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Top 9 Albums Of 2011 So Far

So we're already in May, and I figured it'd be nice for me to be able rto look back at the end of rthe year and see how many of these stay rhigh up on my list after we've got another 7 months rof great music rto try and beat them.
Wars of the Roses

Whilst this is still a very enjoyable album, it was a bit of a letdown
compared to the band's previous three releases. It's still the same Ulver,
though, and features some wonderfully unnerving moments of dark ambiance coupled with Garm's ever-
improving vocals.
8The Weeknd
House of Balloons

The sound of the early hours following a party, this is a gritty, almost jazzy
album that is one of the most perfect 'late night' albums of recent times. Its
only problem is a slight tendency to blur into one continuous track, but that
might well be what you want if you listen at the appropriate time; 5 A.M.
Old Raves End

The gorgeous production on offer here betrays the low budget of the
project, and that illusion of Swarms being amongst the top tier of their
genre is more than maintained throughout the album, evident in the
immense quality of the songs on offer. And by the end of their first album,
the illusion becomes reality; Swarms really do cement themselves as being
leaders in their field, filling every second of this forty minute debut with,
pretty much, perfection.
The King Of Limbs

It seems ridiculous for me to be saying that an album released in February
hasn't aged well, so early on after its release, but that's the sad fact about
Radiohead's latest. It's still an incredibly solid release in every way, but
after the first few weeks of listening it loses the 'I constantly want to listen
to this' vibe of In Rainbows, Kid A and OK Computer. So whilst I can't really
fault it on a technical level, this is an album that started off as my number 1
and has moved down to, well, number 6 as time went on.
5James Blake
James Blake

Sure, it's actually not quite as good as last year's Klavierwerke EP, but the
young dup step pioneer's first full album still stands head and shoulders
above most of the competition. It's more accessible than any of his EPs, but
still retains that exploratory songwriting style that has won Blake so many
fans up to this point. I eagerly await more.
w h o k i l l

After the incomprehensibility of the first few spins, w h o k i l l begins to
reveal itself as one of the most ambitious albums ever released by a solo
artist. From the wonderfully layered single Bizness, to the the joyously
sensual You Yes You, w h o k i l l just keeps on giving. A densely produced
and carefully considered album, it appeals precisely for the reason that it
sounds the complete opposite; improvised, and completely mad.
3Laura Stevenson and the Cans
Sit Resist

This is one of the most immensely pleasing first-listens I've ever had of an
album. Whilst that in itself wouldn't be quite enough to recommend it as
much as I do, the marvellous thing about the album is how it manages to
keep on giving every time you listen again. Laura's voice is the main
attraction here, and it's suitably brilliant, but basically everything on this
album is like a massive, life-affirming hug.

Other than boasting the most gorgeous cover art of the year so far,
Oneirology can also lay claim to being one of the most fully realised
triumphs of style that the genre has ever seen, with every inclusion of a
guest star or a 70s prog rock sample judged perfectly.
1Fleet Foxes
Helplessness Blues

Expanding on their unique, inviting sound even further than I thought
possible, with Helplessness Blues the Fleet Foxes have crafted one of the
earthiest albums I've ever heard, steeped entirely in the natural world and
all of its beauty, both musically and lyrically.
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