Album of the Year 2011 & New Music in General

No good music made any more? Are you kidding!? When people say there is no good music coming out any more, I feel sorry for them. What are they listening to, or not listening to, to make this statement? Because I’ve witnessed this comment enough times that it has stuck and I feel the need to defend. Now, there is a lot of mediocre to bad music played on Top 40 stations, but I imagine radio play has always been like this. Think of how much music has been produced in the past and the narrow selection still played on the radio. People who think good music production has ceased are missing out on enjoying massive amounts of great, new releases.

I’ve been on a new music rampage recently! Side note: when I was younger, for one reason or another, I’d never listen to a whole album, only the singles I knew and liked. Why? Nervous I wouldn’t like the remainder of the songs, perhaps. Luckily, I’ve learned the err of my ways and changed my behavior over the past couple years. Today, my audible journey took me through new albums by CSS, Stephin Merritt (of the Magnetic Fields), and Fool’s Gold, each one issuing a unique and dynamic sound! The dance-y, upbeat grooves helped the workday pass quickly. Ahh… the feeling of listening to a through-and-through solid album all the way is spellbinding, sends a chill down the spine. Hearing Merritt’s baritone voice crawl out of my speakers threw me back to my dorm daze, where the Magnetic Fields were a big part of my freshmen playlist. It was very comforting to recall those memories and think of all that has happened in my life since. See what music can do – now I’m getting all nostalgic.

CANDIDATES!

Bon Iver - Bon IverFool's Gold - Leave No TraceCults - CultsDale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - It's A Corporate WorldFoster the People - TorchesWashed Out - Within and Without

  • Bon Iver – Bon Iver
  • Fool’s Gold – Leave No Trace
  • Cults – Cults
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – It’s a Corporate World
  • Foster the People – Torches
  • Washed Out – Within and Without
  • I already have a good guess that my fave for the year is going to be Bon Iver’s eponymous, subdued masterpiece. However, with recent ears on Fool’s Gold’s ‘Leave No Trace,’ Bon Iver will get a good run for his money. Both are stellar albums and convey much different feelings. The year’s not over yet! I’m still open to other contenders.

    Brookes Brothers finally released their full record, which I had been anticipating for sometime. Sitting through an entire electronic album may not be your cup of tea, but give their self-titled release a go, it features some great, aural accents and culminates with the drum ‘n bass masterpiece, “Daybreak.” One album that I want to love is Lupe Fiasco’s ‘LASERS,’ because there are a handful of fantastic tracks on it. Too much lukewarm filler watered it down to mediocrity when experienced as a whole. Takeaway tracks to be enjoyed on their own are “Words I Never Said,” “Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways),” and “Never Forget You.”

    With artists like Animal Collective, Rogue Wave, Silversun Pickups, JAPANDROIDS, Yeasayer, Arcade Fire, Miike Snow, Phoenix, Mayer Hawthorne, and so many others releasing such great music over the past few years, how can one come to the conclusion that there is no good music being made any more? Open them ears, let the sound in. Close your eyes, smile, and relax.

    What have you been listening to lately? Rediscovering any older artists? New music jamming on your iPod? Whatcha got for me, I’d love to know.

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