Best Albums of 2011: The Middle of the Pack (50-26)

This is in all likelihood the last of the best of 2011 lists to be coming out, and it is in fact my second. As it turns out, I had overlooked some great releases in my original list, and the new additions are in bold.

The Middle of the Pack (51-26)

These are some of the best albums of 2011. All of them are good and many aspired for greatness but fell short in some way. Nonetheless, they’re still great new records to pick up.

50. Return of 4eva – Big K.R.I.T.
49. Shangri-La – Yacht

Yacht’s second album as a duo is a guilty pleasure, wasting time, electropop wonderpiece. “Shangri-La” remains one of my favorite songs of the year.

48. The Greatest Story Never Told – Saigon
47. Gauntlet Hair – Gauntlet Hair
46. Last Summer – Eleanor Friedberger
45. Dye It Blonde – The Smith Westerns

Probably the first release of 2011 that I really enjoyed listening too. I was glad to see this Chicago group come out with a more mature sound. I was a little frightened when I started hearing their music in Calvin Klein ads, though.

43. El Camino – The Black Keys
42. Carrion Crawler/The Dream – Thee Oh Sees

This albums flew under the radar, perhaps because Thee Oh Sees are so prolific (Castlemania, another full length LP by Thee Oh Sees, was released in 2011).

41. Dive – Tycho
40. Endless Now – Male Bonding
39. Sound Kapital – Handsome Furs

The Handsome Furs know music. And it shows in this album, where Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner and his wife Alexei Perry incorporate a variety of sounds to create a fantastic and flowing album, one that is tough to stop listening to.

38. Cults – Cults
37. The Whole Love – Wilco
36. Humor Risk/Wit’s End – Cass McCombs 
35. Burst Apart – The Antlers
34. Arabia Mountain – The Black Lips
33. C’mon – Low

This exquisite album by indie rock veterans Low is more than musically satisfying, it is emotionally satisfying. The opening track “Try to Sleep” sets the pace and tone for an album that everyone ought to hear once, if only for the masterful indie rock soundscapes.

32. Relax – Das Racist
31. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
30. Instrumentals – Clams Casino
29. 21 – Adele

Overplayed and overrated? Undoubtedly yes. But that is no reason to not appreciate the strength and soul of Adele’s second album.

28. XXX – Danny Brown
27. Watch the Throne – Jay-Z & Kanye West
26. On a Mission – Katy B

How I overlooked this album I’ll never know. Here, Brit Katy B puts together an energizing hybrid of UK Garage, Dubstep, and some sort of House/Disco, then proceeds to inject excellent lyricism to create dance tunes that one can’t help but move to.


Have a different opinion? Make sure to share it in the comments section below


Coming Soon: The Keepers, Albums of 2011 #’s 25-11

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