Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Top Albums of 2011

This year saw one of the best in terms of high-quality indie music.  The surge in self-produced and -funded albums creates a true artistic vision.  It's also the year of female artists.  Half of the top 10 best-selling albums are from women.  This is a good sign!  Among the top 10 was Mumford & Sons, who had a very big year.  I've chosen my top 5 albums to coincide with Auddie P's forthcoming list.  These gems are ones you can't let by you.

 5. Emily Smith's Traiveller's Joy
Emily Smith continues her trademark sound of rich traditional Scots language and music combined with a sleek, modern folk pop feel with this lovely release.

4. The Pierces' You and I
 The Pierces struck gold with this record, marking them on the worldwide music scene.  Their rich harmonies and experimental sounds make this record stand out among the rest.  With a range from the roaring 20s to an alternative country edge.  Though they nail every tone with perfection, their best are always the creepy and haunting.

3.The Decemberists' The King is Dead
The Decemberists release this record, following the amazing Hazards of Love.  With it being so much different, it might have come as a bit of a disappointment to some.  Being categorized as a rock album has confused me because this record shows more of a country-folk sound than anything, reminiscent of older albums and the former band Tarkio, occasionally infused with a light rock sound.

2. Adele's 21
Anything Adele does is stunning, but her sophomore release certainly does not disappoint.  She managed to produce an even more quality sound.

1. Florence + the Machine's Ceremonials
I've already reviewed this album, but it never seems like enough praise.  Welch's creativity and honesty, paired with her powerful voice and intelligent writing, create a musical virtuoso necessary for any music library and for any soul.

Other notable albums: Dia Frampton's Red, Seth Lakeman's Tales from the Barrel House, Pistol Annies' Pistol Annies, Bounding Main's Kraken Up, Alison Krauss' Paper Airplane, Fleet Foxes' Helplessness Blues, Sherrie Austin's Circus Girl, and Gillian Welch's The Harrow and the Harvest.

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