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Old 12-22-2011, 12:01 PM   #31
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Oops, I see I forgot a tenth song.

Mogwai - San Pedro
It's the most straightforward song on the last Mogwai album. Many post-rock fans might hate it because it's not post-rock at all. It's just a short rock song without vocals. Layers of loud, big riff follow eachother. It's a great song to rock out to and one I come back to frequently.
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:51 PM   #32
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00. The Beach Boys - Smile

01. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Wolfroy Goes to Town (15)
02. Abigail Washburn - City of Refuge (13)
03. Lindsey Buckingham - Seeds We Sow (11)
04. Me'Shell NdegéOcello - Weather (9)
05. Laura Cantrell - Kitty Wells Dresses (8)
06. R.E.M. - Collapse into Now (8)
07. Ry Cooder - Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down (7)
08. Gillian Welch - The Harrow & The Harvest (7)
09. Paul Simon - So Beautiful or So What (6)
10. Tom Waits - Bad as Me (4)
11. Lucinda Williams - Blessed (4)
12. The Black Dog - Liber Dogma (3)
13. De Kift - Brik (2)
14. Gretchen Parlato - The Lost and Found (2)
15. TV on the Radio - Nine Types of Light (1)
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:46 PM   #33
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Massive Attack & Burial - Four Walls
I fell in love with Burial this year and I quite like the latest Nassive Attack album as well (it's the only one I've heard). I was obviously excited for this collabopration and it didn't disappoint. I'm still waiting for an official digital release. How do you describe it? Difficult. I saw a certain magazine describing it as folllows: It's like crouching into the deepest, darkest hole on Earth for 12 minutes.
Heligoland is indeed a terrific album, but ensure you hear Mezzanine very soon (and then Blue Lines and Protection). Almost the best album I've come across in that genre, just behind DJ Shadow's Endtroducing.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:48 PM   #34
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Damn, I haven't heard Mezzanine yet this year. It's one of my favorite cold weather albums.
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:07 AM   #35
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Astronautalis - This Is Our Science [15]
The most underrated release of the year, This Is Our Science is one of those albums where every single track is outstanding. They are all potential singles, yet also flow incredibly well as whole. The cohesiveness doesn't mean sameness though, as styles traverse between piano ballads ("Measure The Globe"), indie rock ("Secrets From Our Lips"), and electronica ("Midday Moon"). Lyrically, he takes characters from history and uses their stories to connect to his own life. I can't recommend it enough.

St. Vincent - Strange Mercy [15]
Annie Clark continues to amaze with every record she puts out. Strange Mercy is far more personal than either of her previous albums, but there are still layers and layers of subtext and juxtapositions between her and the listener. Instrumentally and vocally, she's never been better, especially on the catchy riff-focused "Cruel", the furious "Northern Lights", and the synth-heavy "Year of the Tiger".

R.E.M. - Collapse Into Now [9]
The band’s last record is the best one they’ve put out since Bill Berry left. It’s like they finally got back the balance they lost when he departed. Collapse Into Now also works as an incredible retrospective of the band’s career, but the strong melodies keep it from sounded tired or repetitive. “Discoverer” is one of the best openers they’ve ever written. “Alligator Aviator Autopilot Antimatter” is ridiculous, but in the same way that “It’s The End of the World As We Know It” is.

PJ Harvey – Let England Shake [9]
PJ Harvey puts out some of the most fragile and scathing work of her career in this record. It’s being regarded as her third masterpiece and I’d have to agree. She hasn’t hit these heights since Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea. “The Words That Maketh Murder” is horrifying from a strictly lyrical point, but you can’t help grooving out to the melody. Credit goes out to John Parish to for his excellent backing vocals that meld wonderfully with Harvey’s.

Foo Fighters – Wasting Light [7]
For the most part, I’ve been a casual Foo Fighters fan. I know the hits but never really got into their albums enough for deep cuts. Wasting Light had me hooked from beginning to end though. “Bridge Burning” and “Rope” may be the best one-two punch of the year. “Arlandria” and its Cars-esque verse riff remains my favorite song off the record. Plus, Grohl’s shout of “I never want to die!” during “Walk” is exhilarating.

TV On The Radio – Nine Types of Light [7]
It may be mellower than their previous work, but Nine Types of Light contains some of TV On The Radio’s finest moments. Tunde Adebimpe has never sounded better, especially on “Keep Your Heart” and “Will Do”. “Killer Crane” is one of the most gorgeous songs the group has ever done. But “No Future Shock” and “Repetition” prove they can still rock out.

Elbow – Build a Rocket Boys! [7]
Is it as good as The Seldom Seen Kid? No, but Elbow’s latest is still chalk full of great songwriting and melodies. “The Birds” is worth the price of admission alone, building up atmospheres into a glorious crescendo. The competing keyboards of “Open Arms” make it a keeper. Guy Garvey’s vocals and lyrics are still on par with past releases. A great record.

The Horrors - Skying [6]
Skying finds the Horrors continuing to move further away from their Cure-meets-Joy Division debut. The mix of darkly distorted guitars and spry synths on “I Can See Through You” make it an instant highlight. Faris Badwan’s vocal presence on “Still Life” is commanding. “Moving Further Away” pretty much does what the title says and moves further away from the band’s initial sound than ever before.

Radiohead – The King of Limbs [6]
Initially, this record was a huge disappointment, especially after In Rainbows. But as time went on, most of it grew on me. “Bloom” is one of their top openers, complex and shifting. The last four songs make for an incredible sequence, especially with the groovy “Lotus Flower” and “Codex” with its National-inspired horn section. Still don’t like “Feral” though. Give me “Staircase” and “The Daily Mail” instead any day of the week.

Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes [5]
Bon Iver – Bon Iver [3]
Oh Land – Oh Land [3]
Kasabian – Velociraptor! [3]
Atlas Sound – Parallax [3]
Cults – Cults [2]
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Old 12-23-2011, 03:19 AM   #36
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Just on Watch the Throne, this song, if you've got the Deluxe version, is better than almost anything on the actual album.

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Old 12-23-2011, 03:24 AM   #37
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(15) for sampling Makings of You.

You'd be ecstatic to know that I'm finally warming to Kanye.
I really am. He's so great.

Although I'm glad we still agree that the last five minutes of Runaway are ridiculous.

He is a massive douche though:

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Old 12-23-2011, 03:36 AM   #38
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Shouldn't have watched that, now I hate him again.

Nah, jokes. Gotta seperate the art from the artist sometimes. Top comment is pretty rad too.

Will do a list later.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:01 AM   #39
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I don't think I'll have time to catch up with the albums I haven't heard so far, so here's my list.

1. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy [15]

I can’t emphasize enough how much I love this album. The interplay of Annie’s voice and her guitar is pure brilliance. Actor and Marry Me were already excellent, but the songwriting in this album pushes it to the next level.

2. M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming [12]

Best double album of the decade? And Midnight City, that’s all I need to say.

3. Destroyer – Kaputt [11]

This one caught me by surprise, as I wasn’t familiar with Bejar’s work. This album has a great mood, very nostalgic and yet forward-looking, if that makes sense.

4. Bon Iver - Bon Iver [10]

Incredibly more complex than Emma, even though its peaks are not as high (although Perth and Holocene are very strong).

5. Wilco – The Whole Love [9]

I feel that this is what Wilco has been trying to achieve since Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. It’s at the same time very true to their alt-country roots but the flairs of experimentation are still there, although more subtle throughout. This also makes the better use of Nels’ guitar than any of the previous two albums: out front in something like Art of Almost, obviously, or creating layers and more subtle sounds in other songs. Sunday Morning is possibly their best closer yet.

6. Radiohead – The King of Limbs [8]

Incredibly subtle and somewhat gentle, less immediately great than its predecessor but contains everything we love about this band.

7. Feist – Metals [7]

Metals has to be understood in the context of The Reminder. I for one am glad that she chose not to take the easy route towards a mainstream career. Sure, the album contains plenty of poppy moments, but the songwriting is honest and strong enough to convince me that she didn’t make any compromises.

8. Washed Out - Within and Without [6]

In a way, I fell like this is 2011’s version of The XX, aka best album of the year for sex.

9. Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost [5]

I really like the direction in which this band is going. Album and its West Coast feel was certainly very strong, but they’re now making much more complex, and somewhat darker, music.

10. Beirut – The Rip Tide [4]

Perhaps their most accessible record, but the quality is still top-notch. Not as bombastic as their past efforts – actually much more restrained – but Zach Condon still shows his remarkable ability to write beautiful tunes. A Candle’s Fire and East Harlem are my favourite ones here, both musically and lyrically. I really like the imagery of “Another rose wilts in East Harlem, And uptown downtown a thousand miles between us”

11. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes [4]
12. Cut Copy – Zonoscope [3]
13. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues [3]
14. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – Mirror Traffic [2]
15. Real Estate – Days [1]


Honorable mentions:
James Blake – James Blake
The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient
My Morning Jacket – Circuital
PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
Panda Bear – Tomboy
Wild Flag – Wild Flag
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:20 AM   #40
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Everything in bold represents a given artist's peak thus far.

1. John Maus - We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves [15]
2. WU LYF - Go Tell Fire to the Mountain [14]
3. War On Drugs - Slave Ambient [14]
4. St. Vincent - Strange Mercy [10]
5. Parts & Labor - Constant Future [10]
6. Friendly Fires - Pala [10]
7. Katy B - On A Mission [10]
8. Neon Indian - Era Extrana [6]
9. Zola Jesus - Conatus [5]
"10." Jens Lekman - An Argument With Myself EP [1]
11. Jamie Woon - Mirrorwritings [1]
12. Decemberists - The King Is Dead [1]
13. Tammar - Visits [1]
14. Future Islands - On The Water [1]
15. Leyland Kirby - Eager To Tell The Stars Apart [1]

I'd rank the EP at #6, but it's an EP, so I'll drop it to "tenth" and give it a point. I also didn't get a chance to re-listen to Future Islands or Leyland Kirby enough, so I just gave them a point and inserted them there because I remember them being good enough.

My list probably is invalid because I haven't heard Lulu yet. I can't download a copy of it, unfortunately, because Metallica doesn't condone that sort of thing if I remember correctly. I'm sure it's worth the price tag though.



Other stuff I really dug:


16. Twerps
17. Drive By Truckers - Go-Go Boots
18. Radiohead - King of Limbs
19. Grouper - AIA: Dream Loss & Alien Observer
20. Thao & Mirah
21. Junior Boys - It's All True
22. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
23. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Mirror Traffic
24. Crystal Stilts - In Love With Oblivion
25. Toro Y Moi - Freaking Out EP
26. Isolee - Well Spent Youth
27. BNJNM - Black Square
28. Boy Friend - Boy Friend EP
29. High Places - Original Colors
30. Robyn Hitchcock - Troms Kaptein
31. Okkervil River - I Am Very Far
32. Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver
33. Washed Out - Within And Without
34. Youth Lagoon - The Year Of Hibernation
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:30 AM   #41
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19. Grouper - AIA: Dream Loss & Alien Observer
Nice.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:32 AM   #42
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Well, we have an early clubhouse leader for best album of 2012.

And it's the Hunger Games soundtrack.

Good god.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:38 AM   #43
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Nice.
I saw her in concert back in 2010 with a friend. It was a mini-fest with like six different, oddball artists although she stole the show with a mesmerizing set, mixing old and new material over about 40 minutes with awesome video footage playing in the background.

Her new effort was one of the more ambitious of the last year and it paid off very well. Almost as good as Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:41 AM   #44
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That sounds awesome. I'd love to see her at some point. Shit would be entrancing.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:47 AM   #45
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Even better, it was a small theater with like a hundred other people in the audience. Seated. Not really the kind of stuff you want to stand for, so it made zoning out a lot better since your legs weren't hurting. Aside from the last act, it was one of the best shows I've ever been too and certainly the best lineup since five of the six acts were quite good.
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