Published on December 27th, 2011 | by Ryan0
Staff Picks: Ryan’s Best of 2011
Favorite Records of 2011
1. Bomb the Music Industry! – Vacation
2. Bright Eyes – The People’s Key
While Oberst’s songwriting and lyrics may have lost some of their rawness and intensity over the years, they have also evolved and grown. An incredibly interesting and listenable record throughout. (SMS Review)
3. The World Inferno/Friendship Society – The Anarchy and the Ecstasy
Ragtime! Punk! Ska! Jazz! Antiestablishmentarianism! Everything you could want from a WIFS record, plus some legitimately pretty songs as well.
4. Angels & Airwaves – Love Part Two
5. The Mountain Goats – All Eternals Deck
Of course it’s great. (SMS Review)
6. Saves the Day – Daybreak
7. Okkervil River – I Am Very Far
Typically great songwriting and some of the most ambitious production the band has ever had.
8. Andrew Jackson Jihad – Knife Man
Funny, sad, offensive, raw, and honest rock. Oh, and kazoos.
9. Toh Kay — Streetlight Lullabies
Yeah, it’s just” an album of acoustic versions of Streetlight Manifesto songs, but the format really gives the lyrics and pretty damn impressive guitar work a chance to shine through in these tracks.
10. VA – Muppets: The Green Album
The Weezer/Hayley Williams version of Rainbow Connection” and the Alkaline Trio cover of Movin’ Right Along are the highlights to me, but the whole album (even the Amy Lee song!) is pretty solid.
Best Video Game Soundtrack of the Year:
Shadows of the Damned
When you get composer Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill series) to do a soundtrack for a game from Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil) and Suda 51 (No More Heroes, Killer 7), it’s obviously going to be something special. From haunting and beautiful piano melodies to pounding and thrashing industrial rock, this soundtrack has everything that makes a Silent Hill soundtrack great, but somehow sounds completely different.
Favorite EPs of 2011 (This list is short, like EPs)
2. Cobra Skulls – Bringing the War Home
3. Less Than Jake – Greetings From Less Than Jake (SMS Review)
Album I may have really liked but couldn’t bring myself to purchase due to its uncomfortable title:
Arctic Monkeys – Suck it and See
Record that would be considered a guilty pleasure if I had even an elementary understanding of the concept of shame:
Patrick Stump – Soul Punk
Best New Discovery:
The Wild – Set Ourselves Free (2010)
Favorite Songs of the Year:
Oh, I get so embarrassed when my voice pops out and it’s not like in my head. If I got a new vocal coach and I could hit the notes, you’d fall in love again…”
I know you’ve tried so hard to package joy. You try so hard to sell us things that are already ours, like the bones in my ears, like the air in my lungs, which whistle songs so carefree..”
Any expression of love is a way to return to that place that I think of so often but I never mention. The one the voice in the back of my head says that I don’t deserve…”
A day she spends the night and I can hear her sighing. As she’s almost asleep on one side, I lie back on my pillow and ask what her husband is like…”
Keep the heart of a champion. Never let them see you’re weak. And whatever they say on your page three mention, focus on the parts that make you feel good. Be grateful for the attention…”
If I see a penny on the ground, I leave it alone or fucking flip it. I’m a straight white male in America, I’ve got all the luck I need…”
A bit like love and heroin…”
We’re lost, we’re torn, we praise, we scorn, we’re stuck and we’ll stay the same…”
Best Worst Song of the Year:
Shut the fuck up, get up.”
Favorite Video Game of the Year:
A colorful and challenging game with brilliant classic Nintendo design that permeates everything from the level designs to the character animations. Super Mario 3D Land is pure blue sky platforming joy and represents (to me) everything video games should be.