Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Rolling Stone albums of 2011


Here is Rolling Stone top 10 albums of 2011, followed by selected others outside of the top 10:

1. Adele - 21. Whilst I'm not surprised to see Adele top this list, I am surprised at how other major music publications haven't given it a top 10 placement--although Mojo and Uncut do delve in more obscure, indie/alternative releases--but to a certain extent so do Rolling Stone. They gave this a weak 3.5 star review, yet it's their #1 album of the year. Perhaps, its unexpected monster success throughout the year swayed their view?

2. Kanye West/Jay-Z - Watch the Throne. This major collaborative release is getting a lot of praise on these lists. Am I missing something? Is it nothing more than a substandard hip-hop album? Even stamped with the names of two rap heavyweights doesn't cover up the fact that this album isn't all that great.

3. Paul Simon - So Beautiful or So What. I gave this a listen on iTunes, it wasn't my thing. Rolling Stone called it "his best album in more than 20 years."

4. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues. Another end-of-year favorite. Great to see this so high. Their last album was #11 on the list in 2008.

5. Radiohead - The King of Limbs. I can't help but feel that this is only so high up because it's Radiohead. Even though Rolling Stone awarded it 4 stars, they exuded nowhere near the same enthusiasm as they did their last album In Rainbows which they placed at #6 on their list in 2007 and awarded a 4.5 star review.

6. Lady Gaga - Born This Way. This is the first list I've seen that has Gaga in its top 10. I thought this would be a no brainer for top 10 across the board, but I guess it's not considered the "almost-pop-masterpiece" I thought it was earlier this year.

7. The Decemberists - The King is Dead. The Decemberists were a great new discovery for me this year. However, where I loved "This Is Why We Fight" to pieces, I wasn't that enthralled by the album.

8. Wilco - The Whole Love. I haven't heard this but I'm sure it deserves its place here, Wilco are a pretty consistent band.

9. Wild Flag. The first obscure release featured in the top 10. This is the debut album from the American indie rock band of the same name.

10. Robbie Robertson - How to Become Clairvoyant. The Canadian legend's first album since 1998. Not really my thing.

20. Foo Fighters - Wasting Light. (It's disgusting that this isn't higher. Disgusting!)
21. Bon Iver, Bon Iver
22. Drake - Take Care
25. Beyonce - 4. (This has grown on me a lot--I now love all the singles, even "Run the World.")
27. Florence + The Machine - Ceremonials. (Way to be different)
42. Destroyer - Kaputt
43. The Kills - Blood Pressures
44. Raphael Saadiq - Stone Rollin
(All albums I discovered on ww_adh's blog fall in line)
47. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake. (Really? That low?)
50. The Lonely Island - Turtleneck and Chain.

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