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. We note, of course, that it's not even December, yet. People. People! Lists are crashing down upon us unusually early. But here we go…

Category: 2011 Albums

Pazz & Jop: Top 100 Albums of 2011

The annual Village Voice music poll Pazz+Jop: Top 100 Albums of 2011 [see also: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 singles]

  1. tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
  2. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
  3. Jay-Z and Kanye West – Watch the Throne
  4. Wild Flag – Wild Flag
  5. Tom Waits – Bad As Me
  6. Adele – 21
  7. Destroyer – Kaputt
  8. Drake – Take Care
  9. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
  10. Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
  11. Fucked Up – David Comes to Life
  12. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
  13. The Weeknd – House of Balloons
  14. Paul Simon – So Beautiful or So What
  15. EMA – Past Life Martyred Saints
  16. Frank Ocean – Nostalgia, Ultra
  17. The Roots – Undun
  18. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
  19. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
  20. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring for My Halo
  21. Black Keys – El Camino
  22. Wilco – The Whole Love
  23. Pistol Annies – Hell on Heels
  24. Yuck – Yuck
  25. Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
  26. Beyoncé – 4
  27. Gillian Welch – The Harrow and the Harvest
  28. Danny Brown – XXX
  29. The Decemberists – The King Is Dead
  30. Lady Gaga – Born This Way
  31. Bill Callahan – Apocalypse
  32. Real Estate – Days
  33. Radiohead – The King of Limbs
  34. James Blake – James Blake
  35. Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica
  36. Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972
  37. Kate Bush – 50 Words for Snow
  38. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
  39. Raphael Saadiq – Stone Rollin’
  40. Wye Oak – Civilian
  41. Ryan Adams and the Cardinals – Ashes & Fire
  42. Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
  43. TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light
  44. Kendrick Lamar – Section.80
  45. The Beach Boys – The Smile Sessions
  46. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – Mirror Traffic
  47. Mastodon – The Hunter
  48. Das Racist – Relax
  49. War on Drugs – Slave Ambient
  50. Charles Bradley – No Time for Dreaming
  51. Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact
  52. Katy B – On a Mission
  53. Britney Spears – Femme Fatale
  54. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
  55. Dum Dum Girls – Only in Dreams
  56. Iceage – New Brigade
  57. The Men – Leave Home
  58. Joy Formidable – The Big Roar
  59. Feist – Metals
  60. Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials
  61. Clams Casino – Instrumental Mixtape
  62. [tie] Atlas Sound – Parallax
  63. Fountains of Wayne – Sky Full of Holes
  64. My Morning Jacket – Circuital
  65. Mountain Goats – All Eternals Deck
  66. Nicolas Jaar – Space Is Only Noise
  67. Big KRIT – Return of 4Eva
  68. The Antlers – Burst Apart
  69. Panda Bear – Tomboy
  70. Tinariwen – Tassili
  71. Kills – Blood Pressures
  72. Low – C’mon
  73. R.E.M. – Collapse Into Now
  74. Demdike Stare – Tryptych
  75. [tie] Nick Lowe – The Old Magic
  76. Hayes Carll – KMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories)
  77. Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Part 2
  78. Matana Roberts – Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens de Couleur Libres
  79. Zola Jesus – Conatus
  80. The Horrors – Skying
  81. White Denim – D
  82. Washed Out – Within and Without
  83. Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong
  84. The Caretaker – An Empty Bliss Beyond This World
  85. Austra – Feel It Break
  86. Julianna Barwick – The Magic Place
  87. Miranda Lambert – Four the Record
  88. Liturgy – Aesthethica
  89. Elbow – Build a Rocket Boys!
  90. [tie] Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know
  91. Cults – Cults
  92. DJ Quik – The Book of David
  93. A$AP Rocky – LiveLoveA$AP
  94. Lou Reed & Metallica – Lulu
  95. Feelies – Here Before
  96. Grouper – A I A
  97. Eric Church – Chief
  98. Tyler, The Creator – Goblin
  99. Braids – Native Speaker
  100. Ty Segall – Goodbye Bread

NOTE: See the Village Voice for a ranking of the 1,734 albums that received votes from at least one of the poll’s 700 respondents.

Margaret Wappler: Top 10 Albums of 2011

Margaret Wappler: Top 10 Albums of 2011 [as published by The Los Angeles Times]

  1. tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
  2. Bill Callahan – Apocalypse
  3. Destroyer – Kaputt
  4. Feist – Metals
  5. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
  6. Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
  7. Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know
  8. Paul Simon – So Beautiful or So What
  9. Eleanor Friedberger – Last Summer
  10. Real Estate – Days

Todd Martens: Top 15 Albums of 2011

Todd Martens: Top 15 Albums of 2011 [as published by The Los Angeles Times]

  1. Le Butcherettes – Sin Sin Sin
  2. Van Hunt – What Were You Hoping For?
  3. Fucked Up – David Comes to Life
  4. The Roots – undun
  5. Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
  6. Raphael Saadiq – Stone Rollin’
  7. Wilco – The Whole Love
  8. Wild Flag – Wild Flag
  9. Bewitched Hands – Birds and Drums
  10. Lydia Loveless – Indestructible Machine
  11. tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
  12. Feist – Metals
  13. The Drive-By Truckers – Go-Go Boots
  14. Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
  15. The Feelies – Here Before

Bleep: Top 10 Albums of 2011

Bleep: Top 10 Albums of 2011

  1. Byetone – SyMeta
  2. Rustie – Glass Swords
  3. John Maus – We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves
  4. patten – GLAQJO XAACSSO
  5. Martyn – Ghost People
  6. Peaking Lights – 936
  7. Surgeon – Breaking The Frame
  8. Roll The Dice – In Dust
  9. Nicolas Jaar – Space is Only Noise
  10. Roly Porter – Aftertime

Hot Press: Top 30 Albums of 2011

Hot Press: Top 30 Albums of 2011

  1. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
  2. Tom Waits – Bad As Me
  3. Lisa Hannigan – Passenger
  4. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
  5. The Horrors – Skying
  6. Cashier No. 9 – To the Death of Fun
  7. Elbow – Build a Rocket Boys!
  8. Radiohead – The King of Limbs
  9. Wild Beasts – Smother
  10. Bjork – Biophilia
  11. Kate Bush – 50 Words for Snow
  12. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
  13. Pugwash – The Olympus Sound
  14. Lady Gaga – Born This Way
  15. Wilco – The Whole Love
  16. James Blake – James Blake
  17. The Coronas – Closer To You
  18. Arctic Monkeys – Suck It and See
  19. Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials
  20. Feist – Metals
  21. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne
  22. The Minutes – Marcata
  23. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
  24. Childish Gambino – Camp
  25. Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
  26. We Cut Corners – Today I Realised I Could Walk Home Backwards
  27. SBTRKT – SBTRKT
  28. Snow Patrol – Fallen Empires
  29. The Weeknd – House of Balloons
  30. The Waterboys – An Appointment with Mr. Yeats

Rip It Up: 10 Best Albums of 2011

Rip It Up: 10 Best Albums of 2011

  1. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
  2. SBTRKT – SBTRKT
  3. Kasabian – Velociraptor!
  4. Azari & III – Azari & III
  5. The Horrors – Skying
  6. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
  7. The Black Keys – El Camino
  8. Arctic Monkeys – Suck It And See
  9. The Jezabels – Prisoner
  10. Cut Copy – Zonoscope

Guitar World: Top 50 Albums of 2011

Guitar World: Top 50 Albums of 2011

  1. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
  2. Opeth – Heritage
  3. Asking Alexandria – Reckless & Relentless
  4. Anthrax – Worship Music
  5. Mastodon – The Hunter
  6. Joe Bonamassa – Dust Bowl
  7. Children of Bodom – Relentless Reckless Forever
  8. Megadeth – TH1RT3EN
  9. Cage the Elephant – Thank You, Happy Birthday
  10. Dream Theater – A Dramatic Turn of Events
  11. Black Veil Brides – Set the World on Fire
  12. Black Country Communion – 2
  13. Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You
  14. Animals As Leaders – Weightless
  15. Machine Head – Unto the Locust
  16. Gregg Allman – Low Country Blues
  17. Explosions in the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
  18. Radiohead – The King of Limbs
  19. Of Mice & Men – The Flood
  20. Warren Haynes – Man in Motion
  21. Falling In Reverse – The Drug in Me Is You
  22. Wilco – The Whole Love
  23. Protest the Hero – Scurrilous
  24. Korn – The Path of Totality
  25. Brad Paisley – This Is Country Music
  26. Skeletonwitch – Forever Abomination
  27. Tedeschi Trucks Band – Revelator
  28. Iced Earth – Dystopia
  29. Russian Circles – Empros
  30. Kenny Wayne Shepherd – How I Go
  31. Black Dahlia Murder – Ritual
  32. Primus – Green Naugahyde
  33. Steel Panther – Balls Out
  34. Jane’s Addiction – The Great Escape Artist
  35. Jimmie Vaughan – Plays More Blues, Ballads & Favorites
  36. The Black Keys – El Camino
  37. The Human Abstract – Digital Veil
  38. Revocation – Chaos of Forms
  39. The Cars – Move Like This
  40. George Thorogood and the Destroyers – 2120 South Michigan Ave.
  41. The Devil Wears Prada – Dead Throne
  42. Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks – Mirror Traffic
  43. Decapitated – Carnival is Forever
  44. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
  45. Textures – Dualism
  46. Chickenfoot – Chickenfoot III
  47. Gang of Four – Content
  48. Five Finger Death Punch – American Capitalist
  49. Brian Setzer – Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL!
  50. Trivium – In Waves

Margaret Moser: Top 10 Albums of 2011

Margaret Moser: Top 10 Albums of 2011 [as published by The Austin Chronicle]

  1. Lucinda Williams – Blessed
  2. The Decemberists – The King Is Dead
  3. Adele – 21
  4. Tom Waits – Bad as Me
  5. The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow
  6. Black Keys – El Camino
  7. Cornell Dupree – I’m Alright
  8. Amy Winehouse – Lioness: Hidden Treasures
  9. Gregg Allman – Low Country Blues
  10. Gillian Welch – The Harrow & the Harvest

Austin Powell: Top 10 Albums of 2011

Austin Powell: Top 10 Albums of 2011 [as published by The Austin Chronicle]

  1. Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
  2. tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
  3. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo – Cotonou Club
  4. Wilco – The Whole Love
  5. Josh T Pearson – Last of the Country Gentlemen
  6. Yuck – Yuck
  7. Paul Simon – So Beautiful or So What
  8. My Morning Jacket – Circuital
  9. Atlas Sound – Parallax
  10. EMA – Past Life Martyred Saints

Mark Morford: Top 10 Most Awesome Records of 2011

Mark Morford: Top 10 Most Awesome Records of 2011 [as published by SFGate]

  1. [“Nope, nothing.”]
  2. Julianna Barwick – The Magic Place [pictured]
  3. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
  4. Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
  5. Massive Attack vs. Burial – Four Walls
  6. [tie] Burial – Street Halo EP
  7. [tie] Burial, Four Tet, and Thom Yorke – 12″ single
  8. Explosions in the Sky – Take Care, Take Care
  9. WU LYF – Go Tell Fire to the Mountain
  10. The Field – Looping State of Mind
  11. Rival Sons – Pressure & Time
  12. Elbow – Build a Rocket Boys!