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: December, 2011

J.R. Jones: 10 Best Films of 2011

J.R. Jones: 10 Best Films of 2011 [as published by The Chicago Reader]

  1. Of Gods and Men – Xavier Beauvois
  2. Bridesmaids – Paul Feig
  3. The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick
  4. Terri – Azazel Jacobs
  5. Tabloid – Errol Morris
  6. Client-9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer – Alex Gibney
  7. The Elephant in the Room – Michael Webber
  8. The Wise Kids – Stephen Cone
  9. Beautiful Boy – Shawn Ku
  10. Margin Call – J.C. Chandor

Ben Sachs: 20 Best Films of 2011

Ben Sachs: 20 Best Films of 2011 [as published by The Chicago Reader] [more commentary]

  1. Aurora – Cristi Puiu
  2. Secret Sunshine – Lee Chang-dong
  3. Film Socialisme – Jean-Luc Godard
  4. Goodbye, First Love – Mia Hansen-Løve
  5. Poetry – Lee Chang-dong
  6. The Strange Case of Angelica – Manoel de Oliveira
  7. Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame – Tsui Hark
  8. Target – Alexander Zeldovich
  9. 13 Assassins – Takashi Miike
  10. And Everythign is Going Fine – Steven Soderbergh
  11. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Johnnie To & Wai Ka-fai
  12. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia – Nuri Bilge Ceylan
  13. The Tree of Life – Terence Malick
  14. Mysteries of Lisbon – Raoul Ruiz
  15. The Skin I Live In – Pedro Almodóvar
  16. Restoration – Joseph Madmony
  17. Another Year – Mike Leigh
  18. Ne Change Rien – Pedro Costa
  19. Miss Bala – Gerardo Naranjo
  20. The Turin Horse – Béla Tarr & Agnes Hranitzky

Metromix: Favorite Albums of 2011

Metromix: Favorite Albums of 2011

  • Wild Beasts – Smother [pictured]
  • Bon Iver – Bon Iver
  • Christina Perri – lovestrong
  • The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow
  • The Dear Hunter – The Color Spectrum
  • The Decemberists – The King is Dead
  • Drive-By Truckers – Go-Go Boots
  • Ekotren – The Dead of Night
  • Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
  • Foster the People – Torches
  • Fucked Up – David Comes to Life
  • Matthew Ryan – I Recall Standing
  • My Morning Jacket – Circuital
  • Natural Child – 1971
  • PAPA – A Good Woman is Hard to Find
  • Paul Simon – So Beautiful or So What
  • PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
  • Primus – Gren Naugahyde
  • Red Fang – Murder the Mountains
  • The Submarines – Love Notes/Letter Bombs
  • various artists – Muppets: The Green Album
  • The Weeknd – House of Balloons
  • Wild Flag – Wild Flag

NOTE: This list is presented in the order shown on the Metromix site, which seems to be alphabetical if you assume the first album is by Mr. or Ms. Beasts, although every other solo artist is alphabetized by first name. Or perhaps the Wild Beasts disc was given the privileged spot because one Metromix writer declares it the year’s number one in the associated commentary. In other mysteries: there is very little overlap between this “favorite albums” list and the “36 great albums” list from Metromix Chicago.

Metromix: Best Songs of 2011

Metromix: Best Songs of 2011

  1. Adele – “Rolling in the Deep”
  2. Foster the People – “Pumped Up Kicks”
  3. LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett, Goon Rock – “Party Rock Anthem”
  4. Chris Brown featuring Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne – “Look at Me Now”
  5. The Black Keys – “Lonely Boy”
  6. Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera – “Moves Like Jagger”
  7. Fleet Foxes – “Helplessness Blues”
  8. Beastie Boys – “Make Some Noise”
  9. Lykke Li – “Get Some”
  10. Foo Fighters – “Rope”
  11. Wiz Khalifa – “Black and Yellow”
  12. Lady Gaga – “Born This Way”
  13. Paul Simon – “Love and Hard Times”
  14. tUnE-yArDs – “Bizness”
  15. Britney Spears – “Till the World Ends”
  16. Bon Iver – “Holocene”
  17. Tyler, The Creator – “Yonkers”
  18. Dawes – “A Little Bit of Everything”
  19. Mastodon – “Curl of the Burl”
  20. Lloyd featuring Andre 3000 – “Dedication to My Ex (Miss That)”
  21. James Blake – “Limit to Your Love”
  22. St. Vincent – “Surgeon”
  23. Lupe Fiasco featuring Skylar Grey – “Words Never Said”
  24. Radiohead – “Lotus Flower”
  25. Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse – “Body and Soul”
  26. Kreayshawn – “Gucci Gucci”
  27. Fitz and the Tantrums – “MoneyGrabber”
  28. Toby Keith – “Red Solo Cup”
  29. Lil Wayne featuring Cory Gunz – “6 Foot 7 Foot”
  30. R.E.M. – “We All Go Back to Where We Belong”
  31. The Band Perry – “If I Die Young”
  32. David Guetta featuring Usher – “Without You”
  33. Das Racist – “Michael Jackson”
  34. Kurt Vile – “Jesus Fever”
  35. Drake featuring Rihanna – “Take Care”
  36. Adele – “Someone Like You”
  37. Real Estate – “It’s Real”
  38. Jason Aldean – “Tattoos on This Town”
  39. Kanye West featuring Rihanna et. al. – “All of the Lights”
  40. Florence + The Machine – “What the Water Gave Me”
  41. Taylor Swift – “Mean”
  42. Anthony Hamilton – “Life Has a Way”
  43. Skrillex – “First of the Year”
  44. Tom Waits – “Bad As Me”
  45. Penguin Prison – “Don’t Fuck With My Money”
  46. Nicki Minaj – “Super Bass”
  47. Beyoncé – “1+1”
  48. Jay-Z & Kanye West – “Otis”
  49. J*Davey – “Whatcha Lookin @”
  50. Blink-182 – “Up All Night”

Altered Zones: Favorites Albums of 2011

Altered Zones: Favorites Albums of 2011 [alphabetically by first name]

  • Ash Borer – Ash Borer
  • Blues Control & Laraaji – FRKWYS Vol. 8
  • The Caretaker – An Empty Bliss Beyond This World
  • Death Grips – Exmilitary
  • Future Shuttle – Water’s Edge
  • Holy Other – With U
  • Iceage – New Brigade
  • John Maus – We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
  • Julia Holter – Tragedy
  • Julian Lynch – Terra
  • Jürgen Müller – Science of the Sea
  • Laurel Halo – Hour Logic
  • Liturgy – Aesthethica
  • Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica
  • Peaking Lights – 936 [pictured]
  • Pete Swanson – Man with Potential
  • Prince Rama – Trust Now
  • Pure X – Pleasure
  • Run DMT – Dreams
  • Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972

Richard Trapunski: Top 10 Albums of 2011

Richard Trapunski: Top 10 Albums of 2011 [as published by NOW Magazine]

  1. Fucked Up – David Comes to Life
  2. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
  3. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring for My Halo
  4. Iceage – New Brigade
  5. The Weeknd – House of Balloons
  6. Rich Aucoin – We’re All Dying to Live
  7. The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient
  8. Yuck – Yuck
  9. Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde
  10. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy

Honourable Mentions

  • Black Keys – El Camino
  • Jennifer Castle – Castlemusic
  • One Hundred Dollars – Songs of Man
  • Timber Timbre – Creep on Creepin’ On
  • Ty Segall – Goodbye Bread

Ty Burr: Top Movies of 2011

Ty Burr: Top Movies of 2011 [as published by The Boston Globe]

  1. Hugo – Martin Scorsese
  2. Drive – Nicolas Winding Refn
  3. The Clock – Christian Marclay
  4. The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius
  5. Le Quattro Volte – Michelangelo Frammartino
  6. A Separation – Asghar Farhadi
  7. Bill Cunningham New York – Richard Press
  8. Moneyball – Bennett Miller
  9. Win Win – Thomas McCarthy
  10. Limitless – Bradley Cooper

Wesley Morris: Top Movies of 2011

Wesley Morris: Top Movies of 2011 [as published by The Boston Globe]

  1. Margaret – Kenneth Lonergan
  2. Le Quattro Volte – Michelangelo Frammartino
  3. Drive – Nicolas Winding Refn
  4. The Interrupters – Steve James
  5. City of Life and Death – Lu Chuan
  6. Poetry – Lee Chang-dong
  7. 3 – Tom Tykwer
  8. Weekend – Andrew Haigh
  9. Contagion – Steven Soderbergh
  10. The Future – Miranda July

Dave Morris: Top 10 Albums of 2011

Dave Morris: Top 10 Albums of 2011 [as published by the Toronto Globe and Mail]

  1. The Horrors – Skying
  2. various artists – Bangs and Works, Volume 2
  3. Tyler, The Creator – Goblin
  4. 2562 – Fever
  5. Woodsman – Rare Forms
  6. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
  7. Jackmaster – FabricLive 57
  8. Pinch and Shackleton – Pinch and Shackleton
  9. Four Tet – FabricLive 59
  10. Pusha T – Fear of God II: Let Us Pray

Brad Wheeler: Top 10 Albums of 2011

Brad Wheeler: Top 10 Albums of 2011 [as published by the Toronto Globe and Mail]

  1. Feist – Metals
  2. The Roots – undun
  3. Fucked Up – David Comes to Life
  4. Radiohead – The King of Limbs
  5. Paul Simon – So Beautiful or So What
  6. James Blake – James Blake
  7. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
  8. Wild Flag – Wild Flag
  9. Meshell Ndegeocello – Weather
  10. The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient