Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Things I missed 2011

It is now 2012 and I have been going through best of 2011 lists in music thanks in large part to this awesome compilation of best of music lists at http://www.largeheartedboy.com/blog/archive/2012/01/2011_yearend_on_32.html. So I am listening through on some stuff I haven't heard of that appeared over and over plus albums that I missed from bands that I know and missed. You should also go back and check out my favorite albums of 2011if you have yet to check it out. I will be doing this in alphabetical order:

Arch Enemy - Khaos Legions

Hey a metal band, something I don't really talk about on here very often even though they was a 2-3 year span in my life where I almost listened to metal exclusively. And so it seems nothing has changed for this new release by Arch Enemy, exactly what I want from my metal epic in scope and lots of guitar riffage.

The Decemberists - The King Is Dead

So I am not sure how I missed this album that came out January 2011 as the previous effort, 2009's The Hazards of Love, was by far my favorite by the band should have made this release more anticipated. Instead I missed it and as I listen to it now it is good but really it is more of the same if maybe more stripped down than previous efforts and just doesn't hit that spot of anything extra or special to me. So while I recognize the talent involved I just find the album overall forgettable in this band's overall discography.

The Civil Wars - Barton Harlow

This was less seen on many best of lists as much as been hearing alot about them and I got a track from a friend's Christmas mix for me that I determined I needed to include this album here. This is really great stripped down folksy music being made by this duo whose simple guitar arrangements compliment their wonderful vocal harmonies quite nicely. I am not sure if this would have made it's way into my top 10 on the year but it had a chance depending on how the music grew on me if it had the chance to. I also hear they are nominated for a couple Grammy's, so it looks like that awards show is getting some things right after naming Arcade Fire's Neighborhoods best album last year.

Fucked Up - David Comes to Life

Wait where the fuck has this band been in my life was my immediate reaction only 3 songs into this album. There is something very Chuck Ragan from Hot Water Music to the Quality of the lead singer's voice, though they add an awesome dynamic with a female singer on a few songs that compliment the grit with beauty perfectly. Really that sentiment is a great way to define their album to the core as a perfect mixture of grit and beauty all the time straddling a sound that is both mainstream yet clinging to it's hardore punkrock counter-culture roots. I am pretty sure with some time to live with this album it would have found a way onto my top 10 list somewhere like it was on many lists I perused.

In Flames - Sounds of a Playground Fading

More metal and that would be more Swedish melodic death metal to be exact again. Unlike Arch Enemy, In Flames experimented and creating a very uneven record with some good tracks that incorporate a more atmospheric quality or even electronic and some real duds in the mix that has no flow from song to song.

Manchester Orchestra - Simple Math

Wow, wow, wow I did I miss this new release from Manchester Orchestra who continue to make music that I absolutely adore. They have a sound that is so uniquely theirs yet this album seems to have a bigger quality all the while still feeling personal because of all the emotion that the lead singer is able to put through his voice. This is another record that I probably would have had to find someway somehow to get on to my top ten and I would have been very likely at this point to expand my list to at least 20 had I completely educated myself on all the new releases.

My Morning Jacket - Circuital

I didn't really get into this band until the super group Jim James from My Morning Jacket formed with M. Ward plus Conor Oberst and Mike Mogus of Bright Eyes came together to form Monsters of Folk(a jokey over-pretentious name I know). But back to this band and this new record in particular which is another solid if not particularly great release from My Morning Jacket. Circuitial is a nice throwback to 70's era rock and roll like the Eagles and Wings and such without sounding like a ripoff just some easy listening rock and roll being played.

Nerves Junior - As Bright as Your Night Light

This is a postmodern rock album that wears it's Radiohead influences on it's sleeve. Lot's great catchy hooks in an unconventional musical stylings that are at the same time discordant yet combine in a whole to make an enjoyable listening experience. Would not have snuck into my top ten but a very enjoyable and notable debut record from this Louisville four-piece.

Noah and the Whale - Last Night On Earth

So they went in a much more produced pop music direction with the new release and they do a good job of it but just wasn't exactly my cup of tea. There is some really fun catchy songs throughout and if this was the pop music the radio played the world would be a better place. Just like their sophomore release their third release is once again nowhere close to being as good as their first record.

PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

So I saw this all over the place on the top of best of lists and all I can really say about the album is meh. Never really cared for PJ Harvey and it seems like that trend continues.

The Rural Alberta Advantage - Departing

I remember when I never missed a release put out by Saddle Creek Records but times have changed and this is the first new band signed by them in a while that I really dig. Though like many bands nowadays are coming out with Americana or roots-rock brand of music it has an energy and rawness not found often enough in the genre. Plus their drummer is beyond excellent and provides a great breakneck pace to propel the songs.

Wow so this was a long post, feel free to put any more suggestions of music for me to hear in the comments. Oh and if their is one album I would suggest checking out off these I talked about it is Fucked Up's album "David Comes to Life"

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