To Die By Your Side

Not quite my favourite albums of 2011

December 17th, 2011

Well it’s taken me a while but I think I’ve finally narrowed down my favourite albums of 2011 to a selection of 13. As ever, I’ll throw in the caveat that I make no claims for them being ‘the best’. It’s merely a list of the albums that I’ve enjoyed the most this year. Not that I’m going to reveal them just yet. You’ll have to wait a little longer to discover what made the cut I’m afraid. However if you keep reading, you’ll see what didn’t quite make the cut because this post is about 35 albums that were considered for inclusion but which, for one reason or another, didn’t quite make it.

These are all albums that I’ve enjoyed this year but which I think are flawed in one way or another. In some cases it’s because the songs don’t quite hang together as a complete album. For others, it’s that while they’re enjoyable, they suffer from a familiarity of sound from that band that stops them from being remarkable. While a few others are held back from greatness by one or two duff tracks that drag the album down a notch. Some came closer to making it than others but they all lack a little something.

If I’m honest though, I kind of feel that 2011 in general has lacked a little something. While the last 12 months has produced some good albums, for me it’s lacked the clear stand out albums that other years have seen. I reckon I could have easily┬álet any one of these 35 albums slip into my final list without blinking an eye, but this year I decided to be really brutal. So I didn’t set out to have a top 10, 15 or 25 because I just felt that I’d end up padding my list out with albums that didn’t quite deserve to be there. Hence why I have a final 13 rather than a more traditionally rounded off number. You may also be surprised by one or two of the albums included in this post, as they’re by bands that I’d normally class as staples in my listening. Artists that you’d expect to make it by default. In fact, a fair few of them have featured in my previous favourite albums of the year lists but again, I approached my 2011 list with as much of a blank opinion as I could. Past history has nothing to do with it. The list was complied based on the music contained within these albums, regardless of how I feel about the band in general.

So without further ado, here in alphabetical order, are the albums that were considered for but aren’t quite my favourites of the year:

Arctic Monkeys – ‘Suck It And See
Reckless Serenade (live acoustic session version)

Bon Iver – ‘Bon Iver
Holocene (live session version)

Brett Anderson – ‘Black Rainbows
Brittle Heart (live session version)

Bright Eyes – ‘The People’s Key

Cage The Elephant – ‘Thank You Happy Birthday

Cat’s Eyes – ‘Cat’s Eyes
I’m Not Stupid (live session version)

Coldplay – ‘Mylo Xyloto
Major Minus (live at Glastonbury 2011)

dEUS – ‘Keep You Close

The Drums – ‘Portamento

Elbow – ‘Build A Rocket Boys!
Lippy Kids (live session version)

Florence & The Machine – ‘Ceremonials

Gardens & Villa – ‘Gardens & Villa

The Horrors – ‘Skying
Endless Blue (live session version)

Iron & Wine – ‘Kiss Each Other Clean

Jonny – ‘Jonny
I Want To Be Around You (live session version)

Kurt Vile – ‘Smoke Ring For My Halo

Low – ‘C’mon
Try to Sleep (live session version)

The Low Anthem – ‘Smart Flesh

Male Bonding – ‘Endless Now
Before It’s Gone (live session version)

Mogwai – ‘Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

My Morning Jacket – ‘Circuital
Circuital (live session version)

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – ‘Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – ‘Belong

R.E.M. – ‘Collapse Into Now
That Someone Is You (live session version)

Rival Schools – ‘Pedals

Seasick Steve – ‘You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks
Treasures (live session version)

She Keeps Bees – ‘Dig On
Vulture (live session version)

The Strokes – ‘Angles

Tom Vek – ‘Leisure Seizure
World Of Doubt (live session version)

TV On The Radio – ‘Nine Types Of Light

Wilco – ‘The Whole Love
Born Alone (live acoustic session version)

Wild Flag – ‘Wild Flag

Wye Oak – ‘Civilian
Civilian (live session version)

Yuck – ‘Yuck
Holing Out (live session version)

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