Favorite Albums of 2011: Robert Duffy

What a great, interesting year for music consumption. Spotify gave me the ability to discover tons of new music and keep up with the current scene, while iTunes Match allowed me to rediscover music that was collecting dust on my disconnected external hard drive.

My favorite albums of 2011 are filled with the usual suspects that I’ve come to love over the years (Wilco, The Decemberists), but this year, more than ever, are a bunch of bands that are completely new to me. Here’s a list, complete with MP3s, streams, videos, and whatever relevant links I could put together.

Bonus: Spotify playlist featuring all of the albums plus a few others that didn’t make the top 10 cut.

10. The War on Drugs, Slave Ambient

MP3: Come to the City

9. I Break Horses, Hearts

I Break Horses – Winter Beats by Bella Union

8. Alina Simone, Make Your Own Danger

MP3: Glitterati

7. Wild Flag, Wild Flag

MP3: Glass Tambourine

6. tUnE-yArDs, w h o k i l l

MP3: Bizness

5. Jay-Z and Kanye West, Watch the Throne

Listen: Otis

4. Destroyer, Kaputt

Destroyer – Chinatown

3. The Decemberists, The King is Dead

The Decemberists — Down By The Water

2. Wilco, The Whole Love

Listen: “I Might”

1. Thurston Moore, Demolished Thoughts

MP3: Benediction

Thurston Moore’s most recent solo album is the one that I found myself returning to again and again throughout the year. It’s not the novelty of Thurston using acoustic instruments or playing solo, he’s done it before and always does it well. Instead, I think I have to give credit to Beck for helping produce an album that is warm, lush, enormous and small all at the same time. If Sonic Youth isn’t your thing, that’s okay (you ahole), you still owe it to yourself to give this album a listen.

The December Rule: The Black Keys’ new album might have made this list, but it came out to recently for me to give it a proper place. You may see it in my 2012 favorites, though.

  • jon

    i hope more lists have WAR ON DRUGS. awesome record

  • I am the ahole Bob refers to in this post.

    • I am not a Sonic Youth fan either, but I’ve been told the ahole classification does not apply to me.

  • The Dollar Man

    Atlas Sound, Girls, Fucked Up, Battles, EMA, Boston Spaceships, Mock Orange, Fleet Foxes, Wild Beasts, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, White Denim, Parts and Labor, Wye Oak, The Poison Control Center.

    At least here’s one list without Bon Iver or Drake!!!

    • Robert Duffy

      Wye Oak would’ve been my #11. It’s on my Spotify playlist..

  • Ian

    Please assure me that the Wilco and Decemberists albums are not derivative and tired. I’m too skeptical to give em a chance right now.

  • Fred

    Predictable top 10 from Bob

    • Robert Duffy

      d’oh! come on, you thought wilco would’ve been #1.

  • C DUB YA

    Good list.

    Technically I think you have to include the Keys if it’s gonna make it into the top 10. After-all, it’s still 2011.