The Best Music of 2011 [#10-#1]

And here we are. The final installment of our countdown.

I’d like to take a moment to thank our panelists. They make this effort possible with their wisdom, commitment and knowledge.

Also, I need to share with you this amazing Flavorwire article that stereotypes you based on what your favorite album of the year is!

Our Best of 2011 Spotify playlist is now completely revealed. Enjoy, my friends.

Let’s bring this home!

#10. Metronomy, The English Riviera

Apparently I’m one of the few music junkies stateside who thought this album was insanely good, although it was very well-received in Britain and is the last of the many Mercury Prize nominees on this list. I was completely floored by The English Riviera and it hasn’t lost its luster after many, many listens.

Check out this cut, “Corrine,” which reminds me a little bit of vintage Eno:

The English quartet led by Joseph Mount has a reshuffled lineup for this album, with the notable and extremely welcome additions of Anna Prior on drums and vocals and Gbenga Adelekan on bass. Both dominate on songs like “Everything Goes My Way.” Metronomy knows the power of repetition in establishing a magnificent groove, and they aren’t afraid to dwell on a riff, bassline or refrain until the listener is transported to planet funk. Other amazing songs include “The Bay” and “She Wants,” but the highlight of the album for me is “Some Written,” which begins as a gentle melody and builds into a full blown jam.

I’m not so bold as to go out on a limb with a record that nobody on the panel (except me) voted for and name it the best of the year. But The English Riviera might be my personal favorite of 2011. I will wager that you’ll enjoy it too.

#9. The Horrors, Skying

Two of the most esteemed members of our panel, Mikey Jones and DBuu, called Skying the best album of the year. Unless you are actually a member of The Horrors, they are cooler than you and I suggest you listen up when they start laying down the truth. I certainly did, and this album didn’t let me down.

Allow me to yield the floor to DBuu, who in my estimation nailed it: “I really gave The Horrors a hard time after they switched from being a horror garage punk band to being a, I guess, shoegaze-y post-punk band (that’s what it says on their wikipedia). But when you listen to their albums sequentially, you can see the progression, and Skying, however detached from their goth punk roots, is just a great album. The songs range from slower and atmospheric to upbeat and almost poppy, but everything makes sense. It has strong singles but can also be listened to in one continuous sitting, which to me is the sign of a good record. “

Skying might not be on your radar, but I picked out a couple of tunes for you to check out on Spotify, and the whole album is more than worth a listen. Get on it, people!

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