Welcome to the results thread of the 2011 Year-End Albums Poll.
Thanks very much to the following 37 people who participated in the poll: antonius, BillAdama, Brad, Charlie Driggs, Chris K, Dan M, Ddiamondd, dr_Robert, Evan, Gillingham, Greg, Jackson, John, Jonah, Matski, Michel, Miguel, Mindrocker, Moonbeam, musictoad, Nassim, Nick, nicolas, Otisredding, Petri, Reed, Rocky Raccoon, Romain, schaefer.tk, Slick, sonofsamiam, Spaz, Stephan, SuperFurry, Tim E, Vanillafire1000, Zorg.
Only 3 people’s #1 album didn’t get any other votes and just missed out on the top 50. So, commiserations / honourable mentions to:
The Leisure Society | Into the Murky Water (John’s #1)
Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion | Bright Examples (Miguel’s #1)
Ada | Meine zarten Pfoten (schaefer.tk’s #1)
Just a couple of notes about the presentation: Your name will appear in the Biggest Fans section if you placed an album in your top 5 (or if you are the biggest fan of an album which nobody placed in their top 5). The Critics’ Rank section refers to an album’s rank in the 2011 Year-End spreadsheet which Harold Wexler compiled.
To avoid ties, if two or more albums had the same amount of points, then the album with most votes received the higher placement. In the event of two albums having the same amount of points as well as the same number of votes, the album with the better averange rank had the advantage.
This results countdown will be completed by tomorrow evening. If all goes according to plan, the rest of the results will be revealed roundabout the following times (forum time / GMT):
#40-#31 – 17:30 today (1 Feb)
#30-#21 – 21:30 today (1 Feb)
#20-#11 – 09:30 tomorrow (2 Feb)
#10-#6 – 14:00 tomorrow (2 Feb)
#5-#1 – 17:30 tomorrow (2 Feb )
But first, #50-#41...
50 | WU LYF | Go Tell Fire to the Mountain
Score: 50 points (3 votes)
Biggest Fan: Mindrocker (#6)
Critics' Rank: #71
Genre: Indie Rock, Art Rock
49 | Tinariwen | Tassili
Score: 50 points (4 votes)
Biggest Fan: Greg (#3)
Critics' Rank: #106
Genre: Tishoumaren, Touareg Music
48 | Kate Bush | 50 Words for Snow
Score: 50 points (6 votes)
Biggest Fan: Moonbeam (#7)
Critics' Rank: #44
Genre: Art Pop, Ambient Pop
47 | The Horrors | Skying
Score: 51 points (2 votes)
Biggest Fan: Reed (#3)
Critics' Rank: #17
Genre: Neo-Psychedelia, Shoegaze
46 | Explosions in the Sky | Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
Score: 53 points (2 votes)
Biggest Fan: Petri (#1)
Critics' Rank: #142
45 | The Vaccines | What Did You Expect from The Vaccines
Score: 55 points (2 votes)
Biggest Fan: Tim E (#3)
Critics' Rank: #107
Genre: Indie Rock, Garage Rock Revival
44 | Andy Stott | Passed Me By
Score: 55 points (2 votes)
Biggest Fan: Jackson (#3)
Critics' Rank: #112
Genre: Dub Techno, Dark Ambient
43 | Björk | Biophilia
Score: 56 points (2 votes)
Biggest Fan: Moonbeam (#1)
Critics' Rank: #57
Genre: Art Pop, Progressive Pop
42 | Arbouretum | The Gathering
Score: 57 points (2 votes)
Biggest Fan: Brad (#1)
Critics' Rank: #458
Genre: Stoner Rock
41 | Metronomy | The English Riviera
Score: 59 points (5 votes)
Biggest Fan: Moonbeam (#4)
Critics' Rank: #14
Genre: Indie Pop, Indie Electronic
Good start Dan M. The presentation looks great. Genre part is very informative when I'm not familiar with some of the bands/artists.
Also thanks for the time schedule.
Thanks Dan. I'm anxious to see the results this afternoon and tomorrow.
For another year, I propose that the scoring system is like the best songs of 2011. I think it's more fun and more fair.
Andy Stott's album art and the genre definition of "Genre: Dub Techno, Dark Ambient" scares the hell outta me!
Regarding Andy Stott...
Yeah, Passed Me By is great, though you gotta be in the proper mood. Companion We Stay Together is just as good, though for some reason I thought that was an EP and ineligible. Jackson voted for them together, which makes the most sense.
Anyway, I recommend "Execution" as a starter track. VERY dark, heavy, and slow.
Wow, Dan M, what an elegant presentation!
How do you achieve this horizontal line? Using the underscore key?
The Weeknd ended surprisingly low...
Modern RnB is so ridiculous compared to what it used to be
Modern RnB is so ridiculous compared to what it used to be in the 60 70s
Only thing iliked these past 10 yrs is Janelle monae and some erikah b
I understand the complaint. The Weeknd works for me, although it probably wouldn't have finished in my top 20 last year (I didn't like this year much).
In my previous post I didn't count revival/old school acts like Raphael Saadiq, Sharon Jones, Anthony JOseph et al
30 | Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi | Rome
Score: 96 points (4 votes)
Biggest Fans: SuperFurry (#1); Romain (#5)
Critics' Rank: #131
Genre: Progressive Pop
29 | Wilco | The Whole Love
Score: 104 points (8 votes)
Biggest Fans: Brad (#4); Matski (#4); Rocky Raccoon (#5)
Critics' Rank: #15
Genre: Alt-Country, Alternative Rock
28 | Battles | Gloss Drop
Score: 107 points (4 votes)
Biggest Fans: Michel (#1); Charlie Driggs (#2)
Critics' Rank: #53
Genre: Math Rock, Neo-Prog
27 | Smith Westerns | Dye It Blonde
Score: 108 points (5 votes)
Biggest Fans: Ddiamondd(#1); Zorg (#4)
Critics' Rank: #97
Genre: Indie Rock, Power Pop
26 | Matana Roberts | Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens de couleur libres
Score: 111 points (5 votes)
Biggest Fans: sonofsamiam (#1); schaefer.tk (#2)
Critics' Rank: #133
Genre: Avant-Garde Jazz
25 | Nicolas Jaar | Space Is Only Noise
Score: 123 points (9 votes)
Biggest Fan: Mindrocker (#2)
Critics' Rank: #24
Genre: Left-Field House
24 | The Decemberists | The King Is Dead
Score: 129 points (6 votes)
Biggest Fans: Vanillafire1000 (#2); Slick (#3)
Critics' Rank: #46
Genre: Folk Rock, Country Rock
23 | Cults | Cults
Score: 132 points (4 votes)
Biggest Fans: Tim E (#1); Vanillafire 1000 (#1)
Critics' Rank: #69
Genre: Indie Rock, Twee Pop
22 | Shabazz Palaces | Black Up
Score: 139 points (6 votes)
Biggest Fans: Otisredding (#2); Evan (#3); Mindrocker (#4); antonius (#5)
Critics' Rank: #16
Genre: Experimental Hip Hop
21 | The Antlers | Burst Apart
Score: 139 points (8 votes)
Biggest Fans: Stephan (#2); SuperFurry (#3)
Critics' Rank: #30
Genre: Indie Rock, Dream Pop
Funnily enough, I just returned from a Wild Flag concert, and I very much wish I had voted for them now! It's just like Sleater-Kinney, but to me it feels a little more loose. On stage they look like they're having an absolute blast.
Wild Beasts seems to have been forgotten - it got released and there was a little bit of hype around it, but I swear I've heard no one talk about it for the last 6 months. It's really curious, because I think it's a great album.
New R&B is really just dance pop.
Great results so far. Would have liked Nicolas Jaar a bit higher, but pleased to see Ry Cooder make the top 20.
Great placements for TV on the Radio and the Roots. Critics whiffed on those two albums.
TV on the Radio is the most puzzlingly overlooked album of the year to me. Sure it's not as good as Dear Science, but DS finished number 3 for 2008, and it's not that far off. The Fleet Foxes also put out an album that is universally considered not as good as their `08 effort, yet it was way more acclaimed. Why is TVotR not cool all of a sudden?
10 | St. Vincent | Strange Mercy
Score: 226 points (13 votes)
Biggest Fans: Moonbeam (#2); Reed (#2); Chris K (#3); BillAdama (#5)
Critics' Rank: #9
Genre: Art Pop, Indie Pop
9 | M83 | Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
Score: 241 points (9 votes)
Biggest Fans: Greg (#1); musictoad (#1); Matski (#2); Moonbeam (#3); Chris K (#5)
Critics' Rank: #8
Genre: Synth Pop, Indie Electronic
8 | Radiohead | The King of Limbs
Score: 250 points (14 votes)
Biggest Fans: Chris K (#4); Michel (#4); Gillingham (#5); Mindrocker (#5); Slick (#5)
Critics' Rank: #13
Genre: Electronic, Experimental Rock
7 | James Blake | James Blake
Score: 267 points (10 votes)
Biggest Fans: Mindrocker (#1); antonius (#2); Nick (#2); Otisredding (#3); Charlie Driggs (#4)
Critics' Rank: #3
Genre: Indie Electronic, Dubstep
6 | Destroyer | Kaputt
Score: 272 points (12 votes)
Biggest Fans: Reed (#1); Petri (#2); Zorg (#2); Jonah (#3); Nick (#3); Evan (#5)
Critics' Rank: #5
Genre: Sophisti-Pop, Art Pop
I'm surprised at the high placement of Destroyer, considering Destroyer's Rubies never placed that high and I think it's far better than Kaputt. Kaputt seems kind of like Destroyer-by-numbers.
Nine Types Of Light is a good album, but it's not top tier for me. It's not as consistent and doesn't hold up as well to repeated listening.
Good to see St Vincent in top 10, Tom Waits in top 5.
I think the point Jackson is trying to make is that Nine Types of Light is always compared to Dear Science, and is therefore dismissed because critical opinion says it's less good. Similarly Helplessness Blues is always compared to Fleet Foxes, and most people agree that it's less good, but it doesn't suffer from the same level of dismissal that Nine Types of Light has suffered. The hype surrounding Dear Science was huge, but for some reason, Nine Types of Light seems to have passed by with no one noticing.
These results are great! The only one in the top 10 that I haven't heard properly is M83, but they verge on the annoying to me.
Have to agree in some respects. Nine Types... has a handful of tracks that measure up to their previous catalogue. But on the whole, the album slightly pales compared to their three, previous releases. I just couldn't include it in the top 50 for that reason. Similar sentiments go to several other big releases last year, like King of Limbs. Still, you'll always get fans who are more lenient and so long as these consistent bands deliver something half-decent their placement in many EoY lists practically becomes a forgone conclusion...
Helplessness Blues on the other hand stands close to their first album. I get the feeling that typical of most band's second albums, many people got bored of FF after all the hype around their previous album and promptly forget about them.
It's not that it's not as good as Dear Science, so much as it sounds like a rehash of things TVOTR has already done, and that makes the individual songs very unmemorable. Same with Fleet Foxes. It's fine not to be as good as you were before, but if you're not, you should at least be doing something different than you did before, or else why shouldn't I just listen to the original instead?
I wonder if part of Kaputt's high placement is just because it was on top of Megacritic and that got the people who listened to fewer albums to listen to it.
I don't think that Helplessness Blues is the same as the one before. It's more folky, less focused, and there's a more varied instrumentation. And we're dealing with a folk band. Why would bands always do something DIFFERENT, sthg NEW ? that is typical of indie fans. Even if it's shit, it's different so it's good : nonsense.It is music, not R&D we're talking about.
FF is a traditional singer-songwriter band and I think Pecknold granted us with a fantastic album. I prefer the first one, but I still want to hear Helplessness again and again for its brilliant musical textures, and as DanM stressed, because it's a grower. ANd I don't give a f if they're not cool anymore. I like the seventies, and that band is as good as any 70s band in the same vein.I don't care if they're modern or not, that is not a criterion IMO. I like both FF and Gang Gang Dance because they have this very generous approach of music.
I agree Helplessness Blues benefits from repeated listenings more the Nine Types Of Light. It's been rising on my list, it just never cracked my top 20.
Believe me or not, I used to be a big electro fan in the late 90's
My problem with Gang Gang Dance is that it's too front loaded - the first half is amazing, but it justs limps to the end for me. I would love it if they did a 6 song album where the song lengths are 10 minutes or so. IMO the short songs just can't keep up with Glass Jar and Adult Goth.
5 | Girls | Father, Son, Holy Ghost
Score: 298 points (14 votes)
Biggest Fans: Jonah (#1); Brad (#2); Evan (#2); Zorg (#3); John (#5)
Critics' Rank: #11
Genre: Indie Rock
4 | Fleet Foxes | Helplessness Blues
Score: 312 points (21 votes)
Biggest Fans: nicolas (#1); Jonah (#2); Dan M (#5); Nick (#5)
Critics' Rank: #4
Genre: Contemporary Folk, Folk Rock
3 | Bon Iver | Bon Iver, Bon Iver
Score: 351 points (17 votes)
Biggest Fans: Chris K (#1); Nassim (#1); Otisredding (#1); John (#4); Nick (#4)
Critics' Rank: #2
Genre: Indie Folk
2 | Tom Waits | Bad As Me
Score: 374 points (16 votes)
Biggest Fans: antonius (#1); BillAdama (#1); Rocky Raccoon (#1); Gillingham (#3); nicolas (#3); sonofsamiam (#4)
Critics' Rank: #6
Genre: Roots Rock
1 | PJ Harvey | Let England Shake
Score: 707 points (27 votes)
Biggest Fans: dr_Robert (#1); Gillingham (#1); Jackson (#1); Matski (#1); Nick (#1)
Chris K (#2); Michel (#2); Rocky Raccoon (#2); Brad (#3); Charlie Driggs (#3)
Reed (#4); musictoad (#5); Otisredding (#5); schaefer.tk (#5); Tim E (#5)
Critics' Rank: #1
Genre: Alternative Singer/Songwriter
WOW. What a huge win, and deserved too. I'm very very happy with that top 5 indeed. Thanks a lot Dan M!
Looks like I should have explained myself a little more. The statement I was trying to make is completely independent of the quality of the actual albums. I happen to think TV on the Radio is the best band of the last 10 years and respect the Fleet Foxes more than I like them, but that's not the point.
Over the last two years, there are plenty of examples of critics rewarding artists with high placements while admitting their album doesn't match up to their previous work. Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, The National, and now Fleet Foxes are all huge indie artists that released albums most admitted were subpar to their previous work, yet the albums still were super-acclaimed. This must be, at least in part, because of the reputation and popularity of the artists.
What I want to know is why TV on the Radio isn't in this group. Their previous two albums had made the top five of their given years, yet Nine Types of Light barely even got attention. Even I don't think it's as good as their previous work, but that's not the point. My point, which Zorg seemed to get, was that most of the time big artists can be highly acclaimed even with a subpar album (look at Kanye and Jay-Z this year). Maybe this is because artists release fewer albums these days, maybe it's because some releases are so hyped that critics don't want to look foolish, or maybe it's some other reason. But I just wanted to know why TV on the Radio isn't 'cool' to like anymore.
As far as Nine Types of Light goes, I'll definitely disagree that the individual songs aren't memorable. Second Song, Will Do, and Repetition stand up with the band's best work. There is definitely something about the production that makes the album as a whole less memorable, and it's not a classic. But that doesn't mean TV on the Radio went from being one of the best artists in the world to being also-rans. Usually falls from grace happen when an artist releases a divisive work or something in a completely different style, like Sufjan Stevens last year.
I'm not trying to diss any of the bands I mentioned, I'm just trying to make a general point about today's music criticism that, for some reason, does not seem to apply to TVoTR.
@Zorg I think you are on the money about Eye Contact. Glass Jar is definitely the best song on there. I would like to see them either go to an album of longer songs or a shorter album with better flow like Saint Dympha. Eye Contact was a step backward for them IMO.
EDIT: Looks like my soliloquy got upstaged by the final results. I'm so glad 1 and 2 placed about 3-5. PJ Harvey really deserved this win; Let England Shake was my most played album of the year and only gets better with repeated listens.
PJ Harvey lets AM shake. Great list and thanks Dan M!
Great job. Wonders records. Beautiful photo of our favorite female rocker. And big big big PJ Harvey.
Yeesh, what a smiting result from Peej!!! Deserved it every bit.
Interesting to see that the top three here consisted of the same three from Metacritic's, consecutive #1's lists for 2011.
Furthermore, despite all this talk of whether Helplessness Blues is as good as its predecessor, it's great to see it riding so high too.
Congrats for the presentation Dan M!
I think PJ is going to dominate critic polls this year. It just came out in February and held everyone's attention all year.
Especially glad to see Waits #2.
Superb presentation, Dan M
And superb list, boys
I haven't listened enough 2011 albums to make a worthy list but the Top 5 of the ones I listened so far could have been:
1. Destroyer - Kaputt
2. James Blake - James Blake
3. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
4. Tom Waits - Bad As Me
5. Fleet Foxes - Helplesness Blues
Not too original, I know...
Nice job, Dan. Winner isn't surprising, but the margin of victory is.
Tune yards won pazz n jop?
That one's kind of a head scratcher. I would have believed a few other ones beating PJ Harvey, like Tom Waits, or even a mainstream one like Adele or that Jay Z/Kanye one that came in third. This list doesn't seem to consistently fit any taste profile at all.
I guess I should give Kaputt another listen. I don't dislike it, it just doesn't seem any different from anything else in his catalog either as Destroyer or with the Pornos. I am totally clueless as to why, if this one is doing so well, why didn't Destroyer's Rubies or his other albums in the interim do this well too?
Thanks a lot Dan! Great results. PJ Harvey just ruled last year singlehandedly. Deservedly so.
I think Low's C'mon just missed out? It's probably in the top 60, I guess.
Thanks for the kind words about the presentation. I really enjoyed putting it together. But my work isn't over yet - stay tuned for next week's songs poll results.