Aaron G: Top Albums of 2011

Brookhaven, PA

top ten albums

10Lykke Li: Wounded Rhymes

I like to have at least one album in my top 10 that has a lady lead singer so that babes know that I’m sensitive.

Standout Track(s): I Follow River

09Rural Alberta Advantage: Departing

This sounds a lot like their first album, which I liked too. It makes me think I want to visit Alberta in the winter, which is probably very cold and miserable in reality.

Standout Track(s): Stamp

08Charles Bradley: No Time for Dreaming

The Popped! Music Festival was moved from the promising location of FDR Park to the not so promising Temple basketball arena. There was a brief discussion of not going by Noise Narcs himself, but Charles Bradley was worth the price of admission. He walked onstage in some sort of leather jumpsuit with an eagle on it and won over the crowd immediately.

Standout Track(s): Heartaches and Pain

07Jay-Z / Kanye West: Watch the Throne

Aziz Ansari cameo in this music video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoEKWtgJQAU

Standout Track(s): Otis

06TV on the Radio: Nine Types of Light

Amongst heavy competition, the TV on the Radio show with Broken Social Scene at the Mann was the best concert I went to in 2011. Before “Will Do” (or a different song, I don’t actually remember), someone in the front row was taking a cell phone picture and Kyp Malone (the rotund guy with the beard) scolded him, “Put your cameras away. This song is going to be better than your picture.”

Standout Track(s): Will Do

05Portugal, the Man: In the Mountain in the Cloud

My teacher told me everything/I want it all now/My parents told me it would be

Standout Track(s): So American Got it All (This Can’t be Living Now)

04Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues

I’m not sure if I had heard this album before their debut that I wouldn’t like this one more. “Helplessness Blues” reminds me of the best Simon and Garfunkel songs.

Standout Track(s): Helplessness Blues

03M83: Hurry Up We’re Dreaming

Is the song “Raconte-Moi Une Histoire” the equivalent of the rap album interlude that makes you like the album less? I’ll admit that I kind of like it. I considered not listening to this album due to its 74 minute length, but it was well worth it.

Standout Track(s): Midnight City

02Girls: Father, Son, Holy Ghost

I think I will be listening to this album for a long time. On a cold, rainy day a month or two ago I put “Honey Bunny” on repeat and my mood improved with each listen.

Standout Track(s): Honey Bunny

01Bon Iver : Bon Iver

The first time I heard this album, I wasn’t sure that I liked it, but then I found myself sitting at my computer after school and listening to it over and over again. I enjoy it more every time.

Standout Track(s): Calgary

honorable mentions

Wilco//The Whole Love, Real Estate//Days, The Roots//Undun

similarity to overall top ten: 41.33%, 4 matches

top songs

A ton of great songs this year. I leaned heavily on how many repeated listenings I had of each song to make the rankings. The #6 song “Borrowed Heart” by Hezekiah Jones must be accompanied with watching the awesome Frankenstein music video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oo10gRImsWE. I know everyone is even sicker of Foster the People than they were of Kings of Leon the year they exploded, but remember the first few times you heard “Pumped Up, Kicks” when the sun was shining and the summer was just around the corner? That was pretty fun. “Under the Cover of Darkness” by the Strokes is a reminder of how good this album could have been if Julian Casablancas didn’t mail it in (#1 joke of the year!). Girls’ “Honey Bunny” is my favorite at this very second.

10Foster the People, “Pumped Up Kicks”

09Fleet Foxes, “Helplessness Blues”

08The Strokes, “Under the Cover of Darkness”

07Bon Iver, “Calgary”

06Hezekiah Jones, “Borrowed Heart”

05Ryan Adams, “Lucky Now”

04Cults, “Go Outside”

03Bright Eyes, “Shell Games”

02Portugal, the Man, “Got it All (This Can’t Be Living Now)”

01Girls, “Honey Bunny”

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