Do you breathe? Yes? Well then there was no way to escape this album this year. It's a great album with some great tracks. Perfect album to become the soundtrack of a breakup. The only problem was that the tracks released to radio got so much AirPlay that it almost seemed weird if you turned on the radio and didn't hear Adele. Still, great album and my pick for album of the year at the Grammys. Did she get a song of the year nomination (songwriters award) for Someone Like You? She should and she deserves to take that Grammy home.
Alexi Murdoch Time Without Consequence
Yeah, you've probably never heard of this guy, but I'd be willing to bet that you've heard his tunes on your favorite tv shows (the ones with awesome music supervision). If you need to chill out at night, throw this one on.
Blind Pilot We are the TideLast year I got really into their "Three Rounds and a Sound" record. Little Bird knows most of the words! This years album was their sophomore release and they did not disappoint. Received this album as a birthday gift along with tickets to see them live. Great album, great show.
Remember how I was all "put on Alexi Murdoch to chill late at night"?? Well, toss this puppy on the record player (or playa, if you will) on a Sunday morning while you read the paper or play your turns in Words With Friends. Just make sure you've got a hot, fresh, delicious cup of coffee in your hands. So good!!
The Head and the Heart The Head and the HeartGotta tell you, I was first introduced to this band by my good friend Jillsmo. She knows I dig good tunes and sent me an email with a link to a couple of their songs. I enjoy listening to this while I'm cooking or just doing things around the house. It's a good solid listen all the way through. I'm gonna check them out when they make their way through Detroit in March.
Halfway stretch. Need to get up to pee or pour yourself a tall one? Have you noticed I'm going in alphabetic order? I am. Did you just look back to confirm this? Okay, back to the list.
Iron & Wine Our Endless Numbered DaysHere's an example of an album that didn't come out this year, but I totally fell in love with over the summer. Actually, I listened to it a lot when I was in Colorado. Great album. Sad, but great. I've been enjoying it a lot more than this years release by I&W.
Joe Purdy Paris in the Morning
Can't help it. I love Joe Purdy. Saw him live in Los Angeles in April. Great show, though he didn't play any tracks off this record. I feel like so many of these songs are almost continuing the story he told on one of last year's favorites You Can Tell Georgia.
Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan (sometimes known as The Milk Carton Kids") RetrospectThese guys opened up for Joe Purdy and I dug them right away. I'd heard some of Joey Ryan's solo stuff before but when he teams up with KP, it's really awesome. They've got a song called "California" that's the most beautiful tribute to my home state ever.
Ryan Adams Ashes & Fire
It's hard to imagine Ryan Adams making a record that could even coming close to the awesomeness of his "Heartbreaker" album. But this album is pretty freakin' great. Wasn't really into his last album. Maybe Mandy Moore is good for him?
Tallest Man on Earth Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing BirdAnother record that isn't new, but was new to me this year. Also, another Sunday morning album. Great tunes all around. This guy is good.
And here we are, at my #1 album of the year. As far as I'm concerned, there's no contest. The best album of 2011 is
Bon Iver Bon Iver
The production is amazing. Try not to analyze what he's talking about because you'll make yourself nuts. Instead, listen to the layers of instrumentation, the harmonies, and the ethereal sounds that can take you away from the carpool line, office space, or wherever else you're listening.
If you've never heard of any of these, please check them out. Let me know what you think.
What was your favorite music to listen to this year?