Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Best Albums of 2011 by Dan Walker

Fan Submitted Best Albums of 2011

By Dan Walker...

Here is my top ten list for 2011 of my favorite albums. Included also are some tracks that I liked that were not in my top albums list. I thought 2011 was a great year for music. The last few years weren't even worthy of putting together a top 10 list. I actually had about 20 this year that were tough to narrow down to 10.

10. Eric Church - Chief

One of the new country outlaws. He writes and records traditional country sounds and still related to the younger generation of pop-country listeners. His song 'Springsteen' relates to anyone who grew up in the 80's and had the Boss as the soundtrack to their lives. Key Tracks: Springsteen, Jack Daniels

9. Panic! At The Disco - Vices And Virtues

This sound is kind of outdated as the Emo sound isn't as popular anymore. But Panic! has continued to write catchy songs in the format while still sounding fresh. Key Track: Ballad Of Mona Lisa

8. Blitzen Trapper - American Goldwing

Another Southern rock-ish band. It's hard to believe they aren't from the south (instead Portland, Oregon). These songs will remind you of early 70's AM hits. Key Tracks: Love The Way You Walk Away, Might Find It Cheaper

7. Adele - 21

The sales show it all. She wrote and recorded a perfect pop album. She's a siren singing her tales of love, anger, and revenge. She reigns you in with her voice and forces you to listen to her drama. You don't want to get involved, but you can't help taking her side. Key Tracks: Rolling In The Deep, Rumour Has It

6. Girls - Father Son And The Holy Ghost

Nothing unique about this album. Just good rock songwriting. Some great guitar riffs reminiscent of George Harrison's slide playing mixed with some organ riffs that will remind you of Crowded House's Don't Dream It's Over. Key tracks: My Ma, Vomit

5. Deer Tick - Divine Providence

A great raw rock album from a great raw rock band. They have a great party/Southern rock sound with an alternative feel. Key Tracks: The Bump, Main Street

4. Ryan Adams - Ashes And Fire

His best album in years. Simple arrangements and great songwriting. Hopefully he continues this trend. Sobering up has helped his creativity. These songs stand up next to the best of his career. Key Tracks: Come Home, Lucky Now

3. Glen Campbell - Ghost On The Canvas

It's easy to tell from the first note that this is a man recording his final album. It's so sad that you nearly shed a tear for him knowing what he's going through. Try not to cry listening to the first track 'A Better Place.' Key tracks: A Better Place, Hold On Hope (Cover of Guided By Voices)

2. Wilco - The Whole Love

The sharpest and most accessible album they've recorded to date. Great rock songs but still adding their experimental touches to each song. Key tracks: I Might (my favorite song of the year), Dawned On Me

1. Black Keys - El Camino

The best album of the year. Every song is solid. They added a fuller sound than ever before yet still kept their core elements at the heart of the songs. They did something all great albums do. This album has made me listen to all of their earlier work in a different light. They were all good albums to me. But this album made those songs better. Key Tracks: All

Here are some of my other favorite tracks that were not on the above albums:
Blue Tip - The Cars
Santa Fe - Beirut
Calgary - Bon Iver
Rope - Foo Fighters
Getting Ready For Christmas Day - Paul Simon
Paradise - Coldplay
Hold On - Alabama Shakes
Chicago - Tom Waits (This album could easily move up in to my top ten for the year)
Abducted - Cults
Girl Panic! - Duran Duran (Google this video. Well done.)

This list will probably adjust a bit as I finish listening to some more albums from 2011.

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