Rockfeedback Records of the Year 2011: #50-41

19 Dec 2011

All week on Rockfeedback we’ll be counting down our fifty favourite albums of the year, starting with ten records that range from homicidal hip-hop to alt-country via stoner rock, all out pop, don’t-call-it-chillwave and contemporary classical bleeps and bloops along the way.  My, aren’t we eclectic...


#50: Tyler The Creator – Goblin

Who'd have thought that after all the excitement Goblin would have found itself holding up 49 other records surely felt it was far better than? Regardless, Tyler's sophmore effort has made it onto our list, and whilst many will hold fire due to a slight sense of disappointment that it wasn’t all it claimed to be, any record that boasts the genius of ‘Yonkers’, the obnoxious fun of ‘Sandwitches’ and the zeitgeist-capturing call of arms that is ‘Radicals’ is alright by us. Here's our last Swag of the year - SWAG. (Mike Harounoff)

Tyler, The Creator- Yonkers by Josh.u.a. Dick

#49: Wilco – The Whole Love

Following a slightly muted response from everyone but us to their last album, Wilco return with their eighth LP – and my, is it something. For a group named after the aviation radio voice acronym for ‘will comply’, Jeff Tweedy et al. definitely don’t seem interested in playing by the rules this time round. The Whole Loveis a totally muddled and unpredictable record on which Wilco cast away tradition and caution, and each song contradicts its neighbour. Whilst their skewed take on country is still in effect, they’ve added experiments with a mix of winsome electronic delights and hard rock climaxes. Yes, it’s inconsistent… and I am so glad – some of this bravery is exactly what’s been missing from their last couple of LPs. (Emily Bell)

Wilco - Born Alone by nduran

#48: Wooden Shjips – West

Like the Golden Gate Bridge on the album sleeve, Westis an album of industrial conquest. Churning guitars, fuzzed up bass lines and psyched-out synths all align to form the cacophonous drone that has become Wooden Shjips’ stock trade. It’s a sort of aural assault, not dissimilar to post-rock stalwarts Swans; though this outfit replaces Michael Gira’s urgency with a much more laconic approach, the songs bullying the listener into submersion rather than submission. It’s an album of quite rare brilliance, able to affect a style without detracting from substance - a post-rock album that is not afraid to rock. (Joe Daniels)

Wooden Shjips - Flight by muzzninu

#47: Katy B - On A Mission

When Mike Skinner was slowly slipping out of his Reebok Workouts having just written 'Weak Become Heroes' after a night on the tiles, Katy B was getting in the last bite of toast before grabbing mum’s hand and walking into primary school. It's with this in mind that we are proud to include Katy B's debut in our end of year list. It's not that we're going to go as far as to hold On A Mission as equal to Original Pirate Material, but just as The Streets gave many the music to soundtrack the feeling of being a young person in the early noughties, Ms. B is attempting to do the same a decade later. The results are not only fun but real, the club experience seen through the eyes of the girl most enjoying herself on the dancefloor. (Mike Harounoff)

#46: Toro Y Moi – Underneath The Pine

While many artists choose to head somewhere a little more experimental once they’ve bedded themselves in with their debut album, Toro Y Moi’s Chaz Bundick chose to strip back any pretences and make an album of funky pop that might just have shaken the chillwave noose from around his neck. Backed up by his much improved live performances and the addition of more live instruments, the album contained countless homages to acts of the past, giving the tracks a retro sheen that seldom verged on pastiche, and kept the funk alive at least until 2012. (Stan Morgan)

Toro Y Moi - Still Sound by Mistletone

#45: Balam Acab – Wander/Wonder

Wander/Wonder is an album that failed to fit into a particular genre when it first arrived, not quite the bass-heavy electronica that seemed to saturate 2011, and not quite the witch house/drag of his debut EP See Birds. The album’s unusualness is its major strength, mixing sparse, absorbing electronica with darker touches, including an ever-present sound of water that lasts the album’s duration. For a debut album to stand up on its own without the support of a greater scene is an impressive feat, and is testament to the beauty and quality of this truly unique record. (Stan Morgan)

Balam Acab: "Apart" by alteredzones

#44: Three Trapped Tigers – Route One Or Die

It’s not that they can’t play quiet; it’s just that they don’t want to. Three Trapped Tigers’ remarkable debut was an onslaught of raw human emotion repeatedly smashing its skull against a brick wall of technical musicianship to create a record that didn’t once relent in its gale force ferocity. Three of the most talented young composers and musicians in the country, their hatred for all things lo-fi has been apparent since they first reared their heads, yet with Route One Or Diethey pieced together something the sheer force of which punk rock has struggled to match for years. (Thomas Hannan)

Three Trapped Tigers - Noise Trade by SentricMusic

#43: Micachu & The Shapes and The London Sinfonietta – Chopped & Screwed Micachu and the Shapes teamed up with the London Sinfonietta for Chopped and Screwed, a semi-classical, semi-hip-hop, semi-everything album recorded with one of the country’s finest contemporary orchestras. It kept happily in line in with frontwoman Mica Levi's other extracurricular affairs in 2011, which included a series of mixtapes, a collaboration with Kwes and her ongoing creation of brand new musical instruments (see: ‘The Chu’). Whilst not a proper follow up to her remarkable debut, it’s a nonetheless fascinating record that suggests she’s spending her time between records number one and two doing exactly what we hoped she would – getting in to the really weird shit. (Mike Harounoff & Thomas Hannan)

03 Everything/Micachu & the Shapes and the London Sinfonietta/Chopped & Screwed by ohtaffeta

#42: Ghostpoet - Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam

Everybody loves an underdog, and after years of being brilliant yet still under the radar, Ghostpoet finally broke free from the shackles of being a "have you heard of..." artist to one of the most significant names in British music. His Mercury Prize-nominated debut Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jamwas recognised across the board for its earnest and inspiring kitchen sink lyrical content, giving us the chance to have the voice of that friend down the pub who makes everything feel better come out of our speakers whenever we want. (Mike Harounoff)

Ghostpoet - Survive It by ghostpoet

#41: Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise

Space Is Only Noiseis everything. A bold opening sentence, we know, but one that does Nicolas Jaar's album justice - it takes everything you know and everything you don't know and hands it to you on a beautiful slab of vinyl, allowing you to create your own context and make sense of it all yourself if you wish to. If not, then let the record tell you all the things you do and don't want to hear, the things you understand and the things you don't all glide towards you as you find yourself at the centre of a musical galaxy which, while set in place, you're still able to dictate. Everything. (Mike Harounoff)

Nicolas Jaar - ^tre by CircusCompany


>> Rockfeedback's Records of the Year 2011 - #40-31

>> Rockfeedback’s Records of the Year 2011 - #30-21

>>Rockfeedback’s Records of the Year 2011 - #20-11

>>Rockfeedback’s Records of the Year 2011 – #10-1



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