In my “Best Albums of the Year” articles and posts that I’ve put out annually for the better part of two decades, I always end the eligibility period for albums around the end of November, since I think you have to live with an album for a few weeks, at least, before according it any plaudits.
That means that I roll December releases into the following year, and that I do my annual “mid-year report” in June, rather than July. And, holy moly, look at that, where does the time go, here we are, with a “First Half” list of praise-worthy albums due for 2011. Krikey!
As always, these are my opinions only, and they’re based on what I listen to, so you don’t need to lecture me about the lack of third-generation ska-punk groups or Dixieland bands or Indonesian gamelan music or whatever other esoterica you listen to. Please feel free to add your own lists in comments instead, if you’re so inclined to further expand our collective horizons.
From where I sit, I think it’s been a good six months for new music, actually, with some vintage acts and some emerging artists impressing me very deeply, most especially Planningtorock (insane organic electronica) and Krallice (huge orchestral black metal).
Here are the ten albums, then, in alphabetical order by artists’ names, that have moved me the most over the past six months. They’re all worthy of your consideration, hence the links to help you explore them. Get listening!
British Sea Power, Valhalla Dancehall
Gang of Four, Content
I’m From Barcelona, Forever Today
Melvins, Sugar Daddy Live
Pete & the Pirates, One Thousand Pictures
Sin Fang, Summer Echoes
White Denim, D
Wire, Red Barked Tree