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Joe’s Favorite Albums of 2011

Filed in Best Of 2011 5 comments

ortofon2011 Joes Favorite Albums of 2011
If you’ve read ENS at all, especially at the end of a year, you know I like lists. This year wasn’t the best for albums in my humble opinion, but there were still some excellent albums that kept my attention. I like to clarify too, that I don’t think these are necessarily the best albums of the year, but they are my favorite, and I hope that something on the list makes you want to check an album out, or give one another try. Enjoy.

#25- Gardens & Villa – S/T

#24 – The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Belong

#23- White Denim – D & Takes Place In Your Work Space EP
Grouped these two together because they are both incredible in their own unique ways, but wanted to allow room for others on the list.

#22- Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire
Chilled out and focused Ryan = fan friendly Ryan. A must have on vinyl.

#21- Wild Flag – S/T

#20 – Bon Iver – S/T
Let’s not get confused here, the love to backlash to love and backlash again for one of the most talked about artists of the year still put out an excellent record.

#19 – TV On The Radio – Nine Types Of Light
It didn’t have the immediacy of previous releases, but was high quality all the same.

#18 – Sacred Spirits – Some Stay
somestay1 Joes Favorite Albums of 2011
My favorite Cincinnati album of 2012, and there were lots of great ones.
#17 – Cass McCombs – Wit’s End & Humor Risk
Another artist who put out two excellent albums this year, that stand alone and are both impossible for me to deny.

#16 – Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost

#15 – PJ Harvey – Let England Shake

#14 – Middle Brother – S/T
If you told me that this would be a better mesh of folky band members than Monsters Of Folk, i’d have said you were nuts, but it is.

#13 – Atlas Sound – Parallax
Bradford Cox, you can do no wrong.

#12 – I Break Horses – Hearts

#11 – My Morning Jacket – Circuital
It took time to get into this fully, but MMJ proved again to me they are at the top of their game.

#10 – Radiohead – King Of Limbs
I’m a huge fanboy, and this is a top 10 album, but I crave more (mostly guitars).

#9- Nerves Junior – As Bright As Your Night Light
Young, raw and downright amazing. We shall watch your career with much interest.

#8 – M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

#7 – Unknown Mortal Orchestra – S/T
I hated this at first for it’s lo-fi sound, now I can’t get enough.

#6 – Destroyer – Kaputt

#5 – Wilco – The Whole Love
A couple of their best songs ever, and if not for a few yawners in the middle, might be one of their best.

#4 – Real Estate – Days
Smooth, just smooth. Mid-tempo perfection and blends together like coffee and cream.

#3 – Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr – It’s A Corporate World
The best straight up pop album I heard all year.

#2 – The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient
A timeless quality to this album that stands near some of the classics in its class.

#1 – Vetiver – The Errant Charm
An early favorite that I just couldn’t shake all year long. Like fine wine this band gets better with age.

I loved you, almost as much as these.

The Jayhawks – Mockingbird Time
Total Babes – Swimming Through Sunlight
Elbow – Build A Rocket Boys!
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings – Soul Time
The Mountain Goats – All Eternals Deck
The Decemberists – The King Is Dead
Pop Empire- The Devils Party
UME – Phantoms
Okkervil River – I Am Very Far
The Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde

The digital music I listened to the most in 2011.

top2011 Joes Favorite Albums of 2011
Joe’s Favorite Albums of 2010
My Top 25 Albums of 2009
My favorite albums of 2008
My favorite albums of 2007
My favorite albums of 2006
My favorite albums of 2005

17950c6a62f04aab9cf081af2b53113a Joes Favorite Albums of 2011

 Joes Favorite Albums of 2011


Joe started ENS in 2003 after most people he wanted to talk to about music were worn thin by his ramblings. The outlet this site provided helped out, and somehow is still going 9 years later. After a four year stint as a WOXY DJ, Joe returned to Cincinnati and continues to pioneer ENS. In addition to the overall look and feel of the site, Joe provides regular reviews, and kinda makes sure this whole thing stays afloat.

Posted by Joe Long   @   19 December 2011 5 comments


Dec 19, 2011
1:26 pm
#1 Vireo :

I concur wholeheartedly; Sacred Spirits ‘Some Stay’; THUMBS UP!!!!!!!

Dec 19, 2011
5:30 pm
#2 euro60 :

Joe, funny you posted your list today as I was thinking to myself “isn’t Joe gonna post his list this year?”. Anyway, nice list as always. If there is one album on there that I “don’t get”, it’s the Pains’ “Belong”, which I bought sound unheard based on their first album which I loved. Big mistake! I have tried and tried, but simply cannot get into “Belong” at all.

As to Girls’ “Father, Son, Holy Ghost”, while I don’t dislike the album as such, and in fact it has a couple of good moments, am i the only one who was taken aback how much the band has evolved away from the sounds of “Album”? At one point, I thought to myself “Surely this cannot be the same band?” Gone is the left-of-center eccentricity and instead now we get 70s era “classic rock”-type trakcs, complete with outro solos and jams!

I’m surprised that you have no love for Cut Copy’s “Zonoscope”, one of THE BEST albums of year for me.

Happy holidays and thanks for another great year of ENS!!! Cheers, Paul

Dec 19, 2011
8:54 pm
#3 Joshua Heizer :

Thanks for a great list.. I’m remembering some of the albums from the early part of the year that haven’t got as much play as they should.
I loved both Bright Eyes and Iron & Wine’s releases this year…
I think Circuital was my #1 pick of the year.

Author Dec 20, 2011
11:44 am
#4 Administrator :

Thanks Paul. The Cut Copy album didn’t do it for me this time around, but I know lots of others that love it. And I agree, Girls have evolved alot as a band, and for the better.

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