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The Top 50 Albums of 2011 January 23, 2012

Posted by Richard Bolisay in Music, Yearender.
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Truth: it was the year when I listened to too many albums. I checked my notebook and realized that I listened to five new albums every week in 2011. I couldn’t help it. I needed things to occupy my time and found these records. I devoured them like a madman, re-listening to them on my way to the office or back home, when I had my lunch, waited at airports, traveled on a bus or jeepney, took the train, walked to nowhere. These albums had been wonderful companions through the good and the bad, carrying me through the rough times and keeping me sane. I neglected books and movies because of them, and to what end? A certain kind of happiness, bittersweet, heavy, and forgiving. In Peter Silberman’s words, I was “pulled together but about to burst apart, rolled together with a burning paper heart.” Sappy yet true.

Below is a summary of the finest records I loved and continue to love from last year. Links to songs are provided, as well as a few notes on other stuff. Do listen to them if you have the time.

HONORABLE MENTION

WOLFROY GOES TO TOWN, Bonnie “Prince” Billy

NO TIME FOR DREAMING, Charles Bradley

LAST SUMMER, Eleanor Friedberger

SOUND KAPITAL, Handsome Furs

HOT SAUCE COMMITTEE PART 2, Beastie Boys

LA JOVEN DOLORES, Christina Rosenvinge

NOSTALGIA, ULTRA, Frank Ocean

YUCK, Yuck

EL CAMINO, The Black Keys

THE KING IS DEAD, The Decemberists

50. NO COLOR, Dodos

49. HEARTS, I Break Horses

48. UNDUN, The Roots

47. OPUS EPONYMOUS, Ghost

46. TAMER ANIMALS, Other Lives

45. 12 DESPERATE STRAIGHT LINES, Telekinesis

44. DYE IT BLONDE, Smith Westerns

43. ONEIROLOGY, CunninLynguists

42. SAFARI DISCO CLUB, Yelle

41. IMPOSSIBLE SPACES, Sandro Perri

40. TOMBOY, Panda Bear

39. TAKE CARE, TAKE CARE, TAKE CARE, Explosions in the Sky

38. GLOSS DROP, Battles

37. CIRCUITAL, My Morning Jacket

36. LAST NIGHT ON EARTH, Noah and the Whale

35. BLANCK MASS, Blanck Mass

34. FADING PARADE, Papercuts

33. SMOTHER, Wild Beasts

32. STRANGE NEGOTIATIONS, David Bazan

31. HELPLESSNESS BLUES, Fleet Foxes

30. THE MAGIC PLACE, Julianna Barwick

29. ARABIA MOUNTAIN, Black Lips

28. TURTLENECK & CHAIN, The Lonely Island

27. SKY FULL OF HOLES, Fountains of Wayne

26. PARALLAX, Atlas Sound

25. A CREATURE I DON’T KNOW, Laura Marling

24. BLACK UP, Shabazz Palaces

23. NOTHING IS WRONG, Dawes

22. SKYING, The Horrors

21. HURRY UP, WE’RE DREAMING, M83

20. THE KING OF LIMBS
Radiohead
[XL]

Listen: “Codex,” “Lotus Flower”

19. LEAVE HOME
The Men
[Sacred Bones]

Listen: “If You Leave…” “Bataille”

18. WIT’S END
Cass McCombs
[Domino]

LSS: “County Line,” “The Lonely Doll”

17. WASTING LIGHT
Foo Fighters
[Roswell]

Listen: “Arlandria,” “Back and Forth”

16. APOCALYPSE
Bill Callahan
[Drag City]

Listen: “America!” “Riding for the Feeling”

15. SUCK IT AND SEE
Arctic Monkeys
[Domino]

Listen: “She’s Thunderstorms,” “Love is a Laserquest”

14. SKYLINE
Yann Tiersen
[Mute]

Listen: “Forgive Me,” “Exit 25 Block 20”

13. DAVID COMES TO LIFE
Fucked Up
[Matador]

Listen: “Queen of Hearts,” “The Other Shoe”

12. RAVEDEATH, 1972
Tim Hecker
[Kranky]

Listen: “The Piano Drop,” “Analog Paralysis, 1978”

11. NINE TYPES OF LIGHT
TV on the Radio
[Interscope]

Listen: “Will Do,” “No Future Shock”

10. ECHOES OF SILENCE
The Weeknd
[XO]

Listen: “D.D.” “XO/The Host”

9. NAPOLEONETTE
Matthew Friedberger
[Thrill Jockey]

Listen: “What A Weird Weird Weird Weird,” “Shirley”

8. AESTHETHICA
Liturgy
[Thrill Jockey]

Listen: “Generation,” “Glory Bronze”

7. COIN COIN CHAPTER ONE: GENS DE COULEUR LIBRES
Matana Roberts
[Constellation]

Listen: “Libation for for Mr. Brown: Bid Em In…” “How Much Would You Cost?”

6. TAPE CLUB
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
[Polyvinyl]

Listen: “Dead Right (Wilmington Demo)” “Cardinal Rules”

5. NEW BRIGADE
Iceage
[What’s Your Rupture?]

Listen: “White Rune,” “Remember”

4. D
White Denim
[Downtown]

Listen: “Is and Is and Is,” “Street Joy”

3. PAST LIFE MARTYRED SAINTS
EMA
[Souterrain Transmissions]

Listen: “California,” “Milkman”

2. BURST APART
The Antlers
[Frenchkiss]

Listen: “I Don’t Want Love,” “Putting the Dog to Sleep”

1. LET ENGLAND SHAKE
PJ Harvey
[Vagrant]

Listen: “The Words that Maketh Murder,” “In The Dark Places”

BEST EPs

HALLS EP, Halls

AN ARGUMENT WITH MYSELF, Jens Lekman

OH SUNSHINE, Oh Sunshine

GUARDS EP, Guards

WHAT A PLEASURE, Beach Fossils

QUADRUPLE SINGLE EP, Big Business

BEST OST

DRIVE, Cliff Martinez

SUBMARINE, Alex Turner

THEY’RE OK, BUT….

BON IVER, Bon Iver

FATHER SON HOLY GHOST, Girls

GO TELL FIRE TO THE MOUNTAIN, Wu Lyf

LOOPING STATE OF MIND, The Field

WATCH THE THRONE, Jay-Z and Kanye West

CULTS, Cults

DAYS, Real Estate

METALS, Feist

THE ENGLISH RIVIERA, Metronomy

EYE CONTACT, Gang Gang Dance

BEST SONGS NOT ON THE ALBUMS LIST

“NOTHING BUT HEART,” Low

“SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO KNOW,” Gotye feat. Kimbra

“MEASUREMENTS,” James Blake

“LOTS SOMETIMES,” Glasvegas

“THE DAILY MAIL,” Radiohead

“MEET ME IN MIRAMAS,” Matthew Friedberger

“BABY MISSILES,” The War on Drugs

“QUANTUM LEAP,” John Maus

“ROMANCE,” Wild Flag

“WHERE I’M WAKING,” Slow Club

“I FOLLOW RIVERS,” Lykke Li

“ORIGINAL SPIN,” Mother Mother

“LIPPY KIDS,” Elbow

“BRAIN ON A TABLE,” An Horse

“HOW CAN YOU LUV ME,” Unknown Mortal Orchestra

“SHOULDA,” Jamie Woon

“BUBBLE POP!” Hyuna

“HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE,” The Rapture

“SANTA FE,” Beirut

“UNDERNEATH THE SYCAMORE,” Death Cab for Cutie

“WAKE AND BE FINE,” Okkervil River

“ME AND LAZARUS,” Iron and Wine

“BLUE EYES,” Destroyer

BEST CONCERT ATTENDED

THE NATIONAL at the Esplanade in Singapore, November 6, 2011. A trip worth taking and a dream come true. Everything about it is made of happiness and fun and sad memories and getting high.

BEST SONGS 2011

BEST ALBUMS 2010

BEST SONGS 2010

BEST ALBUMS 2009

BEST SONGS 2009 

Comments»

1. jayclops - January 25, 2012

Wow. great list Chard. Cults and Girls are in my top 10 siguro. but haven’t heard 5 albums from your top 10.

2. Richard Bolisay - January 25, 2012

Thanks, Jay. Let me know when your list is up. Di ba may Youth Lagoon? :P

Which track from the Girls’ album is your favorite?

3. Carl Papa - January 26, 2012

ang dami mong napakinggan. nakakalula ehhehe

4. Richard Bolisay - January 26, 2012

napaghahalataang malungkot at subsob sa pakikinig. haha. post mo na yung iyo!

5. jayclops - January 26, 2012

ayoko. it’s too pop-ish. hahaha. yeah, bakit wala kang YL? I like Vomit the most i think. sa Girls album.

6. Richard Bolisay - January 26, 2012

may mas pa-pop pa ba sa songs list ko na may charice at angeline quinto? haha. gusto ko yung honey bunny at die kaso nakakatulugan ko talaga siya. ooops.

7. Carl Papa - January 27, 2012

napost ko na yung fave songs ko :D

8. pat - January 28, 2012

Where is beyonce’s 4? :D

I love cliff Martinez sounds. Kung magkaka-soundtrack ang buhay ko, sana sya ang magscore.

9. Gone flying a kite. - January 28, 2012

Wow, I didn’t know 2011 was that great for music. Man am I stuck in the past! Very informative post.

10. Richard Bolisay - January 28, 2012

Carl: yep, saw it, in parts! The Antlers <3 (can't comment 'cause it's on Tumblr)

Pat: in the spirit of fairness, Beyonce is on the songs list. hehe. ang cool naman ng life mo! love cliff martinez.

Gone flying a kite: it was a great year! by the way, i like your blog :)

11. jayclops - February 7, 2012

shet ang ganda nga ng white denim. i have to re-do my top 12 LOL

12. Richard Bolisay - February 7, 2012

YUP GANDA GANDA. Lakas ng tama. It keeps getting more beautiful every listen. Paborito ko yung “Is and Is and Is.”

13. jayclops - February 8, 2012

Wow. Saang sulok mo natagpuan si Matana Roberts. Nakalimutan ko bigla si Esperanza Spalding. Ibang klaseng jazz, whew.

14. Richard Bolisay - February 8, 2012

Sa pagbabasa ng mga music sites. Ang galing niya no? Maraming eklat at palabok yung arrangements (to the point na masakit na sa tainga) pero nakakaiyak yung mga kanta.

15. jayclops - February 10, 2012

i like the playfulness. feeling ko nakakalimutan ng jazz artist to be playful and adventurous. after all that’s what jazz is all about diba. or baka di lang talaga jazz yun. hahaha


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