Thursday, December 22, 2011

Year In Review 2011 - Top Ten Albums Part 2 (10-6)

Here is Part 2 of RtBE's Year in Review of 2011.  (Part 1 was here if you missed it) Today we venture into our Top Ten List of Best Albums for 2011.
In the instance that RtBE have reviewed the album either on the site or somewhere else we will link to that review, just click on the Band name and title to get there.  RTBE worked with the Glide Team to give input on the their Top 20 so expect some overlap, but not a ton. Again the focus here is on full albums, not singles, but full releases you can slap on and listen to the full way through.

After the jump you will see our list for numbers 10-6, this year there seemed to be a lot of great albums but not a ton of GREAT!!!!! ones, either way these are all excellent and worth your hard earned money and hard drive space, so without further ado Click that read more link.
10. Arctic Monkeys - Suck It And See
Buy the album here!
It is always fun when bands you appreciate and respect surprise you.  The Monkeys were hotshots out of the gate, but their latest release also seems their simplest as the band embraces some early rock and roll styles and twists their Sheffield sound around tracks like "Black Treacle" and "Reckless Serenade".  Alex Turner is an amazing song writer, one of the best around today, yet it is tough to tell weather he is having a laugh with "Brick by Brick" or believes the swagger, guess that is part of the fun.  The fact that the group continues to try new things is exciting alone, when they produce tracks like "Love Is A Laserquest" it makes the experiments worth it:     

9. Yuck - Yuck
Buy album here!
The cycles of what is popular and what clicks is great to track and chart with graphs and spreadsheets, the noise-rock-mid 90's revival may have hit a bit of a lull this year but this self titled new release from the London band Yuck produced glorious fuzz for eardrums.  Hopefully crafting a debut release this solid is a sign of good things in the future as the band has already played some high profile tours and received rave reviews, all rightfully earned on the back of this disk.
8. Thurston Moore - Demolished Thoughts
Buy Album Here!
At some point I will write about the heartbreaking split of the coolest rock couple ever, but that will be another place and time.  This year Thurston gave us a real wonder of a sonic album while keeping the youth away.  Initially  I thought is was good, not great, it was worked it's way under my skin.  Perhaps it was the divorce that added extra layers, or maybe it was seeing him play these song live, whatever the case it was striking how the master of NYC noise rock could take his style, bring in harps and violins and keep the same beguiling texture, without and feedback or electricity.  Beck's understated production certainly helps things out too.  The lyrics are haunting, the music behind them the same.  While his acoustic phase may be short lived it will also be well remembered. 

7. Parts and Labor - Constant Future
Buy the Album Here!
 This normally isn't RtBE's bag, synthesizers run rings around this disk at times outpacing the spinning CD, but anything that can be this creative and still accessible to the common ear deserves praise.  The fact that the songs kick major ass elevates it to this list.  The Brooklyn band has been rising with every new release and Constant Future continues that trend, for listeners who want to be enjoyably challenged give this sonic creation a whirl.  

6. Preservation Hall Jazz Band and The Del McCroury Band - American Legacies
Buy Album Here!
Odd that these two albums fall next too each other as they couldn't be further apart, while Parts & Labor seem to be toying with new squiggles inside a Mac, these legends of Americana have dusted off the past and delivered an all time classic album combining two of this countries musical pillars, Jazz and Bluegrass.  Fans of these genre's will be in heaven from the first track "The Band's In Town" as all the combined players sing, strum, blow and bang their way into your head.  RtBE toyed with moving this album much higher up the list as years from now it will be a staple, but it is very genre specific.  That is not to say newbies can't enjoy it, in fact this is a great place for people to start exploring these two American classic acts.  Slice off some history as you listen to the groups seamless blending of experiences, this is truly a wonderful combo effort and one of the best albums of the year.

Agree?  Disagree?  Think we are insane?  Feel free to comment 5 coming next week:

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