Going in reverse order this year because I posted this list on Facebook first and God forbid I have to type it again.
10. Arabia Mountain - Black Lips
This is just a good time. Nothing wrong with having a good time.
9. Nothing is Wrong - Dawes
There is no song here I love as much as When My Time Comes, but that really isn't much of a criticism. I firmly believe that A Little Bit of Everything is Taylor Goldsmith singing the song he wishes Warren Zevon would have sang before he died.
8. Gimme Some - Peter Bjorn and John
They may forever be known as the "Young Folks" band, but these Swedes just keep making great music. And they can almost always put me in a good mood.
7. Smoke Ring for My Halo - Kurt Vile
I'm not sure how you can mean monotonous in a good way, but I would here. This album just feels like a 2 a.m. haze. I also mean that in a good way.
6. El Camino - The Black Keys
There is more going on here than with Brothers, but I'm not sure that is a good thing. I think I like the production stripped way down with these guys, but the songs are still great and nobody else does 60's blues/soul rock like they do. And I hope to get another chance to see them live. I would recommend anyone who hasn't seen them do the same.
5. Build a Rocket Boys - Elbow
The whole album is great, but the reminiscence on childhood in Lippy Kids, is the most beautiful song I heard all year.
4. We Are the Champions - Jeff the Brotherhood
Remember when Weezer was great? I do, and I am glad that Jeff the Brotherhood and the soon to be metioned Surfer Blood do too. I am also glad that Jeff the Brotherhood thought that old -Weezer would be more awesome if they sounded a little more like the Ramones.
3. The King is Dead - The Decemberists
I shall not name the band that most are invoking related to this album, but if it sounds like them, that is quite an accomplishment. And this time the best song isn't about a dad who kills his kids!
2.The Whole Love - Wilco
I really hadn't been a big fan of the last two Wilco albums. Then this one comes along and kind of feels like it has all the best parts of Summerteeth and A Ghost is Born, and Wilco resumes their status as one of my favorite bands.
1. The Rip Tide - Beirut
Everything Zac Condon does is a little different than what he did last time, but this is the first time he did it a little more like everybody else. And yet, there is no mistaking it for anything but Beirut.
Honorable Mention Category 1 - Bands I discovered this week through other Top Ten lists in this thread and will probably be in my revised best of 2011 in 6 months.
Candidate Waltz - Centro-matic
I have been listening to this a lot over the last two days. I was not at all surprised to find out they were from Austin, because Spoon was the first thing I thought of when I heard it. Thanks to those who put it on their lists.
It's a Corporate World - Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
I have to admit I had been avoiding this band based entirely on their name. Big mistake. I have an uneasy relationship with electronic music, but this is the kind that stays in my playlist for a long time.
Honorable Mention Category 2 - Bands that made great first albums, tried to get fancy and made suspect second ones, then decided to return to what worked and made great third ones.
No Color - The Dodos
Outside - Tapes 'n Tapes
Honorable Mention Category 3 - Album that made me feel a little schizophrenic.
King of Limbs - Radiohead
My reactions to this album:
1. Radiohead is releasing a new album!
3. I'm not sure about this...
4. Actually, maybe...
5. They got me, these songs are stuck in my head (I really love Separator)
Honorable Mention Category 4 - All Others
Tarot Classics - Surfer Blood (EP)
The Errant Charm - Vetiver
Strange Mercy - St. Vincent
Father, Son, Holy Ghost - Girls
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Wye Oak - Civilian
Middle Brother - Middle Brother
Alpocolypse - Weird Al (yeah I said it, and I mean it)
9 Types of Light - TV On the Radio
Angles - The Strokes