|Best Of 2011: Honorable Mentions|
2011 was a fantastic year for music and as we come to a close, top lists are showing their faces around the internet. Before I post my list of top 50 albums, I want to honor those albums that still ruled and should be checked out. They're all solid. I have short descriptions for each and I wanted to save my more in depth thoughts for my top 50 list. So don't hate...too bad.
A real life chef, Action Bronson kicked ass with his Ghostface-esque flow and aggressive delivery with songs about food.
You Are All I See
Any album that has an opening track utilizing harps automatically gets my respect. Active Child's album was gorgeous throughout with superb vocals and a retro vibe throughout.
93 Million Miles
Mixing multiple electronica styles together in one album isn't an easy task. Africa Hitech proved that the mix of various dubstep and UK electro influences can sound futuristic and mesmerizing.
Feel It Break
Some of the best indie pop music you'll find this year, Austra pulled out all the stops with a dark atmosphere throughout and utterly amazing vocals.
The Rip Tide
Emotional, dark and depressing, the new album from Beirut also is their most gorgeous and intimate release to date.
A step into an awesome new direction, the new album from the UK producer is a very fun mix of styles that is not only danceable but unpredictable and exciting.
|19||The Cool Kids|
When Fish Ride Bicycles
After a very long wait, the rap duo's follow up to "The Bake Sale" delivers on funky, 80's inspired beats and a laid back flow. It's one of the most purely enjoyable rap albums of the year.
Just when you thought chillwave was showing it's age, Craft Spells release an album full of lo-fi vocals and gorgeous (and chill) melodies.
A charming and emotional album, Blue Suicide is one of the year's biggest surprises and is a thoughtful piece of indie rock.
Basically a track by track remake of the classic hip-hop album "Illmatic" by Nas, Elmatic does the impossible: create a fresh and yet familiar 90's influenced hip hop album. Elzhi isn't quite the next Nas, but who is? Plus, what he does with Nas's song "The Genesis" is downright chill inducing.
As expected, the singing and songwriting all glisten with natural beauty and in turn, Metals ends up surpassing The Reminder, which already set the bar high for the Canadian singer.
The best Foo Fighters album in years, Wasting Light is a catchy rock epic that doesn't try any lame gimmicks. It's the Foo Fighters being the Foo Fighters.
Though not quite as entertaining as the band's self titled album, Pala is a more mature and fulfilling piece of indie pop.
|12||Gang Gang Dance|
Gang Gang Dance's album is challenging, emotional, trippy, weird, joyous, experimental and easily the best album the band has released to date.
Cole World: The Sideline Story
Jay-Z's latest protege shows plenty of promise on his long awaited debut album with plenty of solid rapping and surprisingly complex and thought provoking lyrics.
The Silent President
The rapper that gave us one of hip hop's biggest atrocities in "Wonton Soup" continues his stylistic change he introduced with the album I'm Gay (I'm Happy) with solid production and socially conscious raps.
|9|| ||Main Attrakionz|
808s & Dark Grapes II
So laid back in it's execution, 808s & Dark Grapes II is a mix of well thought out lyricism and beats with influences of chillwave and jazz.
Complex and energetic, the new Manchester Orchestra album features gorgeous songwriting with songs that range from hopeful to downright depressing.
|7||Real Estate |
Much better then their debut album, Days is a fun indie rock album that doesn't try to deliver anything other than Beach Boys influenced rock. And it succeeds and expands upon their flawed debut.
The Greatest Story Never Told
Gritty and yet uplifting, The Greatest Story Never Told is an amazing debut full of visceral raps and amazing production from producers like Kanye West and Just Blaze.
A strong piece of post-dubstep that is well written and full of variety, the debut album from the British producer is also clouded by an aurora of mystery and a dark atmosphere.
Dye It Blonde
A glossed up mix of various psychedelic influenced rock, Smith Westerns sound familiar and yet fresh and inventive.
In Heaven is full of catchy and sparkly pop music that also proves to be emotionally satisfying and full of depth.
|2||Unknown Mortal Orchestra|
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Coming out of nowhere, the new album from Unknown Mortal Orchestra is full of catchy melodies, psychedelic effects and complex lyrics.
The Whole Love
Easily the best Wilco album since Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, The Whole Love shows the band moving into experimental territory all while becoming more accessible and yet, staying true to what made the band so great in the first place.