List

Pitchfork’s Top 50 Albums Of 2011

By Amrit Singh / December 16, 2011

It is the second Friday of December, which I would call the last Friday of the year that the internet has any self-respect if the internet ever had any self-respect. The year is ending, we can be real about these things! And so it is on this day of finality that Pitchfork hands down its list of Pitchfork’s favorite albums, capping a robust Listmas during which we examined pretty much everyone’s list, in addition to the ones made by us, and by you. I predict that you will find things to agree about with this list, and things to disagree with, and things to be indifferent to. (I am good at this, I know.) The list is best characterized by the position of three records in particular, though: Destroyer’s Kaputt comes in at #2, and in combination with Bon Iver at #1, makes this the year Pitchfork validated artists that idolize your dad’s cheese-rock record collections. Conversely, Fucked Up is surprisingly low at #33; it seems they are ceding the hardcore-avatars to SPIN. By this measure, the position seems to be that this was a year for the smooth, not the bruised. Saxophone players (Colin Stetson included), rejoice:

50 Youth Lagoon – The Year Of Hibernation
49 Wild Flag – Wild Flag
48 Toro Y Moi – Underneath The Pine
47 Sepalcure – Sepalcure
46 Cults – Cults
45 Kendrick Lamar – Section.80
44 Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
43 Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
42 SBTRKT – SBTRKT
41 Liturgy – Aesethetica
40 AraabMuzik – Electronic Dream
39 The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient
38 Sandro Perri – Impossible Spaces
37 Iceage – New Brigade
36 Kate Bush – 50 Words For Snow
35 Frank Ocean – Nostalgia, Ultra.
34 Katy B – On A Mission
33 Fucked Up – David Comes To Life
32 Panda Bear – Tomboy
31 Ty Segall – Goodbye Bread
30 Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972
29 DJ Quik – The Book Of David
28 Cut Copy – Zonoscope
27 Beyoncé – 4
26 The Field – Looping State Of Mind
25 Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact
24 Julianna Barwick – The Magic Place
23 Bill Callahan – Apocalypse
22 The Caretaker – An Empty Bliss Beyond This World
21 Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne
20 Nicolas Jaar – Space Is Only Noise
19 Danny Brown – XXX
18 Atlas Sound – Parallax
17 Clams Casino – Instrumentals
16 Kur Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo
15 Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
14 Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
13 EMA – Past Life Martyred Saints
12 James Blake – James Blake
11 St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
10 The Weeknd – House Of Ballons
09 Real Estate – Days
08 Drake – Take Care
07 tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
06 Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica
05 Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
04 PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
03 M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
02 Destroyer – Kaputt
01 Bon Iver – Bon Iver

You can read the rationale for the list at Pitchfork.com.