Keith’s revised top 10 (Ten!) of the year

Keith's 2011 CoversSo I bow down to peer pressure. It is true! Here’s a top 10 of 2011 to make up for my measly top 5 post earlier.

I was probably a bit grumpy that day and just bashed it out. Now with much more careful consideration…. πŸ˜‰

1. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes (Sweden)

No change at the top. I got this album in the UK after reading bits and bobs about her in the music press and then listening to stuff online. The songs are strong, kinda quirky and she’s Swedish and gorgeous. What more could I want!

2. Wilco – The Whole Love (US)

And still number two. It works so well as an album. Some weird songs, some poppy ones, some quiet ones, the odd guitar blowout. Very cool indeed. Now they just need to tour NZ again!

3. Avett Brothers – I and love and you (US)

Been listening to this recently and has bumped itself up this list. Lovely melodies and harmonies. Pretty easy listening but they lyrics still have a bite to them.

4. John Grant – Queen of Denmark (US)

Speaking of lyrics, this album just gets better with each listen. I hear more and more words and phrases that you just don’t hear anybody else doing. He’s like Ben Folds but with a better voice and not quite so geeky.

5. The Vaccines – What did you expect from the Vaccines? (UK)

Bit of a departure for me this one. Over the past few years I seem to have veered away from the British music scene. The Vaccines debut has such great songs on it – short, sharp and sometimes funny. Find myself listening to this loads at work.

6. Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire (US)

Sweet voice, cool guitar, decent songs. Nice one Ryan!

7. Decemberists – The King is Dead (US)

I liked the previous Decemberists album and this carries on nicely. It is kinda like REM in places and a touch less country than before. Again, great songs. Would love to see them live.

8. The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street (UK)

I think this was rereleased this year and was certainly the first time I’d got into it. The Keith Richards autobio made me start listening to this. Raw Stones – love it!

9. Liam Finn – FOMO (NZ)

FOMO = Fear of Missing Out. Listened to this again this week and the songs are so good. Neil must be proud!

10. Tired Pony – The place we ran from (UK/US)

Apart from Snow Patrol’s wonderful Final Straw, I’ve liked Gary Lightbody’s side projects more than the other Snow Patrol albums. The Reindeer Section and Tired Pony both seem a bit more down to earth with him not trying so hard to write big hit singles. Much better for it too.

Top gig in 2011

It was only a couple of nights ago but Lawrence Arabia’s gig at the San Fran Bathhouse was fantastic. Can’t beat a combination of great musicians, good songs, funny between song banter and the band having a blast.

Closely followed by The Phoenix Foundation, Pajama Club (I was about 2m away from Neil Finn all gig) and Liam Finn. Only seemed to go to Kiwi music this year. And oh yeah – Kiri te Kanawa was pretty good too. Saw her in Belfast’s Queens Hall.

Want to get hold of

Here’s the albums from 2011 I’m going to get hold of sometime soon. Heard good things about them.

  • Pajama Club
  • Cults
  • Florence and the Machine
  • Feist
  • PJ Harvey
  • Kurt Vile
  • Dawes
  • Bright Eyes
  • Jonny
  • The Pierces
  • Black Keys
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2 thoughts on “Keith’s revised top 10 (Ten!) of the year

  1. That’s more like it fella! Nice list. I’m still a bit surprised about your Number 1 choice though. I wouldn’t have predicted that to be honest. I thought it would have been the Wilco album for sure. Still, its those type of surprises that make The Top 10 interesting!

  2. My brief review of your expanded list:

    1. Lykke Li “Wounded Rhymes” – I listened to it once, but it didn’t do it for me. Sounds like it grower that’ll need re-reviewing.
    2. Wilco “The Whole Love” – I finally heard this for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I like Wilco, but I don’t worship them. They’ve never quite grabbed me by the scruff of the neck like some others I’ve rambled about in the past.
    3. Avett Brothers “I and Love and You” – This is a lovely album. But I’m trying to avoid folk these days, so I’ll likely not come back to this one anytime soon. Good choice, though.
    4. John Grant “Queen of Denmark” – Cannot argue with this one. Excellent album. Fun and poignant at the same time.
    5. The Vaccines “What did you expect from The Vaccines?” – Good on you, Mark!
    6. Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire” – Here is a startling confession from arguably the biggest RA fan of this lot: I’ve only listened to half of this album. :O
    7. Decemberists “The King is Dead” – This might be my favorite album of theirs. Since they’re Portland natives, I’m hoping to meet this band in person some day. I’ve got some potential inroads. I’ll keep you guys abreast.
    8. The Rolling Stones “Exile on Main Street” – Hmmm…let’s move on…
    9. Liam Finn “FOMO” – This album has all the melodicism that I thought was missing from the debut. I really, really like this one.
    10. Tired Pony “The Place We Ran From” – I love Gary Lightbody. But this sounded rather limp to me the first time I heard it. I promise to give it another go, though.

    Nice, Keef. And please don’t ask why WordPress decided to order things alphabetically and not numerically.

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