ILM's Top 77 ALBUMS of 2011

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just putting the full list here again so i can look at it

77. When Saints Go Machine — Konkylie (258 points, 10 votes, one first place vote)
76. Robag Wruhme — Thora Vukk (262 points, 8 votes)
75. Liturgy — Aesthethica (264 points, nine votes)
74. The Joy Formidable — The Big Roar (266 points, seven votes, one first place vote)
73. Jay-Z & Kanye West — Watch the Throne (266 points, 10 votes)
72. Barbara Panther — Barbara Panther (270 points, seven votes, two first place votes)
71. Toro y Moi - Underneath the Pine (271 points, nine votes)

(tie) 69. Wild Flag — Wild Flag (273 points, 10 votes)
(tie) 69. Low — C'Mon (273 points, 10 votes)
68. ILX Presents Lulu (276 points, 11 votes, one first place vote)
67. Veronica Falls - Veronica Falls (282 points, 11 votes)
66. Big K.R.I.T. - Return of 4Eva (288 points, 10 votes)
65. The Psychic Paramount - II (290 points, 9 votes)
64. Wolves in the Throne Room - Celestial Lineage (290 points, nine votes, one first place vote)
63. Austra - Feel it Break (290 points, ten votes, one first place vote)
62. Drake – Take Care (292 points, 8 votes, one first place vote)
61. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes (294 points, 10 votes)

60. James Ferraro — Far Side Virtual (295 points, 11 votes)
59. Perfume — JPN (298 points, 10 votes, two first place votes)
58. Grouper — Alien Observer/Dream Loss (304 points, 11 votes, one first place vote)
57. The War on Drugs — Slave Ambient (322 points, nine votes, one first place vote)
56. Danny Brown — XXX (323 points, 11 votes, one first place vote)
55. Mastodon — The Hunter (328 points, 10 votes)
54. Kendrick Lamar — Section.80 (337 points, 10 votes, one first place vote)
53. Laura Marling — A Creature I Don’t Know (342 points, 11 votes, one first place vote)
52. The Mountain Goats — All Eternals Deck (342 points, 12 votes)
51. Demdike Stare — Tryptych (347 points, 16 votes, one first place vote)

50. Hatchback — Zeus and Apollo (350 points, nine votes, two first place votes)
49. Moon Duo — Mazes (350 points, 12 votes)
48. Tom Waits — Bad As Me (352 points, 14 votes)
47. Clams Casino — Instrumentals (354 points, 12 votes)
46. Azari & III — Azari & III (358 points, 12 votes)
45. The Weeknd — House of Balloons (360 points, 10 votes, two first place votes)
44. Fucked Up — David Comes To Life (360 points, 13 votes, one first place vote)
43. Real Estate — Days (361 points, 11 votes, two first place votes)
42. Radiohead — King of Limbs (362 points, 13 votes)
41. Andy Stott — Passed Me By/We Stay Together (363 points, 13 votes)

40. Dawn Richard — The Prelude to a Tell Tale Heart (372 points, 11 votes)
39. Girls — Father, Son, Holy Ghost (374 points, 11 votes)
38. Junior Boys — It’s All True (375 points, 15 votes)
37. Death Grips — Ex-Military (382 points, 13 votes)
36. Holy Ghost! — Holy Ghost! (384 points, 13 votes, one first place vote)
35. Julia Holter — Tragedy (386 points, 14 votes, one first place vote)
34. Cut Copy — Zonoscope (392 points, 12 votes, one first place vote)
33. John Maus — We Must Become The Pitiless Censors of Ourselves (398 points, 14 votes, one first place vote)
32. Panda Bear — Tomboy (402 points, 13 votes)
31. Nguzunguzu — The Perfect Lullaby (404 points, 13 votes, 2 first place votes)

30. Ford & Lopatin — Channel Pressure (410 points, 14 votes)
29. Britney Spears — Femme Fatale (424 points, 13 votes, one first place vote)
28. Araabmuzik — Electronic Dream (445 points, 14 votes)
27. St. Vincent — Strange Mercy (469 points, 14 votes, one first place vote)
26. Oneohtrix Point Never — Replica (474 points, 17 votes, one first place vote)
25. Frank Ocean — Nostalgia, Ultra. (476 points, 12 votes, one first place vote)
24. Colin Stetson — New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges (481 points, 13 votes, one first place vote)
23. E-40 — Revenue Retrievin: Overtime Shift/Graveyard Shift (484 points, 16 votes)
22. Lady Gaga — Born This Way (488 points, 14 votes, one first place vote)
21. Shabazz Palaces — Black Up (502 points, 17 votes)
20. Bon Iver — Bon Iver (512 points, 15 votes)
19. Peaking Lights — 936 (514 points, 17 votes)
18. Nicolas Jaar — Space is Only Noise (517 points, 19 votes, one first place vote)
17. M83 — Hurry Up We’re Dreaming (519 points, 21 votes, one first place vote)
16. Boy Better Know — Tropical 2 (548 points, 15 votes, 4 first place votes)
15. Rustie — Glass Swords (557 points, 18 votes)
14. Kurt Vile — Smoke Ring For My Halo (572 points, 16 votes, one first place vote)
13. Julianna Barwick — The Magic Place (583 points, 19 votes, two first place votes)
12. EMA — Past Life Martyred Saints (590 points, 18 votes, two first place votes)
11. Tim Hecker — Ravedeath, 1972 (597 points, 21 votes, one first place vote)
10. tUnE-yArDs — w h o k i l l (666 points, 20 votes, two first place votes)
9. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats — Blood Lust (696 points, 19 votes, two first place votes
8. Pistol Annies — Hell on Heels (762 points, 19 votes, two first place votes)
7. DJ Quik — The Book of David (846 points, 26 votes, one first place vote)
6. Gang Gang Dance — Eye Contact (860 points, 29 votes, one first place vote)
5. Kate Bush — 50 Words For Snow (880 points, 29 votes, one first place vote)
4. Beyonce — 4 (1,089 points, 32 votes, three first place votes)
3. Katy B — On a Mission (1,288 points, 37 votes, one first place vote)
2. PJ Harvey — Let England Shake (1,311 points, 37 votes, seven first place votes)
1. Destroyer — Kaputt (1,355 points, 36 votes, 12 first place votes)

max, Friday, 3 February 2012 01:33 (eight years ago) link

i actively dislike this record, like a lot, i feel like its the worst parts of ninja tune and thirtysomething (the tv show but 'updated for 2k12') and precocious high school music nerds all mixed into a messy sounding soup

― the parable is the parable of the (Lamp), Thursday, February 2, 2012 3:21 PM (7 minutes ago)

dont get the thirtysomething ref but otm nonetheless

'hey sparrow' has gone from having one mislabeled youtbue version of postcollegiate beardos on a rope bridge to having a legit video gorgeously shot that does the whole aping wes anderson aping french new wave thing. (its still a rad video tho gr8080 if yr readddding this)

will check it out

had never listened to peaking lights or tim hecker before today, have now listened to each one twice.

1st track on peaking lights is my favorite but its all p dope.

tim hecker is totally awesome-- were dudes talking about this in an ambient/avant garde thread last year?

⚓ (gr8080), Friday, 3 February 2012 01:34 (eight years ago) link

favorite discovery from this list so far is definitely james ferarro

max, Friday, 3 February 2012 01:35 (eight years ago) link

max otm

⚓ (gr8080), Friday, 3 February 2012 01:36 (eight years ago) link

will never understand what anyone gets out of Katy B

⚓ (gr8080), Friday, 3 February 2012 01:36 (eight years ago) link

want to hear your 'thoughts' on 936, dude

haha well its mostly that i think its really successful example of the sort of record lots of people have been making where it takes a bunch of sounds and themes and preoccupations that have been percolating in the underground and makes a conscious decision to incorporate these into a more rigorous/approachable song-based structure. like theres still a lot of murk and dissonance but like 'tiger eyes' is so much more propulsive and catchy than its other nnf ancestors yknow?

i mean if you listen to their earlier cassettes its really ambient, textural, dissonant. i really like that stuff but its interesting to see how much more effective the tracks on '936' are at communicating this mood of uncertainty and yearning compared to the earlier, more formless 'tracks'. i mean its not news that a band moves towards the msntrm as it 'matures' but it also kinda is?

the parable is the parable of the (Lamp), Friday, 3 February 2012 01:50 (eight years ago) link

it's weird - i <3 the first two tracks on that Ferarro album but after that it's unlistenable for me.

Porto for Pyros (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Friday, 3 February 2012 01:51 (eight years ago) link

dont get the thirtysomething ref but otm nonetheless

haha idk i just get this like smugly discerning cashmere turtleneck wearing vibe from the whole thing, the way he tries to pull it all together 'tastefully'

the parable is the parable of the (Lamp), Friday, 3 February 2012 01:55 (eight years ago) link

should be noted that Rustie was the first cutty recommendation i did not enjoy

⚓ (gr8080), Friday, 3 February 2012 01:59 (eight years ago) link

It should go without saying, but the "problem" with critical championing of "indie-" versions of genres (R&B, metal) etc. over and above other music from those genres is not the music per se or the fact that it's being celebrated; rather, it's that so often the form and the intent of the celebration is the revalidation of the same values, over and over and over, as if the (let's call it) p4k mindset exists in a hall of mirrors wherein all it can see is refracted images of itself splayed endlessly along an infinitely receding horizon of vassal-genres.

― Tim F, Thursday, February 2, 2012 2:23 PM (3 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah, indie and rock audiences primarily like indie and rock music and tend to view other types of music through that lens. this is not a "problem". everybody's got a point of view, and everybody's point of view is limited in some way or another.

the tendency of indie & rock critics to dominate the discourse might be a problem, but it's better fought by presenting alternative voices than by sniping endlessly (tediously) at whatever indie & rock critics happen to enjoy.

his hands are a dirty fountain through which lives spurt (contenderizer), Friday, 3 February 2012 02:01 (eight years ago) link

should be noted that Rustie was the first cutty recommendation i did not enjoy

haha the cutty rec makes me feel like i should give it another chance

the parable is the parable of the (Lamp), Friday, 3 February 2012 02:07 (eight years ago) link

i think it's the best not not fun release ever--well i haven't heard all of them, but at the very least the best in the series of bleak, monotone female-fronted mellow psych projects (us girls, pocahaunted, zola jeez, la vamp, my estrogeneration comp etc.)

despite being a somewhat marginal sound (although more broad indie acts like vivian/dum dum girls definitely overlap aesthetically) i really felt like i was rooting for these groups because i consider the style to be one of the few that feel very uniquely contemporary. but it's also one that has, until now, never produced a masterpiece, at least in full length form.

like theres still a lot of murk and dissonance but like 'tiger eyes' is so much more propulsive and catchy than its other nnf ancestors yknow?

i know! i think there's an important caveat here though. there's a smallness to this microgenre that is at the centre of what's really unique about it, both in terms of production and performance: it's like the opposite of blaring horn arrangements and loud, confident singing, more about an "uncertainty and yearning" and hesitance--that i'm glad that the breakthrough album preserved. i think the reason it's such a relief is because it had been tempting to conclude that those were its weaknesses

flopson, Friday, 3 February 2012 02:16 (eight years ago) link

xp 2 lamp re: peaking lights

flopson, Friday, 3 February 2012 02:16 (eight years ago) link

I was just trying to address the emerging misnomer ITT that the discussion is about whether or not musicians should be allowed to mix these things up (obv they should!).

― Tim F, Thursday, February 2, 2012 2:54 PM (3 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i wasn't raging against a "never cross the streams!" strawman. i was critiquing the tendency of some critics and fans to grouse when supposedly watered-down versions of genres like R&B break through into rock & indie consciousness. this sort of grousing typically and conveniently ignores the fact that the perceived watered-down-ness of an artist like frank ocean is entirely a product of perspective.

such criticisms often seem built around the assumption that such music can only be "properly" evaluated from a within an R&B-focused context. the thinking seems to be that if dedicated R&B fans and critics don't rally around it too, validating the acclaim it's received outside the genre, then there must something wrong with both the music and with the tendency of indie/rock ppl to celebrate it. we see the same thing in metalhead complaints about the popular acclaim accorded nigel hipster interlopers like the sword and liturgy.

this sort of response is understandable, but tiresome, and it ignores the fact that music can be appreciated in ways that don't necessarily square with the aesthetics of its ostensible genre.

his hands are a dirty fountain through which lives spurt (contenderizer), Friday, 3 February 2012 02:20 (eight years ago) link

anyway, i voted for only three of the top ten finishers (tune yards, uncle acid and PJH). should have voted for DJ quik, but slept. destroyer gets no love. have heard it couple times, but don't get the acclaim. it's not horrible, just not my thing. like bon iver and girls. okay, well, girls is horrible. destroyer's at least better than that.

his hands are a dirty fountain through which lives spurt (contenderizer), Friday, 3 February 2012 02:24 (eight years ago) link

framing the argument as "watered-down" R&B vs. real R&B is kind of strawmannish fyi

lana del rey: everythang's workin' (some dude), Friday, 3 February 2012 02:27 (eight years ago) link

contenderizer shiftin the goalposts imo

flopson, Friday, 3 February 2012 02:28 (eight years ago) link

framing the argument as "watered-down" R&B vs. real R&B is kind of strawmannish fyi

it might be if i were just making that dichotomy up, but i'm trying to respond honestly to what's been said ITT.

his hands are a dirty fountain through which lives spurt (contenderizer), Friday, 3 February 2012 02:32 (eight years ago) link

i really felt like i was rooting for these groups because i consider the style to be one of the few that feel very uniquely contemporary

yes, totally! although i think its... telling that the approach a lot of these labels/artists have taken has been p widely appropriated throughout 'indie'.

yr post is really good but i wanted to add that i think the increased interest in dance and more purely 'electronic' styles was a way for these groups to reconcile the production/performance ideal w/a more song-based approach

the parable is the parable of the (Lamp), Friday, 3 February 2012 02:33 (eight years ago) link

nobody else actually phrased it in such a loaded, simplistic way, though, and after Tim put it in much more nuanced and precise way you just dragged the whole conversation back into the most reductive and misleading terms possible (xpost)

lana del rey: everythang's workin' (some dude), Friday, 3 February 2012 02:35 (eight years ago) link

^^

flopson, Friday, 3 February 2012 02:36 (eight years ago) link

xposts!

contenderizer's argument is kind of the flipside of mine upthread - put them together and you arrive at the situation where *nobody* gets to dominate and dictate to others what the value of a piece of music is. Which seems right to me.

Re the Not Not Fun axis: one release that got completely slept on (came out in December iirc, didn't help its cause) is the Sapphire Slows EP. 936 might still be my favourite NNF release of 2011 but True Breath is my #2.

The other big avant-accessible label this year was Spectrum Spools, but I guess they didn't have a release that everyone got passionate about and maybe they're just less visible than NNF. I did give a bunch of points to the Fabric album, which helped it break into the top 300.

two lights crew (seandalai), Friday, 3 February 2012 02:37 (eight years ago) link

I completely agree with what Tim said upthread btw.

two lights crew (seandalai), Friday, 3 February 2012 02:38 (eight years ago) link

i checked out the sapphire slows at your recommendaysh iirc. it was cool, more shimmering and logic system than the earthy & dubby peaking lights vibe. definitely cool

flopson, Friday, 3 February 2012 02:40 (eight years ago) link

w/each successive release i ended up liking spectrum spools less, there was such a monotony of vision to the whole thing that it cheapened even the releases i really liked - container, forma - it hilighted how fadish and current the whole synth haze stuff has been? i mean i really like the no ufos rerelease but its not really making the same gesture '936' is

i thought the jonas reinhardt release on nnf was superb but suffered from the same lack of distinction

the parable is the parable of the (Lamp), Friday, 3 February 2012 02:41 (eight years ago) link

agree about 2011 synth boom & bust

flopson, Friday, 3 February 2012 02:45 (eight years ago) link

contenderizer's argument is kind of the flipside of mine upthread - put them together and you arrive at the situation where *nobody* gets to dominate and dictate to others what the value of a piece of music is. Which seems right to me.

I agree with this, and further I also think an important part of this process is that people actually fess up to their listening strategies, and say (where necessary) "I'm listening to this through X ears".

I tend to apply dance music biases to a lot of non-dance music, but I like to think that when I do so I will admit as much, and try to position it as "an approach" that captures only a small part of the experience of the music.

Where this process gets pernicious is the cases where it's unacknowleged, where people cross-apply biases and then deny that this is what they're doing because they sincerely believe that the biases they're applying should be the truth of every genre (as if they're even "the truth" of one!).

Tim F, Friday, 3 February 2012 02:46 (eight years ago) link

Ha, I think I've heard the Jonas Reinhardt but not sure now. It's hard to keep up!

I agree that Spectrum Spools didn't manage to break out in the way NNF did. Both labels have an identifiable aesthetic that risks repetitiveness - with some NNF releases like the Xander Harris I had a definite feeling it was adding nothing new - but yeah, NNF has better curation, or they've been around longer, or it's a more flexible aesthetic, dunno really but they seem to be better at what they do.

two lights crew (seandalai), Friday, 3 February 2012 02:49 (eight years ago) link

weyes blood/jonas r would have been my nnf picks for the year. don't mind peaking lights but got a little tired of it quite quickly

pun crock (electricsound), Friday, 3 February 2012 02:49 (eight years ago) link

the only reason i still dont listen to peaking lights all the time is cause my roommate got sick of it

flopson, Friday, 3 February 2012 02:53 (eight years ago) link

i like that peaking lights record but i always forget i'm listening to it about halfway through. think i'd dig a remixed version though

Whiney vs. (BradNelson), Friday, 3 February 2012 03:16 (eight years ago) link

Btw, I take no shortage of pride in the fact that the top 5 placing rap albums were all from the west coast.

lag∞n affiliated (The Reverend), Friday, 3 February 2012 03:54 (eight years ago) link

Where this process gets pernicious is the cases where it's unacknowleged, where people cross-apply biases and then deny that this is what they're doing because they sincerely believe that the biases they're applying should be the truth of every genre (as if they're even "the truth" of one!).

― Tim F, Thursday, February 2, 2012 6:46 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah, this is OTM. when critics who don't ordinarily fw a genre pick some random crossover attempt to champion as the best it can offer - or worse yet, as "transcending" the genre - it's annoying as hell.

his hands are a dirty fountain through which lives spurt (contenderizer), Friday, 3 February 2012 04:01 (eight years ago) link

EVERYONE WHO VOTED FOR DESTROYER

KILL YOUR WORTHLESS SELVES

AND NEVER LOOK ME IN THE EYE AGAIN

STUPID CUNTS NEED TO GET SOME TASTE

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Friday, 3 February 2012 04:15 (eight years ago) link

NO EXCUSES NO EXCEPTIONS

EVERYONE WHO WAS PREVIOUSLY AN ALLY OF MINE BUT WHO EXPRESSED APPRECIATION FOR THAT PIECE OF SHIT, I AM DISAPPOINTED IN YOU

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Friday, 3 February 2012 04:16 (eight years ago) link

lol

the parable is the parable of the (Lamp), Friday, 3 February 2012 04:18 (eight years ago) link

hi lex

⚓ (gr8080), Friday, 3 February 2012 04:20 (eight years ago) link

YOU LIKE DESTROYER

THEREFORE YOUR OPINIONS ARE NULL AND VOID

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Friday, 3 February 2012 04:21 (eight years ago) link

#1 album

⚓ (gr8080), Friday, 3 February 2012 04:24 (eight years ago) link

http://i.imgur.com/1b6qp.png

⚓ (gr8080), Friday, 3 February 2012 04:27 (eight years ago) link

YOUR RED FINGER IS NULL AND VOID

FUCKING DESTROYER

YOU BORING BORING INDIE CUNTS

GET THAT SHIT OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM BY NEXT YEAR

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Friday, 3 February 2012 04:29 (eight years ago) link

I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU CAN LIVE WITH YOURSELVES

I PITY YOU

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Friday, 3 February 2012 04:30 (eight years ago) link

http://i.imgur.com/cLzjy.jpg

⚓ (gr8080), Friday, 3 February 2012 04:31 (eight years ago) link

Lex I want to apologize for not listening to LES til after my ballot was cast. If I had listened to it beforehand I wouldve voted it #1 and it would've placed higher than Destroyer.

Drugs A. Money, Friday, 3 February 2012 04:32 (eight years ago) link

THE MORAL VICTORY CONFIRMED

I CAN SLEEP NOW

first period don't give a fuck, second period gon get cut (lex pretend), Friday, 3 February 2012 04:34 (eight years ago) link

have a good night dude

Drugs A. Money, Friday, 3 February 2012 04:34 (eight years ago) link

yeah uh maybe this could be a general take it down a notch moment yall

Thu'um gang (jjjusten), Friday, 3 February 2012 04:35 (eight years ago) link

and, like this insubstantial pageant faded, leave not a track behind (xp)

the parable is the parable of the (Lamp), Friday, 3 February 2012 04:36 (eight years ago) link

yeah uh maybe this could be a general take it down a notch moment yall

― Thu'um gang (jjjusten), Thursday, February 2, 2012 11:35 PM (1 minute ago)

lex is just drunk and messin around man, no one's feelings are hurt or anything

tebow gotti (k3vin k.), Friday, 3 February 2012 04:37 (eight years ago) link


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