(Update 12/21: A Slacker Radio station featuring the artists in this best of list can be found here.)
Like many, I enjoy the end of year ritual of reading “best of” lists. It’s a nice way to expand your musical horizon, catch something you might have missed, or reconsider an opinion on an album you may have misjudged.
My list of 11 is unranked and unreasoned (see considering the best of). It is simply my favorites of the year, in alpha order, along with some that fell just below that first cusp.
If pressed, I’d probably point to Atlas Sound’s Parallax as my favorite of the year. It was a late year release and is in the rotation a lot at the moment. What sticks out about the album is that the songs sound familiar,even nostalgic, but are complex, in both layer and lyric. By adding up the sum of his last four efforts, two Deerhunter contributions and two stellar Atlas Sound solo efforts, it is easy to see that Bradford Cox is one of the best songwriters of our generation.
In a few days, I’ll post the obligatory “best of”, my favorite Eleven Albums for 2011.
2011 was interesting because several of my favorite bands released new albums. However, in many cases, I considered their output as furthering the quality of their catalog, but not necessarily redefining themselves or topping their most cohesive, best works.
For example, M83’s album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming featured a killer, infectious single, “Midnight City” (which Pitchfork named Best Track of the Year) and some other highlights, but not much cohesion, with so many tracks that seemed superfluous. In fact, I prefer 2008’s Saturdays = Youth, which was more shoegaze and less synth.
“Midnight City” | M83