I’ll start by saying that I had a HUGE post at the ready for my ‘Best Of..’ but I scrapped it in favor of a more streamlined and digestible approach (which will probably end up being wordy just as well). Moving on…
2011; what an amazing year of music for fans in almost every genre. Great metal, great pop, great rock, etc. I was introduced into several different musical worlds this year and I am grateful to have heard releases from some of my favorites and some newcomers. Besides, say, the top 4 or 5, the albums should be considered interchangeable in that I couldn’t say one was better than the other; it depends on what I’m in the mood for.
The Best of 2011
20. The Interbeing – Edge of the Obscure
19. Memfis – Vertigo
18. The Computers – This is The Computers
17. Trap Them – Darker Handcraft
16. Decoder – Decoder
15. Fake Figures – Hail the Sycophants
14. Sainthood Reps – Monoculture
13. Architects – The Here and Now
13. Dispatch – Dispatch EP
12. Trivium – In Waves
11. Thursday – No Devolucion
10. Blindside – With Shivering Hearts We Wait
9. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
8. Awolnation – Megalithic Symphony
7. World Under Blood – Tactical
6. Thrice – Major/Minor
5. Mastodon – The Hunter
4. Blue October – Any Man in America
3. Fair to Midland – Arrows & Anchors
2. MuteMath – Odd Soul
1. Stray from the Path – Rising Sun
letlive. – Fake History, Epitaph re-release (would be No. 1, but technically would be considered a 2010 release)
In Flames – Sounds of a Playground Fading
Protest the Hero – Scurrilous
Fall in Archaea – Gatherings
Dream the Electric Sleep – Lost and Gone Forever
Bright Eyes – The Peoples Key
2012 Most Anticipated:
Every Time I Die – Ex Lives
Enter Shikari – Flash Flood of Colour
Bleeding Through – The Great Fire
The Safety Fire – Grind the Ocean
The Intersphere – Hold On, Liberty!
Lamb of God – Resolution
Celldweller – Wish Upon a Blackstar
What Hands Are For – TBA
The reunions of American Head Charge, He Is Legend, and At The Drive-in
Well, THERE you have it! I am sure I missed a few “Best Of’s…” towards the top. I may have missed a few upcoming releases, so take it up with the errors and omissions department. Which is of course me, and I don’t care!
In 2011, Stray from the Path introduced me to alternative hardcore. MuteMath gave me a great hard soul record. Blue October made me feel something. Fair to Midland showed me that the live show is still alive. Mastodon sent me to another dimension of metal, and Thrice refined their sound on their way out. World Under Blood gave me the Deron Miller I have always wanted him to be in CKY. Blindside returned more mature. Awolnation was my feel good electro rock album of the year, and Foo Fighters proved they are still the best rock band in the world. Thursday went out with a greatly textured album, and Trivium put out one their best. Architects pissed some people off and showed another side, which was amazing and Dispatch came back with a VERY solid EP. Trap Them released one the heaviest albums I’ve ever heard, and Sainthood Reps debuted an intense post-hardcore gem. Fake Figures was a great supergroup album, and Decoder debuted their perfectly balanced sound. The Computers defined ‘garage metal’, The Interbeing showed heaviness with melodic choruses a la the Swedish metal elite, and Memfis finally self released their 70’s influenced metal that was originally recorded in 2008.
In closing, I listen to entirely to much music. Honestly, WAY to much. I used to think listening to anything and everything was the way to be a “true” music fan. I was wrong, and several albums/artists helped change my mind on this issue. This year, Stray from the Path implored me to “Bring It Back to the Streets“, and I will. I promise I will. I bought (and downloaded, sorry :/) more music than I could have ever possibly listened to. How will I ever find anything amazing when I don’t give it the time?
We have too much music in circulation each year, and its getting worse. 2000 song iPods, where the next song is only 30 seconds and a click away. No one LISTENS to music anymore, they just HEAR it and move on. Scenes have taken over, and the market is over saturated and drowning. I can go on forever, and if you’re still reading, when then thank you, and I am sure you probably feel the same way as I do.
So, lets make a pact; we will consume LESS music to LISTEN to more. If it’s good, I’ll buy it. And if not, it won’t enter my collection. BUY the records from the bands that deserve it, from the bands who put their hearts into the music, from the bands who care about their fans. Bring it back to the streets, indeed.
All the best in 2012!