The Gummy Awards: Your Top 10 Albums Of 2011

It’s been fun, but now it’s time to wrap up the Gummy Awards with the big final list: your picks for the year’s top 10 albums! And the final result is: You guys more or less agree with us! Every album in your top 10 appeared in our top 50, most of them near the top. Your #1 was our #3, and our #1 was your #3. You guys don’t like rap or mutant R&B as much as we do, and you boosted St. Vincent and James Blake and Destroyer and tUnE-yArDs way up the list. Still, we mostly agree with each other! High fives all around! And we have to say: This is an absolutely rock-solid top 10 list. Click below to see your picks.

tUnE-yArDs - w h o k i l l

10. tUnE-yArDsw h o k i l l

Fucked Up - David Comes To Life

9. Fucked UpDavid Comes To Life

PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

8. PJ HarveyLet England Shake

James Blake - James Blake

7. James BlakeJames Blake

Destroyer - Kaputt

6. DestroyerKaputt

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

5. Fleet FoxesHelplessness Blues

Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost

4. GirlsFather, Son, Holy Ghost

M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

3. M83Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

St. Vincent - Strange Mercy

2. St. VincentStrange Mercy

Bon Iver - Bon Iver

1. Bon IverBon Iver

Here it is, with less visual art:

10 tUnE-yArDs - w h o k i l l
09 Fucked UpDavid Comes To Life
08 PJ HarveyLet England Shake
07 James BlakeJames Blake
06 DestroyerKaputt
05 Fleet FoxesHelplessness Blues
04 GirlsFather, Son, Holy Ghost
03 M83Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
02 St. VincentStrange Mercy
01 Bon IverBon Iver

Good job, fam. In case you missed them, check out the Gummys results for your top tracks, videos, new acts, TV shows, viral videos, movies, and crushes of 2011.

And if viral videos are something you are susceptible to, Videogum’s annual viral video retrospective montage is one of the best thing you’ll see all year. 2011!

Comments (147)
  1. My favorite ice cream is vanilla.

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    • This list would be super original if it had these as the top 5 then? Coldplay, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and Selena Gomez & the Scene and Childish Gambino — not one was BNM’d!

    • Comparing Stereogum lists to Pitchfork lists is sooooo last week

    • The same lists have kind of been recycled from site to site. It’s amazing how huge an umbrella “indie rock” is, yet everyone is apparently listening to the same 20 bands. You have the internet at your disposal, people. Make an effort and discover some bands that weren’t recommended to you by Current Indie Rock 101.

      • Yeah, it’s amazing how all these lists are so similar when there are literally tens of thousands of releases in a year at this point. Who exactly listened to all of them just to make sure that none of them are better than Bon Iver? And if you need the imprint of a label to take something seriously, then you are really not any different from someone who needs to hear something on terrestrial radio in order to take it seriously.

        • This is explained pretty easily.

          For one, the vast majority of people don’t have the time to listen to the tens of thousands of albums that are released every year. There needs to be some way of filtering out what to listen to and what not to listen to, and listening to albums that get good reviews seems to me like as good a way as any to do that.

          But I feel like you’re missing the larger point here which is that this list is an aggregate from EVERYONE who voted in the gummy awards. It stands to reason that the top 10 from such a large group of people would in fact be 10 albums that show up on every other list. You’re not going to get something obscure here because, well, that’s the nature of a popular vote. It’s not to say that people aren’t listening to anything outside of these 10 albums, just that these 10 are the most popular. Which seems to be the nature of your complaint.

          • @gtimusic – There’s a reply limit,

            Thing is, if it’s for fun or for the sake of writing (these are the reasons I make lists)…then I think the responsibility of the author to his/her audience, but mainly to him/herself is to give an accurate account of what he’s selling – so while I understand the want for page views and to spread something around…you still also have to be honest about it.

            Like if I sell music (I do) if I file it under Roots or Folk music when it’s not folk, it would reach a group of people that I wouldn’t otherwise reach, since what I do is more “Weird Rock”. So while it benefits me to do something like that, even though I’m giving it away for free it doesn’t help build my audience to be less specific.

            I know that example isn’t perfectly analagous, but the idea is: when you create something it’s better for the world to just be specific and honest. Just look at these comment boards – peeps be ridiculous with expectations and act like these lists mean anything. Because they’ve been exposed to “best of” for years. I think it has an effect. And that’s the author’s fault to an extent. Also the people who take things super literal.

          • Wrong reply, too many italics – I suck.

        • The thing is, if you actually spend some time reading the comments on these lists (including places like Stereogum, which makes it really easy by linking to all the big sites’ lists), you’ll see stuff like:

          “No Wye Oak makes this list invalid.”

          “No Kaputt? Worthless.”

          So with that kind of environment, what do you expect? It’s not all the list-makers’ fault. We readers create an environment where bloggers are penalized for not including Band X, and that’s got to have a big influence on the trend of all these lists looking exactly the same.

          (Of course, as someone else already pointed out, some of this doesn’t apply to the Gummy Awards, which are an aggregate listing and thus isn’t written by any one person.)

          • Those comments suck, but counterpoint: nobody asks anyone to make lists. So my question for anyone making one is: what is the intent of this list?

          • Weird that you should single out the Wye Oak comment since a. they actually were on way fewer lists than they should have been and b. they are one of the few bands on more than one list that really should have been in everyone’s top 5. They are one incredible, explosive band, everything that rock music should be.

          • @djfreshie Stereogum won’t allow a comment on your response below, but anyway, it’s an interesting question. I suppose people make lists for a variety of reasons: Fun, tradition, history/posterity, the need to create order in a chaotic world…

      • First off, it’s possible for people to like music before and/or regardless of whether or not a tastemaker site gave it a good review. Second, I would never dream of making a year end list if I didn’t feel that I’d listened to a good chunk of music and determined what was the best. For the most part, the same 20 or so artists are reappearing on these lists for being good, not for being all there is. In a site’s quest to have a list of artists that no one else has on theirs, they can sometimes leave off some of the best stuff. What purpose does that really serve?

        • This is why these lists should not be called “best of” lists. It’s a matter of semantics and one that always gnaws on my brain – nobody has to say “Best of” but they do because they egotistically think they know what that means. It’s hyperbole and it’s damaging to an industry where money buys publicity to say that “the best” artists are the ones we know about (and by extension paid a lot of money to get that exposure.)

          That said, this particular list, the GUMMY AWARDS, is a user-voted list, and nowhere does it imply it is a list of the best things. Just our favourites. I voted for M83. That album rocks. Though I only just started listening to St Vincent recently and that album also rocks.

          • Actually, I think it has a lot more to do with SEO. Maybe it doesn’t matter for a big site like Stereogum, but those of us with little blogs pretty much have to call our lists “best of” or people won’t find them. Most blog traffic comes from Google or other search engines, and bloggers can pretty easily track what people are searching for in order to reach their sites. And guess what? The common search term around this time of year is “best albums of 2011.” You’re not going to get as many hits if you call your lists “a list of a bunch of albums djfreshie liked in 2011.”

            That being said, I actually agree. Last year I called my list Favorite Albums of 2010, and I waited until March to publish it because I felt like I needed more time to listen to everything I wanted to hear. Unfortunately, no one read it. So this year I’ll probably be calling mine Best Albums of 2011 and will try to get it done by the end of the month.

          • You’re totally right. If your goal is to drive traffic and build a business, then I understand that reasoning. I don’t find it virtuous. But I understand it.

            I think probably someone who published a yearly “My Favourites” list would get way more attention from me. Actually Seth Colter Walls kind of found a great workaround with this article a few weeks ago:

            And it is by far my favourite list of 2011.

      • Pitchfork, Stereogum, CoS, DiS, etc etc are all composed of editors and fans with a pretty good taste in music. Of course many of the same records will be represented on year-end lists. What was interesting to me was seeing Bon Iver, Bon Iver place, like, 23rd or so on Rolling Stone’s list after The frigging Foo Fighters if I recall it right. That’s how far the mainstream is from the so-called “indie” scene IMO. At least I think it’s interesting anyway. If I wasn’t replying to a 4-month-old comment, I’d ask you, Michael Hanna, to give us your personal top ten, given you sound like such an expert bro! Take us to school and give us a few names we haven’t seen on a year-end list already.

    • Based on that comment, we can assume that P4k is not allowed to like any of the albums that made into a year-end list because it’s ‘too popular’. Truth is, there’s only 10 spots in this list which imo is a pretty good one, given the fact it was voted by the readers.

  3. This place is overrun with boring, white eunuchs.

  4. for shame…. FOR SHAME

  5. Glad Fucked Up made the cut, and while it’s not typically my taste, you guys are alright.

  6. Are you guys just mad because PItchfork liked this stuff, too, or do you genuinely not like the music? I don’t know that having original taste is more important than having good taste. Not that it isn’t all subjective anyway.

    • i just really wanted an excuse to say “for shame” i like the list!

    • I think that the criticism comes from a few different areas (at least for me it does). I wouldn’t go as far to call any of these albums “bad” by any means, but the best attribute I can think of for most of them is that they are pleasant. They are all basically easy listens, and for me, I can sleepwalk through quite a few of these. This aspect though, is admittedly, subjective. The other aspect is that people are often easily lead, and for all the criticism that people like to cast on P4K for their reviews, having a top 10 list that is full of BNM recipients either mans that they really are doing a great job in their reviews, or that people are easily influenced. Being the cynic that I am, I tend to lean toward the latter.

      • ** They are all basically easy listens**

        In other words, they’re the albums most likely to have the broadest appeal among the type of people who read this site. Big surprise that they would be at the top of a readers’ poll then.

        And if these are easy listens, what’s a hard listen? And if something is a hard listen, how does that make it good? I mean, Fucked Up was a hard listen for me because I can’t get past the dude’s voice, but that’s also why I didn’t vote for it. Everything becomes more pleasant over time. The Monitor was a hard listen for me at first last year, but once I got used to it, I loved it and became an easy listen, and that’s when it got “better”. It was still an awesome record. Music should be enjoyable. It shouldn’t be a tool to punish ones-self for credibility.

        • You admit on one hand that the Monitor was a hard listen, but then say that music should be enjoyable and you shouldn’t punish yourself. So you obviously recognize that a hard listen and enjoyment aren’t mutually exclusive.

          There are aspects of some music, whether it be thematically or stylistically may challenge a listener initially. These same attributes, often times, when given more time and thought, can often be the best aspects of the pieces (as you have admitted).

          Julia Holter – Tragedy
          Prurient – Bermuda Drain
          The Men – Leave Home
          Locrian – The Clearing
          Quelle Chris – Shotgun & Sleek Rifle

          Those are 5 albums this year that I feel whose biggest problem is that they aren’t user friendly enough, but I find them to be supremely listenable, and among some of the best releases of the year.

          As I said previously, I don’t find any of the Top 10 to be bad records, but save the Fucked Up and a few songs from GR3FSHG, I haven’t had the urge to revisit any of these.

      • I don’t think these records are easy listens at all. These, for the most part, are the records that are best enjoyed by a patient, attentive music listener. A Bruno Mars record is an easy listen.

      • I usually find it very easy to listen to my favourite albums.

        • You fucking p4k sheeple. You know how much unpleasant music there is out there – be more original?!! Gawd…LOL. BTW best album of the year is Bieber Christmas IMO.

      • You are correct.

      • RE: Pleasant, Easy Listens- There’s plenty of music out there that is artistically worthwile and relatively easy to listen to (See Brian Eno, Brian Wilson, everything Steve Reich wrote up to Music for 18 Musicians or so, Arvo Part, etc). And I, for one, think the James Blake album is a shining example of this kind of work.

        While it functions perfectly well as ambient music (except for maybe the climax of I Never Learnt To Share and the drops in Limit To Your Love) but the amount of conscious effort you put into listening to it will be reflected in the value you get out of it.

      • If you can sleep through “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming,” you might wanna get that checked out bro. Lol but really, Kaputt, James Blake, Let England Shake, whokill, and Bon Iver, Bon Iver are sleepy records? Not to mention the in-your-face David Comes to Life. Just not following you there, dude. And as far as the “good-job reviews vs. easily influenced people” thing; it’s a bit of both IMO. But for my taste, Pitchfork has the best reviews around. Well, despite going a bit overboard with the esoteric, wannabe-classical prose now and again.

    • Pitchfork is far from the only review site (and actually the last with its top 50) that listed these albums as their top 10, meaning that these albums were well loved among indie crowds, there is no question there. I guess my only disappointment is that so many amazing indie albums were put out this year and were rarely mentioned. If you look at, they actually compiled a list of some great albums that deserve more credit:

      White Denim – D
      Comet Gain – Howl of the Lonely Crowd
      Those Darlins – Screws Get Loose
      City Center – Redeemer

      • Those Darlins released a really good album, but I think it kind of got lost in the “girl-group retro-pop” (or girl fronted group) craze of the last year or so. Their style is a little different, but between Tennis, Cults, Dum Dum Girls, etc., it was easy to get overlooked.

      • I’m sure we could all make a pretty great list of albums that were overlooked this year. I’ll just leave my own personal list here, have my peace, and carry on.

        13&God – Own Your Ghost
        Future Islands – On The Water
        David Bazan – Strange Negotiations
        Sam Roberts Band – Collider
        Astronautilus – This is Our Science
        Fruit Bats – Tripper
        Blue Sky Black Death – NOIR

        Okay, I feel better now. There’s a lot of really good music out there.

        • My girlfriend used to date Sam Roberts. I found out a few months ago, and now I have to point this out anytime his name come sup because it just seems downright inappropriate. Apparently he was a huge “dud.” Maybe she meant to say “dude”?

        • +1 for Bazan. P4K doesn’t review him anymore since wrote that “Selling Advertising” song. “Wolves At The Door” is one of my favorite tracks of 2k11. Also seeing him live was a highlight of the year.

          • Loved “Wolves at the Door,” too. I struggled to get into the rest of the album, but that song was great.

          • I would argue that “Eating Paper” is even better than “Wolves at the Door”, and they are two of my favorite songs this year. And the rest of the album is classic Bazan. “Virginia” is beautiful, and perfectly written in mood and lyrics. And just the other day the song “Won’t Let Go” sunk into my brain and I couldn’t turn it off. I listened to it probably 15 times in a row. Great album closer.

            Thanks for liking music guys.

  7. Complainers are funny. Here’s a newsflash: Many people who regularly read Pitchfork also regularly read Stereogum. I know that may come as a shock to some of you.

  8. Kurt Vile! Where for art thou brother?

    • *wherefore, sorry

      • Wherefore in the context (Romeo and Juliet), is meant to convey “why” not “where”. Juliet is basically saying “Why are you a Montague”.

        On the other hand, Kurt Vile’s record should have definitely been on here (IMHO over Kaputt)

        • He had the quote correct, though.

          “O Kurt Vile, Kurt Vile! wherefore art thou Kurt Vile?
          Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
          Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
          And I’ll no longer be a Kaputt.”

  9. Will you Johns stop being rational… this IS a message board after all.

  10. Everyone knows this is the album that came most original in 2011:

  11. 311 is no Black Eyed Peas or Roni Size, but this album was pretty good.

  12. this is the best list i’ve seen. stereogum readers should start their own music blog!

  13. It’s worth pointing out that there’s a controversy about how this list isn’t “original” enough. As the prophecy foretold:

    A warning to the crews out there who think they’re hot
    if you’re not original rockers you will get shot
    down by the kids neglectin’ your art, the stuff you did
    eventually it get so bad puts you to bed
    cause when the lightning flashes sweet electricity
    all the world then stands revealed with the clarity
    of raw voltage, briefly we see and the hope is
    you’ll be able to tell just what dope is

  14. Disappointed at the distinct lack of The Weeknd, otherwise a good list.

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    • re: bon iver, james blake –> agree
      re: M83, destroyer –> disagree

      but that said, you speaketh the truth, and i’m at totally at peace with my tastes not being very “edgy.”

    • I apologise, I keep forgetting to pretend to dislike music I really enjoy because it’s not “edgy” (read “loud”) enough.

      • You need a bumper sticker that reads, “Stay tepid; die fast.”

        • I enjoy lots of louder music, Fang Island and Titus Andronicus were both high up my list last year, and Japandroids the year before, but I can also appreciate the subtlety and sophistication of the songwriting in albums like “Bon Iver” and “Kaputt”

    • I’d genuinely love to know what music you would describe as ‘dangerous’. Come on, give us a laugh.

      • Don’t be a moron. I’m mainly using the word “dangerous” as a qualifier, like comparatively speaking, the Beatles are a more dangerous (challenging, raucous) band than the Carpenters. I’m just saying, the list is SUCH accessible, safe music and people who align themselves with “indie rock” should not settle for so little. You know, there are many kinds of “heavy.” In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is pretty folky, but it takes emotional and aesthetic risks that make it a more abrasive and challenging listen than anything that most folk bands attempt, which is why I like it and I don’t like most folk indie performers. As for an album from this year whose sound combines both senses of the word heavy, I would pick Pterodactyl’s Spills Out, a nice fusion of noise, melody, and spirituality. The album clearly cost the artists something (personally) to come to fruition, and it requires both a committed ear and heart to be appreciated. The whole thing about being an indie rock listener is that you have defected; you’ve said, “I know I can find something better than this crap on the radio, and here I go.” So when I see people on a site like this just kind of settling for whatever they’ve been spoonfed by websites/magazines (even if those are allegedly publications catering to people looking for something outside the norm), it is disappointing because it makes me feel like the people who should be musical idealists are settling too. Uh oh, I’ve turned down the snark to make a serious point; will the Stereogum hyenas rip me to shreds?

        • Michael Hanna fancies himself a music critic, but posting an opinion you hold to be true is just called the internet, which is full of Michael Hannas.

          • Everyone knows that anyone who writes about music online (even someone as dumb as you) is a music critic. That’s both the horror and the beauty of the internet. It erased the hierarchy of opinion long ago established by print publications. For the record, even being a paid print music critic isn’t that hard; all you need to do is pick up a random Rolling Stone from the last 15 years to know that.

      • Oh sorry, I didn’t mean to be a moron. Accept my apologies for being irked by your “God my taste in music is so much more edgy than, like, everyone’s!”. Perhaps you’d be happier just listening to music you like and not caring so much about what others happen to like. Just a suggestion. Oh, and apart from two songs off the James Blake album (and yes, I like it, I’m really sorry about that) I didn’t hear any of the above played on the radio so that point just confused me. And finally, please don’t label me an ‘indie rock listener’ and then go on to tell me how that defines me. I don’t see how finding music you like and listening to that music is ‘defecting’ from anything. Am I ‘defecting’ from windsurfing, Adam Sandler films, frequenting prostitutes, etc, just because I don’t pay any attention to those things?

  16. I am pretty sure Opeth’s Heritage blows the doors off of anything on this list (don’t take Brandon Stusoy’s word for eveything on the heavier end of the spectrum). Ditto The King of Limbs. Folks were just dying to hate a Radiohead album and finally saw an opening when they released something that wasn’t quite epic in scope.

    • for realsies. i love the king of limbs more each time i listen to it. how the overwhelming majority of people apparently think something like girls or james blake is better is beyond me. some of those songs are absolute gems.

      • A number of people on this site did bring up the fact that if KoL was written by anyone else, it would easily have been album of the year. Sadly, Radiohead set the bar so high for themselves that it is almost impossible to listen to any of their new albums without comparing it to their previous efforts.

        With that in mind, KoL is (IMHO) their best album since Amnesiac, and even questionably since Kid A.

        • And then there’s the counterpoint that if KoL was written by anyone else, no one would have paid it any attention at all.

          Or, let’s say if KoL had been written by that other KoL (of the Leon variety), it would have received a very different reception…

          I’m just saying…as someone who normally likes Radiohead a bunch, I found KoL completely underwhelming, and it had nothing to do with Radiohead itself. But I’m also not really a Kid A/Amnesiac fan, and I think KoL resonated much more with fans of those two albums.

          And I don’t really get this “folks were dying to hate a Radiohead album” thing, either. In general, I don’t think people think that way about music; usually we either like something or we don’t. If anything, it seems like some Radiohead fans will love whatever the band does, not the reverse. There is a definite vocal diehard set of the fanbase that seemingly will never be disappointed with a Radiohead release.

  17. No Arcade Fire?!! No National??!!

    HAHA, I’m just joshin’ y’all! But really, to those complaining about how ‘safe’ this list is, I think we can agree that the genre of ‘indie rock’ is officially a real, profitable and mass appealing one – but that doesn’t preclude it from also being the best and most eclectic genre as well. Look at the range on this list! There’s Americana folk, dubsteppy electronica, punkish rock, female avant-garde rock, wacky tribal shit, etc, etc. Just because your favorite industrial goth rock album didn’t make it doesn’t make the list safe, it just means that music hasn’t reached a wide enough audience (and it shouldn’t, it’s totally polarizing and turns a lot of people off).

    With that being said, I’m surprised and dismayed at the lack of love The Roots and The War on Drugs are getting. Those albums are stellar.

    • (Golf Clap)

    • Totally enthusiastic, non-ironic golf clap. That was very well put.

      • (Ping pong Clap)

        • Hartford,

          I’m just wondering how you can say that “indie rock” is even a genre when you then go on to place certain entries in the list into sub-genres. This isn’t a criticism, I would just like some clarification.

          • I think it’s generally used as an umbrella term that encompasses a lot of subgenres/bands that are widely understood to still be ‘indie’, much like how the umbrella term of ‘rock’ encompasses all types of rock (garage, new wave, metal, etc.) that might be incredibly different.

            Although it seems incredibly nebulous, because it encompasses acts from the umbrella genres of ‘rock’ and ‘hip hop’ and others, the bands that fall in this category are, for one reason or another, considered ‘indie bands’. Not sure why bands like Death Cab for Cutie, The Roots and the like are still considered to be ‘indie’ since they’re big sellers signed to major labels – which seems to be contradictory to the entire idea of what ‘indie music’ is – or why some bands/artists are immediately placed under that umbrella, but I’d say it has to do with a universally understood aesthetic and a belief in their authenticity more than anything.

          • Hartford,

            You pointed out the exact problem with “indie” and that’s why I find the term useless (your point about Death Cab and The Roots). The whole debate of “indie”/”not indie” is kind of pointless in my mind because some of my favorite acts were from major labels and were fiercely independent.

            First, Sonic Youth, who somehow negotiated their way into becoming A&R reps for DGC (just called Geffen at the time) and were the reason Nirvana was signed to DGC. Nirvana is another great example because although they released their “pop” album (“Nevermind”), they then spat in the face of the whole music industry with “In Utero” (which somehow went multi-platinum). I wouldn’t call either band “indie,” but I would say that both bands never lost sight of their core values (making great music and not compromising their sound).

            Flaming Lips also springs to mind, especially with “Embryonic.” No one can consider a band on Warner “indie,” but “Embryonic” (and basically their entire catalogue from “Zaireeka” to “Embryonic”) showed a band maintaining creative control while being on a major label, i.e., retaining their core values of experimentation and not putting out a “hit,” though they’ve garnered two along the way (“She Don’t Use Jelly” and “Do You Realize??”).

            There is one problem though: Bon Iver topped the Billboard charts and James Blake is on a major label. But both do whatever the hell they want so, out of respect for those artists, I don’t pigeonhole them under any kind of umbrella term.

          • You’re right, it is pointless and pigeon-holing, but my point is less about my own opinion on the matter and more a general recognition of the reality of why bands are labeled as such.

            I don’t really think there’s a debate – many major label bands (like Sonic Youth, Pavement, Arcade Fire, etc.) are understood to be ‘indie’ even though they’re not, because that term has shifted to represent authenticity and a certain aesthetic. In terms of this list, I only mentioned it because people were complaining that their favorite artists didn’t make the list (and that the ‘safe ones’ like Bon Iver did) while ignoring the fact that this isn’t really about how ‘independent’ a band is; that in any profitable ‘genre’ the most widely appealing will turn the most profit and have the most fans; and that, despite this assumption of mass appeal and the negative connotation it inherently has, the ‘indie genre’ still encompasses a much more eclectic and, dare I say better, collection of artists than any other.

          • I like you :-)

          • This is me blushing.

  18. I will never stop understanding what is so great, much less even remotely interesting, about James Blake.

    The rest of the list I’m more or less cool with (though I do think the FF album is probably overrated here, as much as I love them).

    • I mean, I think I understand what is so great, much less even remotely interesting, about James Blake, but I can’t be sure one day I won’t wake up thinking “What’s so great about that guy, anyway? Or even remotely interesting?”

      Thank you for your commitment to never stopping understanding what is so great, much less remotely interesting, about James Blake. It’s a noble duty, understanding so much all the time, and to commit to continue doing it forever is very brave. You inspire us, seanjean.

    • Well….what’s great about James Blake is that when I put his album on, the collective array of noises that come from the speakers sound nice to my ears. Erm, there’s really nothing more to it than that.

  19. Do you ever get the impression that us indie fans are just suggestible morons like everyone else?

  20. Vanilla comes from the bean of an orchid. It’s the most expensive spice after saffron. It’s not bland or boring.

  21. “Stereogum voters hate black people” -Ishmael Butler

    • this was a great year for rap, but I guess most of the readers just stick to their indie rock and nothing else.

      • or they just don’t have a taste for rap. why isn’t that entirely possible?

        • sure, of course. but so many of them? I just feel like some might just be dismissing rap offhand, in which case they should try listening to it sometime.

          • certainly. But I feel like an aggregate score on an indie music site could plausibly exclude rap because a large proportion of users just don’t enjoy it, or at least don’t “top 10″ enjoy it.

          • Mr. Sproat,

            I was actually just trying to be funny (which doesn’t seem to work out very often because everyone is so serious around here), so apologies for ruffling some feathers.

            That said, if stereogum voters don’t like hip-hop, that’s fine with me because I don’t live or die by what someone on the internet said.

            In fact, this list has some of my favorite albums of the year in it (I think I posted my top 30 somewhere on here, people can go downvote it all they want).

            Mr. Hanna,

            I’m not sure that all “rap” can be found on the radio and in every nook and cranny of popular culture. I think that’s a sweeping generalization.

            I’m not positive about this because I don’t listen to the radio (ever) and I’m still living under a rock (law school), so if you told me that Shabazz Palaces, Danny Brown, Kendrick Lamar and Cities Aviv are all over the radio and popular culture, I’d be very surprised.

            Anyway, I like intelligent debates with intelligent people.

      • Yes, you are correct. This site is almost exclusively about indie rock. That is kind of the point, you know, since rap and every other genre of music besides indie rock can be found on the radio and in every nook and cranny of popular culture. Sorry about having like five major sites online dedicated to this niche interest. Hopefully you can find solace in knowing that there are probably about a billion people in the world talking and writing about rap music write now.

  22. Dudes, Shut Up

  23. I’m actually starting to wonder if these people actually listened to ‘Bon Iver’.

    • I guess, they did listen to ‘Bon Iver’ and immediately skipped the last track.

      • I’m the only person I know that likes the last track on that record, and I still skip it most of the time because I’m not in the mood to hear it.

        • I loved the last track, but I can see how people could hate it.

          In response to Wesley – it’s really a great album, albeit one that you don’t seem to like. Such is life and music. I really never liked Nirvana but a lot of people seem to be into that, and I’ll never tell them they’re wrong because, subjectively, they’re not.

  24. My album of the year 2011 = Charles Bradley – No Time for Dreaming

  25. I was wondering why my favourite album of the year wasn’t number one… Until I realised that this was a list of the collective fanbase of Stereogum’s top albums. Oh, silly internets.

  26. What the Shabazz?
    Shabazz Palaces fans wtf I thought we were together here!

  27. NOT GONNA LIE! I’m really disappointed that Kid Rock’s ‘Born Free’ didn’t make the list this year… Because regardless of what “year” the album was “released” it should be within the top 3 albums of the year for the rest of eternity.

  28. Keep in mind that even though hip hop is absent here, it’s probably because the readers of this site didn’t have hip hop as their absolute favorite records, seeing as we only had one vote. It’s quite possible that someone put Girls down as their LP of the year, but their 2nd favorite was Watch the Throne.

  29. Why isn’t there ANY traditional Celtic folk music on this list?! There were a number of GREAT traditional Celtic folk albums that came out this year. You people must be really closed minded and/or hate Irish people not to give the genre it’s due.

  30. I’m pissed.

  31. I think you all need a hug.

  32. 1. Strange Mercy


  34. Middle Brother

  35. file:///C:/Users/User1/Downloads/balok.gif

  36. [img]file:///C:/Users/User1/Downloads/balok.gif[/img]

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