Saturday, December 24, 2011

Top 60 Albums of 2011 (1 to 30)

Merry Xmas from Cool Music Central! In a slight break from tradition, this year we are presenting our year-end Best Albums list in our festive Christmas edition and we're keeping our favorite tracks of the year for the first post of the New Year.

To describe the year's music in just one sentence, I'll just repeat what I was saying back in October: in 2011 the girls had all the best tunes!

As early as February it became clear as day that with a masterpiece like "Let England Shake", it would be rather impossible for anyone else to claim the "Album of the Year" title from P.J. Harvey (and that makes it three for Polly if you care to have a look here and also here).

The unprecedented female domination of our Top 5 was ensured by early autumn when indie rock all-stars Wild Flag delivered their debut LP bringing back some much needed punk passion in an increasingly laid back and chilled-out music world (no dubstep for me, thank you very much), while Dum Dum Girls returned with more of that good ol' girl-group sound we've enjoyed so much over the last couple of years.

The stellar debuts by rising stars Anna Calvi and Erika M. Anderson, aka EMA (also responsible for one of the best gigs we've enjoyed this year), complete our 2011 all-girl Top 5. Here's what the top half of the list of C.M.C.'s 60 favorite albums of the year looks like:

Top 30 Albums of 2011

1.   Let England Shake - P.J. HARVEY

"...Twenty years into her ever evolving, illustrious career P.J. Harvey has delivered another masterpiece; "Let England Shake" is one of those all-too-rare records with the power to enchant on the very first listen and haunt the listener for a lifetime" (read the complete post here)

2.   Wild Flag - WILD FLAG

" astonishing record, brimming with passionate punk-rock energy, dizzying guitars, wild rhythms and melodies that stick to your brain for weeks" (more here)

3.   Only In Dreams - DUM DUM GIRLS

"...A great work that solidifies the Dum Dum Girls' position as the leaders of the girl-group pack" (more here)
4.   Anna Calvi - ANNA CALVI

"...An album that introduces a major talent that looks certain to leave her mark in the new decade" (more here)

5.   Past Life Martyred Saints - EMA

"...A highly addictive record that sounds better and better every time I listen to it" (more here)

6.   Ersatz G.B. - THE FALL

"..."Ersatz GB" is, in a way, The Fall's heavy metal album, proving that there is still room for surprises in the unique Fall sound blueprint." (more here)

7.   w h o k i l l - TUNE-YARDS

"...Garbus is really shining with "w h o k i l l", one of the most inventive recordings of 2011" (more here)

8.   Nine Types Of Light - TV ON THE RADIO

"...robust, impeccably produced dance-rock rhythms and pop melodies with will certainly move your body and your mind" (more here)

9.   Cults - CULTS

"...Madeline Follin’s voice is ideal for the sugar sweet, love struck, girl-group sound of the band while Brian Oblivion’s guitar adds just the right amount of distortion to avoid making the recipe too sweet" (more here)

10. Wounded Rhymes - LYKKE LI

"...Lykke Li's "Wounded Rhymes" is my definition of a great pop record" (more here)

11. Blood Pressures - THE KILLS
12. Suck It and See - ARCTIC MONKEYS
13. Here Before - THE FEELIES
14. Veronica Falls - VERONICA FALLS
15. Work (Work, Work) - HTRK
16. Original Colors - HIGH PLACES
17. Soft Metals - SOFT METALS
18. Days - REAL ESTATE
19. Kaputt - DESTROYER
20. Strange Mercy - ST. VINCENT
21. El Camino - THE BLACK KEYS
24. The King Of Limbs - RADIOHEAD
25. Conatus - ZOLA JESUS
26. Eye Contact - GANG GANG DANCE
28. Dynamite Steps - TWILIGHT SINGERS

The rest of our Top 60 Albums of 2011 is here.

And here is P.J. Harvey's "Let England Shake" in all its glory in 12 short films created by Seamus Murphy:

"Let England Shake" by P.J. Harvey

Want to find out what was the popular choice of the Greek blogosphere this year? Check out here a Top 20 created by the votes of more than 140 bloggers including yours truly. At least we agree on that all-important No. 1!

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