlier name than i expected you to have ... , from skimming, this stuff is cool.

if you're feeling electro, zomby - dedication might appeal to you. the collaboration with panda bear is noteworthy

EverythingEvil2113
11.17.11
I'm glad you had 7 on here. I listened to it a lot over the summer and really like it. it's different but it's good

aok
11.17.11
o and no king of limbs? tsk tsk .. consider this your yellow card

Trebor.
11.17.11
Is that a play on words because he put a Yellowcard album instead?

SowingSeason
11.17.11
king of limbs is like a 2.5

Deviant.
11.17.11
PrematureSeason

SowingSeason
11.17.11
How did you know my high school nickname was premature?

Gyromania
11.17.11
Great picks, Sowing.

aok
11.17.11
it's like a 2.5 but better and better and better until it becomes a 4

thebhoy
11.17.11
I'm having trouble with my list because I feel like there was a lot of meh albums this year and not that many great ones. Also there's a bunch I still need to listen to by the due date. Fuck. Liking that Milk Carton Kids song, though.

aok
11.17.11
'due date'

what happens if you're late man?

Emim
11.17.11
haven't listened to a single one of these

zxlkho
11.17.11
^ sucks for you, man.

tiesthatbind
11.17.11
Only heard 2, 14, 18, all 3 rule

Phideaux
11.17.11
Good stuff. Easily half of this would be on my list too.

Electric City
11.17.11
i think only one of these will be on my list

Ignimbrite
11.17.11
it seemed like it was only yesterday when this immense blog post would be a mere peasant list (with a feature if luck smiled upon you)

Metamorphosis
11.17.11
Thought you were enamored with Mitochondrion? Either way, good list, I've heard of maybe half of these, so I'll check some of these out. Thanks for sharing.

iFghtffyrdmns
11.17.11
ooo i'm intrigued... i'll need to read this in full when it's not 5:30 in the morning. i like the 25/1 combo though, that's a nice touch

Keyblade
11.17.11
yay for 22

Tyrael
11.17.11
yay for 20!

Lol thrice

Aids
11.17.11
cool list, there are some albums I still need to check out apparently. good job with Burst Apart at #5 and I'm loving the love for Simple Math but um, where the fuck is Sit Resist? either you didn't listen to it or you don't think it's top 25 material; both explanations are equally soul-crushing.

Keyblade
11.17.11
oh yeah, wtf...no Sit Resist?

SowingSeason
11.17.11
I listened to half of it once and it didn't seem interesting enough to revisit for a finish

AliW1993
11.17.11
I'm with you on that one

DoubtGin
11.17.11
yea

Aids
11.17.11
'I listened to half of it once and it didn't seem interesting enough to revisit for a finish"

oh you are dead. it's a grower, it went from a high 3.5/low 4 from me to top-ten of all time. took a few weeks too. I dunno man it seems like something you'd love you should give it another try

iswimfast
11.17.11
great to see 19 here. nice list.

jrowa001
11.17.11
i had no idea Tucek had a new album. searching for it now!

iswimfast
11.17.11
oh, I totally mean 18. but yea 19 was good too.

balcaen
11.17.11
i've heard 15/25... most of them are not even close for consideration of top 25
it's like we listen to same shit but have opposite tastes....

clercqie
11.17.11
Yay, dEUS!!!! :D

Lot's of great stuff and also a lot of stuff I still have to listen to.

Maniac!
11.17.11
Needs more Black Swan

balcaen
11.17.11
lol black swan
i have a feeling everyone's favorites this year are going to be my mass disappointments

wabbit
11.17.11
listen to andrew jackson jihad, future islands and tom waits

Mordecai.
11.17.11
no dm how do i neg a blog post?

fish.
11.17.11
22, 2 and 1 are so boring

needs more Thursday

SowingSeason
11.17.11
Thursday, AJJ, and Laura Stevenson are all albums that never got my interest. I gave them all fair chances, but if I grow to like any of them in the future, it won't be in 2011.

gosk8n
11.17.11
Where's the Hip Hop!?

thebhoy
11.17.11
4 of these will be on my list. But which ones??? Sleepingdog won my "most uninteresting album of the year" award.

Ignimbrite
11.17.11
that was a great album, though...

Cipieron
11.17.11
18 is obviously all you need

auberginedreams
11.17.11
needs moar heavy.

Lucid
11.17.11
List shows that you've put a lot of effort into finding the albums that work for you. Hard for me to say the list is good because I don't like many of these. Props for the commentary, was a good read.

MalleusMaleficarum
11.17.11
these albums.. you cant.. rawk out to em.. dey suk..

SowingSeason
11.17.11
slow = bad

greg84
11.18.11
Props for the effort, but it's not really my style of music for most of the time. 2 albums out of these should be on my list.

solidness
11.18.11
This list is severely lacking in Andrew Jackson Jihad.

Cipieron
11.18.11
no Scale the Summit either

fish.
11.18.11
Hmmmmmm Thursday's album took about 3 listens to click and even then it took further subsequent listens to truly enjoy it from beginning to end. Once you're on this side though it's hard to see how you ever doubted it

Irving
11.18.11
"This is simply the greatest album to be released in the past five years, and it will be worth every drop of hyperbolic acclaim that it receives."

Sowing, I love you, but no fucking way lol.


Satellite
11.18.11
yeah i like 1 quite a bit, but that's going a bit far.

in either case, well done sowing.

fish.
11.18.11
I have it at 2/5 fyeah
Or is it 2.5
one of those

fish.
11.18.11
I mean Virgin is amazing and the title track is ok but the rest of the album is reeeally boring and his accent annoys me sorry

Irving
11.18.11
Agree with AnarchistFish on Virgin and the title track, and although I wouldn't say the album is anything short of excellent, to put it at No 1 and label it the best album released in the past five years is...nothing short of unbelievable hahah.

That being said, I am the guy who rated Lulu a 4, so...

Lucid
11.18.11
Well ofc when he said that it is the best album of the past five years there is an unsaid IMO in there. No one can back up something like that (or at least I'd hope no one is arrogant enough).

SowingSeason
11.18.11
Doesn't matter how I say it, it is still just an opinion

Irving
11.18.11
^ Fair enough. Still - great work on the list SS. It's obviously you put a lot of thought and effort into it. Part of me feels like an album you were gushing about earlier this year is conspicuously missing...but I can't quite put my finger on which album it is.

SowingSeason
11.18.11
let me know if you figure it out because im curious

taylormemer
11.18.11
Gross.

Irving
11.18.11
Will do :)

twlichty
11.18.11
this is bound to be the worst Staff best of 2011 list

SowingSeason
11.18.11
gee thanks

Jethro42
11.18.11
Can't wait to see greg84' one

twlichty
11.18.11
sorry to be an asshole but seriously there is no diversity on here and it's mostly just indie mellow rock that has no energy

remember my opinion really doesn't matter

taylormemer
11.18.11
lol dude wtf.

twlichty
11.18.11
lol dude bro man

Jethro42
11.18.11
indie mellow rock is really not my thing either

Jethro42
11.18.11
as we know it

Irving
11.18.11
Aww cool it twilichty

SowingSeason
11.18.11
its cool i know it's not that diverse but i listen to what i like, not what i think will appease the userbase

taylormemer
11.18.11
It's ok, some people are just really passionate when it comes to end of year staff lists.

SowingSeason
11.18.11
believe it or not im getting less shit this year than i did last year

progress!

twlichty
11.18.11
alright i feel bad now. it's just not music that i enjoy (besides Frank Turner, Fleet Foxes, Thrice etc) but i don't have to be an ass about it, my b

taylormemer
11.18.11
Oh I don't know about that one. I'll have to get back to you on that.

gosk8n
11.18.11
SowingSeason there's no hip hop on here. List = Invalidated
jk

IrishJay91
11.18.11
I've heard two of these. and i really enjoy both. so good job, i guess.

chaseguitar
11.18.11
hell yeah manchester orchestra at 1.

Aids
11.18.11
you guys just don't [i]get[/i] Simple Math. or something.

and yeah obviously this list is mainly mellow indie-rock, it's SowingSeason, that's what he jams. haha deal with it and stop acting so surprised.

fish.
11.18.11
list is pretty cool though. I think 14 is the only album from here that I'll probably put on my end of the year list but yeah

SowingSeason
11.18.11
--yeah obviously this list is mainly mellow indie-rock, it's SowingSeason, that's what he jams. haha deal with it and stop acting so surprised.--

More people should listen to Aids. Besides, there actually is a pretty decent variety on here:

Indie Rock
Folk
Pop
Punk
Progressive
Electronic

I mean really, are people just assuming albums they never heard of like Means (Punk) and New Heaven (Electro Rock) are soft indie?

Tyrael
11.18.11
Sowing I was really expecting some grindcore on here man you disappoint me ;]

SowingSeason
11.18.11
Oh yeah and post-rock

Sorry to disappoint you Tyrael

Tyrael
11.18.11
Just so you know, I'll be negging all your reviews

SowingSeason
11.18.11
Even though I can't see the neg's anymore, I felt a disturbance telling me that they were there

Tyrael
11.18.11
You know I'd never actually neg you ;]

greg84
11.18.11
Progressive? No, I can't see any real prog here. Only alt rock disguised as prog.

"Can't wait to see greg84's one"

^The ground will shake!

mvood
11.18.11
I like your music, this is a great list

FruityCatOfDoom
11.18.11
Good list, Simple Math is a great album but this is missing some great releases.

raggedragamuffin
11.18.11
you have good taste.

kingsoby1
11.19.11
to whoever said this looks like a pitchfork list: 1 - it doesn't, and 2 - just wait for the staff consensus list!

SowingSeason
11.19.11
Yeah I didn't even see that but this is nothing like a pitchfork list lol

Inveigh
11.19.11
I definitely liked it right away, but Simple Math has grown on me more consistently than any other album throughout the year

SowingSeason
11.19.11
It def hit me hard right off the bat, and I have loved it the same amount since then

Butkuiss
11.19.11
SOWING.

Y U NO JEZABELS!?

SowingSeason
11.19.11
^Good not great album IMO

Clamface
11.19.11
fuckin hate kevin devine, desperately trying to gather limelight from brand new

SowingSeason
11.19.11
He used to ride their cottails years back but he has done a lot to legitimize and separate himself now

mvood
11.19.11
Brand new and Manchester Orchestra are a couple of my favourite bands but I've never had the urge to listen to Kevin Devine

SowingSeason
11.19.11
BN and MO are two of your favorite bands? You're alright in my book.

Kevin Devine is probably the least renowned of the 3, and rightfully so...he isn't as good.

AggravatedYeti
11.19.11
love this Sowing.

surprised you and I only share 1 top 25 and tbh Bon Iver may not even make my 25 come December.



DaveyBoy
11.20.11
Fantastically put together & well-written SS. Huge kudos to you mate.

Plus, you get to wear all the "predictable list" and "not enough diversity" comments before they're thrown at me.

Activista anti-MTV
11.20.11
Good list

fish.
11.20.11
these lists are coming too early anyway, kornstep isn't out yet

StrizzMatik
11.20.11
Really? Best album in five years?

SowingSeason
11.21.11
Yup, my opinion is that is it the best album I've heard since TDAG.

Rowan5215
11.22.11
Haven't heard most of this stuff, but sweet Jesus 2 was amazing, and 1 was great too. Not liking Major/Minor as much as Beggars but hey it's all relative.

SowingSeason
11.22.11
glad you liked some of this stuff. my top 5 were all pretty clear favorites for me this year

Knott-
11.22.11
nobody's gonna check out 3 but maybe they will when it's on the staff end of year list

so hey!

would i like 4?

SowingSeason
11.22.11
I do knott know. It's a bit raw but it's worth a try man.

lancebramsay
11.23.11
#1 is not #1 neg neg eeng gneeg eg neg

amanwithahammer
11.24.11
I actually became WAY less of a huge MO fanboy after the release of Simple Math somehow (with an emphasis on the WAY). I wish I 'got it' the way you seem to get it. Oh wells.

Tyrannic
11.25.11
just picked up maybeshewill.
holy shit it's so good thanks.

heyadam
11.28.11
Awesome list sowing. The first two are definitely two of my favorites this year, as well as a few other ones you mentioned

Bandido
12.03.11
Great, great list here. 1 and 3 in particular are among my favorites of the year

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