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Best Albums Of The Year 2011 - The Critics' Lists

By Tim Chester

Posted on 28 Nov 11


Scroll down for NME's Albums Of 2011 plus all the other critics' lists and to offer your own choices.

Received that dreaded email last week: "Can you send over your votes for the Albums Of The Year list please".

It comes every year and it never gets any easier and it cues all manner of wrangling, revisiting and reshuffling. NME's Albums Of 2011 are revealed in the magazine next week, and while lining up the year's best releases is always a struggle, it's a good chance to revisit the best the last twelve months has had to offer.

There were astounding efforts from Battles and Vessels, Joker and Justice, promising debuts from Wolf Gang, New Look, The Naked & Famous, Planningtorock, Foster The People, Africa Hitech, and Three Trapped Tigers, and reliably brilliant dispatches from seasoned regulars (Keren Ann, The Field, Portugal The Man, Kate Bush, The Rapture). The Horrors, PJ Harvey, White Denim, Toro Y Moi, Fools Gold and Metronomy all did the honours too.

And of course there was Big Talk.

Near the top of the pile, for me at least, were Death Grips’ endlessly inventive free mixtape, Gang Gang Dance’s predictably surprising latest, and The Antlers’ work of epic beauty.

Download Death Grips' 'Exmilitary':

Other bands and artists that released albums this year include: Kasabian, The Vaccines, Wild Beasts, Arctic Monkeys, Wu Lyf, Katy B, Bombay Bicycle Club, Cat's Eyes, Laura Marling, Yuck, Girls, Friendly Fires, Florence, TVOTR, Bjork, Foo Fighters, Noel Gallagher, Beady Eye and Jay-Z.

So working out the best of the best was as difficult as ever. Let us know your top five albums of the year 2011, and the one record that shone brighter than all others this year.

What were your top five albums of 2011?

Was 2011 a good year for music?

Let’s have it…

This week’s NME magazine (issue date Dec 10th) reveals our Top 50 albums of 2011

NME's Albums And Tracks Of The Year, 1975 - 2010

Vote now for the best album of 2011

NME's Top Ten Albums Of 2011
10 - Wu Lyf, 'Go Tell Fire To The Mountain'
9 - Tune-Ards, 'Whokill'
8 - Katy B, 'On A Mission'
7 - St Vincent, 'Strange Mercy'
6 - Arctic Monkeys, 'Suck It And See'
5 - Kurt Vile, 'Smoke Ring For My Halo'
4 - Wild Beasts, 'Smother'
3 - The Horrors, 'Skying'
2 - Metronomy, 'The English Riviera'
1 - PJ Harvey, 'Let England Shake'

NME's Top 50 Albums Of The Year

Rolling Stone's Top Ten Albums Of 2011
10 - Robbie Robertson, 'How To Become Clairvoyant'
9 - Wild Flag, 'Wild Flag'
8 - Wilco, 'The Whole Love'
7 - The Decemberists, 'The King Is Dead'
6 - Lady Gaga, 'Born This Way'
5 - Radiohead, 'The King Of Limbs'
4 - Fleet Foxes, 'Helplessness Blues'
3 - Paul Simon, 'So Beautiful Or So What'
2 - Jay-Z & Kanye West, "Watch The Throne'
1 - Adele, '21'

Rolling Stone's Top 50 Albums Of The Year

Q Magazine's Top Ten Albums Of 2011
10 - Elbow, 'Build A Rocket Boys'
9 - WU LYF, 'Go Tell Fire To The Mountain'
8 - St. Vincent, 'Strange Mercy'
7 - Arctic Monkeys, 'Suck It And See'
6 - Jay-Z & Kanye West, 'Watch The Throne'
5 - Coldplay, 'Mylo Xyloto'
4 - Bon Iver, 'Bon Iver, Bon Iver'
3 - Adele, '21'
2 - PJ Harvey, 'Let England Shake'
1 - Florence & The Machine, 'Ceremonials'

Uncut's Top Ten Albums Of 2011
10 - The War On Drugs, 'Slave Ambient'
9 - Bon Iver, 'Bon Iver'
8 - Wild Beasts, 'Smother'
7 - Radiohead, 'The King Of Limbs'
6 - The Horrors, 'Skying'
5 - Josh T. Pearson, 'Last Of The Country Gentlemen'
4 - White Denim, 'D'
3 - Metronomy, 'The English Riviera'
2 -Gillian Welch, 'The Harrow & The Harvest'
1 - PJ Harvey, 'Let England Shake'

Uncut's Top 50 Albums Of 2011

Stereogum's Top Ten Albums Of 2011
10 - Jay-Z & Kanye West, 'Watch The Throne'
9 - ASAP Rocky, 'Live Love ASAP'
8 - PJ Harvey, 'Let England Shake'
7 - EMA, 'Past Life Martyred Saints'
6 - Gang Gang Dance, 'Eye Contact'
5 - The Weeknd, 'House Of Balloons'
4 - Fucked Up, 'David Comes To Life'
3 - Bon Iver, 'Bon Iver, Bon Iver'
2 - Drake, 'Take Care'
1 - Girls, 'Father, Son, Holy Ghost'

Stereogum's Top 50 Albums Of The Year

Fact Magazine's Top Ten Albums Of 2011
10 Frank Ocean, 'Nostalgia, Ultra'
9 LV & Josh Idehen, 'Routes'
8 Julianna Barwick, 'The Magic Place'
7 Drake, 'Take Care'
6 James Ferraro, 'Far Side Virtual'
5 Araabmuzik, 'Electronic Dream'
4 Prurient, 'Bermuda Drain'
3 Clams Casino, 'Instrumentals'
2 Rustie, 'Glass Swords'
1 The Weeknd, 'House Of Balloons'

Fact Magazine's Top 50 Albums Of The Year

Who do you think has the best Top Ten?


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