BEST ALBUMS OF 2011

Here are my top picks for “Best Albums Of 2011

 

25. Theophilus LondonTimez Are Weird These Days

Brooklyn based rapper Theophilus London delivers a pop friendly debut by perfectly mixing 80′s inspired electro beats and dance music with his own dose of NYC rhyme and swag. The first 3 tracks will have you hooked in seconds. A must album if you need a little gansta fix. (iTunes)

24. Chris BrownF.A.M.E

With it’s perfect balance of R&B bedroom ballads and dance-floor thumpers, Chris Brown hits it out of the park with this great comeback record. (iTunes)

23. GIRL IN A COMAExist & All The Rest

Pop-Rock at is best. Dabbing into pop and 80′s style Brit-Rock, the girl-trio delivers their most pop-friendly record to date. If you are fan of The Smiths and Morrissey then you must listen to this record! (iTunes)

22. Wynter GordonWith The Music I Die

In the sea of pop starlets, Wynter Gordon appeared out of nowhere and managed to stand-out brightly with an instantly addictive, unapologetic, guilt free pop record. Sadly, only the EP is available on iTunes. Find the full album! (iTunes)

21. RihannaTalk That Talk

Sexy, raunchy and simply naughty. Rihanna pushes the boundaries of pop music with this record. She manages to get away with it with style and candidly rolls it all together with “Cockiness and Persuasion” (iTunes)

20. KATY B – On A Mission

Dub-Step is not an easy animal to tame, but London’s Katy B and her production team notably succeed by merging the genre with suave hip-hop beats, R&B vocals and plenty of pop friendly tunes. A star is born. (iTunes)

19.The DøBoth Ways Open Jaws

When I introduced you to this French-Finnish duo I recall describing their album as “one of the best albums you haven’t heard” Hopefully, that’s not true anymore. I hope some of you listen and took a chance on this phenomenal record. The album mixes indie-rock with electro-pop. The band’s use of organic instruments like horns and strings make this record among the most originals out there. Get this record! (iTunes)

18. Lady GagaBorn This Way

I hate the album cover and every over-produced, nonsensical, self-indulgent music video she has released so far off this record; but I love every song on the album! Lots of 80′s pop-rock influences and plenty of catchy, electronic pop gems that simply demonstrate that Gaga’s music can outshine her extravagant sense of Art and Style. Big props to Gaga for making the saxophone cool again. Great record. (iTunes)

17. NEW LOOK(Self-titled)

There is no formula for making music feel classic or timeless; but this Canadian duo managed to almost achieve that with their self-titled debut. Sonically, is one of most beautiful electronics albums I’ve heard in a long time. It’s dreamy soundscapes and Sarah Ruba’s beautiful lush vocals make this a stunning debut. (Amazon)

16. Beyonce4

In my opinion Beyonce has never sounded better than in this, her 4th record. “4″ focuses solely on Beyonce’s voice. The results turn out to be one of her best efforts. One can literately feel her every emotion in every note and breath she takes. She reaches Diana Ross DIVA like status with this record. Aside from Adele’s ’21,’ this makes for one amazing break-up album. (iTunes)

15. Florence + The MachineCeremonials

Did anyone have any doubt in their minds that Florence Welch‘s sophomore record would be anything less than amazing?! (iTunes)

14. Little DragonRitual Union

So much to love about this record! Sweden’s Little Dragon re-introduces early 90′s trip-hop music with a laid back, neo-soul rhythmic vibe. Yukimi Nagano‘s sensuous vocals contemplate the electronic island-tinged music on this record beautifully. (iTunes)

13. SBTRKT(Self-titled)

Incredible debut by producer Aaron Jerome aka SBTRKT. Amazing guest vocals. Melodic dub-step and Drum & Bass with undeniably groovy pop moments. A must have album! (iTunes)

12. AUSTRAFeel It Break

Katie Stelmanis’ haunting witchery voice in the tracks “Loose it” and “Beat And The Pulse” completely seduced me into a state of hypnosis. It’s synth driven arrangements and ethereal sound will transport you to a gorgeous dark fairytale. Dim the lights, light-up a candle and be spellbound. (iTunes)

11. The Sound Of ArrowsVoyage

A gorgeous, dreamy, uplifting, and melodic space-odyssey by the talented Swedish electro-pop duo. (iTunes)

10.EMIKA (Self-titled)

Emika’s debut-album mixes dubstep, electronica with classical-piano over haunting vocals and magnetic electro-charged basslines. The record has a gloomy atmospheric vibe with dark lyrics that at times sent chills down my spine— it’s minimalist alluring sound, along with Emika’s darkly enigmatic vocals will seduce and thrill you at the same time. This one is a beautiful haunting. Must own! (iTunes)

9. JESSICA 6See The Light

Nomi Ruiz‘s smokey sensual voice stands out greatly here. She beautifully complements the album’s nightlife, sexcapades and love stories to the beat of Soul, Disco, House and R&B to perfection. An absolute must have album. (iTunes)

8. SEBASTIANTOTAL

This album has everything I loved from Justice‘s debut album– screeching guitars, high-energy raw sounds, but with Sebastian’s own unique take on french-electro and disco. A great dance record. Check out M.I.A‘s guest spot on the track “CTFO” (Chill the fuck out) It’s brilliant. (iTunes)

7. M83Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

With it’s combination of retro throwback beats, 80′s style Synth and grandiose electronic orchestry, team M83 manages to make almost every track on this record play like an arena sized anthem. This album is simply EPIC. (iTunes)

6. MonarchyAround The Sun

Sweet electro-pop perfection! Catchy hooks and synth driven melodies make almost every track on this record shine on its own. A complete guilty pleasure. (iTunes)

5. Azari & III(Self-titled)

One of the best albums released this year period. Azari & III’s debut is a dance record that holds no prisoners. It’s vocal swag, driving bass lines and intoxicating house groove will having you dancing within minutes. Funk has never sounded so good. (Amazon)

4.The WeekndHouse Of Balloons

Lyrically, this album is overtly sexualized. It’s about sex, drugs and women. But surprisingly, the album doesn’t sound cheap or distasteful at all. And that’s due to it’s atmospheric production, smoky R&B electronic vibe and to Abel Tesfaye‘s incredible smooth vocals. (Free Download)

3.James Blake(self-titled)

James Blake‘s minimalist, atmospheric and spooky debut made me fall in love with electronic music all over again. Where other artists use a vocoder as a cheap trick, Blake uses it to invoke passion and yearning to his voice; in the process discovering that technology too, can have a soul. I SIMPLY LOVE THIS RECORD! “Limit To Your Love” and “The Wilhelm Scream” are masterpieces. I tear-up every time I play them. (iTunes)

2. Adele21

Unquestionably one of the best break-up albums EVER! Adele’s powerful voice reaches everyone’s heart and soul with every single song on this record. (iTunes)

1. PJ HarveyLet England Shake

I’m a huge PJ Harvey fan. I’ve seen PJ live in concert about 10 times and I’ve been following her career from the very beginning. I respect and adore her body of work. To me, PJ Harvey embodies true musical artistry. She is a rock star, a musician, a writer, a producer, a singer and a performer. And nothing can showcase that artistry better than “Let England Shake” the musical love letter to her homeland, England. This albums is PJ best work since “Stories From The City” and fully embraces the organic instrumentation (piano, harps etc.) and poetry she dabbled with during her seventh album “White Chalk”.  This is one of Harvey’s best records. Is masterful in every possible way. (iTunes)

 

*The records below didn’t quite make it into my list of 25 but should be considered*

26 – The RaptureIn The Grace OF Your Love

27 – Wolfram – (Self-titled)

28 -Friendly FiresPALA

29 – YuksekLiving On the Edge of Time

30 – Kelly RowlandHere I Am

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