Top 10 Albums of 2011

Remember when we owned things?


2011 was an odd year for me and music. Looking around year-end lists by other publications made me worry about how out of step I’ve become. Yes, some of the albums you’ll see on this list have popped up on other lists, but not as often as in year’s past. I’d like to say it’s because I’ve become more original and iconoclast, but honestly, it seems like the way to make this list was to be an artist I already liked releasing an album of similar quality to that which I’ve liked in the past (although it could just be that what was buzz-worthy this year was genres I don’t really care for). While I stand by my choices here, it’s possible that in the future, I may end up thinking of 2011 as the year my tastes calcified and I just gave up. But until then, at least I’ll have these albums to sustain me.
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Top 20 Albums of 2009

He likes their eclectic sounds. Either that, or he prefers jewel cases to digi-packs for chewing on.


Some people look at the calendar and think “doing a year end list over a third of the way through the following year is beyond indulgent”. I’m actually one of those people, but if I cared about being indulgent, I wouldn’t exactly be posting my thoughts about my favourite things to an ambivalent audience of dozens, now would I? This list, like all the lists I’ve been doing since January, was delayed due to personal reasons like being busy with work and my newborn son (pictured – already a developing music snob). With this particular list, there was also the practical reason that I spent most of 2009 listening to the best albums of the decade. So I needed these past few months to really experience and embrace the music of 2009 – and once I did, I must say, it was a pretty good year for music. So good that I couldn’t let it go unlisted (of course, my own compulsions probably wouldn’t allow it to go unlisted even if it were an average year for music).
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Top 25 Albums of the Decade – 25 to 21

The end of the decade is fast approaching, and while some publications are starting to publish their end-of-decade lists, it does feel like it sort of snuck up on us, didn’t it? It wasn’t like that when the 80s ended, but I guess after everyone blows their collective load on the end of a millennium (that, depending on who you listened to, was supposed to portend the end of times), the passing of a decade can seem passé. Maybe it’s just because we’ve never settled on what to call this decade (is it the Ohs? The Aughts?). It’s like they settled on the name for the new millennium (2K) and just gave up.

So if there’s no consensus on what to name the decade, I suppose it makes sense that there’s been no attempt to define the decade. You know, besides the fact that it’s too soon. Cause it’s never too soon to make definitive statements online that will almost immediately become wrong and outdated! In that spirit, allow me to present my top 25 albums of the decade, two months before the decade is over.

The rules for the list are simple: anything I’ve heard that was released between January 2000 and now is eligible. I had no rule against multiple albums from the same artist (as you’ll see). But, when I was deciding between albums on the bubble of the list, those challenging for spots 18-25, I went with albums from artists not already represented earlier in the list for varieties sake. So if an artist does have multiple albums on this list, you can be assured that those albums are really good. Also, I’ve decided to publish this list five at a time, which will hopefully make it easier to read and reduce the temptation to just skim. The danger is that I’ll end up taking two months to complete the whole thing, but I figure that would happen anyway.
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