Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Best of 2011 - Top 25 Albums (#25 - #16)

This list pretty much speaks for itself, I believe. These are the Top 25 Albums of the year according to myself at Keep Pop Loud. It's a personal opinion, but you knew that already. I'm happy to accept all bile in the comments section.

If you like this list feel free to check out the other End of Year coverage such as the Top Five Gigs, Top Five Compilations, Top Five EPs, and the Track of the Year.


#25) Guillemots – Walk The River (Geffen)
Lengthy shoegaze textured numbers may not have proven to be Guillemots most commercially viable move, but it pulled the band back from the slick territory of Red and gave them a real shot at the long term. With less additional instrumentation than we're used to, Guillemots created huge walls of sound without losing any pop nous that earned them the love and affection they deserve. A rewarding listen.
Key Track: 'I Don't Feel Amazing Now'
Read the review

#24) H Bird – Operation: Fascination (Corporate Records)
Glitter and glamour made Operation: Fascination the sort of surprise record that KPL started up to promote all of those years ago. By mining a pop niche that's completely unoccupied at the moment H Bird found their way onto regular rotation and deserving of infinitely more press than I've been able to provide. Classy and catchy.
Key Track: 'Violet'
Read the review

#23) The Lovely Eggs – Cob Dominos (Cherryade)
Cob Dominos was somehow the album to take The Lovely Eggs from underground curios to indiepop institution. Brilliantly bonkers and completely unique. When they write a song that's over two minutes long you can guarantee it'll make you want to jump around like a lunatic. Plus they swear like sailors.
Key Track: 'Don't Look At Me (I Don't Like It)'
Read the review

#22) Art Brut – Brilliant! Tragic! (Cooking Vinyl)
Four albums in and Art Brut actually evolved in a tangible way. It was to no detriment. Although Eddie does something that more closely resembles singing on side 1, Brilliant! Tragic! was at it's core a disc of shout along numbers. With subject matter taking in rock icons, space travel, off-shore principalities and being sexy it's worth mentioning that absolutely nobody else does this.
Key Track: 'Axl Rose'
Read the review

#21) The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar (Atlantic)
Although perhaps cursed with mainstream over-compression nothing could hide the strength of the songs that The Joy Formidable have got together for this debut. The best moments from A Balloon Called Moaning were present and beefed up with newer tracks adding in an extra dimension. Still, it feels more like the start of something than the peak....
Key Track: 'Cradle'
Read the review

#20) Mazes – A Thousand Heys (Fat Cat)
Although eclipsed by more famous acts mining the same early '90s territory, slacker-popsters Mazes made a real name for themselves with a solid debut of fuzzy, snappy little tunes. Hummable from the off A Thousand Heys should, by rights, be the album you're all seeing on end of year lists and going out to buy.
Key Track: 'Most Days'

#19) Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler – This Is Christmas (Infectious)
This Is Christmas really had no right to be as good as it is. A brilliant and eclectic collection of festive songs that hasn't been out of the KPL Office stereo all December. From the Ash-like rockers to subtle retro-pop there's a huge heart at the centre and no cloying naffness.
Key Track: 'Home For The Holidays'
Review coming soon

#18) Noah And The Whale –Last Night On Earth (Universal)
Not content with sitting still after masterpiece First Days Of Spring Charlie Fink got his band together and manage to weld Big American Rock to British synth-pop )and the sort of folk that Noah and the Whale made their name with) into one big chart-dominating whole. How they did this I couldn't tell you, but there's really not a duff track.
Key Track: 'Tonight's The Kind Of Night'
Read the review

#17) Slow Club – Paradise (Moshi Moshi)
We need to stop being surprised by bands evolving well beyond expectations. Moving from their ramshackle roots Slow Club broke through and created some of the most subtle and refined alt. pop that I've ever come across. It's proof that Rebecca is a massive pop star waiting to break out and that pop duos need not be refined to electro stuff.
For a bonus, pick up the 2CD edition where ex-Arab Strap men Malcolm Middleton and Aidan Moffat reunite to cover album highlight 'Two Cousins'
Key Track: 'Two Cousins'
Read the review

#16) Frankie & The Heartstrings – Hunger (Pop Sex Ltd./Wichita Recordings)
For any discerning indie-rock fan it wasn't The Vaccines that took 2011 with a cracking debut, but rather the North East's very own pop saviours Frankie & The Heartstrings. With hints of Dexys, The Futureheads and Orange Juice Hunger was a debut that popped and fizzed all over the shop. The only 2011 buzz band left standing from what I can see.
Key Track: 'Don't Look Surprised'
Read the review

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