My favorite albums of 2011 so far: Adele, Foo Fighters and a few surprises
With the first half of 2011 officially in our rear view mirror as of yesterday, here’s a look at the albums released in the previous six months that were my favorites. Are they the “best?” Who’s to say. All I'll say is they’re the ones I’ve found myself repeatedly drawn to this year.
Adele, “21”: Really, what more is there to be said. Just give her the Grammy for album of the year already. Soaring vocals and searing lyrics even if the whole album was just “Rolling in the Deep” over and over again it would get our vote.
The Decemberists, “The King is Dead.” After laying it on thick with the excellent “Hazards of Love,” Colin Meloy and friends dialed it back. Less ambition is not always a bad thing, especially when it results in something so catchy as “Down by the Water.”
Foo Fighters, “Wasting Light”: Fifteen years in, the Foos score their first No. 1 album and they’re just as fierce, focused and passionate as the day they began. Rock with heart and soul and just the right amount of thrashy abandon.
The Head and The Heart, “The Head and the Heart”: Originally self-released, this Seattle band's debut was picked up for wider distribution this April by Sub Pop. It’s lovely, lilting pop that just skirts preciousness. “You’re already home once you feel love.”
The Low Anthem, “Smart Flesh”: Atmospheric folk rock that haunts and hypnotizes through the quartet’s fearless use of whatever instrument is nearby. There are at least two dozen played on this set, including some you’re never heard of.
Pitbull, “Planet Pit”: The party album of the year for the song “Pause” alone. Don’t bring your head, just your feet. If you don’t want to dance to it, it’s the workout album of the year too.
Paul Simon, “So Beautiful or So What”: One of America’s greatest songwriters roars back with his best album in ages. Who else (except perhaps Randy Newman) could go from the biting commentary of “The Afterlife” to the sheer vulnerability of “Love and Hard Times.”
Eddie Vedder, “Ukulele Songs”: Sometimes albums are meant to whisper, not scream and yet they have just as much impact. Vedder’s gruff voice nestled against the inherently sweet ukulele is all you need to bring down your blood pressure and breathe.
What are your favorites so far?
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
Let Streaming Genie help you.