Well it’s finally August and it’s the halfway point of the year (ok technically July is the halfway point, but I just got around to doing this; better late than never right?) So far 2011 has been a pretty good year for music. There were plenty of great albums that have come out, but I will say that there isn’t one album that towers over the rest. Here are the albums and songs that I feel are the best ones to have come out this year so far.
Please remember this is all subjective! I can only give my opinion and I’m sure people will disagree with me on some of my opinions. Also, there were plenty of albums that came out this year that I haven’t gotten around to listening (Cut Copy, Ty The Creator, etc). These awards only reflect my music taste and what I have been listening to this year so far.
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
For a long time I was torn between picking Bon Iver or James Blake for this year’s best album so far. These were the two albums I was most looking forward to, and in no way did these albums not match my expectations. However, for every great moment on both of these albums there were plenty of filler, and sometimes I caught myself becoming bored.
Helplessness Blues completely caught me off guard.
This album is such a pleasure to listen to, and it works well as an album – all the songs complement each other and it rarely drags on (though “The Shrine / An Argument” is pushing it with its eight long minutes). This album does not abandon the band’s freak-folk style that made them such a hit in the beginning – you gotta love those harmonies – but they are more confident this time around and they greatly expand their creativity without sacrificing the songs. Compared to their debut album Fleet Foxes (which is still worth checking out), Helplessness Blues is more colorful, as shown by its beautiful album cover. This album turned a former skeptic into a fan, and now I believe this band is worth following.
Honorable Mentions (aka you should still buy these albums)
Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
Bon Iver – Bon Iver
Yuck – Yuck
The Decemberists – The King Is Dead
The Strokes – Angels
James Blake – James Blake
Fleet Foxes – “Helplessness Blues”
The highlight to an excellent album, this was the song that turned me into a fan.
The Head and the Heart – “Down In The Valley”
Yuck – “Shook Down”
James Blake – “Limit To Your Love”
Bon Iver – “Calgary”
The Strokes – “Taken For A Fool”
Death Cab For Cutie – “You Are A Tourist”
Well how did I do? Were my opinions not good enough for you, or did I hit the nail on the head? Comment to let me know and also tweet your favorite albums and songs so far released this year @BradyWGerber.
Stay tuned for more music awards!
Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber