Saturday, December 17, 2011

Best and worst albums of the year 2011

PJ Harvey Let England Shake
tUnE-yArDs Whokill
Girls Father, Son, Holy Ghost
Paul Simon So Beautiful or So What
Kate Bush 50 Words for Snow
Ry Cooder Pull up Some Dust and Sit Down
Wild Beasts Smother
The Horrors Skying
Real Estate Days
Battles Gloss Drop
Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues
M83 Hurry up, we're Dreaming
St. Vincent Strange Mercy
Gil Scott Heron & Jamie XX We’re New Here
Half Man Half Biscuit 90 Bisodol (Crimond)
Josh T. Pearson Last Of The Country Gentlemen
Bon Iver Bon Iver
Atlas Sound Parallax
Onehtrix Point Never
Lou Reed and Metallica Lulu (If only for the opening lines, 'I would cut my legs and tits off / When I think of Boris Karloff and Kinski / In the dark of the moon'. I quite like the cover too.)


Throbbing Gristle 20 Jazz Funk Greats
A great, if misleading cover: there aren't 20 songs and they're not exactly jazz or funk or greats. The cover photo isn't the idyllic setting it seems either: it's the popular suicide location Beachy Head. Fine reissue with bonus CD of live tracks.

Serge Gainsbourg Historie de Melody Nelson
Worth the price of admission for the cover alone, but luckily this Deluxe Edition comes with the original album plus a CD of outtakes plus a DVD.

The Beach Boys The SMiLE Sessions
Worth the 43 year wait? Almost.

Can Tago Mago
Deluxe 40th anniversary reissue of the landmark Kraturock album with a second disc of live tracks, marred only by including the vastly inferior original British album cover (and, according to some Amazon reviewers, a poor quality live disc).

The Raincoats Odyshape
This one's been hard to get hold of for a while so good to have it back. Robert Wyatt guests.

Miles Davis Live in Europe 1967
Twenty years after his death, a new Miles Davis album still seems to get released on a monthly basis (not that I'm complaining). Now we have the Bootleg Series Volume 1, consisting of three CDs and a DVD, with the Miles Davis Quintet. Great stuff. Just two years later Miles would be producing a very different kind of music with a completely different band. Also worth a listen, Bitches Brew Live from 1969, came out this year too. (Neither are a reissue -- nor are the SMiLE Sessions technically -- but you know what I mean...)

Adele 21
James Blake James Blake
WU LYF Go Tell Fire to the Mountain
Jay-Z & Kanye West Watch the Throne
Radiohead The King of Limbs
Florence and the Machine Ceremonials
The Weeknd House of Balloons
Lady Gaga Born this Way
DJ Shadow The Less you Know, the Better
Drake Take Care

Previously on Barnflakes:
Top 30 albums of 2010


Matt said...

but does WU LYF get on your best gigs list of 2011?

Barnaby said...

The gig was okay though not top ten material.