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Tuesday, 20 December 2011 16:20

Joe Duepner's top 10 albums of 2011 (occupy opinionated variety edition)

Joe Duepner's top 10 albums of 2011 (occupy opinionated variety edition)
Written by Joe Duepner
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Below is my personal list of top 10 favorite albums of 2011 -- and a couple of bonus lists as well.

AA Bondy - "Believers"

If you haven't heard the way Bondy layers guitars and vocals on this album you need to give it a try. One of the greatest albums of honest longing since Elliott Smith's "Either/Or."


Colin Stetson - "New History Warfare Vol. 2, Judges"

A little abstract and too far out there -- exactly how I like instrumental albums.


DeVotchKa - "100 Lovers"

DeVotchKa have yet to make a wrong turn. People talk about mediocre bands like Arcade Fire as if they're the some sort of leaders of the new. If you want to hear what new melodies and harmonies really sound like, try sleeping with "100 Lovers."


Fleet Foxes - "Helplessness Blues"

I have not been able to stop listening to this album no matter how hard I try. It accents summer, it flows through fall, and I haven't had the chance yet but I bet it fits winter too.


Justice - "Audio, Video, Disco"

Prog rock with a taste for electro or vice versa. Either way this is right up my 2011 alley.


Japanther - "Beets, Limes and Rice"

Japanther could put out a record with a member of Crass muttering some incoherent spoken word about starving kids in Africa and I'd certify it gold. Oh wait, they did do that.


Mates of State - "Mountaintops"

There's nothing more beautiful than two people laying all they have out on the table and then having sex on said table right? Well, maybe three people. This album though, like every Mates of State album, is the dialog of two and is top notch.


Moon Hooch - "The Moon Hooch Album"

Moon Hooch's sound perfectly encapsulates where many people first encountered them: a subway stop in NYC. Give these two saxophones and drummer a listen next time you're sitting in traffic, if you're the kind of person that has to go through that sort of thing.


Roger Alan Wade - "Too Fat to Fly"

Some albums are over produced. Some albums are under produced. Then there are those that feel like the performer just sat down in front of you with their guitar and played their heart out in one take, errors and all. This is one of those kind of albums.


Tom Waits - "Bad as Me"

"How is it that the only ones responsible for making this mess / got their sorry asses stapled to a goddamn desk?" Occupy that album.


Top 10 Albums I'm Glad Didn't Get Released

  1. Guns and Roses - Just give it up Axl, please.
  2. Dr. Dre's "Detox" - Just like "Chinese Democracy" some things are so legendary they should just never come out because they're bound to disappoint.
  3. Madonna - Does anyone really want to hear Madonna's attempt at dubstep? Really, you need to hear what it would sound like for Madonna to participate in a Martian orgy? I sure don't.
  4. Grizzly Bear - I don't think I've ever heard another band that employs so many instruments to make nothing. Seriously guys, just do nothing to make nothing, it's better all around.
  5. Black Eyed Peas - A Christmas Album - It goes without saying I don't want a new Black Eyed Peas album ever, but can you imagine hearing Fergie yelp about getting retarded around a Christmas tree. What about her lovely egg nogg lumps? Christ, no mas.
  6. Aerosmith - Rumor has it there will be yet another album pulled out of that cavern Steven Tyler calls a mouth. Fifty-year-old guys with earrings that upload videos of themselves playing Guitar Hero are stoked.
  7. U2 - They sure have gotten a lot of mileage out of 'one' song. Talented artists are allowed some creative leeway and I'll look the other way -- here's looking at you Lou Reed -- but don't just do the same thing over and over and over.
  8. Bon Jovi - They're like zombies. They just keep recording records and someone should just put them and us out of the misery. Twitter tried and failed.
  9. KISS - Just when you think it's all over, there's nothing left to merchandise, KISS will come out with a new album accompanied by a KISS homemade lobotomy kit. The irony, the irony.
  10. Phish - No one wants to hear a verse or chorus, they just want the bridge ... endless pointless bridges to nowhere.

Top 10 Albums That Shouldn't Have Been Released

  1. Dropkick Murphys - "Going out in Style" - Please do.
  2. Hugh Laurie - "Let Them Talk" - Yes, this is Hugh Laurie from House doing his take on the stylings of New Orleans jazz. I listened to it so you don't have to. It's nowhere near as good as the Joe Pesci album of years back: "Vincent LaGuardia Gambini Sings Just for You."
  3. Vanilla Ice - "WTF" -- just like Dropkick, it's in the title.
  4. Whitesnake - "Forevermore" - Wait, they're still a band?
  5. Limp Bizkit - "Gold Cobra" - Wait, they're also still a band?
  6. Red Hot Chili Peppers - "I'm With You" - When someone who is so addicted to heroin that they can't tell the difference from night and day quits your band you should too.
  7. Chickenfoot - "Chickenfoot III" - Obviously one and two weren't enough for this world.
  8. Nickelback - "Here and Now" - Here's how you can determine if the band you're in sucks … the litmus test for popular bands so to speak. Have you been asked to do an event for the NFL? If the answer is yes, then you are a watered-down version of bottled water: so bland only someone with no taste can like you.
  9. Jay Z and Kanye West - "Watch the Throne" - Stop looking in the mirror and just make out already.
  10. Journey - "Eclipse" - This is the 14th Journey album. I defy you to name 14 Journey songs.

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