Putting together just five top albums of 2011 is quite a formidable challenge, there are of course so many genres of music and so many bands who have done astounding things over the last twelve months. From soft electronica, to classic indie rock and an iconic artist of a generation, I think these five have it covered.
Metronomy - The English Riviera Known foremost for their indie club hit A Thing For Me a few years back, Metronomy have crafted one of the best loved and most hyped albums of the year, The English Riviera. A band who are also recognized for their incredible live sets, the band outplayed every single festival stage they were put on this year with crowds seen brimming out from canopies above. Slow and infectious guitar rifts mixed with escapist electronic beats has become Metronomy’s trademark mixture on The English Riviera, making for a sound that creeps further under your skin with every listen.
The Horrors - Skying Starting a few years ago as one of the biggest jokes in the music industry, The Horrors have had the musical come back of all time to take the crown as one of British music’s most important and innovative modern bands. The album Skying has split critics and fans alike down the middle however all agree this is the sound of a band evolving. Firing on all cylinders, The Horrors have made themselves a name which will be closely watched after this progressive and imaginative album.
The Vaccines - What Did You Expect From The Vaccines While a lot of bands receive blinding levels of hype and media attention at the beginning of every year, hailed as ‘the next big thing’, very few indeed actually deliver. Justin Young of The Vaccines has this year gone from battling to be heard over rowdy pub punters to selling out Brixton Academy two nights in a row. Helped by numerous NME covers, hours of Radio 1 play time and an infectious indie/punk sound, The Vaccines have built themselves as one of Britain’s most important bands of the year, whatever you might have expected from The Vaccines, I bet this wasn’t it.
Beyonce - 4 A worldwide phenomena both for popular and alternative music fans alike, Beyonce crossed the border between the two this year by being the first female artist to headline Glastonbury in over twenty five years. An appearance that co-ordinated with her album, 4, the American powerhouse
has already had four hits since the albums' release in June. A true icon of our generation, 2011 will be remembered as the year Beyonce broke free of her pop star diva mould and turned into a true music icon.
The Strokes - Angles As the only band left standing in one piece or with a shred of dignityfrom the noughties indie generation (we're looking at you, Kings of Leon), The Strokes' fourth album Angles is a pretty
big deal. While slowed down and sounding aged, The Strokes are still making music that sounds
like the bands initial criteria of painfully cool and achingly addictive guitar rifts with more than just
a slice of sex appeal. Playing a handful of festival gigs this summer, The Strokes showed the upcoming wave of bands just how it is done.
words: Robyn Lynch