In Your Opinion: Best Music Album of 2011

We already covered Best Books of 2011, back in pre-holiday December.  (Did you know one of the many weird side effects that writing about Decatur non-stop for over 4 years is that you always write “Decatur” instead of “December” before having to go back and edit it?)

Now we’re onto music!  Our friends at Paste Magazine put Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes and My Morning Jacket in the top slots.  What about you?

56 thoughts on “In Your Opinion: Best Music Album of 2011”


  1. The Gate

    by Kurt Elling

    pretty f’ing good but admitedly not great…

    I don’t buy much new music really………

  2. I might nominate either

    Black Keys: El Camino

    or

    The Joy Formidable: The Big Roar

    or

    Radiohead: King of Limbs

    But that’s me.

    1. +1 for this. I like that they went back to their folksy roots (my husband says this album is for the true fans) – even if it did take nearly a decade. Worth the wait indeed.

    1. Wild Flag doesn’t really have anything to do with Portlandia, people. It’s unfair to both to lump them together as if they’re one.

  3. It’s way hard to narrow down to one favorite. Barton Hollow is a biggie in our house, as is Peace Meal by Carolyn Wonderland. The jazz album I can’t stop listening to is Tirtha by pianist Vijay Iyer. Long Tall Marcia Ball concentrated on writing her own tunes and put out one of her strongest albums yet, Roadside Attractions. Abigal Washburn (banjo) is playing at Eddie’s Attic on Friday; her Rounder release City of Refuge is amazing.The Wood Brothers’ Smoke Ring Halo gets lots of play at home, featuring local hero Oliver Wood. The singer-songwriter Callaghan sold out Eddie’s this past Saturday. She moved to the US from London in 2010 to have Shawn Mullins produce her album Life in Full Colour, which is quite lovely. Donald Glover, another DeKalb homie, put out one of the best hiphop records of the year in Camp under his nom de rap Childish Gambino. My Comeback of the Year Award goes to Garland Jeffreys for his King of In Between.

    1. Funny you should mention The Wood Brothers. I saw them open for Levon Helm in Philly (about a year and a half ago) and I thought there was something there. You’ve prompted me to give them a current listen!

      1. The Wood Brothers with Abigail Washburn at the Variety was one of my favorite shows of the year. They also did a terrific in-store show at Criminal Records. We’ve been blessed to get to two Midnight Rambles at Levon’s studio, which is quite possibly one of the most transcendent musical experiences available these days.

        1. The Midnight Ramble is definitely on my bucket list! My family in NJ go as often as possible (and I’ve heard the tapes). I’d love to see it myself.

          1. We’re hoping there will be a Ramble right around the time of NYU graduation this spring so we can kill a couple of birds with one stone.

  4. In no particular order:
    Black Keys’ El Camino
    Ladytron (yes, they’re back) Gravity the Seducer
    Milo Green’s little EP
    Young the Giant
    and in the local corner— really like Oryx and Crake

    Oh, & I forgot Justin Beiber… KIDDING!

    1. +1 for Wilco. Every time I hear Fleet Foxes, I feel like I should call My Morning Jacket’s lawyer!

      1. “Every time I hear Fleet Foxes, I feel like I should call My Morning Jacket’s lawyer!”

        Interesting…I don’t hear that much of a similarity…MMJ strikes me as more of a “rock” band than Fleet Foxes. If I was gonna calll MMJ’s lawyers, it would be on Band of Horses.

    1. “Glad to see no one has fallen into the Bon Iver trap… yet.”

      THANK YOU!!! So much ado about nothing much at all. (And yes, Bon Iver/indie fans, I know that’s just my clueless opinion, that the editors of Paste are awesomely with it & knowledgeable, and I’m hopelessly unhip– but Bon Iver just don’t tickle my ear buds. That is all.)

      1. +1

        And add Mumford and Son to that list for me.

        Otherwise, I like the Paste list and a few others mentioned here. I can appreciate why people like Adele but boy and I sick of hearing it everywhere.

    2. I thought I was the only one who just didn’t get Bon Iver. I heard part of the album for the first time on NPR and thought it was total crap. Can’t stand it!

  5. Steve Martin’s bluegrass album “Rare Bird Alert” was played more than any other in our household.

    A close second was Decatur’s own Caroline Herring’s: The Little House – a great record for kid’s of all ages.

  6. Weird– I know I was the 3rd person to post on this thread earlier this afternoon (did it at work)…now my post time is showing at least an hour & a half after I posted, as are the times for the couple of folks who I know were ahead of me…*cue theme from the Twilight Zone*

  7. Top 5 in no particular order

    The Horrors – Skying
    Black Keys – El Camino
    Drive-By Truckers – Go Go Boots
    M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
    We Were Promised Jetpacks – In the Pit of the Stomach

  8. Glen Campbell, “Ghost on the Canvas”. I knew going in I’d get all emotional about it, but I thought I’d at least make it through the liner notes before the boohooing began. And the somber songs I was expecting? Not there. A uniquely uplifting capturing of a life appreciated. Glimpses of past songs throughout, wonderfully rich musicianship, and Glen’s voice is as strong and sure as can be. Beautiful.

  9. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot – Wilco.

    Wait, did you say 2011 and not 2001? Do they still actually make music? Just the other day I turned on the radio and checked out the FM past 90.1 and couldn’t find any.

  10. A few faves of the year:
    *Kurt Vile “smoke ring for my Halo”
    *She Keeps Bees “Dig On”
    *Cass McCombs “Wit’s End”
    *Girls “Father, Son, Holy Ghost”
    * Cut Copy – Zonoscope
    *M83 “Hurry Up we’re dreaming”
    *Active Child –self titled
    *Junior Boys “It’s All true”
    *Gruff Rhys “Hotel Shampoo”
    *Foo Fighters “Wasting Light”

  11. Tom Waits- Bad as me. I did the like the new We were promised jetpacks, but it just doesn’t live up to their earlier work.

  12. Nick Lowe, “The Old Magic; +1 for Wild Flag and the new Glen Campbell esp. the awesome Paul Westerberg-penned title track; Also dug The Decemberists (the best R.E.M. record in this century) and Lloyd Cole’s “Broken Record.”

  13. Big fan of these artists this past year: Belle Brigade, Intergalactic Lovers, Lykke Li, M83, Washed Out, Wild Beasts and Black Keys. That Adele album is probably the most overrated thing I heard (especially if going by albums sold). She’s got some chops and I do like Dusty, but the songs bored me for the most part.

  14. My favorites from this year have been the aforementioned “The King is Dead” by the Decemberists, along with “Here We Rest” by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, and “Queen of the Minor Key” by Eilen Jewell.

  15. Best album by a group I never heard of until this year: The Black Lilies – 100 miles of wreckage. We saw them as an opening act at Eddies and they brought the house down.

  16. Black Keys- El Camino
    Rise Against- Endgame
    Angels and Airwaves- Love Pt 2
    Drake- Take Care
    Lil Wayne- Sorry 4 The Wait (Mixtape)

Comments are closed.