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Jonathan Bautts

Written by: Jonathan Bautts (12/02/11)
2011 was an amazing year for music, likely the strongest in recent memory. There were so many solid releases it was nearly impossible to soak everything in, and it certainly helped that none of the heavy hitters put out anything outright disappointing. That said, it was also the first year where I didn't have a clear cut number one, instead ending with four albums I all fell in love with about equally. Foo Fighters was my top pick for most of the year, and I guess by default they would be number one since nothing else surpassed it in my mind and 2011 was the year of the Foo, what with the big documentary and all. There is no other band better at real mainstream rock 'n roll right now. Blink, on the other hand, made the biggest impression on me more so than anything else, probably because it was such a welcome surprise at how legit a record it was. However, there were some things I took issue with as well, like the production and the lazy songwriting in the bridges, that kept it from being the clear-cut winner. Coldplay was a slight letdown coming off in my opinion what has been their pinnacle achievement to date, but they still turned in a great pop album with some massive cuts. And, of course, Thrice was as consistently outstanding as they've always been. So without further adieu, here are my top picks of the year, which like every year will undoubtedly continue to fluctuate in the months ahead.

ALBUMS

01(a). Blink-182 – Neighborhoods
01(b). Coldplay – Mylo Zyloto
01(c). Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
01(d). Thrice – Major/Minor
05. Switchfoot – Dark Horses
06. Jack’s Mannequin – People And Things
07. Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials
08. Augustana – Augustana
09. Death Cab For Cutie – Codes And Keys
10. MUTEMATH – Odd Soul
11. Mat Kearney – Young Love
12. New Found Glory – Radiosurgery
13. Yellowcard – When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes
14. City And Colour – Little Hell
15. Arctic Monkeys – Suck It And See
16. Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math
17. Bayside – Killing Time
18. Cold War Kids – Mine Is Yours
19. The Black Keys – El Camino
20. Sims – Bad Time Zoo
21. Taking Back Sunday – Taking Back Sunday
22. Chevelle – Hats Off To The Bull
23. Eisley – The Valley
24. Thursday – No Devoluciσn
25. Childish Gambino – Camp
26. Adele – 21
27. Kanye West & Jay-Z – Watch The Throne
28. Incubus – If Not Now, When?
29. The Horrible Crowes – Elsie
30. Panic! At The Disco – Vices & Virtues
31. Patrick Stump – Soul Punk
32. Rise Against – Endgame
33. Needtobreathe – The Reckoning
34. Kevin Devine – Between The Concrete & Clouds
35. Blindside – With Shivering Hearts We Wait
36. Jonathan Jones – Community Group
37. Run Kid Run – Patterns
38. The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar
39. Foster The People – Torches
40. Saves The Day – Daybreak
41. Angels & Airwaves – Love: Part II
42. States – Room To Run
43. The Lonely Forest – Arrows
44. Peter Bjorn And John – Gimme Some
45. Mastodon – The Hunter
46. Doomtree – No Kings
47. The Swellers – Good For Me
48. Four Year Strong – In Some Way, Shape, Or Form
49. Wilco – The Whole Love
50. The Dangerous Summer – War Paint

HONORABLE MENTION
Bright Eyes – The People’s Key
Cage The Elephant – Thank You Happy Birthday
Deas Vail – Deas Vail
The Decemberists – The King Is Dead
Elbow – Build A Rocket Boys!
Emery – We Do What We Want
Every Avenue – Bad Habits
Explosions In The Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
Lupe Fiasco – Lasers
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
Dia Frampton – Red
Peter Gabriel – New Blood
The Get Up Kids – There Are Rules
Go Radio – Lucky Street
Gym Class Heroes – Papercut Chronicles II
Hard-Fi – Killer Sounds
Talib Kweli – Gutter Rainbows
Mansions – Dig Up The Dead
Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi – Rome
Moving Mountains – Waves
My Morning Jacket – Circuital
Parachute – The Way It Was
Radiohead – The King Of Limbs
Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You
Relient K – Is For Karaoke
Rihanna – Talk That Talk
The Roots – Undun
Sainthood Reps – Monoculture
Seether – Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray
The Script – Science & Faith
Social Distortion – Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes
St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
Sum 41 – Screaming Bloody Murder
Maria Taylor – Overlook
This Time Next Year – Drop Out Of Life
Trust Company – Dreaming In Black And White
Butch Walker And The Black Widows – The Spade
Denison Witmer – The Ones Who Wait
The Wonder Years – Suburbia I’ve Given You All And Now I’m Nothing

EPs
01. Cartel – In Stereo
02. Zack Hemsey – Mind Heist
03. Holiday Parade – False Alarms
04. Mae – (E)vening
05. Lovedrug – EP: Part III
06. The Graduate – Every Other Time/Sea Legs
07. Childish Gambino – EP
08. Sims – Wildlife
09. You Can’t Explain Logic – No More Waiting
10. Broken Bells – Marilyn Fields
11. Patrick Stump – Truant Wave
12. Silversun Pickups – Seasick

HONORABLE MENTION
Bad Meets Evil – Hell: The Sequel
Brighten – I’ll Always Be Around
Charlotte Sometimes – The Wait
††† – EP †
Glassjaw – Our Color Green (The Singles)
Greek Fire – Deus Ex Machina
Metallica – Beyond Magnetic
The Republic Of Wolves – The Cartographer
The Republic Tigers – No Land’s Man
Alex Turner – Submarine

MUSIC VIDEOS
Sara Bareilles – Gonna Get Over You
Biting Elbows – The Stampede
Childish Gambino – Bonfire
Coldplay – Paradise
Foo Fighters – Walk
Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math
OK Go – All Is Not Lost
Panic! At The Disco – Ready To Go

MOST HYPED ALBUMS I NEVER UNDERSTOOD

Bon Iver – Bon Iver, Bon Iver
Drake – Take Care

MOST OVERLOOKED ALBUM
Run Kid Run – Patterns

MOST DISAPPOINTING ALBUM
Radiohead – The King Of Limbs

WORST ALBUM
Lou Reed & Metallica – Lulu

NEW ARTIST
Childish Gambino
The Horrible Crowes
The Joy Formidable

FAVORITE LYRICS
Dustin Kensrue (Thrice)
Jon Foreman (Switchfoot)

SADDEST HIATUS/BREAKUP
Thrice
Thursday

HAPPIEST REUNION

A Perfect Circle
Soundgarden
System Of A Down

FILMS
01. Win Win
02. Super 8
03. 50/50
04. The Descendants
05. Captain America: The First Avenger
06. Drive
07. The Adventures Of Tintin
08. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
09. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part II
10. Rango
11. Hugo
12. The Guard
13. X-Men: First Class
14. Source Code
15. Attack The Block
16. Foo Fighters: Back And Forth
17. Moneyball
18. Elite Squad: The Enemy Within
19. Warrior
20. Shame
21. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
22. Contagion
23. The Adjustment Bureau
24. Fast Five
25. Fright Night
26. Thor
27. The Artist
28. The Ides Of March
29. Young Adult
30. Martha Marcy May Marlene
31. Bridesmaids
32. The Lincoln Lawyer
33. Crazy, Stupid, Love.

HONORABLE MENTION
13 Assassins
Cowboys & Aliens
Everything Must Go
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
The Help
Horrible Bosses
Insidious
The Muppets
Rampart
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
Transformers: Dark Of The Moon

TV
01. Breaking Bad
02. Parks & Recreation
03. Community
04. Louie
05. The Daily Show
06. How I Met Your Mother
07. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
08. Happy Endings
09. The Colbert Report
10. Up All Night

HONORABLE MENTION
30 Rock
Falling Skies
The League
Modern Family
Wilfred
 
Displaying posts 1 - 8 of 8
10:53 AM on 12/27/11
#2
Jack Appleby
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Well Mr. Bautts, we have similar taste. I had Foos and Thrice tied for first as well.
01:48 PM on 12/27/11
#3
cubsml34
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Thank you for the Foo love.
04:03 PM on 12/27/11
#4
phaynes1
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Love the honorable mentions for albums and EPs. And you know what's up with movies and shows. Win Win is my movie of the year. Only thing I don't really agree with are some of the top albums.
12:07 AM on 12/28/11
#5
trojanick
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Yes on Win Win. So great.

Nice to see Gym Class Heroes, Dia Frampton, and Deas Vail get some love. Haven't seen them on too many lists.

How was the Hard-Fi album? I've searched for it everywhere, but can't find it streaming and am not quite ready to pay the $17 it costs on Amazon. I loved the first album but only a couple songs off Once Upon A Time In The West.
05:31 PM on 12/28/11
#6
Jonathan Bautts
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Yes on Win Win. So great.

Nice to see Gym Class Heroes, Dia Frampton, and Deas Vail get some love. Haven't seen them on too many lists.

How was the Hard-Fi album? I've searched for it everywhere, but can't find it streaming and am not quite ready to pay the $17 it costs on Amazon. I loved the first album but only a couple songs off Once Upon A Time In The West.
It obviously wasn't as good as Stars of CCTV but I think it's a little better than their last one. You can get it for about 10 bucks on the Amazon Marketplace.
09:29 PM on 12/29/11
#7
1993mic
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Totally agree with Thrice being one of the number 1 albums. Great list! Oh, and you listed Greek Fire - Deus Ex Machina in the honorable mentions for EPs, but Deus Ex Machina is considered as their debut album, even though there is only 8 songs. So it should be in the honorable mentions for albums ;)
10:15 AM on 01/08/12
#8
rawspinner
Fight the Cancer
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Yes on most overlooked.
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