A look back at some of 2011′s best albums
So 2011 is over and we’re already in 2012! Here are some of Django Shelton‘s favourite albums of the year…
Bombay Bicycle Club kick off the list with their third studio album “A Different Kind of Fix”. Following the acoustic recordings used in their previous album “Flaws”, the band returns to electric guitars and recordings, producing a different and more upbeat sound. The album swings from being mellow and subtle, while becoming more up tempo on lead single “Shuffle”. A great summer song, “Shuffle” is sure to get you in a good mood in the depths of winter. On the whole the album maintains a relaxed feeling, as is to be expected from Bombay Bicycle Club, while the recognisable bass lines and riffs are back in a big way. A stunning album from start to finish.
“Distraction Pieces” – Scroobius Pip
Going solo for this album, the sheer genius of his lyrics are plain to see. Every line is carefully placed and thought out, flowing effortlessly into each other, it’s as close as you can get to musical poetry. References from Cain and Abel to North Korea are laced throughout, but he never pauses to admire a great line, hurrying on to the next one before you’ve had a chance to realise what just happened. Its utterly enthralling to listen to, and needs to be heard over and over again. Its simple in the extreme, yet still manages to create one hell of an atmosphere. Oh, and the whole thing is even better live.
“Audio, Video, Disco” – Justice
The long awaited second album from French electronica heavyweights Justice. This album sees the duo go in a slightly different direction, with a cleaner and more precise sound than their first album. It’s still great dance music, and really shows just how talented these two are. The single “Civilization” came out of nowhere and grabbed everyones attention. The hype surrounding the new album after this was massive, and it really lived up to it. Civilization is a great track, relentless and really fun to listen to, its just what everybody wanted from Justice.
“We’re New Here” – Gil Scott-Heron/Jamie XX
The late Gil Scott-Heron released his last album, “I’m New Here”, in 2010. Jamie XX, the electronic direction behind the fantastic XX and a great producer in his own right, took the album and remixed the entire thing, creating “We’re New Here”. The combination of Gil Scott-Heron’s distinctive voice and the new brand of music Jamie XX creates (something close to post-dubstep, but better) is an amazing combination. The result is a sound like nothing else, that you can easily lose yourself in. “I’ll Take Care of You” is my highlight of the album, epitomising everything both artists are about. The entire album is of the same quality, so I really could have picked any track.
SBTRKT is the pseudonym of London based producer Aaron Jerome, who creates this astounding collection of music. Emerging from the new wave of post-dubstep producers, this album is a cut above the rest. The production quality on these tracks is fantastic, and makes the whole thing so easy to listen to. What really sets this album apart however, is some of the fantastic vocals provided by the likes of Sampha and and Little Dragon. It shows everyone else how electronic music in general should be done.
“Goblin” – Tyler, The Creator
Goblin, the second album from the controversial leader of OFWGKTA is an enigma. Don’t dismiss it straight away because its incredibly vulgar and aggressive, give it a chance. While it is probably offensive to just about everyone, it really does have some good messages and ideas scattered throughout. Not to mention Tyler, The Creator is a fantastic writer. This album really is a grower.
“Watch Me Dance” – Toddla T
This album from Toddla T is hard to define. It doesn’t fit into any particular genre, taking elements of various genres such as dance, reggae and electronica, combining them into a unique sound. Watch Me Dance is an eclectic mix of sounds, each song being unique. In the simplest terms, its fun, exciting, and lovely to listen to. Take It Back is a great piece of dance music, with some fantastic vocals.