Monday, December 05, 2011

Best of 2011: Q Magazine's Best Albums

It's that time of the year! Get ready for the all the year-end lists.

Q Magazine puts out one of the best year-end album lists in my opinion, and this year they don't disappoint, naming Florence & the Machine's second album, Ceremonials, their favorite long-player of 2011.

Here's the top 10 and select others (see the full list here):

1. Ceremonials by Florence + The Machine. Great choice. The group's first album, Lungs, placed #2 in 2009.

2. Let England Shake by PJ Harvey. This is getting lots of year-end buzz. I just listened to it for the first time and I really liked it. I didn't expect to, as I don't care for some of her previous work, like To Bring You My Love, which appeared in Q's top 10 in 1995. But I might have to get this.

3. 21 by Adele. This is a no-brainer. Her previous album, 19, was #17 in 2008.

4. Bon Iver by Bon Iver. Not a personal favorite, but one I expect will show up on a lot of lists. For Emma, Forever Ago, which I think is superior, was #34 in 2008.

5. Mylo Xyloto by Coldplay. Surprised this is so high, given that its reviews have been, while good, not as good as their other albums (it has their lowest Metacritic score at 65). Viva La Vida was #3 in 2008, X&Y was #1 in 2005, A Rush of Blood to the Head was 2002's "Readers' Choice," and Parachutes was 2000's "Readers' Choice."

6. Watch the Throne by Jay-Z and Kanye West. Surprised this is in the top 10. The album was good, but not that good. This is better than any Kanye West solo album has placed (last year's brilliant album was apparently released too late to be considered for the 2010 list).

7. Suck It and See by Arctic Monkeys. Took a pass on this one. Still not really that interested anymore. Like Coldplay, Q has long had a soft spot for these guys. Humbug was #6 in 2009, Favourite Worst Nightmare was #3 in 2007, and their debut was Q's favorite album of 2006.

8. Strange Mercy by St. Vincent. I hadn't heard of this until I saw this list. I got the album and I think it's great. Nice end-of-the-year find. First appearance on the Q list.

9. Go Tell Fire To The Mountain by WU LYF. I don't know a thing about this band. I listened to a few samples on iTunes and I don't think it's my thing.

10. Build a Rocket Boys by Elbow. This album was so-so. Not their best. Elbow was #8 in 2008 (their best album), #33 in 2005, and #12 in 2003.

13. The Weeknd - House of Balloons
18. Anna Calvi
20. The Weeknd - Thursday
21. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
24. Real Estate - Days
26. Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes
27. Ed Sheeran - +
29. Kasabian - Velociraptor! (Had Q's favorite album in 2009)
30. Lady Gaga - Born This Way
32. Radiohead - The King of Limbs
36. Katy B - On a Mission
37. Washed Out - Within and Without
39. James Blake

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