Year-End Lists

Notable, browsable lists of the year's best music, movies, books, and TV shows. End-of-year lists are fingerprints; aggregate statistics are smudges. Therefore, no tallies. Follow the link for each list to see essential commentary from its authors, at the source.

Month: November, 2011

The Fly: Top 50 Albums of 2011

The Fly: Top 50 Albums of 2011

  1. The Antlers — Burst Apart
  2. Metronomy — The English Riviera
  3. The Horrors — Skying
  4. Smith Westerns — Dye It Blonde
  5. Bombay Bicycle Club — A Different Kind of Fix
  6. PJ Harvey — Let England Shake
  7. Wild Beasts — Smother
  8. Girls — Father, Son, Holy Ghost
  9. The Vaccines — What Did You Expect From The Vaccines
  10. Battles — Gloss Drop
  11. Kurt Vile — Smoke Ring for My Halo
  12. Radiohead — The King of Limbs
  13. Yuck — Yuck
  14. Friendly Fires — Pala
  15. Anna Calvi — Anna Calvi
  16. Washed Out — Within and Without
  17. Bon Iver — Bon Iver
  18. James Blake — James Blake
  19. Veronica Falls — Veronica Falls
  20. Florence + the Machine — Ceremonials
  21. Unknown Mortal Orchestra — Unknown Mortal Orchestra
  22. Real Estate — Days
  23. Black Lips — Arabia Mountain
  24. Laura Marling — A Creature I Don’t Know
  25. White Denim — D
  26. Baxter Dury — Happy Soup
  27. Fleet Foxes — Helplessness Blues
  28. WU LYF — Go Tell Fire to the Mountain
  29. Braids — Native Speaker
  30. Gardens & Villa — Gardens & Villa
  31. Mazes — A Thousand Heys
  32. Dutch Uncles — Cadenza
  33. Noah & The Whale — Last Night on Earth
  34. Gruff Rhys — Hotel Shampoo
  35. St. Vincent — Strange Mercy
  36. Arctic Monkeys — Suck It and See
  37. EMA — Past-Life Martyred Saints
  38. Lykke Li — Wounded Rhymes
  39. Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks — Mirror Traffic
  40. SBTRKT — SBTRKT
  41. The War on Drugs — Slave Ambient
  42. Coldplay — Mylo Xyloto
  43. Shabazz Palaces — Black Up
  44. Cerebral Ballzy — Cerebral Ballzy
  45. Elbow — Build a Rocket Boys!
  46. The Strokes — Angles
  47. Slow Club — Paradise
  48. British Sea Power — Valhalla Dancehall
  49. The Naked and Famous — Passive Me, Aggressive You
  50. The Joy Formidable — The Big Roar

Publishers Weekly: Best Books of 2011

Publishers Weekly: Best Books of 2011 [fiction, nonfiction]

Fiction

  1. The Marriage Plot — Jeffrey Eugenides
  2. The Devil All the Time — Donald Ray Pollock
  3. State of Wonder — Ann Patchett
  4. There but for the — Ali Smith
  5. The Wandering Falcon — Jamil Ahmad
  6. The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar — Alina Bronsky (translated by Tim Mohr)
  7. The Sisters Brothers — Patrick DeWitt
  8. Say Her Name — Francisco Goldman
  9. Volt — Alan Heathcock
  10. The Stranger’s Child — Alan Hollinghurst
  11. Train Dreams — Denis Johnson
  12. Changó’s Beads and Two-Tone Shoes — William Kennedy
  13. The Night Circus — Erin Morgenstern
  14. The Call — Yannick Murphy
  15. The Tiger’s Wife — Téa Obreht
  16. Cain — José Saramago
  17. Luminarium — Alex Shakar
  18. Someday This Will Be Funny — Lynne Tillman
  19. I Married You for Happiness — Lily Tuck
  20. Leche — R. Zamora Linmark

Nonfiction

  1. Bossypants — Tina Fey
  2. Catherine the Great — Robert K. Massie
  3. Hemingway’s Boat — Paul Hendrikson
  4. One Day I Will Write About This Place — Binyavanga Wainaina
  5. Arguably: Essays — Christopher Hitchens
  6. The Convert: A Parable of Islam and America — Deborah Baker
  7. The Anatomy of a Moment — Javier Cercas
  8. The Beautiful and the Damned:A Portrait of the New India — Siddhartha Deb
  9. Blue Nights — Joan Didion
  10. Townie: A Memoir — Andre Dubus III
  11. The Swerve: How the World Became Modern — Stephen Greenblatt
  12. Life Itself: A Memoir — Roger Ebert
  13. A World on Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War — Amanda Foreman
  14. Tiger, Tiger — Margaux Fragoso
  15. Love and Capital: Karl Marx and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution — Mary Gabriel
  16. The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood — James Gleick
  17. Blood, Bones, and Butter — Gabrielle Hamilton
  18. A Book of Secrets: Illegitimate Daughters, Absent Fathers — Michael Holroyd
  19. Rome: A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History — Robert Hughes
  20. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin — Erik Larson
  21. Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World — Michael Lewis
  22. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention — Manning Marable
  23. Believing Is Seeing: Observations on the Mysteries of Photography — Errol Morris
  24. Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend — Susan Orlean
  25. The Long Goodbye: A Memoir — Meghan O’Rourke
  26. The Psychopath Test — Jon Ronson
  27. The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity — Jeffrey D. Sachs
  28. Charles Dickens: A Life — Claire Tomalin
  29. The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt — Toby Wilkinson

New York Times: Ten Best Books of 2011

The New York Times: Ten Best Books of 2011 [see also: 100 Notable Books of 2011]

Fiction (alphabetical)

  • The Art of Fielding — Chad Harbach
  • 11/22/63 — Stephen King
  • Swamplandia! — Karen Russell
  • Ten Thousand Saints — Eleanor Henderson
  • The Tiger’s Wife — Téa Obreht

Nonfiction (alphabetical)

  • Arguably: Essays — Christopher Hitchens
  • The Boy in the Moon: A Father’s Journey to Understand His Extraordinary Son — Ian Brown
  • Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention — Manning Marable
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow — Daniel Kahneman
  • A World on Fire: Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War — Amanda Foreman

American Songwriter: Top 50 Albums of 2011

American Songwriter: Top 50 Albums of 2011

  1. Wilco – The Whole Love
  2. Gillian Welch – The Harrow And The Harvest
  3. Adele – 21
  4. Drive-By Truckers – Go-Go Boots
  5. Dawes – Nothing Is Wrong
  6. Hayes Carll – KMAG YOYO
  7. Paul Simon – So Beautiful or So What
  8. Pistol Annies – Hell on Heels
  9. The Black Keys – El Camino
  10. Feist – Metals
  11. Tom Waits – Bad As Me
  12. Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – Here We Rest
  13. Lucinda Williams – Blessed
  14. My Morning Jacket – Circuital
  15. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
  16. Miranda Lambert – Four The Record
  17. Jessica Lea Mayfield – Tell Me
  18. Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire
  19. Radiohead – The King of Limbs
  20. Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know
  21. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
  22. Bright Eyes – The People’s Key
  23. Civil Wars – Barton Hollow
  24. The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient
  25. Sarah Jarosz – Follow Me Down
  26. Pieta Brown – Mercury
  27. Deer Tick – Divine Providence
  28. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
  29. A. A. Bondy – Believers
  30. The Felice Brothers – Celebration, Florida
  31. Robert Ellis – Photographs
  32. The Decemberists – The King Is Dead
  33. Honeyhoney – Billy Jack
  34. Joe Henry – Reverie
  35. KORT – Invariable Heartache
  36. Old 97′s – The Grand Theatre, Vol. 2
  37. Steve Earle – I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive
  38. Real Estate – Days
  39. Those Darlins – Screws Get Loose
  40. Middle Brother – Middle Brother
  41. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo
  42. Noel Gallagher – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
  43. Jonny Corndawg – Down On The Bikini Line
  44. Tristen – Charlatans At The Garden Gate
  45. JEFF The Brotherhood – We Are The Champions
  46. Loney Dear – Hall Music
  47. Caitlin Rose – Own Side Now
  48. Abigail Washburn – City of Refuge
  49. Beirut – The Rip Tide
  50. Centro-matic – Candidate Waltz

Sonic: Best Albums of 2011

Sonic Magazine: Best Albums of 2011 [staff lists]

  1. PJ Harvey — Let England Shake
  2. Gillian Welch — The Harrow & the Harvest
  3. My Morning Jacket — Circuital
  4. Paul Simon — So Beautiful or So What
  5. Lykke Li — Wounded Rhymes
  6. James Blake — James Blake
  7. Fleet Foxes — Helplessness Blues
  8. Ryan Adams — Ashes & Fire
  9. Tinariwen — Tassili
  10. Feist — Metals
  11. Bon Iver — Bon Iver
  12. The Weeknd — House of Balloons
  13. Shabazz Palaces — Black Up
  14. Wilco — The Whole Love
  15. Frank Ocean — Nostalgia, Ultra
  16. A. A. Bondy — Believers
  17. Kurt Vile — Smoke Ring for My Halo
  18. Adele — 21
  19. Tim Hecker — Ravedeath, 1972
  20. Tyler, The Creator — Goblin
  21. Deportees — Islands & Shores
  22. Zomby — Dedication
  23. Ison & Fille — För evigt
  24. Holy Ghost! — Holy Ghost!
  25. Jonathan Johansson — Klagomuren

Paste: 50 Best Albums of 2011

Paste: 50 Best Albums of 2011

  1. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
  2. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
  3. My Morning Jacket – Circuital
  4. tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
  5. Middle Brother – Middle Brother
  6. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – It’s A Corporate World
  7. Wilco – The Whole Love
  8. Dawes – Nothing Is Wrong
  9. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
  10. The Decemberists – The King Is Dead
  11. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
  12. Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean
  13. Radiohead – The King of Limbs
  14. Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost [special addition]
  15. Adele – 21
  16. Deer Tick – Divine Providence
  17. Yuck – Yuck
  18. The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow
  19. Wye Oak – Civilian
  20. Cults – Cults
  21. Beirut – The Rip Tide
  22. Charles Bradley – No Time For Dreaming
  23. The Black Keys – El Camino
  24. The Belle Brigade – The Belle Brigade
  25. TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light
  26. The Antlers – Burst Apart
  27. The Low Anthem – Smart Flesh
  28. Black Lips – Arabia Mountain
  29. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
  30. Feist – Metals
  31. Tom Waits – Bad As Me
  32. Telekinesis – 12 Desperate Straight Lines
  33. Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire
  34. The Head and the Heart – The Head and the Heart
  35. Seryn – This Is Where We Are
  36. Childish Gambino – Camp
  37. Mister Heavenly – Out Of Love
  38. The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient
  39. Over the Rhine – The Long Surrender
  40. Foster the People – Torches
  41. Portugal. The Man – In The Mountain, In The Cloud
  42. James Blake – James Blake
  43. Wild Flag – Wild Flag
  44. The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar
  45. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo
  46. Those Darlins – Screws Get Loose
  47. Holy Ghost! – Holy Ghost!
  48. Real Estate – Days
  49. Drake – Take Care
  50. Mates of State – Mountaintops
  51. Frank Turner – England Keep My Bones

Q Magazine: Top 50 Albums of 2011

Q Magazine: Top 50 Albums of 2011 [see also 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012]

  1. Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials
  2. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
  3. Adele – 21
  4. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
  5. Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto
  6. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne
  7. Arctic Monkeys – Suck It And See
  8. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
  9. WU LYF – Go Tell Fire To The Mountain
  10. Elbow – Build A Rocket Boys!
  11. The Horrors – Skying
  12. Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know
  13. Bombay Bicycle Club – A Different Kind Of Fix
  14. The Weeknd – House Of Balloons
  15. Baxter Dury – Happy Soup
  16. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo
  17. Metronomy – The English Riviera
  18. Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
  19. Cass McCombs – Wit’s End
  20. The Weeknd – Thursday
  21. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
  22. White Lies – Ritual
  23. Björk – Biophilia
  24. Real Estate – Days
  25. Wild Beasts – Smother
  26. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
  27. Ed Sheeran – +
  28. Gillian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest
  29. Kasabian – Velociraptor!
  30. Lady Gaga – Born This Way
  31. Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Part II
  32. Radiohead – King Of Limbs
  33. tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
  34. Gruff Rhys – Hotel Shampoo
  35. Cass McCombs – Humor Risk
  36. Katy B – On A Mission
  37. Washed Out – Within And Without
  38. Feist – Metals
  39. James Blake – James Blake
  40. Danger Mouse & Daniel Luppi – Rome
  41. Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
  42. Josh T Pearson – Last Of The Country Gentlemen
  43. King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine
  44. Death In Vegas – Trans-Love Energies
  45. Miles Kane – Colour Of The Trap
  46. SBTRKT – SBTRKT
  47. Mastodon – The Hunter
  48. Noah & The Whale – Last Night On Earth
  49. Frank Ocean – Nostalgia, Ultra
  50. Justice – Audio Video Disco

Rise: Records of the Year 2011

Rise: Records of the Year 2011 [main list]

  1. War On Drugs – Slave Ambient
  2. tUnE-YarDs – w h o k i l l
  3. Walls – Coracle
  4. Jonathan Wilson – Gentle Spirit
  5. Josh T. Pearson – Last Of The Country Gentlemen
  6. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo
  7. P.J Harvey – Let England Shake
  8. Antlers – Burst Apart
  9. Little Dragon – Ritual Union
  10. Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
  11. Metronomy – The English Riviera
  12. Balam Acab – Wander / Wonder
  13. Wooden Shjips – West
  14. Braids – Native Speaker
  15. Nicolas Jaar – Space Is Only Noise
  16. Veronica Falls – Veronica Falls
  17. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
  18. Real Estate – Days
  19. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
  20. Wye Oak – Civilian
  21. White Denim – D
  22. Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter Blues & Meloncholy Jam
  23. Fair Ohs – Everything Is Dancing
  24. Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire
  25. Other Lives – Tamer Animals
  26. The Field – Looping State of Mind
  27. Tom Waits – Bad As Me
  28. Wilco – The Whole Love
  29. Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
  30. Lanterns on the Lake – Gracious Tide, Take Me Home
  31. Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
  32. Battles – Gloss Drop
  33. EMA – Past Life Martyred Saints
  34. Hyetal – Broadcast
  35. Cults – Cults
  36. Cat’s Eyes – Cat’s Eyes
  37. Dutch Uncles – Cadenza
  38. Blood Orange – Coastal Grooves
  39. Deerhoof – Vs. Evil
  40. Little Roy – Battle For Seattle
  41. Mastodon – The Hunter
  42. PLANNINGTOROCK – W
  43. Zun Zun Egui – Katang
  44. Wild Beasts – Smother
  45. Bill Callahan – Apocalypse
  46. Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact
  47. King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine
  48. James Blake – James Blake
  49. The Decemberists – The King Is Dead
  50. Summer Camp – Welcome To Condale