We have one final Top Albums of 2011 list for today. Jesse Leach of TIMES OF GRACE has written up a killer Top 10 list and you can see his selection (and most informative descriptions) below:
1. Tom Waits “Bad As Me”
Tom Waits is THE MAN period. Anything he does I dig. He makes me want to double up on my cigar smoking so I can sound like him. He is equal parts vaudeville, bad trip, punk rock, classy gentleman, circus ring leader, and blues man. This record is amazing, trippy, dark and flawless. Thank God for Tom Waits, a real artist in a sea of mediocracy. Captain Beefheart is smiling in his grave, that his beloved musical brother is till going strong! If I could be half as cool as he is when I am his age God Willing I will be happy. Crack a bottle of some good Scotch or Bourbon, light a quality cigar ,and listen to the record of the year in my opinion.
2. Mogwai “Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will”
Mogwai is a band that changed everything musical for me and opened the doors to bands like The Red Sparowes, Explosions in the Sky etc. Along with Tortoise these guys are the cream of the crop of instrumental rock/jazz/metal what have you. Amazing guitar tones, great song writing, this album is another masterpiece!
3. Radiohead “The King of Limbs”
Radiohead have yet to put out a record I didn’t like since Ok Computer. This is the kind of record I can put on repeat and zone out. To me Radiohead are the Pink Floyd of modern music. Like “Kid A” it takes a few listens for this record to really have it’s impact and really hit home. In Rainbows maybe my favorite Radiohead record, but this one is growing on me. I can’t wait to see what these guys do next
4. Explosions In The Sky “Take Care Take Care Take Care”
These guys are at the top of their game with this record. They have an amazing way of building their songs up to an amazing crescendo. This album gives me chills during certain points. I am glad these guys are starting to get the recognition they deserve. Huge fan, great record.
5. Iron & Wine “Kiss Each Other Clean”
Been a fan of Iron & Wine since their/his first 12 inch “The Creek Drank the Cradle”. Samuel Beam’s voice is so soothing, no matter what mood I am in I can listen to Iron & Wine. Side note: I also love that he is a big fan of sludge metal. Makes me happy to hear musicians who listen to music outside of what they play or are known for.
5. Machine Head “Unto The Locust”
First off I am not huge into most modern metal hence why you the reader are not seeing much of it on here. I have a great deal of respect for These guys, to me they are the real deal. They live their music. I love that they have expanded their sound and do not cater to what is popular. You can hear the passion in Robb’s voice! To me he is one of the most raw and passionate screamers on the planet and his singing voice is earnest, streaked with pain and honest. We have actually emailed back and forth and shared our love for each other’s music. I have been a fan since hearing the words “Let freedom ring with a shotgun blast” blaring out of a friend’s stereo in 1994 and remain so. They pushed the envelope back then and continue to do so regardless of trends. I always get amped when I hear Machine Head. Massive respect for these guys!
6. Opeth “Heritage”
Like a fine wine Opeth gets better with age. In my opinion this record is just next level. This band know no boundaries and seamlessly pulls off all of the styles they touch upon. The musicianship of this band is off the charts and with all of their technical skill they do not lose the listener in over-proggy indulgence. Granted this record does have quite a few proggy elements, but it doesn’t go too far. Mikael