With 2011 wrapped up, I feel obligated to write some end-of-the-year recaps. I wish I could do a post about my favorite albums of 2011, but with my weird tastes, I haven’t listened to much that came out last year. In fact, I only bought one album actually released in 2011. So with that, here are the five bands I listened to most in 2011 (according to my Last.fm page).
5. Sherwood – Discovered this band a couple of years ago after Amazon had their album ‘QU’ as a $3.99 album of the day. Listened to just a couple 30-second samples, and fell in love. “You Are” was easily my most-played on the album, and led me to discover what’s now one of my all-time favorite music videos. I went back and collected a lot of their older stuff, none of which disappoints. Still heartbroken that I missed them in Minneapolis, and wish they’d post some new tour dates…
4. Actionslacks – Quite possibly my favorite band of all time, and easily made my top five of the year despite no recent releases. Which brings me to my biggest disappointment of the year: no new ‘Slacks. There have been a number of updates over the last two years regarding a new EP—but nothing has come of it! Hopefully 2012 will finally bring some new tunes. Regardless, these guys’ stuff will always be at the top of my playlists. ‘The Scene’s Out of Sight’—a perfect blend of rock, pop, indie, and even some hints of jazz—was an album that got me through high school and the source of some of the first stuff I ever taught myself to play on guitar.
3. Jimmy Eat World – Probably the band I’ve followed longer than any other, JEW sits high on my most-played list thanks to ‘Invented,’ which was released late last year. Great album, though very similar in style to their previous album ‘Chase This Light.’ I was kind of hoping for a slightly darker and emotional (to be read as emotional, not emo) sound like ‘Futures,’ whose title track will probably be my election-year theme song for the rest of forever.
2. Daft Punk – Not a band (can you call them a band?) that I normally listen to, but the soundtrack to ‘Tron: Legacy’ was one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard. I’m a big soundtrack geek, and always have one going if I need background noise but still need to concentrate on something. So thanks to this album, Daft Punk gets the number two spot on my list. And the movie was pretty awesome too, even if the ending makes no sense. I mean, Jeff Bridges and new guy go in, new guy and Olivia Wilde come out. So the guy’s totally gonna hook up with a chick made out of his dad’s particles, right?
1. Foo Fighters – ‘Wasting Light’ was the only new album I bought this year, and it’s awesomeness was probably the reason I didn’t need anything else and definitely the reason Foo takes the top spot. I hesitate to call ‘Wasting Light’ their best album yet, since their sound has evolved so much and it’s hard to say anything is better than ‘The Colour and the Shape.’ But this one definitely perfects their hard-rock sound, and is maybe the only one I can listen to from beginning to end without skipping one here and there or picking and choosing a song based on my mood. And this album offers more proof that great bands will put out some of their best material even after a studio forces a ‘greatest hits’ album (see R.E.M., Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, etc.)