Top 10 Albums of 2011


10 jan. 2012, 23h25m

Overall a great year for my collection, a lot of old favourites returned and a few newcomers showed that the old pool wasn't as stagnant as I was starting to think.

10) Doomtree - No Kings
This was a latecomer to the list, about halfway through December, and the first example of how big an effect The Needle Drop had on me this year. After seeing about 1 minute of the Bolt Cutter video I was sold. I still find them hard to pigeonhole, I can't call them a "rap supergroup" because I've never heard of any of the members. They're just a solid act, their flow, beats and lyrics are just solid.

9) The Chemical Brothers - Hanna
And to think there was a time I didn't give two shits about this thing, then I got about halfway through the film, jumped onto Play and bought the OST. It definetly helps to have seen the movie to put some of the stranger tracks into context, such as The Devil Is In The Details, but when you've got the Chem's putting down some of their best tracks in years, Car Chase (Arp Worship), Escape Wavefold and the brain killer that is Escape 700, I'm happy to say, Hanna you just missed my heart.

8) Das Racist - Relax
After the total disapointment that was Goblin and low to middling reviews this album was getting I kinda expected another let down. I knew I should have just relaxed, because to quote Heems, "He's fucking great a rapping".
Sure it sounds a bit over produced, but when have they ever been about the beats, and some of the tracks are a bit daft, Booty in the Air, Punjabi Song, but just consider that their best known track is about a combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, and you'll see that some people should just not give a fuck so often.

7) Metronomy - The English Riviera
Another album that I was just going to let drift by. It's been interesting to watch and hear the evolution of Joseph Mount's act. Going from a poka/electro solo project, to a sort of 3 piece indie Kraftwerk. It seems only sensible that this form of Metronomy would be a 4 piece intelligent indie pop group capable of making one of the best summer soundtracks in years. Too bad I'm too old and bitter to fully appreciate it.

6) Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
And so we come to the only rep on the list from my fair isle, and it doesn't even make my Top 5, what a shit I am. For me this album follows the common theory that with every new album the Wai are becoming more accessible. Considering it has very little in the way of their 8min epics of old, but they do make up for that with a single tracked second disk that clocks in at over 20min.
Of course without those epics you lose the chance for the likes of Like Herod and Christmas Steps, but you do gain a more distilled direct sound in Mexican Grand Prix and San Pedro.

5) Milo - I wish my brother Rob was here
Here we have another first for my collection, in that it isn't even in my collection. A completely free, non-physical release, the nerd hop to Das Rcist's dope rap. Using hand picked beats from some of the most renowned electronic artists around at the moment, Milo creates some of the most crushingly honest and heart felt rhymes I've heard since Buck 65's Man Overboard.
Yeah he kinda veers off on tracks like Super Happy Sunshine Fun Club and Behold! There Appeared a Chariot of Fire, but when you've penned tracks like One Lonely Owl and DAVID FOSTER WALLACE all is forgiven. Just hope he tours the UK this year.

4) Siriusmo - Mosaik
An album that nearly fell to the curse of, "Being released too early in the year", it would have totally over looked if not for my ADD review process for this list. It has the that electro sound that was coming out of Europe around 2005, before Ed Banger came along and dumbed everything down. Full of that genius and energy that hooked me on Jackson and His Computer Band's Smash. It's all glitch and bass, Einmal In Der Woche Schreien brings up images of Vib Ribbon, then you get Bad Idea that sounds like some forgotten Modeselektor track from the Hello Mom! days. Just a disappointment that he was so terrible live.

3) Balkans - Balkans
Jangly angular guitar, a craning vocal style and all the best bits of The Strokes and The Walkmen. All these things combined to make the only album on this list I can listen to, start to finish, without wanting to skip a single track, everything from Edita V to Violent Girls is nothing but pure indie pleasure. The only reason it isn't at the top of this list is that it doesn't bring anything new to my table, but I wouldn't want to, I love it just the way it is.

2) Battles - Gloss Drop
To say that my anticipation for this album was high is a bit of an understatement. I bought a OST for a fuckin Twilight movie just so I could have The Line in my collection. I will forever have that CD sitting on a shelf, bringing my collection's credibility factor down by about 100%, just so I could have that one Battles track. This album is a brilliantly crafted piece, full of child like joy and excitement, with production so great I hate listening to it with earphones, knowing that with a great sound system or a decent set of headphone those drums would sound over 9000x better.
Is it better than Mirrored, well, no. That would have been a hard mark to hit let alone pass, for me this album stops at Sweetie & Shag, where as Mirrored kept going from Race: In to Race: Out. Wall Street alone would get this into my Top 10, like if this was just a 3 track EP and the other 2 tracks were just 3min of farting sounds, it would be number 5.

1) Death Grips - Exmilitary
The fact that Gloss Drop was my most anticipated album of the year, contains one of my most played tracks of the year and was recorded by one of my top 5 bands of all time just goes to show how brilliant this album must be to have taken the top spot.
All it took was the description, "angry, scary, hobo rap", for me to be sold. Beware kinda gives you this falls sense of security, but from the first boom of Guillotine that's all blown away. It's all just glitch, grime, rage and murder from there on out, never have I heard a album so primal and base. Every track wants to fuck, take drugs and take everything from everyone else and never apologises, never let's ups. It's just assaults you, you can give up and listen to some Owl City if it makes you feel better, and then you come back it just does the same all over again. Or you can just get masochistic and enjoy it, say thank you and ask for some more please.
And it was free, that's the cherry on this screaming amphetamine soaked cake.


  • banquodrice


    11 jan. 2012, 23h03m
  • SwitchTheMunky


    11 jan. 2012, 23h47m
  • jc-vs-hst

    Exmilitary is a beast of an album. Nice list.

    18 jan. 2012, 14h00m
  • CaptainGaylord

    death grips was pretty damn cool, i gotta say; you nailed it with the "it just assaults you" comment. after what you told me about milo (and the del reference in the title makes it all the more promising), i gotta check that out... something tells me that you're right and i've been sleeping. i really, really need to give the last mogwai album a good sit-down-and-listen, i even saw the songs live and they were spectacular, but as far as the album itself goes i am just NOT hearing what everyone else seems to be

    22 jan. 2012, 19h56m
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