Features

Top 50 Albums of 2011 (50-31)

by QRODecember 28, 2011
2011 was a shitty year, with even the greatest moments (such as The Arab Spring) tinged with violence.  Musically, it was all over the place, leading to a diverse collection in QRO’s Top 50 Albums of the Year, starting with 31-50:
50 Tyler, the Creator
Goblin

Whether you’re with ‘em or against ‘em, Tyler and his Odd Future crew have indisputably left an indelible mark on the contemporary hip-hop scene.
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Tyler, the Creator
49 The Raveonettes
Raven In the Grave

With echoes of The Cure and My Bloody Valentine that resonate through the album, Raven In the Grave sounds like the most instinctual move from The Raveonettes since 2007′s Lust Lust Lust.
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The Raveonettes
48 Panda Bear
Tomboy

Noah Lennox urges the listener to commit to his latest as a whole, and those brave enough to submerse themselves in his hypnotic soundscapes will be suitably rewarded.
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Panda Bear
47 Mogwai
Hard Core Will Never Die, But You Will

Post-rock Scots live up to the long wait with the greatest-titled album ever.
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Mogwai
46 Washed Out
Within and Without

Luscious production coupled with Ernest Greene’s ear for melody makes for instantly accessible appeal.
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Washed Out
45 Still Corners
Creatures of an Hour

With its reverb-drenched harmonies, haunting vocals and subtly woven Lynch-esque melodies, this debut album is a real dream-pop gem.
Still Corners
44 Noel Gallagher
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

He may or may not be looking in back in anger these days post-Oasis, but his debut solo album is picking up right where that band left off.
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Noel Gallagher
43 Gil-Scott Heron and Jamie xx
We’re New Here

One of the most talented producers around remixes the final recording of one of the great African-American spoken word musicians, and for some reason all of the elements come together for a final product that is greater than the sum of its impressive parts.
Gil-Scott Heron and Jamie xx
42 Veronica Falls
Veronica Falls
This young London-via-Glasgow quartet give a twist to the C86 pop revival combining jangly dueling guitars with poppy vocals and macabre lyrics, also adding a hint of punk, garage and psychedelic to the classic twee pop formula.
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Veronica Falls
41 Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
Mirror Traffic

Lo-fi indie rock is at its best here.  Produced by Beck and recorded with little studio gloss, Malkmus & co craft songs in a real, raw and untainted form.
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Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
40 Heavy Times
Jacker

A more reckless & thrilling 22 minutes of punk rock will not be found anywhere else in 2011.  Heavy Times is a real comer.
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Heavy Times
39 Cut Copy
Zonoscope

Australian synth-pop band makes melodic dance music, filling the LCD Soundsystem void.
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Cut Copy
38 Kate Bush
50 Words For Snow

Kate Bush returns with a hauntingly angelic soundtrack, perfect for this cold winter.  Who knew there were so many words for snow?
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Kate Bush
37 Feist
Metals

Leslie Feist follows up one of the biggest breakthroughs in indie with creativity and aplomb.
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Feist
36 The Weeknd
House of Balloons

Canadian R&B singer Abel Tesfaye parties harder and feels worse about it than you ever will.
The Weeknd
35 Shabazz Palaces
Black Up

Shabazz Palaces isn’t reinventing the hip-hop track – they’re just repurposing it.  And doing it in a way that keeps the head bobbing to stuttering grooves from a mountainside somewhere in the Himalayas.
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Shabazz Palaces
34 Elbow
Build a Rocket Boys!

Reminding you why they’re one of the best bands in alternative music – in case you forgot.
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Elbow
33 Foster the People
Torches

Fun, extremely catchy slacker pop that quickly turned the trio into national sensations.
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Foster the People
32 Dum Dum Girls
Only In Dreams

Garage buzz mixed with Sub Pop can’t miss for the lovely ladies from California.
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Dum Dum Girls
31 The Horrors
Skying

Subtly powerful, teeth-grinding krautrock is the band’s finest moment to date.
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The Horrors