10. Com Truise - Cyanide Sisters (EP)
Hailing from Princeton, NJ, Seth Haley (A.K.A Com Truise) released an EP that was the epitome of "Synth Heaven", yes I just made up term "Synth Heaven". This EP was later followed by a full length album entitled; Galactic Melt, which I highly recommend as well. Com Truise is only really meant to be played while driving around in a Ferrari on Miami Beach, but other listening scenarios are very enjoyable.
9. Tennis - Cape Dory
Yep, I said it... Tennis is a top ten album. Tennis is a husband and wife duo from Denver, CO that sound like Beach House & Camera Obscura, combined with a bit of a surf rock vibe. What is not to like? The album is concise, consistent, enjoyable and has a great nostalgic flair to it that conjures up a number of 60's and 70's rock influences.
8. Davila 666 - Tan Bajo
These young Puerto Ricans have created an amazing garage, psychedelia, punk, pop rock masterpiece. This album flies, yelps, screeches and wails. Don't be afraid...check these guys out!
7. Radiohead - King of Limbs
They are slippin'...but just a little. What can I say about Radiohead that hasn't been said? They are still a band that demands great respect for what they have accomplished. This album just clearly seems to be one of their weakest efforts. That being said, there are some tracks on here that are incredible.
Fact : Radiohead is still the most relevant band of my generation.
6. Smith Westerns - Dye it Blonde
The young Chicago hipsters are growing up before our very eyes. They have gone from opening up at the Empty Bottle, to headlining the Empty Bottle, to ....A Tommy Hilfiger Commercial? Not your typical ascent into stardom, but when your 19 you'll take it. This album marks significant progress for them from their debut. I am very anxious to see what lies in store for these young punks,...if they can stay off the sell out train and stop popping up in clothing commercials.
5. Washed Out - Within and Without
Raise your hand if you thought Georgia would be home to the "Bedroom Synth-Pop King"? Yeah,...that's what I thought. BTW, "Bedroom Synth-Pop King" is what I am calling Ernest Greene, the brainchild of Washed Out. Great live show at Turner Hall in Milwaukee this year. Next album will more then likely be a let down, but for now we have the early works of Washed Out to carry us through winter weather.
4. Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo
Kurt Vile is living proof that in fact it is NOT always sunny in Philadelphia. This deep, dark, guitar driven album is Vile's finest work to date. Vile was fantastic, and electric for the Pitchfork after show at Subterranean this summer. Best $15 I ever spent. Guitar Rock is in a state of critical condition these days, and acts like Kurt Vile are helping breathe life into it.
3. The Weeknd - House of Balloons (Mixtape)
Ethiopian / Canadian singer Abel Tesfaye is "The Weeknd" , and he is solely responsible for re-installing my passion for 90's R&B. This Album was completely out of now-where for me, and I have been a bit obsessed since it's release. I enjoy his other works released this year; Thursday and other tracks. Nothing compares to the sound of House of Balloons. This album reminds me of Racine, WI, Public School dances. It also reminds me of the house parties and V100 on the radio. R&B album of the year.
2. Destroyer - Kaputt!
First let me say this, I grew up in a household where Steely Dan was played quite a bit. Now that I have that said...I am all about this album, every song, every lyric. Cheers to Dan Bejar!!! The album plays as Dan Bejar looks back on his life, lamenting, reminiscing and pontificating. Lyrically this is the the strongest effort of the year for any album. This album came out early in 2011 and has been constantly in my rotation ever since. I am really bummed that I missed this show when it came around. For that I cannot give the album the top spot.
1. M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
New Rule : If you did not have Saturdays = Youth on your list, you cannot have Hurry Up, We're Dreaming on your list this year. You should have known better. You're an adult with two ears and a brain. "You know who they are,..the song from the Victoria Secret Commercials?!!!"...Ugh....
Anyway, this show was amazing. Lincoln Hall in Chicago will not have a better show there for a while. The album itself is a culmination of everything before it, and a real career apex for French born lead singer and songwriter, Anthony Gonzalez. This double album is by far the most ambitiousness work of Gonzalez's career, at times revealing his most sophisticated efforts. Midnight City is the song of the year, despite its commercial profitability. This album cements M83 in as one of the most accomplished and thoughtful acts of the last ten years.