It’s that time of year again for my favorite running gimmick, best of lists! Today is dedicated to my favorite records and tomorrow is for the movies.
2011 was, to me, a decent year for music, a lot of my most favorite bands were in between records, but there still was a lot of quality to be had.
5) Collapse into Now – REM: What turned out to be REM’s farewell also happened to be one of the strongest albums they recorded in over a decade. This along with 2008’s Accelerate showed that the band was leaving because they wanted to, not because they had nothin left to say.
4) Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt: The Worst Album – TCYForce: Mostly a collection of remixes from one of my favorite albums last year. While I could do without the drama cd interspersed, and Bevery Hills Cock Pt 2 is dire, by and large the remixes continue the excellent electronic dance vibe of the first P&SwG soundtrack.
3) Hot Sauce Committee Part Two – Beastie Boys: From the opening funky clav to “Make Some Noise” the Beasties set out to do one thing, crank out some party rhymes. “Grandpa’s been rappin since ’83” and it shows, there’s a very old school feel to the rhymes. Sonically however, there’s a lot going on. It’s not an exaggeration to say this is the best Beastie record in this century.
2) Ceremonial – Florence + the Machine: I’ve gushed about this album recently enough, suffice to say, it’s more Florence and at the moment I dig the sound she’s working with.
1) Take Care, Take Care, Take Care – Explosions in the Sky: Sweeping, tense, paranoid, uplifting. As I said back in April, Take Care^3 feels to me like a band trying to push its sound
I’m also giving an honorable mention to Dave Matthews Band’s Live Trax, Vol 20, which they gave away to members of the Warehouse fan club for renewing their membership. This very early show from New York City’s Wetlands club is a tremendous document of the band on the rise.
So that’s 2011, all in all, not a bad year. Though I must confess I’m eagerly awaiting to see what 2012 has to offer as several of my favorite acts (Jenny Owen Youngs, and Silversun Pickups to name two) are going to be releasing new material. Hopefully this time next year I’ll be extolling their virtues.