My top 7 albums of 2011

14/12/2011.

It’s that time of the year again where we are inundated with endless lists of what was hot and what was not during the year that was 2011. I’ll add to the clutter and put in my two cents worth of what were  the best 7 album releases for me. Why 7 you ask? No particular reason. These are the 7 albums that I listened to repeatedly and that I did and can not tire of.

7. The Kills / Blood Pressures

Another gem from the band who does cool effortlessly. Alison Mosshart did have quite a bit of success with Jack White in Dead Weather, but for me she’s at her best in The Kills. Jamie Hince keeps on to wrangle new sounds out of his guitar and their songwriting is getting better as the years pass by.

Stand out track : The Last Goodbye


6. Arctic Monkeys / Suck It And See

I must admit that I have never really been able to get into The Arctic Monkeys until Suck It And See. From the opening chords of She’s Thunderstorms to the beautiful That’s Where You’re Wrong, the whole album is just glorious experiment in perfect pop/rock songwriting. Sure, the previous albums had “clever” lyrics but seemed a bit same-y. Not so here. The album has tons of melodic hooks and their use of tremelo on the guitar is a masterstroke. A classic that will still sound fresh 30 years from now.

Stand out track : The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala

5. Noel Gallagher / Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

After the Oasis fall out in 2009 there has been a lot of anticipation as to what Noel Gallagher would come up with and NGHFB is definitely a fine moment and start to his solo career. Where later Oasis albums lacked quality control due to the additional songwriters, this is truly a fantastic return to form for Noel. With the monumental Everybody’s On The RunDefinitely Maybe-ish If I Had A Gun and the dance inspired AKA…What A Life, there are enough brilliant moments here that makes me very excited for his next offering next year. Let the good times roll…

Stand out track : If I Had A Gun

4. Florence & The Machine / Ceremonials

There must have been a lot of pressure on Florence Welch to improve on her debut album, Lungs, but it seems she adhered to the principle of if you can’t make it better than make it at least bigger. This is an epic album, so much more dark and dense than the previous effort, if that is possible. When she sings “It’s always darkest before the dawn“, you can’t help but feel a tingle down your spine. The production is also of the highest order. Now wouldn’t it be a treat to see her in South Africa some time soon…

Stand out track : Shake It Out

3. Anna Calvi / Anna Calvi

This is why I love music. Up until a few months ago I have never heard of an artist called Anna Calvi. A friend of mine recommended the album and I had a listen to hear what all the fuss was about. I was blown away. It was a sound so fresh and original that it has changed my view and thoughts on how I see my own musical future.  She has the looks, she can write a tune and she can definitely play the guitar. The way to the top lies wide open and beckoning for Anna Calvi.

Stand out track : Desire

2. The Black Keys / El Camino

Sneaking in quite late in the year with their second offering in as many years, this dirty rock’n’roll duo seems to have no shortage of ideas. In recent years their sound has changed quite a bit with the addition of bass and keys on their recording and live set, but personally I think it is for the best. It has opened up so many new songwriting possiblities for them, with a good example being a song like Sister. This album has more variety than Brothers and is also a lot more fun. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney for the win.

Stand out track : Gold On The Ceiling

1. PJ Harvey / Let England Shake

Inspired by World War I, this is as dark and gruesome as you get coated with beautiful melodies and upbeat music. The album breaks all the rules regarding structure or set patterns and it is a masterstroke. I don’t know in what creative space PJ Harvey was when she wrote this, but not many artists even come close to reaching this level in their life time. Who said music is only about love and relationships?

Stand out track : The Words That Maketh Murder


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  • Sergio

    Very cool list,