Top Albums of 2011

Even though Noise Narcs went the way of the Irish Deer† this year, our compulsion to arbitrarily rank albums from our ivory Office Max office chairs lives on.

Streaming music continues to greatly change the way we listen to music. It was a breeze to fire up trusty old MOG and burn through all 66 of our voter-submitted albums of the year candidates. Well, easy enough until I hit Foster the People, Lady Gaga, and Coldplay. We need to have a conversation about what the word “best” means. Also, “music.” And a special fuck you to the Black Keys, Bill Callahan, Tom Waits, and Coldplay, who all decided their albums were too good for the streaming sites. 1) They weren’t. 2) I sure as hell listened to them anyway, and you can take a guess as to whether any of the above artists received a dime from me.

But anyway, looking back at that list, I am thankful for a wonderful year of music, and all the wonderful suggestions from our trusty voters. Yes, even you, Karp.

This year’s top album, for the first time since we’ve been doing this, was a decisive favorite. 62% of our voters included it in their list; 6 of them put it #1; and it had an unbelievable 48% of a weighted perfect score.

As always, if you’re a nerd, you can check out our ranking methodology. And if you’re nerd handicap comes in a geographic flavor, you can talk shit on each other cities here. Individual voter pages are here, and the entire top to bottom list is here. You could also check out last year’s list.

New to this year, I’ve created awards. Some involve math, some involve my not being able to quash my foaming sense of musical righteousness.

Most Influential / Biggest Sheep Award

This award goes to the effortlessly brilliant, David Goldfarb, who had seven matches on the top ten. His choices were, based on some sort of formula I developed last year but then forgot about, 71% similar to the top ten list. I’m sure that had nothing to do with who selected the voters. NOTHING.

Biggest Iconoclast / Worst Taste Award

With his unquestionable great decision to list five black metal albums, Chris M. Also, one of his metal bands is from San Francisco? SAN FRANCISCO?

Letting Me Know That Tori Amos Is Still Alive Award

Shryll W

Most Albums Off the Reservation That Weren’t Arbitrary Black Metal Nonsense

New voter Brian Howard, who had numerous albums I had never heard of. Dammit.

Most Albums Listened To / Cushiest Desk Job
The humble David Goldfarb who listened to all 66.

Most Nepotistic / Kindest

Katherine H who voted for TWO albums of bands that include friends of her. And where did she rank them? #1 and #2. Holler at my loyal girl.

And, finally, to the album list:

20Destroyer : Kaputt

Total Votes: 2; Highest Ranking: #2
19Frank Ocean: Nostalgia, Ultra

Total Votes: 4; Highest Ranking: #3
18Radiohead: King of the Limbs

Total Votes: 4; Highest Ranking: #3
17Cults: Cults

Total Votes: 5; Highest Ranking: #2
16Beirut: The Rip Tide

Total Votes: 4; Highest Ranking: #1
15Cut Copy: Zonoscope

Total Votes: 5; Highest Ranking: #6
14Atlas Sound: Parallax

Total Votes: 4; Highest Ranking: #3
13Wild Flag: Wild Flag

Total Votes: 3; Highest Ranking: #1
12Bill Callahan: Apocalypse

Total Votes: 5; Highest Ranking: #2
11Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues

Total Votes: 6; Highest Ranking: #3

† It’s an extinct deer. Yes, I do think it’s a necessary metaphor. Why don’t YOU just use the dodo? What? You think it’s awkward because it rhymes with year? Well, I’ve got a rhyme for you, buddy: it starts with Mighty Duck Two. Also, check this shit:

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