Here’s the albums I dug the most, mostly for 2011. No particular order. Enjoy.
Sam Roberts Band – Collider
I had hailed Love At the End of the World as Sam’s finest record yet to most of the people I argue about music with (ok, well, ONE person). But I think this record stepped it up a notch and I don’t even know how. My standout tracks: Let it In, Streets of Heaven (Promises, Promises)
Arkells – Michigan Left
I only discovered the brillance of the Arkells first record, Jackson Square about a month before this record came out and then was very impressed with the follow up effort. Jackson Square was a tough record to top. My standout tracks: Michigan Left, On Paper
Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
After a long wait, Dave and Co. return and do not disappoint. The media/blitz/circus that ensued was also something to behold and would have been easy to ridicule had the tunes not stood up to all the hype. Several TV/web appearances playing the record in it’s entirety as well as the timely release of their movie, Back and Forth prompted one reviewer I read to quip, “Thanks Dave Grohl, for making us care about the album again.” I couldn’t agree more. My standout tracks: Rope, Miss the Misery
Chevelle – Hats off to the Bull
A sleeper, I had no idea these guys were working on a record and it barely made it in this year, but since it came out, I’ve listened to pretty much nothing but. My standout tracks: Pinata, Hats off to the Bull
The Black Keys – El Camino
I didn’t want to buy into the pre-hype regarding this new record because, well , I secretly long to be a hipster. Also, I really didn’t think they could top Brothers. Seriously. But once it came out, dammit, they did. And in a record that’s only 38 minutes long. I’m still not a hipster though. My standout tracks: Gold on the Ceiling, Little Black Submarines, Mind Eraser
Rival Sons – Pressure and Time
Bringing the classic rock back, these guys are kicking out some jams. Production that cries of vintage Zeppelin and a singer who screams like Ian Astbury and/or Plant combined. Sprinkle with a touch of Black Crowes and, voila, you’re scissor kicking. Only thing I can possibly fault them on is their pro-vegan stance. Wha? Tré un-rock. My standout tracks: Pressure and Time, Get Mine, Save Me
The Twilight Singers – Dynamite Steps
Greg Dulli sulks out from wherever it is he hides in the ‘off-season’ and wrangles his compatriots to bring us this lush, moody gem of a record. It’s been said before by many people, but it never ceases to amaze me how Dulli seems to create ‘movies’ or ‘soundscapes’ with his records. They’re like concept albums, but the concept is unique to every listener. My standout tracks: Waves, On the Corner, Dynamite Steps
Matthew Good – Lights of Endangered Species
If you follow Matt at all this was an interesting record as he demo’d, discussed, and chronicled the writing and production of on his website/blog. A very interesting glimpse into the process. Given that, I have to admit it was a bit anti-climatic when the record officially dropped, as I’d already heard most, if not all the tunes in some form or another. That being said, I still think it’s an excellent record. My standout tracks: Zero Orchestra, Non-Populus, Lights of Endangered Species
In 2012 I’m really looking forward to the new Rush and Big Wreck records as well as some others.
Happy New Years, yo.