Monday, June 27, 2011

Top 10 Albums of 2011 (So Far)

Please Note: This list will probably look a lot different when the end of the year lists come out but as of today, June 28th, these are my top 10 albums of the year. Top 10 after the break:

Honorable Mention (in no particular order):

Dawes - Nothing Is Wrong

The Decemberists - The King is Dead

Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean

Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo
Okkervil River - I Am Very Far

Yuck - Yuck

10. Cut Copy – Zonoscope

Highlight track: Take Me Over

This 80s new-wave inspired follow up to the excellent In Ghost Colours is one of the most fun albums of the year so far. The synth driven beats will have you dancing and singing all through the night.

9. Smith Westerns – Dye it Blonde

Highlight Track: Weekend

This album is just so damn catchy. The brilliant guitar licks are the life force driving every song forward and the other elements fall perfectly into place. Simple, guitar-driven, rock music at its finest.

8. Curren$y – Covert Coup [EP]

Highlight Track: Scottie Pippens Featuring Freddie Gibbs

Curren$y is on top form on this EP and with The Alchemist handling production it just couldn’t miss. “My description, high off that fuzzy green prescription.” The man is a wonderful wordsmith!

7. Man Man – Life Fantastic

Highlight Track: Bangkok Necktie

Andrew loves this band so much that I refused to listen to them out of spite; big mistake! After seeing these guys live, I immediately picked up this album and it is incredible. Controlled chaos, unbridled emotion and downright wacky melodies are blended to create this excellent album.

6. Destroyer – Kaputt

Highlight Track: Savage Night at the Opera

The perfect mix of jazz, indie rock, new wave and pop, Destroyer has constructed an album that’s ambition is only matched by its beauty. There’s really not much to be said, it just needs to be heard.

5. Middle Brother – Middle Brother

Highlight Track: Blue Eyes

3 of folk’s most talented songwriters join forces to create a magnificent album. The band is all about collective creativity and both the album and live show exhibit this perfectly. For each song, one of the songwriters takes the lead while the others provide the instrumentation and backup vocals. The result is a well-written but very diverse album that shows off each of the individual’s personal style.

4. The Antlers – Burst Apart

Highlight Track: Rolled Together

This is a great follow-up to the soul crushing Hopsice. The atmosphere of the album is very spacey and at times sounds like something Pink Floyd might have made. It provides the perfect backdrop for Peter Silberman’s emotional delivery.

3. Bon Iver – Bon Iver

Highlight Track: Perth

Another excellent follow-up; the self-titled is the perfect response to the universally loved For Emma, Forever Ago. Its sound is completely different but equally beautiful. Justin Vernon is a true musical genius.

2. Fucked Up – David Comes to Life

Highlight Track: Queen of Hearts

This 78-minute punk rock opera about love, death, guilt and redemption is a sprawling narrative of Shakespearean proportions featuring a likeable but unwitting protagonist and an unreliable narrator. Ambitious doesn’t begin to describe the scope of this album. Admittedly, the album is difficult to get into but oh so rewarding once you have!

1. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

Highlight Track: Grown Ocean

Robin Pecknold and company really stepped their game up from their self-titled debut. While no individual song quite surpasses “White Winter Hymnal”, the album as a whole is far superior. Beach Boys like vocal harmonies and brilliant instrumentation make this one of the most beautiful albums I’ve heard in a while.


  1. Could never really get into the Smith Westerns release, but other than that I like your list. I also like your layout. I almost switched mine to look like this but it would have taken far too long. Good job Scro!

  2. Oh also I'm surprised that the weeknd's album isn't on here, at least an honorable mention. Its definitely better than Yuck.

  3. Thanks for the love homey...I love that Yuck album man, that was almost #10. Detached, i don't give a shit indie rock always gets me.