The Best 23 Albums of 2011…

…a completely subjective, personal list that was based entirely on how much I played them and/or was inspired by them, and regardless of when they came out. So here they are – artist, album (conveniently linked for your perusal), and year of release.

m83 – hurry up we’re dreaming (2011) 

battles – gloss drop (2011)

broken bells – broken bells (2010) 

the national – high violet  (2010) 

doves – kingdom of rust (2009) 

tori amos – abnormally attracted to sin (2009)

bat for lashes – two suns (2009) 

beck – modern guilt (2008)

the shins – wincing the night away (2007) 

the national – alligator (2005)

radiohead – OK computer (2003)

the decemberists – castaways and cutouts (2003) 

yeah yeah yeahs – fever to tell (2003)

broken social scene – you forgot it in people (2002)

doves – the last broadcast (2002)

neko case – blacklisted (2002)

cake – comfort eagle (2001)

modest mouse – building something out of nothing (2000)

holly golightly – God don’t like it (2000)

soul coughing – el oso (1998)

alice in chains – dirt (1992)

the pixies – trompe le monde (1991)

tom waits – rain dogs (1985)

Now if I had to pick 3 absolutely essential recordings from this list, I think I’d pick the Tom Waits, the Neko Case, and the latest The National albums. But, then again, it seems to me that the whole “desert island list” thing is played out and – at least now days – ill-conceived. Right now I can carry pretty much every piece of music I’ve ever owned in the cloud… so let’s not say this is a desert island list, no. Let’s say it’s an electro-magnetic-pulse list. An EMP has hit the earth and YOU – you alone – have a way to play a select bit of music in our post-EMP world. What would you play?

Yes, I think I could survive with some Neko, some Waits, and some National. But, man, I’d really need some Shins and Radiohead…

What are your EMP essentials?

Keep rocking in 2012, folks! (image above taken by Jake Johnson)

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