Top 10 of 2011 (So Far)

It’s never too early to start making lists, I say. Being that the summer release schedule has now unofficially ended, I figured it was a good time to go ahead and throw together a list of our favorite albums of 2011 as of today. This is not based solely on our grades of the albums from their respective reviews, although that does factor in. In a way, this list both takes into account more than those reviews encompass. For instance, here we will include the live performances given in support of these records, their lasting effects that can only be measured after extended listening, and a much heavier emphasis on pure enjoyment of the album as opposed to the more objective means we use in the initial evaluation process. This list is in order, from 10 to 1, of our favorites but that’s not to diminish the lower-ranked albums; these are all phenomenal works, superior in many ways to their peers, and there is an argument to be made for every record on the list to be ranked number 1 overall. But they can’t be, and aren’t all equal, especially when we’re making a list of favorites.

It should be noted, obviously, that this list will certainly be changing in the coming months, especially after September 13th. I don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but it’s safe to say that one of these albums will likely lose its place to Girls’ new album, and another to the new Dum Dum Girls. And I’m also sure that the order in which they are listed will shift in some ways by the time December rolls around and we’re tallying up our final list for the year.

Later this week, or perhaps next week sometime, we will be doing a “Best of the Rest” post that pulls together all the other great albums released so far this year that didn’t quite make the cut, but were not far off. As you can imagine, that will be just as daunting a task (or more) than this relatively small list, as 2011 has been a busy year – especially for records of the very-good-but-not-great variety.

Anyway, we’ll start with number 10 and work our way to the top of the list from there. Remember you can find all of these compiled on our Rhapsody page in one handy playlist for you to listen to.

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