Best Albums of 2011…this far
I know it’s a bit early to already declare my favorite albums of the year, so this is really just a list of the best new releases that have come out since 2011 started.
#5 British Sea Power – Valhalla Dancehall
These obfuscating lads are back with another album and it’s their most accessible one yet. Infusing monstrous rock with experimental meanderings, British Sea Power has created an album chock full of foot stomping anthems. Not to overstate the accessible angle, the album is still full of esoteric influences like "vintage Playboy magazines, population control, crazy golf, Dadaist artist Kurt Schwitters, hedonism, nature, and "French Hitchcock" Henri-Georges Clouzot".
#4 Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde
It’s good to see that these young rapscallions are back and better than ever – slightly older and slightly more mature, but still full of youthful energy. Their girl-crazed lyrics, sun-drenched surf guitars, and lo-fi buzz is still firmly intact. Smith Westerns maintain their reputation, at least with me, as one of the funnest bands around.
#3 U.S. Royalty – Mirrors
Remember when the Rolling Stones drenched their songs in the blues of Muddy Waters in their early work? Well, U.S. Royalty has done the same. Their new album is soaked with the greatest of Americana culture, Black Keys-esque southern blues, Detroit rock, and even a bit of the insanely catchy Indie pop anthems of the two coasts. Their debut album is well worth the listen.
#2 Million Young – Replicants
New Wave indie elctro dance pop may be a genre that’s been saturated with Brooklyn hipsters, but when it’s as fun as MillionYoung there’s always room for more. This Florida native rips out all the stops on his insanely catchy debut album Replicants. Mixing the blissed out mellowness of chill wave with the more upbeat energy of New Wave disco, MillionYoung has found the perfect mix.
#1 Chapel Club – Palace
Infusing the best of Albion, Chapel Club is the culmination of several decades of glorious British music. The influences of the Smiths, Joy Division, and Echo and the Bunnymen are plainly heard and the effects are simply stunning. For a first album, their sound has solidified so cohesively that their album plays as a tightly packed narrative. It is by far, my favorite album of the year.