Making a Top 10 list is hard. Not busting-up-concrete kind of hard, but in an instant-remorse kind of hard. It never fails —the minute it’s unchangeable and I’m locked in, I inevitably remember something that I wish I’d put on the list or a great new album comes out after my deadline (for me, that was Anthony Hamilton’s “Back To Love”). Then other top 10 lists make me realize how many albums I was unable to give a full and fair listen to in their totality, even when I liked the individual tracks I heard. Among the albums in that category this year are Wild Flag’s self-titled set, Cut Copy’s “Zonoscope,” The Weeknd’s “House of Balloons” and tUnE-yArDs’ “whokill.”
In addition to serving as reminders, best-of lists also provide the opportunity for music discovery. I get great pleasure out of looking at other people’s lists and learning about albums that I didn’t have time to get to at all. Among the albums that I spent no time with this year that are showing up with some regularity on other lists and I have now earmarked for future listening include Fucked Up’s “David Comes To Life,” Shabazz Palace’s “Black Up,” and Toro y Moi’s “Underneath The Pine” (despite the album cover that creeps me out).
So with all that said, bear in mind that these are my favorite albums that I listened to in 2011. I make absolutely no claim that they are the best albums of 2011, and I know for sure that my selection at No. 10 made no other lists. Plus it sounds totally different from everything else that comes after it in my Top 10. These were the albums that I found myself returning to over and over again whether I needed a pick-me-up, a good workout on the treadmill or just a musical companion during my journey.
My colleague Katie Hasty has already posted her video of her top 10 singles (and 40 more that she liked) and it's chock-full of great stuff. I’ll post a text list of my top 10 singles over the next few days.
So watch the video, tell me what I got wrong while admiring HitFix's own Alex Dorn’s great editing work. Then tell me what you liked this year that I missed.
If you don't want to watch the video, here's the list.
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
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
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
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
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
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
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