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Killrobotmusic's Q1 2011

It's hard to believe that 2011 is already a quarter of the way through. Here's what I've heard and (mostly) enjoyed so far this year.
The King of Limbs

I really didn't expect that I would enjoy this album too much considering that
my interest in Radiohead had waned considerably over the last few years. I was
fucking surprised. This dosen't really sound anything like any of their other
albums, which is a good thing to me. TOP TRACK: Codex
Coloring Book

I normally don't include EPs on this kind of a list, but this is so good that it has
to be here. I never was much of a WoT fan, but this takes everything they were
trying to do on that album and makes it sound way better. Daryl's voice has
improved immensely, and the rest of the band uses both atmosphere and
groove to create some really memorable tracks. I could care less if they don't
release another LP anytime soon because this is just as good. TOP TRACK:
Stations of the New Cross

This one came out of nowhere for me. The composition of this album is just
wonderful. There are so many lush layers of varying instruments permeating
each track that I seem to find something new to focus on each listen. This is
just some chill, sexy music. TOP TRACK: Kaputt
4Frank Ocean
Nostalgia, Ultra

I barely listen to rap, let alone R&B. There is just something about this young
man's earnestness on this album that really sells it for me. He just doesn't
sound like all the by-the-numbers overproduced hit makers out there. The
music is also really fucking chill, which always works for me. Not an Odd Future
supporter, but this guy has my respect. TOP TRACK: Strawberry Swing
5The Dodos
No Color

The Dodos are back after a rather yawn-inducing affair on Time to Die.
Combines the pop sensibilities of that album with the percussive-heavy
experimentation of Visiter with pretty good results. TOP TRACK: Companions
6The Decemberists
The King is Dead

This is radio rock done right. Though this is completely in contrast to the
bombast of their prior albums, the band manages to take "simple" songs and
turn them into worthy tracks by using smart instrumentation and calculated
restraint. TOP TRACK: Calamity Song
7 Earth
Angels of Darnkess, Demons of Light (Volume 1)

These drone pioneers are back with another solid album of drone. That's really
the most effective analysis one can give to this album. TOP TRACK: Old Black.
8Iron & Wine
Kiss Each Other Clean

This album seems to swing and miss more than it hits for me, unfortunately.
That isn't to say that there isn't some awesome tracks here, but Sam Beam
appears to have take his knack for sonic experiments to their limit on this
album, which certainly produces mixed results. TOP TRACK: Walking Far From
9Rival Schools

If you want a watered down version of United by Fate, you should check out
this album. TOP TRACK: Wring it Out
10The Strokes

I haven't heard this yet, as well as the new releases by Defeater, Bright Eyes,
and G. Love, to name a few. What else did I skip over thus far in 2011?
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