The TOP TWENTY ALBUMS of 2011 (The Year-End Awards)

Originally posted 2012-02-05 02:00:04. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

It is the best and truest mark of artistry in the music industry, and sales are no indication of significance.  Sequencing and thematic continuity, sonic experimentation within a basic set of familiar parameters, a healthy range of types and topics: these are the standards by which to judge an album.

The album.

It ascended into an art form in the mid-sixties under the careful work of artists like the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and the Beach Boys.  It was taken to new heights with the experimentation of later bands, from the concept albums of the Moody Blues to the spin-off success of artists like Bruce Springsteen.  The album – and rock in general – saw a rebirth in the nineties, with the work of those like Weezer, the Wallflowers, the Barenaked Ladies, and a slew of others who led a surge of excellent rock music.

These days, the album has faced a crossroads.  Specifically, with the advent and surge of digital sales, the physical formats of music are on the chopping block.  Still, with the rise of vinyl sales even as CD sales continue to decline, there is hope yet.  And, contrary to an army of naysayers, there are still excellent albums being made.  This year, as with the past several years that I have been tuned into a vast array of albums, I would say there are about five albums that will undoubtedly stand the test of time and compete for top spots when I eventually get around to my Best Albums of All Time list.  Which, at this point, might have to wait until I hit retirement.

But, for the moment, you have my Best Albums of 2011 list, and if you’re interested in reading more about any of these albums, you can access my Weekend Review report (including star rating, production info, and a full review) by simply searching the album title and band name in the search bar above.  And, of course, if you see reason for disagreement or any gaps in my list, it’s up to you to leave comments below.

1)  The Whole Love (Wilco)

2)  The King is Dead (The Decemberists)

3)  Last Night on Earth (Noah & the Whale)

4)  Wasting Light (Foo Fighters)

5)  Bad As Me (Tom Waits)

6)  Unfortunate Casino (Gerry Beckley)

7)  The King of Limbs (Radiohead)

8)  Yuck (Yuck)

9)  Lasers (Lupe Fiasco)

10) W H O K I L L (The Tune-Yards)

11) The Graduation Ceremony (Joseph Arthur)

12) Vol. 2: High and Inside (The Baseball Project)

13) Collapse Into Now (R.E.M.)

14) Move Like This (The Cars)

15) The Valley (Eisley)

16) Cloud Maintenance (Kevin Hearn)

17) I’m With You (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

18) Alpocalypse (Weird Al Yankovic)

19) No Color (The Dodos)

20) Nighty Night (8in8)


Honorable Mention:

The Way It Was (Parachute)

The Dreamer, The Believer (Common)

The TOP FIFTY SONGS of 2011 (The Year-End Awards)

Originally posted 2012-02-04 04:00:45. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

At last, we arrive at the second most important list of the year: the top fifty songs.  This is the list that takes me the longest every time, even more time than the albums list.  This might be helped in part because I start writing my best albums list as early as summertime, but it’s also because I find albums easier to evaluate and rate than individual songs; oftentimes, songs shift and flux up and down over the year.

This year, my greatest challenge was finding a place for two of my former (mOu) and current (the DKBH) bandmate Mike Fusco’s new releases.  I typically avoid having one artist hog the top spots, but the truth was that I couldn’t honestly deny “Modern-Day Pocahontas” the top spot, and I tried but couldn’t come to terms with placing “Chasing Pigeons” any lower than second, even below such outstanding tracks as Brett Dennen’s “Sydney” or Wilco’s “Born Alone.”  If this reduces the authenticity of my list, then so be it: this is my honest assessment of the best fifty songs of 2011.

1)  “Modern-Day Pocahontas” – Mike Fusco

2)  “Chasing Pigeons” – Mike Fusco

3)  “Sydney (I’ll Come Running)” – Brett Dennen

4)  “Born Alone” – Wilco

5)  “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.” – Noah and the Whale

6)  “Arlandria” – Foo Fighters

7)  “Give It All Back” – Noah and the Whale

8)  “Rox in the Box” – The Decemberists

9)  “Hello” – Gerry Beckley

10) “Buckner’s Bolero” – The Baseball Project

11) “All That You Are” – Goo Goo Dolls

12) “Lost All My Ambition” – Mike Fusco

13) “Suicide Policeman” – Yuck

14) “Jejune Stars” – Bright Eyes

15) “Uberlin” – R.E.M.

16) “New Year’s Eve” – Tom Waits

17) “Codex” – Radiohead

18) “Comeback Kid (That’s My Dog) – Brett Dennen

19) “Black and Yellow” – Wiz Khalifa

20) “Lonely Boy” – Black Keys

21) “Two Against One” – Danger Mouse, Danielle Luppi, and Jack White

22) “Rope” – Foo Fighters

23) “Ambulance” – Eisley

24) “Face in the Crowd” – Joseph Arthur

25) “Feel” – Gerry Beckley

26) “This is Why We Fight” – The Decemberists

27) “Jardin Du Luxembourg” – The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger

28) “Till I Get There” – Lupe Fiasco

29) “Dawned on Me” – Wilco

30) “Fire Fly” – Childish Gambino

31) “Release Me” – Jack’s Mannequin

32) “Tangie and Ray” – The Fruit Bats

33) “Season’s Trees” – Danger Mouse, Danielle Luppi, and Norah Jones

34) “Us Against the World” – Coldplay

35) “Surprise, Surprise” – Brett Dennen

36) “Triple Spiral” – Bright Eyes

37) “Someone’s Gonna Break Your Heart” – Fountains of Wayne

38) “Wonder Why” – Vetiver

39) “Art of Almost” – Wilco

40) “Don’t Carry It All” – The Decemberists

41) “Don’t Call Them Twinkies” – The Baseball Project

42) “You and Me” – Parachute

43) “Police Station” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

44) “Titty’s Beer” – Colt Ford (feat. Trent Tomlinson)

45) “Don’t Try and Hide It” – The Dodos

46) “I Don’t Want to Be a Bride” – Vanessa Carlton

47) “Ruined” – Hannah Fair

48) “Because the Origami” – 8in8

49) “Bad As Me” – Tom Waits

50) “Fly Solo” – Wiz Khalifa


Honorable Mention:

“Factory of Faith” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

“Raw (How You Like It)” – Common [late entry]

“Keep On Knocking” – The Cars

“Damn These Vampires” – The Mountain Goats