I love music. So I thought I’d give you my top three albums of 2011, with a secret bonus album. I hope you like them, and I’d love to hear your opinion on the best music of the year. Share what you love, so I can discover something new!
The best album of 2011 came out in January. The Decemberists “The King is Dead” is a twangy folk masterpiece, full of jangly guitar, harmonica, and Collin Meloy’s typical hyper-literate lyrical artistry. If you only bought one album this year, you could do a lot worse than this album, and you’d be hard pressed to do any better.
Choosing one song to share is a daunting task, so I’m going to go with the one closest to my heart, rather than trying to figure out which one you might like most. There are faster songs and slower songs, and I love them all, but I love this one especially. Every night, from the age of about 8 months old until she was around 3, I sang Abby to sleep with a song called “The Legionnaire’s Lament” by the Decemberists. Once Katie was old enough to be sung to sleep, a new song was needed. Off of “the King is Dead”, I chose this one:
Parents: Aside from some mature themes, this album is almost completely kid friendly. The only exception is rack 11, “This is Why We Fight” contains the refrain “Come hell”, several times.
Other cool stuff came out too! In the last few months I have been listening to the new Childish Gambino album, “Camp” like crazy. Donald Glover is a writer, and his skill, intelligence and passion come through in this track, especially. The entire album is worth owning if you like rap and if you aren’t offended by swearing and very crude…well come on guys, it’s rap. The song I’m about to link is poignant, and contains swears.
Parents: It’s rap…? So yeah. Unless your kids are old enough to vote, they shouldn’t be listening to this.
King Creosote & Jon Hopkins
Reminiscent of Beirut in tone and mood, this Indie-Pop duo makes some really beautiful, atmospheric music. The album Diamond Mine is worth listening to front to back, for great lyrics and melodies.
Parents: I have no idea. Give it a listen first.
Goat Rodeo Sessions
Yo-Yo Ma, Various Artists
Abby calls this “the string music”. When I need to concentrate at work, or unwind at home, this has been go-to music for several months. It’s not slow, exactly, but it has a calming effect. If you don’t own any Yo-yo Ma, this is a good starting point, though not representative of his larger body of work. This album has strong roots in bluegrass, and a certain undeniable American twang to it. I started with twang and I end with twang, this seems appropriate.
Parents: This album is kid safe, and if your kids like dancing the way mine do, Kid Friendly. It’s commonly requested in my house.
Enjoy, and please share your new finds if you have any!