Stereogum’s 50 Most Anticipated Albums Of 2011

| November 24, 2010 - 10:22 am

To tackle the cliché head-on, if you’re a big music fan, every year is a good year for music. People (and their Droids) seem more cynical than ever, but only a true curmudgeon could make it through any given 12 months without liking anything (well, the mid ’90s had a couple grim moments). That said, 2011 appears to have more than enough to keep even the angriest amongst you smiling amid the steady unemployment, nostalgia-act reunions, oil spills and explosions, celebrity sickness/divorce/death, chillwave, and even Glee.

Kanye West and his Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy owned the latter part of 2010 — with the news of his five-song 2011 Watch The Throne collaboration with Jay-Z, he may very well own a chunk of next year, too. Speaking of owning: 2010 — also known as the year post-Merriweather Post Pavilion — was a somewhat quiet one for Animal Collective outside of ODDSAC and Avey Tare’s Down There. The next one brings us the next best thing to a new AC collection, Tomboy, Panda Bear’s much anticipated followup to 2007’s Person Pitch. We’ll also have the first proper Aphex Twin full-length since 2001’s Drukqs. In the time after Richard D. James paused, guitars have definitely taken a bit of a backseat in many corners of underground music and for the general listener — think chillwave, witch house, death disco, homemade GarageBand mashes, the sampled guitar-rock of Girl Talk, etc. With this landscape as his backdrop, it’ll be interesting to see how much further James, a popular electronic musician even non-electronic music fans have always liked, can spread his reach. (He’s said he’s recorded six albums worth of material since we last heard from him, so it’ll also be interesting to see how much these outside shifts have influenced his own output.) As far as other long waits, it seems Strokes IV will see the light of day in 2011, or at least that’s what the @band says. All in all, the old guard is well represented in the following list: The Cars, Beastie Boys, U2, Foo Fighters, etc. (What year is this again?)

Speaking of our list: We chose the 50 most important or enticing. And while it’s limited primarily to releases that have been confirmed, we have made a few assumptions (e.g., that the Wrens and Avalanches will finish their Chinese Democracies).

Click on an artist name for recent news, and in some cases MP3s, from these forthcoming LPs.


  • …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Tao Of The Dead Part I: Tao Of the Dead (2/4 via Richter Scale)
  • Akron/Family – S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT (2/8 via Dead Oceans)
  • Damon Albarn/Flea/Tony Allen Project – TBA
  • Asobi Seksu – Fluoresence (2/15 via Polyvinyl)
  • Banjo Or Freakout – TBA (via Rare Book Room)
  • Battles – TBA
  • Beady Eye – TBA
  • Beck – TBA
  • Black Lips – TBA
  • Bon Iver – TBA
  • BRAIDS – Native Speaker (1/18 via Kanine Records)
  • Bright Eyes – The People’s Key (2/15 via Saddle Creek)
  • British Sea Power – Valhalla Dancehall (via Rough Trade)
  • Burial – TBA
  • Cake – Showroom Of Compassion (1/11 via Upbeat)
  • Coldplay – TBA
  • Cornershop – Cornershop & The Double ‘O’ Groove Of
  • Crystal Stilts – TBA
  • Danielson – Best of Gloucester County (2/22 via Sounds Familyre)
  • The Death Set – Michel Poiccard (via Ninjatune)
  • Deerhoof – Deerhoof Vs. Evil (1/25 via Polyvinyl)
  • DeVotchKa – 100 Lovers (2/15 via ANTI-)
  • Drive-By Truckers – Go-Go Boots (2/15 via ATO)
  • Ducktails – Ductails III: Arcade Dynamics (1/10 via Woodsist)
  • East River Pipe – We Live In Rented Rooms (2/15 via Merge)
  • Eleventh Dream Day – Riot Now! (3/22 via Thrill Jockey)
  • Esben & The Witch – Violet Cries (2/8 via Matador)
  • Explosions In The Sky – TBA
  • Matthew Friedberger – Solos (Jan, March, May, July, Sept, Nov via Thrill Jockey)
  • The Feelies – TBA (Spring via Bar/None)
  • Lupe Fiasco – Lasers (2/14 via Atlantic)
  • The Forms – Derealization (2/15 via Threespheres/Ernest Jenning)
  • Fujiya & Miyagi – Ventriloquizzing (1/25 via Yep Roc)
  • Peter Gabriel – New Blood
  • The Get Up Kids – There Are Rules (via Quality Hill Records)
  • The Good, The Bad, & The Queen – TBA
  • Gorillaz – TBA
  • The Human League – Credo
  • Islands – TBA
  • Jane’s Addiction – TBA
  • Keren Ann – TBA
  • The Kills – TBA
  • Talib Kweli – Gutter Rainbows (1/25 via Talibra)
  • Avril Lavigne – Goodbye Lullabye (3/8 via RCA)
  • Jens Lekman – TBA
  • Low – TBA
  • The Luyas – Too Beautiful To Work (2/22 via Dead Oceans)
  • MEN – Talk About Body (2/1 via IAMSOUND)
  • Mister Heavenly – TBA
  • Neon Indian – TBA
  • Noah & The Whale – TBA (via Lost Club/Mercury Records)
  • Okkervil River – TBA
  • Beth Orton – TBA
  • Portishead – TBA
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers – TBA
  • Rick Rizzo & Tara Key – Double Star
  • Sic Alps – Napa Asylum (1/25 via Drag City)
  • The Skull Defekts – Peer Amid
  • Britney Spears – TBA
  • Tape Deck Mountain – Secret Serf EP
  • Telekinesis! – 12 Desperate Straight Lines (2/15 via Merge)
  • John Vanderslice – White Wilderness (1/25 via Dead Oceans)
  • VEGA – TBA
  • White Lies – Ritual (1/18 via Fiction)
  • Wild Flag – TBA
  • Lucinda Williams – Blessed (3/1 via Lost Highway)
  • Win Win – Win Win (Vice
  • Patrick Wolf – TBA (via Hideout)
  • Wye Oak – Civilian (3/8 via Merge)
  • Yuck – Yuck (2/15 via Fat Possum)

DID WE MISS ANY? Shout out in the comments and we’ll add to the master list.