List

Stereogum’s Top 20 Albums Of 2011 So Far

| June 21, 2011 - 1:11 pm

We still have plenty of time and music left in 2011, but since we’re at the halfway (or so) mark, we thought it made sense to pause and take stock of the best albums of the year so far. There was some science behind the final tally: Each one of us made a list and assigned points to the records on it; Scott handled the complex mathematics and figured out the exact rankings based on those results. (Not all the bands each one of us voted for made it onto the Top 20, so we’ve also included smaller lists of personal, excluded favorites.)

Things to consider: We didn’t include any albums that haven’t surfaced (aka “leaked”) on any larger scale as of yet (see: Beirut). We also didn’t include deeply underground metal or noise: You’ll notice a couple of metal bands on the Top 20 (and one noise project) — all are groups we believe have crossed over enough into the non-metal/noise dialogue/iPod and make sense for inclusion. (For a more extensive metal-specific list, you’ll have to wait for Haunting The Chapel to get its act together.)

Take a look, and let us know what we missed.

Puro Instinct - Headbangers In Ecstasy20 Puro InstinctHeadbangers In Ecstasy (Mexican Summer)

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues19 Fleet FoxesHelplessness Blues (Sub Pop)

Liturgy - Aesthetica18 LiturgyAesthetica (Thrill Jockey)

Toro Y Moi - Underneath The Pine17 Toro Y MoiUnderneath The Pine (Carpark)

Krallice - Diotima16 KralliceDiotima (Profound Lore)

Yuck- Yuck15 YuckYuck (Fat Possum)

Destroyer - Kaputt14 DestroyerKaputt (Merge)

Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde13 Smith WesternsDye It Blonde (Fat Possum)

Prurient - Bermuda Drain12 PrurientBermuda Drain (HydraHead)

Pure X - Pleasure11 Pure XPleasure (Acephale)

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Unknown Mortal Orchestra10 Unknown Mortal OrchestraUnknown Mortal Orchestra (Fat Possum)

The Weeknd - House Of Balloons09 The WeekndHouse Of Balloons (self-released)

PJ Harvey - Let England Shake08 PJ HarveyLet England Shake (Island)

Adele - 2107 Adele21 (XL)

Pictureplane - Thee Physical06 PictureplaneThee Physical (Lovepump United)

Fucked Up - David Comes To Life05 Fucked UpDavid Comes To Life (Matador)

Iceage - New Brigade04 IceageNew Brigade (Dais)

Austra - Feel It Break03 AustraFeel It Break (Domino/Paper Bag)

Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact02 Gang Gang DanceEye Contact (4AD)

Bon Iver - Bon Iver Bon Iver01 Bon IverBon Iver, Bon Iver (Jagjaguwar)

You can read our original review of Bon Iver, Bon Iver here.

And our favorite EPs of the year so far…

03 Laurel HaloHour Logic (Hippos In Tanks)

02 Holy OtherWITH U (Tri Angle)

01 Clams CasinoRainforest (Tri-Angle)

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Finally, six albums from each of us that didn’t make the final album list. Unranked…

Scott
Tom VekLeisure Seizure (Island)
Ford & LopatinChannel Pressure (Software)
Bill CallahanApocolypse (Drag City)
tUnE-yArDsw h o k i l l (4AD)
Beyoncé4 (Columbia)
Washed OutWithin And Without (4AD)

Amrit
SBTRKTSBTRKT (XL)
Beyoncé4 (Columbia)
Julianna BarwickThe Magic Place (Asthmatic Kitty)
Cold CaveCherish The Light Years (Matador)
The Pains Of Being Pure At HeartBelong (Slumberland)
Dirty BeachesBadlands (Zoo)

Brandon
Julianna BarwickThe Magic Place (Asthmatic Kitty)
Tim HeckerRavedeath, 1972 (Kranky)
GrouperA I A (Self-Released)
The CaretakerAn Empty Bliss Beyond This World (History Always Favours The Winners)
Cold CaveCherish The Light Years (Matador)
ZombyDedication (4AD)

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Who’s on your list?