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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.
25Action Bronson
Dr. Lecter

A real life chef, Action Bronson kicked ass with his Ghostface-esque flow and aggressive delivery with songs about food.
24Active Child
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.
23Africa Hitech
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.
Mind Bokeh

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.
19The 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.
18Craft Spells
Idle Labor

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.
17Coma Cinema
Blue Suicide

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.
14Foo Fighters
Wasting Light

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.
13Friendly Fires

Though not quite as entertaining as the band's self titled album, Pala is a more mature and fulfilling piece of indie pop.
12Gang Gang Dance
Eye Contact

Gang Gang Dance's album is challenging, emotional, trippy, weird, joyous, experimental and easily the best album the band has released to date.
11J. Cole
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.
10Lil B
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.
8Manchester Orchestra
Simple Math

Complex and energetic, the new Manchester Orchestra album features gorgeous songwriting with songs that range from hopeful to downright depressing.
7Real 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.
4Smith Westerns
Dye It Blonde

A glossed up mix of various psychedelic influenced rock, Smith Westerns sound familiar and yet fresh and inventive.
3Twin Sister
In Heaven

In Heaven is full of catchy and sparkly pop music that also proves to be emotionally satisfying and full of depth.
2Unknown 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.
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