Top 20 Albums of 2011

July 6th, 2012
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I’m pretty terrible at making these top 20 lists, but I keep forcing myself to make them because I think they are important. I love going back to my old lists and seeing what was important to me back then. I should also say it’s for 2 good reasons that I’m a poor top 20 list maker.

The first reason is that when making my lists I am always worried that I may have forgotten an album or haven’t given one enough time. On numerous occasions it has happened that January or February (or October) of the next year I will stumble across an album from the previous year and wonder how I had never heard of it before or why I didn’t have more interest in it earlier. I am a firm believer that how much you like an album is often directly related to how much time you put into getting to know the album so I want to give each album it’s rightful chance to make my list.

The second reason I am such a terrible top 20 list maker is that it is a serious task for me… I take this shit VERY seriously! The process goes like this… collect all of the albums that I found and really enjoyed over the the year. For 2011 I had 90 albums make this list. From there I begin categorizing. I have a “Top 20”, an “In Contention”, a “Runner Up”, and a “Not Quite” column that I file each album into. My categorization is based on a careful weighing of 1) how much I keep coming back to the album (joy I get from listening to it), 2) it’s personal relevance (how emotionally connected I will be in the future looking back on the album), and 3) it’s social relevance (how much I respect the album as a piece of art).

So all that being said… I present… in mid July of 2012… the Top 20 Albums of 2011 (according to Aaron Vanderzwan). ┬áLog into Spotify to listen to tracks from the albums.


 Top 20 Albums of 2011

20

Radiohead – The King of Limbs

Band’s Website

Listen to “Little By Little”:
Listen to the album:
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19

Monarchy – Around the Sun

Band’s Website

Listen to “You Don’t Want To Dance With Me”:
Listen to the album:
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18

Wye Oak – Civilian

Band’s Website

Listen to “You Don’t Want To Dance With Me”:
Listen to the album:
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17

The Naked and Famous – Passive Me Aggressive You

Band’s Website

Listen to “Punching In A Dream”:
Listen to the album:
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16

Das Racist – Relax

Band’s Website

Listen to “Happy Rappy”:
Listen to the album:
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15

The Mountain Goats – All Eternals Deck

Band’s Website

Listen to “Never Quite Free”:
Listen to the album:
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14

The Whip – Wired Together

Band’s Website

Listen to “Keep or Delete”:
Listen to the album:
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13

Death Cab for Cutie – Codes and Keys

Band’s Website

Listen to “St. Peter’s Cathedral”:
Listen to the album:
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12

Hooray for Earth – True Loves

Band’s Website

Listen to “True Loves”:
Listen to the album:
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11

The Airborne Toxic Event – All At Once

Band’s Website

Listen to “The Kids Are Ready To Die”:
Listen to the album:
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10

I’m From Barcelona – Forever Today

Band’s Website

Listen to “Battleships”:
Listen to the album:
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9

The Rural Alberta Advantage – Departing

Band’s Website

Listen to “Stamp”:
Listen to the album:
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8

A.A. Bondy – Believers

Band’s Website

Listen to “Drmz”:
Listen to the album:
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7

Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

Band’s Website

Listen to “Helplessness Blues”:
Listen to the album:
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6

M83 – Hurry Up We’re Dreaming

Band’s Website

Listen to “Midnight City”:
Listen to the album:
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5

Architecture in Helsinki – Moment Bends

Band’s Website

Listen to “Contact High”:
Listen to the album:
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4

Bombay Bicycle Club – A Different Kind of Fix

Band’s Website

Listen to “Shuffle”:
Listen to the album:
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3

Youth Lagoon – The Year of Hibernation

Band’s Website

Listen to “Montana”:
Listen to the album:
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2

The Antlers – Burst Apart

Band’s Website

Listen to “Parentheses”:
Listen to the album:
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1

Bon Iver – Bon Iver

Band’s Website

Listen to “Holocene”:
Listen to the album:
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Play all 20 tracks:

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