Mine Is Yours Cold War Kids My go-to 2011 record when I just need an energy boost (sadly, there don't seem to be as many of those records these days although there were more this year than the last few) - the first 2 songs are
#12 on the original list Let England Shake PJ Harvey PJ Harvey's albums tend to each have a unique feel, and while I've always liked her work, the only other album that I have really loved was Stories By The Ocean, Stories From The Sea - until this
#23 on the original list The Whole Love Wilco A fine return to "Ghost Is Born" form. I can't say I've yet listened to this enough to have a final opinion - I'm nervous about listening to it too much because my wife likes Wilco a lot so
Kiss Each Other Clean Iron & Wine A bit of a departure from the previous Iron and Wine releases, it took me a few listens to really get into this one. Once I did, I was well-rewarded - Sam Beam has taken this group to the next level
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Gloss Drop Battles Each of their records is a "levelup" - easily the best experimental/(mostly) instrumental release of the decade so far.
Here We Rest Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit Blows away the Drive-By Truckers 2011 album, which was one of their weakest efforts.
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Give Till It's Gone Ben Harper I kinda forgot about this record, but it's up there with Ben's better work - first two songs are especially excellent
Dynamite Steps The Twilight Singers Not their best work, but almost everything Dulli does is at such a high level of quality . . .
Dark Hope Renée Fleming Opera singer doing rock songs - and mostly non-obvious ones. Quite cool and unique - seek this out.
C'mon Low Year after year, Low's songwriting skills slowly creep upward.
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#74 on the original list David Comes to Life Fucked Up Need to listen to this more (just don't find myself in the mood for 70 minutes of loud neo-hardcore as often these days as I used to) but damn it's ambitious, and full of strong songs.
Gentle Spirit Jonathan Wilson Added late as I didn't hear this until 2012 . . . might climb even higher on the list
Mockingbird Time Jayhawks Best thing they've done since . . . well since Olson left the band in '97 or so.
#16 on the original list I’m With You Red Hot Chili Peppers John Frusciante is definitely missed, and I don't hear any outright classics on this, but neither is it filled with clunkers. I'd rate it somewhere between Stadium Arcadium and By The Way.
The Apostasy Behemoth
#48 on the original list Tomboy Panda Bear It grew on me (and as an aside, I actually preferred the solo Panda Bear set I saw at the Hollywood Bowl to the big-stage AC set at Coachella this year, though I'm eagerly awaiting any sign of new
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Constant Future Parts & Labor
#6 on the original list Bon Iver Bon Iver Definitely overrated - the amount of attention lavished on Bon Iver this year is yet another indicator of the current dearth of real new rock stars. Still, a decent record.
#34 on the original list Collapse Into Now R.E.M. This, their swan song, is maddeningly inconsistent and not quite as good as their previous release, but far superior to their records of the early '00s.
#19 on the original list Hot Sauce Committee Part Two Beastie Boys Far superior to their last album (that rancid turd "For the 5 Boroughs" they put out about 8,000 years ago).If you've never seen the Fight For Your Right Revisited video here, take the time,
Nine Types of Light TV on the Radio Unquestionably their weakest work, and lacking in standout tracks. But in a relatively mediocre year these guys are still one of the more interesting bands around.
Blessed Lucinda Williams More consistent than some of her post-Car Wheels output, though never great.
#59 on the original list The Great Escape Artist Jane's Addiction Much of this record is mediocre (Navarro truly shot his riff-wad by '90 or so), but Perry sounds good and in addition to the excellent single "Irresistable Force" there are a handful of
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