The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

We’re in the middle of the year and so we thought we’d take a look back at the best albums released in 2011 thus far. Starting with Friendly Fires - ‘Pala’. NME said: “'Pala' offers the sort of agreeable nonsense every good summer needs.” Album review. 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi - ‘Rome’. NME said: “Hopefully listeners will fall in love with this entrancing and gorgeously out-of-step album.” Album review.8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

TV On The Radio - ‘Nine Types Of Light’. NME said: “Nine Types…’ will make those who over-contexualise TVOTR finally quit their chin-stroking and live a little. This really is the most fun you can have without laughing.” 8/10.Buy this album.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Tune-yArDs – ‘Whokill’. NME said: “’Whokill’ is an eddying, rhythmic record stirred by joy, compassion and fury. Garbus is both intelligible and joyfully righteous.” Album review. 8/10.Buy this album.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Battles - 'Gloss Drop'. Bracing slices of kinetic hyped up joy, sans Tyondai Braxton. Pre-order this album.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Black Lips – ‘Arabian Mountain’. We had a first listen to the album and said: “It’s immediately obvious how sweet a sector of the Venn diagram between Ronson’s walnut-grain faux-retro warm sheen and the Lips’ skuzzy, shambolic charms we’ve landed in.” First Listen. Pre-order this album.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Bon Iver – ‘Bon Iver’. We had a first listen to the album and said: “The ambient, jazz-lite aspects of Bon Iver’s new sound won’t be to everyone’s tastes but there’s a gentle beauty to the whole thing”. First Listen. Pre-order this album.

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Added: 20 Apr 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Radiohead - ‘King Of Limbs’. NME said: “It’s also bracingly avant-garde in places, with rhythms seemingly designed to throw you off balance.” Album review.7/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 14 Feb 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

The Kills - ‘Blood Pressures’. NME said: “You might say The Kills making another really good ‘The Kills’ album might serve a drastically greater purpose for the two players than it will for anyone who actually buys ‘Blood Pressures’. Album review. 7/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

EMA – ‘Past Life Martyred Saints’. NME said: “Her perceptive glare is intense and unrelenting. A new, added tunefulness makes this a much-welcolme Exile In Nihilist-ville” Album review. 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Cat’s Eyes – ‘Cat’s Eyes’. NME said: “Faris deserves for this to become more than just a curio in The Horrors’ catalogue: it’s warm, out-there pop that was worth all the care and attention that has been invested in it.” Album review - 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

The Strokes - ‘Angles’. NME said: “The New Yorkers’ return isn’t the masterpiece we’d hoped for, but wait, it’s still one damn fine album” Album review.7/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 18 Feb 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Smith Westerns – ‘Dye It Blonde’. NME said: “Smith Westerns might not play barre chords, but they’re properly good songwriters – smart kids with mean tunes, sharp minds and great record collections.” Album review - 8/10.Buy this album.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Katy B – ‘On A Mission’. NME said: “Fuck-all pretension or focus-grouped attitudinizing, buckets and buckets of tunes. What more could you possibly want?”. Album review - 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Lady Gaga – ‘Born This Way’. NME said: “What 'Born This Way’ really is, is an exercise is the pushing of everything to its ultimate degree. And for all the black, white and silver it passes that test with flying colours.” Album review. 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 9 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – ‘Diamond Mine’ NME said: “’Diamond Mine’ should be taken as a whole, at night, in the dark, with some Scotch and a blanket.” Album review. 6/10.Buy this album.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Gang Gang Dance – ‘Eye Contact’. NME said: “a piercing glimpse into an imagined Utopia of infinite possibility, as if they’ve focused their years of digital psychedelic jamming into a single beam.” Album review. 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Metronomy – ‘The English Riviera’. NME said: “Joe Mount has transformed his Metronomy project from a jaunty, brilliant, yet ultimately niche electro outfit into one of the most expansive and visionary pop bands in the country.” Album Review. 9/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Kate Bush – ‘Director’s Cut’. NME said: “Her vocals now sound stately, and the impression is of grande dame breathing new life into work as an ingénue.” Album review. 8/10.Buy this album.

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Added: 18 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Alex Turner – ‘Submarine EP’. Arctic Monkey man’s quite lovely soundtrack for Richard Ayoade’s directorial debut. Buy this album.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Austra, ‘Feel It Break’. NME said: “Katie and bandmates delight in glistening arpeggiated coldwave synths that evoke Depeche Mode, even Nine Inch Nails, glimmering like a sashayed sequined cape.”Album review. 7/10.Buy this album.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

John Maus – ‘Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of’. Lo-fi synth pop goodness for the sometime matey of Ariel Pink. Pre-order this album.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

White Denim – ‘D’. The Texan fourpiece’s thrillingly insane fourth album. ‘D’ is for ‘damn good’. Pre-order this album. Listen to a 50 Albums Of The Year So Far as a Spotify playlist.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Destroyer – ‘Kaputt’. Dan Bejar’s most excellent, ninth Destroyer album has a jazzy smoothness to it. Like Leonard Cohen covering Sade’s ‘Diamond Life’. Pre-order the album now.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Cults – ‘Cults’. Debut from the dreamy duo of Madeline and Brian Oblivion, think Summer Camp or a perkier Cat’s Eyes. Pre-order the album now.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

LCD Soundsystem, 'The London Sessions'. NME said: "If this album and tour really were the end of LCD, at least we can say, 'we were there…'" Album review. 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Lykke Li, 'Wounded Rhymes'. NME said: "A calculated effort to set the record straight – a subversive statement of fiery female intent from the last voice you might have expected." Album review. 7/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

James Blake, 'James Blake'. NME said: "The man is quite simply a mystery wrapped inside an enigma, wrapped inside a giant metaphysical Kinder Egg of befuddlement." Album review. 6/10.Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Gorillaz, 'The Fall'. NME said: "It’s immediately clear this is a profoundly different beast to the previous three albums." Album review. 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 18 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Noah & The Whale, 'Last Night On Earth'. NME said: "They’ve made a sincere, unironic record about how great life can be if you want it to be." Album review. 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Wild Beasts, 'Smother'. This one's out on May 9th, but NME got the first listen: "It will take a few more listens...but we can tell already that when it swims into focus, it's going to be a beauty." Album review. Pre-order this album now.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Mogwai, 'Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will'. NME said: "Mogwai have recorded some of their finest songs since ‘Mr Beast’." Album review. 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Suuns, 'Zeroes QC'. NME said: "Half-dirge rock, half-glitchy electronica, split 50/50 and pushed full throttle." Album review. 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

The Naked And Famous, 'Passive Me, Aggressive You'. NME said: "A classic case of ugly and beautiful: TN&F’s passive melodicism and aggressive innovation clash in a dazzling blaze of psych/sonic fireworks." Album review. 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Yuck, 'Yuck'. NME said: "Further proof that you don’t have to be pushing things forward to be out in front." Album review. 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

The Streets, 'Computers And Blues.' NME said: "But topping those untouchable classics was never going to be easy. Still, it’s nice to know that, true to form, if Skinner’s shutting up shop, he’s not mugging his punters off." Album review. 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

The Vaccines, 'What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?'. NME said: "It’s indie rock, and The Vaccines do it better than any young British band has done in years." Album review. 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Beady Eye, 'Different Gear, Still Speeding'. NME said: "In taking on the tough task of establishing themselves as more than ‘Oasis Without The Decent Songwriter’, Beady Eye have succeeded with some aplomb." Album review. 7/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Diddy - Dirty Money, 'Last Train To Paris'. NME said: "Diddy proves a generous curator, laying on blockbuster exhibits and atmospheric slow jamz alike." Album review. 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Esben And The Witch, 'Violet Cries'. NME said: "There’s a far richer and more refined set of treats on display here than any of the band’s contemporaries could rustle up." Album review. 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Frankie & The Heartstrings, 'Hunger'. NME said: "‘Hunger’ will, like all great albums, undoubtedly polarise opinions, but take Frankie to your hearts and it’ll swallow you whole." Album review. 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Anna Calvi, 'Anna Calvi'. NME said: "Thrilling and chilling in equal measure, this self-titled collection of 10 songs is perhaps the first great record of 2011." Album review. 9/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Glasvegas, 'Euphoric /// Heartbreak \\\'. It's not out until April 4th, but we can promise you it's a definite contender. Read James Allan's track-by-track guide to the album, and Pre-order it now.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Elbow, 'Build A Rocket Boys!'. NME said: "Elbow have retained their crowns as everyman kings." Album review. 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Iron & Wine, 'Kiss Each Other Clean'. NME said: "But there’s a pop-funk hand at work here, fused with acrid jazz, and furious energy, which makes ‘Kiss Each Other Clean’ a surprising and majestic triumph." Album review. 9/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

The Joy Formidable, 'The Big Roar'. NME said: "The kind of epic-yet-intimate debut that does exactly what its title makes out in the most tactful of styles." Album review. 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Bright Eyes, 'The People's Key'. NME said: "It boldly goes where no wobble-voiced, therapy-scarred Nebraskan psych-poet has gone before." Album review. 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

Kurt Vile, 'Smoke Ring For My Halo'. NME said: "The overall impression is of gloomy landscape paintings with a spooky, residual feeling that God might be hiding behind every cloud or passing tumbleweed — electrifying." Album review. 8/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

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The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

PJ Harvey, 'Let England Shake'. NME said: "A record that ventures deep into the heart of darkness of war itself and its resonance throughout England’s past, present and future." Album review. 10/10. Buy this album.

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Added: 25 Mar 2011

Photo: Emilie Bailey/NME

The 50 best albums of 2011 so far

The Horrors – ‘Skying’. They move from from ‘Primary Colours’ shoegazing to baggy, full of gentle surprises.

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Added: 26 May 2011

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