So 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…. 😉
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
- Florence and the Machine
- PJ Harvey
- Kurt Vile
- Bright Eyes
- The Pierces
- Black Keys