It's finally here! We've reached the end of yet another year, and as is the custom it's now our duty to try and make some sort of sense of the good, the bad and the outright ugly and put it all into list form for your consumption. Why do we do this? A need for some sense of order? A byproduct of our secret desire to have bands fight it out Hunger Games style for the title of SUPREME MUSICAL OVERLORDS of the year? Who knows.
Now, here at ChunkyGlasses, we all have some wildly varying tastes. Sure there is a common ground, but the phrase "what in the f@#$" has been thrown around quite a bit this year (more often than not by me) as we've made our journey through the musical landscape that 2011 has presented us with. With that in mind you won't ever see an absolute top 10 list. We like too many types of music for that. Instead we're going to give you our individual lists and let you take from that what you will.
So let's get to it. First up we have Ethan's list for the best albums of the year.
Hope you've got your dancin' shoes on.
#10: EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints
Grungey, dark, emotional and hard hitting. EMA takes her time, this is an unrushed album so full of slow builders that it is hard to believe that it is only 37 minutes long. At times the pacing is maybe even a little too slow.
#9: Digitalism - I Love You Dude
Lots of people hated on this album, I’m not sure why. It’s not a perfect record, but I only heard one better electronica LP this year, and it is also on this list.
#8: Ladytron - Gravity the Seducer
The best synthpop group of the last ten years. This album tends more toward the experimental and ambient than their previous work, and it is a dramatic swing back from their last LP, Velocifero.
#7: Robots In Disguise - Happiness v Sadness
Album opener, "Chains" might be my favorite song of the year. The rest of the album is solid too, in a charmingly rough, art schooly sort of way.
#6: Danger Mouse - Rome
Danger Mouse put together the ultimate soundtrack for a spaghetti western movie that never was. Bonus points for Jack White and Norah Jones killing it.
#5: tUnE-yArDs - W H O K I L L
Minimal, experimental, but always groovy. Merrill Garbus's vocals range from aggressive to melodic, and forceful to fragile. This album is just undeniably good.
#4: Justice - Audio, Video, Disco
Justice heard that you guys like dance-rock now, so they decided to show you what it is supposed to sound like.
#3: Starfucker - Reptilians
Look, there is a lot of indie-electro-rock out there right now. Your mileage may vary, but for me in 2011, Starfucker was the best of the bunch.
#2: Glitch Mob - We Can Make the World Stop (EP)
In a perfect world, Glitch Mob would be on their way to electronica superstardom of the sort enjoyed by Justice or the Chemical Brothers. If you like bass-heavy, breakbeat-driven dance music, put down the dubstep, pick up your self-respect, and listen to some Glitch Mob.
#1: Phantogram - Nightlife (EP)
Phantogram is one of the freshest, most all-around listenable electronica/indie pop groups working right now. This EP picks up where last year’s Eyelid Movies left off, with super-tight production and perfect vocals, and adds an evolved rhythmic sensibility developed over months of heavy touring. Oh, you think I can’t pick an EP for best record of the year? That just happened.
deadmau5 - 4x4=12 (rel. Dec. 2010), Daft Punk - Tron: Legacy (rel. Dec. 2010), Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes, Zenith Myth - Zenith Myth, 13Ghosts - Garland Bottle of Flies
Tune in tomorrow when we'll hear from Andre and get a whole different take on the good, the bad and the COSMIC as our "Best of 2011" week continues