|The Best Albums of 2011
2011 was a great year for music. So many great albums came out that it ended up being really tough to narrow down which 10 were the best. But I finally did it and now present to you what I think are the 10 best albums of 2011.
#10 SAINTHOOD REPS- MONOCULTURE
Tooth and Nail really took a gamble with this band in signing them. Their sound is unlike anything currently on the label’s roster and this debut album showcases why. One track could be a straight rock song and the next track could end up being a grunge song. The frequent style changes and the fact that all the lyrics are mostly comprised of movie quotes (making the lyrics to the songs utterly meaningless,) makes Monoculture very unique and different.
#9 RUN KID RUN- PATTERNS
Three years is a long time to wait in between albums. It’s been exactly that long since Run Kid Run put out their amazing Love At the Core album. But that break was worth it as Patterns feels like the progression of a band that clearly knows what they want to be. It still retains the same pop punk formula that made the band popular but has a more mature progressive sound that makes this unlike any of the albums preceding it. Patterns is a really good step up in the evolution of Run Kid Run.
#8 FALLING UP- YOUR SPARKLING DEATH COMETH
One of the things I noticed about 2011 was that it was the year of the comeback. Falling Up came out with what could be their career defining album this year. It maintains the same style that was present on the band’s last album Fangs which could push some long-time fans away but at the same time draw in many new fans. The fact that this was also an independent release makes Your Sparkling Death Cometh all the more special as the band is now free to do whatever they want and craft the album they always wanted to make, which is exactly what they did. Every song manages to sound really ambitious and epic and Jessy Ribordy’s lyrics are amazing in their poetic nature. And at almost an hour in length, the band allows each track to flow with grace and ease. Now if they can only complete the story they started in Fangs, I’ll be very happy.
#7 THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA- DEAD THRONE
The Zombie EP showcased a different Devil Wears Prada. It was more mature lyrically and musically. We got a heavy album that told a story of a zombie apocalypse and it was great. Now the band has released an album that keeps the new sound going. Dead Throne is the most mature album done yet by the band. The silly song titles are no more and the heavy sound makes it all the more apparent that this is a different band. With a more mature theme and heavier sound, The Devil Wears Prada proves that they have what it takes to roll with the big boys.
#6 OH, SLEEPER- CHILDREN OF FIRE
Children of Fire is, hands down, the best metal album released this year. Everything about it is amazing. The lyrics tell a story about what would happen if God and Satan just suddenly vanished and the world was left to their own devices. It’s very apocalyptic and the music matches perfectly. Some points in the story are really brutal, the music matches that brutal tone, some points in the story are beautiful, the music matches that tone as well. Oh, Sleeper has created what could be considered their magnum opus with Children of Fire.
#5 EMERY- WE DO WHAT WE WANT
Emery set out to make the heaviest album they have ever done and they succeeded with We Do What We Want. The band ended up making every song heavy and memorable while giving us a great finale with the final acoustic tracks to balance everything out. Emery has found their rhythm and the future for them is looking very bright.
#4 OWL CITY- ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL
Adam Young made the right decision in not making this album sound the same as his previous album Ocean Eyes. On this album he expertly blended his signature sythpop style with other pop styles and made an album that sounds similar yet is different. But what really shines on this album as opposed to Ocean Eyes is the lyrics. For a major release on a very well-known label, the lyrics are some of the boldest I’ve heard this year. Adam boldly proclaims his faith in these songs and I admire someone who does that.
#3 BLINDSIDE- WITH SHIVERING HEARTS WE WAIT
After a five year hiatus Blindside returned with their strongest album to date. Every song is memorable and fun to listen to. Any fans who were left dissatisfied by their previous album need not be weary of this one as it has the band return to the form that made them popular. With Shivering Hearts We Wait is a perfect album for winning back old fans and gaining new ones as well.
#2 RED- UNTIL WE HAVE FACES
Red is a band that only seems to get better and better with each album they release and this one is no exception. The perfected hard rock sound that was on their last album Innocence and Instinct is even more perfect here. The athematic songs are energetic and the ballads are sweeping, emotional, and touching. The stakes were high for this album and Red completely annihilated them.
#1 SWITCHFOOT- VICE VERSES
Hello Huriccane was the best album Switchfoot had done in their careers, so I had very high expectations for Vice Verses. Those expectations were met and even exceeded. The band really put their heart and soul into this album as they deal with the concept of the polarity of life. This is probably the best subject the band has tackled as they explore it through a person’s eyes. We get what is essentially a life journey into finding out the answer to a question. The music matches the tone of the song and the stages of this journey perfectly. The final track of the album is probably the best and most beautiful song the band has ever composed as it has a sense of finality to everything we heard preceding it. With a great concept, amazing lyrics, and perfectly composed music, Vice Verses is easily the best album of 2011.
MAT KEARNEY- YOUNG LOVE
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