From Hayes Carll To Cults: Rocks Off's Top 50 Albums Of The Year

Categories: Lists

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It's that time of year again when we add our two cents to the cyber-orgy that are year-end best-of lists. Music blog Paste and British mag Q threw down with their top 50 earlier this week, so why not Rocks Off? These things just keep starting earlier and earlier each year, like the holiday shopping season. Plus, we wanna show off the stuff that has been getting our - sigh - rocks off.

Paste took a hit from some for putting Bon Iver's self-titled sophomore disc out front, while Q put Justin Vernon's opus at number four. Rocks Off didn't include it on either of our lists, and know one was exactly raving about it around these parts. Our opinion? We liked 2008's For Emma, Forever Ago way, way better than Bon Iver. Plus, it's just a sophomore album, and they can't all be great.

We started compiling our list back in September on Rdio to keep track of everything as 2011 started coming to a close. Some albums we were really high on in the spring, but soon they fell off to the side.

We got Rocks Off Twitter followers to help create a second "reader's choice" type deal that we will post at the end of this blog. Their picks were heavy on the indie side of things, to be honest. Some surprises here and there, we agreed on quite a few. No Gaga on either lists, but that doesn't mean we didn't spin the shit out of Born This Way here and there.

Some albums came out pretty close to the wire, like Childish Gambino's Camp, and the Black Keys' El Camino, which hit's shelves next Tuesday. Luckily George Strait's newest wasn't a total dog. No quarter given, even for King George.

Don't fret, fans of local music. Houston's best were not left out. A list of the best local albums of 2011 is coming in next week's print issue of the Houston Press, going live next Wednesday.

And here is the top 25 as curated by Rocks Off fans on Twitter and through random emails that someone made it through our spam filter.

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What? I'm not seeing any list here or anything saying where this supposed list is or is going to be. I see a list of songs, but nothing about albums.


A.A. Bondy's Believers has my top vote so far.


Wow, no comments yet on a year-end best albums list? I think you might be the only person to put Motörhead, Deer Tick, George Strait, and Iceage on the same list. That’s not a knock at all. Personally, I’m still not on board with the new Ryan Adams album, and I say that as a big fan. I just don’t find it very interesting. On the other hand, I think the newest Bon Iver is extremely interesting, though I see how some people might think it sacrificed some heart in the process. I know I’m exposing my indie inclinations in saying this, but St. Vincent’s album was the best of the year for me. It was incredibly inventive while still remaining completely listenable. Cults’ album is up there too, though I wonder if it is one of those albums of a moment—great, but obviously of a particular time (like The Strokes’ Is This It? or Franz Ferdinand’s debut).    

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