I struggled with this year’s list in a way that I do’t normally: it was initially difficult to come up with 10 worth albums right off the bat. Most years, I’m able to think of 15 or 20 or 25 really quickly and then I figure out which ones excited me over the year. This year, I had about 8 that I thought of instantly. The upside to this was that I spent a little bit of time at the end of the year checking out a few albums that I had missed or overlooked initially, and several of those were serious contenders for my list, two of them (w h o k i l l and Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming) making the list.
One thing I noticed was that this year’s list was very electronic-heavy. 2 straight-up ambient albums feature prominently, another almost-ambient album, an electronic-based pop record, and 3 of the pop/rock albums have varying degrees of electronic influence. There are only 3 straight-up rock band records on the list. I think this was part of what made the list difficult for me to come up with, as the rock records are among the first albums I thought of. Their placement mostly near the bottom sums up my apparent feeling that 2011 just wasn’t a really interesting year for guitar-based rock. Most of the action this year was elsewhere. Also notable is that the last album I eliminated before finalizing the list, Sepalcure’s self-titled debut effort, is I think at its heart a UK bass music record.
Without further blabbering from me, here’s the list:
- Oneohtrix Point Never, Replica
- Thrice, Major/Minor
- Secret School, Twenties
- Tim Hecker, Ravedeath, 1972
- tUnE-yArDS, w h o k i l l
- Foo Fighters, Wasting Light
- M83, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
- Tycho, Dive
- Radiohead, The King of Limbs
- Wild Flag, Wild Flag