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Top 20 Albums Of 2011

The top 20 albums released in 2011, from the opinionated views of myself.
20Steven Wilson
Grace For Drowning

The singer of Porcupine Tree's solo release makes up another third of the
"odd albums" trilogy, the others being Opeth's Heritage and Storm
Corrosion's debut (the latter unreleased). Grace For Drowning is an
ambient, introspective record with some truly great vocals from Steven
19The Dangerous Summer
War Paint

Definitely starting to focus on the pop-punk now, but still. War Paint was
TDS's sophomore release, and is of more consistency than their previous
one, Reach For The Sun. While Reach had a few incredible tracks, a few
"meh" and some unlistenable, War Paint stays of pretty much the same
quality throughout, with some standouts ("Work In Progress" and "No
One's Gonna Need You More).
18 The Wonder Years
Suburbia: I've Given You All and Now I'm Nothing

With a title that's for too long to do more than copy-paste, The Wonder
Years have delivered the perfect pop-punk album, and their best release to
date. Soupy's strong, fantastically emotional vocals give TWY an edge over
their peers, and when combined with your usual "fed-up-with-this-shit"
lyrics and some great musical backing, it's a damn fine listen overall.
17 Harry James Angus
Little Stories

I listened to this album due to my obsession with The Cat Empire, and while
it was not nearly what I was expecting, that doesn't equal a bad release.
Angus combines his incredibly unique voice (slightly lower in pitch than with
TCE) with some great guitar and mostly, terrific lyrics for the most original
acoustic album you'll ever hear.
Making Mirrors

Back to Australia for some weird experimentation by Belgian-Australian
Gotye. While it is neither as gripping nor interesting as his frankly incredible
previous LP, Like Drawing Blood, listening to Making Mirrors is still a great
experience for fans of the strange.
15Dream Theater
A Dramatic Turn of Events

Don't believe what the title says; while you may be inclined to think from
the name that this is another cheesy over-long metal album with shockingly
high vocals, you'd be wrong. This is actually a surprisingly non-cheesy,
overlong album with mostly high vocals. Okay, not the best description, but
the addition of new drummer Mike Mangini definitely did Dream Theater a
world of good.
The Path of Totality

Ahh, Kornstep. Despite Deviant's shockingly biased review against this album (no offense Deviant) I decided
to check this out and got the biggest surprise of the year. Take Korn, who I don't like but don't hate, and
dubstep, which I don't like but don't hate, and put them together, and you get an album I really fekkin' like.
Go figure yourself, and while you're doing that check this out.
13...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
Tao of the Dead

Tao of the Dead was basically a continuation of the AYWKUBTTOD
paradigm; weird but ineresting lyrics about strange and distrubing things
hand-in-hand with Conrad Keely's unique vocals and large amounts of
experimentation on the musical front. While the combo didn't work quite as
well as on the scarily good Century of Self, this is still a cracker of an album.
12Manchester Orchestra
Simple Math

Simple Math is by a couple of buses, a taxi and a long walk Manchester's
best album. Andy Hull's vocals improved by magnitudes from the
occasionally-annoying singing he laid down for Mean Everything to Nothing.
11Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room
Hurricane Season

The bassist and co-vocalist of punk rockers Alkaline Trio branched off on his
own to deliver a heartfelt, semi-acoustic album. A great release for AK3 fans
who prefer Dan's vocals and instrumentation to Matt's.
10Calling All Cars
Dancing With a Dead Man

Back to the land of Oz with this alternative rock release. Only a year-and-a-half after their last album, trio
Calling All Cars delivered a cracking LP that
alternates between their trademark brand of fast-paced rockers and more
alternative, ambient tracks.
Coloring Book

Glassjaw decided to take a turn away from their schizophrenic past
releases and go for a more electronic, clean vocal-based release; and by all
hell, it worked. "Daytona White" was one of the best songs this year.
Technically an EP, I know, but who cares.
8 letlive
Fake History (Re-Release)

It would be lies to say that this band were really any good at all in their
past; but Fake History was a fantastic leap forward, with Glassjaw-ish
vocals, thrilling guitars and a great rhythm section, although the
songwriting was still occasionally flawed.

Yet another genre-defying release from Thrice, although I can't say it did as
much for me as their previous LP, the un-flawed Beggars.
6 Jake Nauta
From These Hands

Unsurprisingly, sputnik doesn't even have a page for this guy; he's
relatively unknown. For those Aussie underground fans such as myself, he
used to play in an incredible semi-acoustic duo named Playjerise. With a
fantastic voice and multi-instrumental skills, this is an acoustic masterpiece
worth checking out.
Conditions of My Parole

Never been a fan of Maynard James Keenan's solo stuff (under this
bandname); I always preferred me some Perfect Circle. But this album was
a huge leap forward, away from the overly-vulgar lyrics and crude
electronics of their/his previous works, to a more introspective sound.
4Alkaline Trio

This release is basically AK3 re-working a plethora of songs from across
their discography in acoustic format, plus two new songs and a cover. It's
only really for AK3 fans, but damn, who would have thought that the punk-
rockers could do acoustic so well.
3The Getaway Plan

Not really any better or worse than their previous release, Other Voices,
Other Rooms, but still a great album with the occasional flaw.

Funnily enough, barely anyone on sputnik has any time for this album, but I
thought it was an experimental, well-written and well-performed album.
Travis' drums are something to adore, if nothing else.
1The Dear Hunter
The Color Spectrum (Complete Collection)

This isn't really an album, more of a project consisting of nine 4-track EP's;
but hell, it was amazing, so I'll give it the top spot. Thank you, Casey
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