BOB BEERS TOP 10 for 2011!
Bob Beers is a waterproofer and occasional contributor to Mezzy.
10. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
I'll admit I bought into the hype a bit on this one. I couldn't stop listening to this album for at least a month or two after it came out. Upon revisiting the album a few months later, it wasn't quite as good as I remembered, but it was still pretty good. Haters gonna hate.
Best Song – Holocene
9. Blood Orange – Coastal Grooves
I gotta thank Rippy for this one. After following a link Rip tweeted (twat?) early last year to the pre-album single "Dinner", I was hooked on this band's sound. Think 80's inflected indie-pop through an R&B filter with a little Prince thrown in for good measure.
Best Song – Sutphin Boulevard (unfortunately "Dinner" didn't appear on the album, but if it had it would easily have been the best)
8. Atlas Sound – Parallax
Didn't pick this album up until late last year, but I've been listening to it non-stop ever since. Man, does this guy know how to craft a song.
Best Song – Te Amo
7. Akron/Family – S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT
Hippie Psychedelic Freak Folk. Or Indie Folk Trance Fusion. Or Post Indie Folk Experimental Psych Rock. Not exactly sure how to classify these guys, but I am sure that this album had me entranced for most of the year. Also, the best live show I saw last year. Insane.
Best Song – Another Sky
6. Neon Indian – Era Extraña
When I first heard Pyschic Chasms back in 2009 it felt like lightning in a bottle – an amazing album but almost no chance they'd release anything that good again. Era Extraña is damn close. It's certainly more polished and quite possibly more mature – in a good way.
Best Song – Polish Girl
5. Destroyer – Kaputt
I never really got into the New Pornographers, but oddly enough I have picked up a few of their solo/side project records over the years. And dammit if those cooky Canucks don't know how to write a song or two. The best lounge music I heard all year.
Best Song – Blue Eyes
4. Masters of the Hemisphere – Maybe These Are the Breaks
Maybe this is their best album. Seriously. This is not the obligatory put-your-friend's-band-on-your-year-end-best-of-list entry either. This is some sincere shit right here. These guys have always known how to write great pop songs, but this is by far their most polished effort.
Best Song – Watch It Go Away
3. Battles – Gloss Drop
Wow. This album came out of nowhere for me. I happened to catch the video for the first single "Ice Cream" on the interwebs and I could not get that song out of my head. Been jamming the entire album ever since. Mostly instrumental tracks with guest vocalists on a few songs.
Best Song – Wall Street
2. M83 – Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
While this album doesn't quite reach the heights of Saturdays = Youth, it is still a damn fine album. It's also a bit of a slow-burner, revealing more and more with repeated listens. This dude will be creating great music for years to come.
Best Song – Midnight City
1. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne
What balls these dudes have – releasing an album of self-described "luxury rap" in the midst of a global recession! Kanye gets a lot of the credit here for creating music that sonically defies simple categorization while raising the bar for not just hip-hop, but music in general.
Best Song – Ni**as in Paris