My best albums of 2011

So having confirmed there’s nothing else coming out in 2011 that I think is likely to influence my decision, here is my top ten albums of 2011 (and a few honourable mentions underneath):

1. Luke Haines - Nine And A Half Psychedelic Meditations On British Wrestling Of The 1970s And Early ’80s

Unquestionably my favourite album of 2011. This review does it full justice.


Luke Haines celebrates scooping nigeyb’s album of year award

2. Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee Part Two 

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful - upbeat Beasties magic. I’m a massive fan and this is right up to their usual standard.  Great to have them back


Beastie Boys celebrate their runners up placing in nigeyb’s album of the year top ten

3. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

Worthy Merc Prize winner and how often can we say that?

4. Steve Mason and Dennis Bovell - Ghosts Outside 

Dubbed up versh of Steve’s last album and yet works in its own right. Dubtastic.

5. Art Brut - Brilliant! Tragic!

I’m not sure they’ll ever top their wonderful debut but I’m glad they’re out there doing there thang and, well, it’s Art Brut innit? Went to a brilliant gig by them too.

6. King Creosote and Jon Hopkins - Diamond Mine 

A wonderful folky, ambienty marvel.

7. Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

2011 has been the year that I’ve properly woken up to the genius of Mogwai. Their set at End Of The Road will live long in my memory. “You’re Lionel Richie” is the song title of the year - and it lives up to the title’s promise too.

8. The Unthanks - Last 

Folky loveliness. Again. Magical. Again.

9. The Waterboys - An Appointment with Mr Yeats 

Never thought they’d top Fisherman’s Blues? Think again. OK, maybe it doesn’t top FB but it’s very, very good.

10. Half Man Half Biscuit - 90 Bisodol (Crimond)

Another excellent release from one of Britain’s most underrated bands. Yet more of their insight, wit and imagination. Half Man Half Biscuit say say more about the absurdities, frustrations and mundanities of life in modern Britain than any other band I know. 

Other stuff I like includes the 2011 albums by The Fall, June Tabor & Oysterband, British Sea Power, Jonathan Wilson, Metronomy, The Vaccines, Wooden Shjips, Fleet Foxes, The Human League, Blancmange, The Walkmen, The Phoenix Foundation, Tom Waits, Wild Beasts, Sarabeth Tucek, Woods, Hollie Cook, The Black Keys, Magazine, Moon Duo, Laura Marling, Wooden Shjips, Fujiya & Miyagi, The Rapture, War On Drugs, YACHT, Suuns, The Field - and a few I’ve probably forgotten.

What about you?

My favourite tunes of 2011 are here.