Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Marshall B's Top 10 of 2011

I've opted to just include my 10 most enjoyed albums without regard for any 1-10 rankings.  What can I say, I've grown lazy in my old age.  The albums are in alphabetical order to ensure I don't show any favoritism.

Army Navy - The Last Place
A pop album for the US Weekly crowd about a supposed affair with a supposedly married and famous Hollywood actress (supposedly).  This is the first time I have seen the music video but now I can no longer unsee it.


Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee Part 2
Their best album since my all-time favorite Hello Nasty (yes it is even better than Hot Sauce Committee Part One, there I said it) keeps it fun and even rips off Splinaz with the "Cellular Destruction"-esque "Ok".  Imitation is the highest form of flattery, they say. 

The Black Keys - El Camino
This selection might be suffering from recency bias but all their love seems to have disappeared.  I think this album is pretty front-loaded but when the front half is as strong as this one is well then who cares? "Little Black Submarines" makes me miss the White Stripes :(

The Decemberists - The King is Dead
Finally Colin Meloy figured out a way to stop writing masturbatory concept albums and write some good old fashioned generic country-pop songs.  Now if only he could figure out a way to stop working the words "dirigible" and "sinew" into every fourth song.

Fountains of Wayne - Sky Full of Holes
What?  I'm the only person who still listens to Fountains of Wayne you say?  Well screw you, this album is their best since the self-titled debut.  Yes I know that isn't saying that much. Who invited you anyways? "A Dip in the Ocean" deserves to be twice the infectious Top 40 hit that "Stacy's Mom" was.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Belong
This album is suffering from the opposite of recency bias (I can't come up with a good made-up term).  Their second album might not have the pure hits of the first album but is more consistently good throughout.

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Mirror Traffic
It sounds like Stephen Malkmus hated touring with Pavement so much that he is starting to enjoy life with the Jicks a bit more.  Gone are the painful noodling sessions of the past two albums to be replaced with some great songwriting.  Beck produced this album and did a great job making it sound just like every other Stephen Malkmus album.

Surfer Blood - Tarot Classics EP
The Decemberists - Long Live the King EP
I'm gonna cheat here and smash these two EPs together into one "album" even though they sound nothing alike and have nothing in common.  But they are both worthy of making this list aside from being about 50% too short.  Surfer Blood continue to be my favorite new band.

The War on Drugs - Slave Ambient
If you've always wanted to hear a Bob Dylan impersonator sing over some vaguely drone-y music than I can't recommend Slave Ambient strongly enough.  For everybody else, it's still a damn good album!

Yuck - Yuck
This is another great album.  I don't know, I'm running out of stuff to say.

BONUS!!! My favorite songs not on the above albums
Peter Bjorn and John - "May Seem Macabre"
This is a straight-up 80s jam about two corpses (I think).  Or maybe one of them is actually a necrophiliac.  Either way it's fuckin cool and weird.

Megafaun - "Real Slow"
Real slow indeed.

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