11 Albums of 2011

By: Max Burke

Well this is a bit late.  And technically, it should be titled “11 + 2 Albums of 2011”, but that’s neither here nor there.  Although 2011 did not yield intstant-classics like 2010 had (Dark Twisted Fantasy, This is Happening, The Suburbs), the 11th year of the new millennium did produce its fair share of memorable albums.  Here are a few of them, listed in alphabetical order of the artists’ names:

UPDATE: Here’s a playlist with a a song from each album

Bon Iver – Bon Iver

You would be hard-pressed to find an album from 2011 that contained such concise, yet deeply textured songs as those on Bon Iver.  Justin Vernon knows how to create expansive and ambitious sounds, but simultaneously reign them in with his acute pop sensibility.  Just listen to “Calgary” or “Holocene” the next time you’re laying in bed, attempting to sleep, and you’ll know what I mean.

Destroyer – Kaputt

Stylistically, nothing from this past year sounded as effortless as Kaputt‘s jazzy synth-grooves and singer Dan Bejar’s nearly-nonchalant singing/speaking.  Although Bejar’s dream-like tales of girls, drugs and time-travel are incoherent at times, they’re full of such wit and humor that one cannot help but be enticed.  And that they’re so easily blended into an equally dreamlike sound environment only makes the experience that much better.

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Max’s Best Tracks of 2011

This is my take on the Best Tracks of 2011. Of course, I haven’t listened to every song released this past year.  And my favorite now could be different in a month.  As you know, the craveability of a song is highly mood dependent.  Nevertheless, here they are, in no particular order:

Cut Copy – “Need You Now” (This is the shortened version)

tUnE-yArDs – “Bizness”

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