These lists are kind of silly. We know. They're also a great opportunity to catch up on great releases you might have missed during 2011. Over the next few days, we're going to be sharing our top picks for the best albums of the year so you can do a bit of backtracking if need be. First up, yours truly from the rock department....
1. Fucked Up - David Comes to Life (Matador) - ...and the best live show(s) I saw this year. Blazing three-pronged guitar attack. Unstoppable lumbering rhythm section. A heavyweight WCW championship wrestler for a front man bursting with positive energy. Gaudy rock-opera lyrics. This album is the very definition of "going for it" with reckless abandon.
2. Destroyer - Kaputt (Merge) - Dan Bejar rambles eloquence over a coked-up 80's soundtrack.
3. Dirty Beaches - Badlands (Zoo) - A better David Lynch album than David Lynch's album
4. Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972 (Kranky) - Unnerving soundtrack to things being destroyed over eons.
5. Times New Viking - Dancer Equired (Merge) - A little cleaner sounding. A little better than their last album.
6. James Blake - James Blake / Enough Thunder (ATLAS) - This guys voice gets me every time.
7. John Maus - We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves (Upset the Rhythm) - Ariel Pink associate.
8. Moon Duo - Mazes (Sacred Bones) - Wooden Shjips spin-off. Even drone-y-er.
9. HTRK - Work (work, work) (Ghostly) - The black sheep of this list... was actually passed on during rock hours (yikes!). Admittedly, not a great album for radio, but a great album for sitting alone in a dark room having a "moment."
10. James Pants - James Pants (Stones Throw) - Not an Ariel Pink associate, but you could have fooled me. Way better than his name would suggest.
- A$AP Rocky – LIVELOVEA$AP Mixtape (S/R)
- Clams Casino – Instrumentals Mixtape (S/R)
- Dive – Sometime 7” (Captured Tracks)
- Bleached – Searching through the Past 7” (Suicide Squeeze)
- Burial – Street Halo (Hyperdub)
- Peaking Lights – 936 (Not Not Fun)
- Real Estate – Days (Domino)
- Cass McCombs – Wit’s End (Domino)
- Shabazz Palaces – Black Up (Sub Pop)
- James Pants – James Pants (Stones Throw)