Best Albums of 2011:
Gary Clark Jr. – “The Bright Lights EP”
I don’t buy a lot of blues/rock music, but after previewing the four songs on this EP, I had to buy it. Such strong songwriting, vocals, and killer guitar work. I can’t wait until he releases a full length record. Standout tracks: ‘Bright Lights’ & ‘Things are Changin’.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – self titled
I’ve been waiting for a solo record from Noel for years and he doesn’t disappoint with his post-Oasis work. This album has such a big sound without sounding excessive. No question you can hear Oasis in these songs, but it is definitely not just another Oasis record. Noel sounds refreshed and he takes numerous new directions with his arranging. Standout tracks: ‘Everybody’s on the Run’ & ‘AKA…What a Life!’
Foo Fighters – “Wasting Light”
Their first and second albums are two of my favorite albums of all time, but over the last few years I usually like just 1-3 songs off each record, thankfully that’s all over. This is a great straightforward rock record. With Pat Smear back in the band, Butch Vig behind the board, and a guest appearance by Krist Novoselic how could you not have a great record? Standout tracks: ‘White Limo’ & ‘I Should Have Known”.
The Kills – “Blood Pressures”
Without question this is my favorite album from 2011. A few years ago I stumbled across The Kills and now I just can’t get enough of this band. There are only two people in the band, but they sound so full and are in no way a White Stripes copy cat. This band has a completely different sound and is full of soul and power. Alison Mosshart’s vocals sound so genuine and weathered and Jamie Hince is definitely one of the most creative guitarists in music today. Standout tracks: ‘Satellite’, ‘DNA’, & ‘Baby Says’.
Honorable Mention (songs):
Gungor – “This is Not the End”
Other Lives – “For 12”
Brothers McClurg – “Alive”
Madi Diaz – “Let’s Go”