I’m not sure I can even start to explain how much putting this post together hurt my head. Why I limit myself to just ten albums for the whole year, I will never know. It’s been an interesting year for music, the reason why it pleasantly caused me angst to compile this list. 2011 saw two members of one of my favourite bands both release albums, only one of which has made this list. Have seen many bands and musicians come and go in the space of 12 months and have also seen people I care about, release debut albums, which couldn’t make me any prouder.
So without further ado and from 10-1, this is the Sourmash Music’s Top 10 Albums of 2011….
10. + by Ed Sheeran
What a year it has been for this guy. A one to watch on last years polls and with several infamous EPs already under his belt, he delivers an emotional filled debut album. Songs of passion, heartbreak, love and honesty, Ed gave us a wonderful record in the shape of + with moments of beauty and tenderness for the 21st century.
Stand out track… ‘The A Team’
9. Fear Of Mountains Pt.1 by The Witch And The Robot
This album was a very pleasant surprise I have to say. Upon first listen you’ll realise its brilliance and their approach in writing great, hook-laden, psychedelic outings for the mind. One of the most far-out albums I have heard this year and so had to include it on this list, for you all to enjoy. The video for Houdini is weird, but that’s why I love it.
Stand out track…’Houdini’
8. Distraction Pieces by Scroobius Pip
What is Pip’s debut music album and probably some of the finest work he has done, of which I am including both Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip’s albums in that statement. This record has intent, brutal honesty and very clever wordplay, that Pip does so effortlessly. Big beats supplied by the likes of Richard from XL and Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe. Amazing production and an album I wish Pip made years ago, bravo Dave.
Stand out track… ‘Let Em Come’
7. Colour Of The Trap by Miles Kane
So happy Mr. Kane decided to finally go it out alone and step out of the shadows of his monkey friend. Hands down better than Alex Turner & Co’s effort this year and showcases how talented a songwriter Miles actually is. It’s a vintage sound that dips into nostalgia and smoky tones, a very healthy balance between The Rascals and The Last Shadow Puppets, it’s a triumph basically.
Stand out track… ‘Inhaler’
6. Ceremonials by Florence & The Machine
With her fantastic debut album ‘Lungs’, we waited with anticipation as to what Ms Welch was going to produce for her second piece of work. We needn’t had worried, because not only has she come back with something truly spectacular, but it surpasses her previous effort ten-fold. It’s bold, powerful and comes set with its own mini-choir on every track. Ceremonials is truly something to be cherished.
Stand out track… ‘What The Water Gave Me’
5. Welcome Home Armageddon by Funeral For A Friend
The fact that this is Funeral For A Friends best album since their debut ‘Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation’, that’s all you really need to know. It is a corker
Stand out track… ‘Broken Foundation’
4. Young Pilgrims by Charlie Simpson
Take out the fact that Charlie was part of one of Britain’s biggest pop acts, because he certainly has. Following Simpson’s career with Fightstar, his post-hardcore outfit, it was pleasantly surprising when I finally heard something off of Young Pilgrim. Sublime and with hints of Americana throughout, a marvellous effort and a force to be reckoned with now.
Stand out track… ‘Down, Down, Down’
3. England Keep My Bones by Frank Turner
A political troubadour or just an up to date beatnik poet? None of that really matters to be honest, with one of the best albums of his career. It’s a thought provoking slice of nu-folk with bags of credibility and doused in gloriousness and charm.
Stand out track… ‘I Still Believe’
2. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
To say I’ve waited for about 10 years for this album to be released is no exaggeration. Mr. Gallagher’s first solo outing has been on the cards for some time now and he did not fail to deliver on his word. What should have possibly been the next Oasis album, I don’t care too much for, it’s the here and now. Right now, it includes some of the best songs he has written since ‘(What’s the story) Morning Glory?’
Stand out track… ‘If I Had A Gun’
1. Fake History by Letlive
Post-hardcore at its finest hour, Letlive delivered and then some with their third release, Fake History. An album that was recommended to me and I’m so glad it was. Packs a huge punch in the gut with melodic-core brilliance, it’s a ride of a life-time and all year I have been forever thankful that I decided to jump on board. Also before I get a backlash, I know this album was technically released in 2010, but it saw the light of day here in Europe in 2011 when the band signed to Epitaph, so it’s staying in!
Stand out track… ‘Renegade 86′
So there you have it, room for debate I’m sure and a list of which I will enjoy defending. But that’s not all, I had to include these following albums that I also thoroughly enjoyed this year, so here are the ones that kind of made it but didn’t…
21 by Adele
Suck It And See by Arctic Monkeys
Avocado Chip by Ben Sommers
Hope by The Blackout
Bon Iver by Bon Iver
Cat’s Eyes by Cat’s Eyes
This Is The Computers by The Computers
There Is A Way by Dananananakroyd (RIP)
Rome by Dangermouse and Danielle Luppi
Give Me Infinity by Exit Ten
Torches by Foster The People
Last of Many by The Foxes
The Golden Age Of Nowhere by Funeral Party
Euphoric///Heartbreak\\\ by Glasvegas
Skying by The Horrors
Watch The Throne by Jay-Z and Kanye West
Who You Are by Jessie J
Velociraptor by Kasabian
In Gold Blood by Kids In Glass Houses
Gold Cobra by Limp Bizkit
Fury by The Lowriders
Return To The Ugly Side by Malachai
Relic by Matt Stevens
A Thousand Heys by Mazes
Welcome Reality by Nero
Vices and Virtues by Panic At The Disco
Talk That Talk by Rihanna
British Plastic by RKC
Losing Colour by Stricken City (RIP)
Suego Faults by Wolfgang
Yuck by Yuck