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Blackbelt's 2011

The last in the series of 2011 lists. This has been a great year for music overall, but my favorites from the last several years are better than my favorites from 2011. Here are my top 40 albums, ranked to the best of my ability, with short descriptions.
40Clams Casino
Instrumental Mixtape

Clams Casino is an excellent producer, and this mixtape of his beats is
wonderful. It?s relaxing, and also catchy, you?ll get the beats stuck in your
head all day
39Ash Borer
Ash Borer

I?m not much of a metal guy, but Ash Borer?s self titled is a very strong
ambient black metal album. It?s dark, intense, and brooding. Sometimes I
get lost in the length of the songs, and there are occasional dull moments,
but this album still rules
38Birds in Row

Birds in Row are going to be getting people?s attention in the hardcore
scene. Cottbus is an emotional, intense hardcore album with a crust
influence. I foresee big things in the future from these guys
37The Weeknd

The Weeknd?s weakest mixtape, but it?s still a great release. Not quite as
dark as House of Balloons, Thursday continued the Weeknd?s 2011 winning
36Have Nots

This has been a weak year for ska. The ska scene is not at its strongest,
but Have Nots are doing their best to keep it alive. Proud is a great
punk/ska album. It?s fun and catchy, yet aggressive and powerful
35Domo Genesis
Under The Influence

An improvement from Rolling Papers. Domo shows his great flow, and the
beats on this album rule. Another great release from the Odd Future,
definitely a highlight in 2011 hip-hop
34Trap Them
Darker Handcraft

one of the nastiest hardcore albums of the year. This album will kick you in
the testicles and then have you begging for more. This crusty hardcore
band is taking out all its anger and frustration and not thinking another
thing about it
33Algernon Cadwallader
Parrot Flies

an awesome twinkly emo album. This album is catchy, fun, and one of the
best emo releases of the year
32Touche Amore
Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me

The lyrics are cheesy, the album is overdramatic, the songs are repetitive,
but I can?t stop listening. I?m not sure why I like this album so much, but I
keep coming back to it time and time again
Empty Days and Sleepless Nights

The controversial hardcore concept album. Some love it, some hate it. I
loved it when it first came out, but I got bored with it and it?s dropped a lot,
but I still like it
30The Taxpayers
To Risk So Much For One Damn Meal

the Taxpayers play fun and catchy punk music, and this album is no
exception. It has heavy folk influence, and it features horns on many of the
songs. This might be their best album
Sonic Mass

I didn?t think the 80?s crust trailblazers could come back with a good album,
but I was wrong. Sonic Mass sounds a lot different from their older stuff,
and it has more of a post-punk influence, but it?s still amazing in its own
28Ramshackle Glory
Live the Dream

it?s good to see Pat the Bunny come back after rehab. This album is
awesome, heartfelt folk-punk with great lyrics. RIYL Johnny Hobo or
Wingnut Dishwashers
The Hope In Forgiving & Giving Up Hope

an amazing acoustic screamo album. I didn?t think acoustic guitars would
work with this kind of music so well

hip-hoppy jazz, this might be the best thing the Odd Future?s ever put out.
I look forward to what these guys do in the future
Sulla linea d'orizzonte tra questa mia vita e que

This Italian screamo band released an amazing album. It?s intense and
passionate, but also very melodic. One of the best screamo albums this
24Low Threat Profile
Product #2

don?t blink, or you?ll miss this album. It?s 10 minutes of in-your-face
powerviolence with a heavy old-school hardcore influence. Definitely one of
the best powerviolence albums in recent memory
23Crash of Rhinos

This band brings energy to the softer side of emo. I?ve always had trouble
with softer emo because I thought it was boring and flat, but this album
has energy and passion and emotion and it?s awesome
22Junior Battles
Idle Ages

a highlight pop-punk album. This took a while to grow on me, but this album
is really fun and catchy, and the lyrics are great
21The Weeknd
House of Balloons

This album was another grower, but it was worth it. Abel has an awesome
voice, and the beats on this album are great
20Dropkick Murphys
Going Out in Style

DKM are still going strong. This might be my favorite album by them, it has
some of my favorite Dropkick songs
19Old Man Markley
Guts N' Teeth

at first I was skeptical of this bluegrass-punk album, but it?s heartfelt, it?s
fun, and the songs are extremely infectious

This album is just pure fun. These guys are really nice, and they?re a lot of
fun live. The lyrics are superb, and this album is a very catchy 25 minutes
17The War on Drugs
Slave Ambient

an awesome indie album, I really love it. I might get in trouble for this but I
think sometimes the vocalist sounds like Bono
Like Shadows

15 minutes of Ampere kicking your teeth in with their relentless screamo
assult? Sounds good to me
15Banner Pilot
Heart Beats Pacific

this album rules, it?s one of the best punk albums of the year, Banner Pilot
has really grown since they started
14The Weeknd
Echoes of Silence

My favorite Weeknd mixtape. I know it hasn?t been out for very long, but it?s
an amazing release. It?s dark and hedonistic, and Abel?s singing is as good
as ever
13House Boat
The Thorns of Life

the sophomore release from the pop-punk supergroup made in heaven
does not disappoint. Ridiculously catchy and almost never serious, calling
the Thorns of Life ?fun? is an understatement
Spiritual State

This album is sublime. It?s beautiful, enchanting, mesmerizing, and it will
take you to another world
11The Men
Leave Home

These Brooklyn noise punkers made an amazing album, it might be better
than their debut, Immaculada. It?s brutal, it?s ugly, it?s distorted, and it?s in-
your-face. Oh, and ?Bataille? might have my favorite riff of 2011
10Red City Radio
The Dangers of Standing Still

sing-a-long choruses, melodic guitars, compelling lyrics, what more could
you ask for? One of the best punk albums this year, and one of the best
debut albums of 2011
9Night Birds
The Other Side of Darkness

I?ve always been a fan of surfy punk from bands such as the Dead
Kennedys and Agent Orange, but I never really found bands like them that
did it right. Night Birds bring the surf and they bring the punk, and this
album is so awesome and catchy and get it right now, these guys are one
of the best new punk bands
8Fucked Up
David Comes to Life

A brilliant punk/hardcore concept album. This could be even higher on the
list if the songs didn?t drag on too much sometimes. Our generation?s Zen
Dying Away in the Deep Fall

ambient black metal/post-rock/whatever at its finest. I love this album. I
only discovered it because at first I thought it was a new Dopamines album,
but I?m really glad I checked this out
6Frank Turner
England Keep My Bones

with his new release, Frank Turner continues his legacy. Almost all of the
songs on this album are amazing, his lyrics are amazing, yeah you know
what I mean, it's Frank Turner
5Andrew Jackson Jihad
Knife Man

one of the best folk-punk albums of the last few years. The lyrics are
amazing, and the songs are emotional yet often light and uplifting
Go Tell Fire to the Mountain

I love this album much more than I originally thought I would. The organs,
the atmosphere, the unintelligible lyrics, the mysterious nature of the band
all create an amazing album. I can?t wait to see what these guys do in the
3Joyce Manor
Joyce Manor

I put off listening to this for a long time, and boy, was that a mistake. This
album is catchy and kinda poppy but at the same time it?s really gritty and
emotional. The best ?punk? album of the year
2Bomb the Music Industry!

I know a lot of people are upset that they changed their sound, and I hope
they go back to synth-ska-punk insanity, but this album is still amazing. The
lyrics are great, and BtMI! show their versatility
1Laura Stevenson and the Cans
Sit Resist

my album of the year, I can?t do it justice with a mere description. It?s
enchanting, it?s captivating, it?s beautiful. Laura?s voice is heartwarming, her
lyrics are emotional, and her first full length is the best album of 2011
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