PJ Harvey's "The Last Living Rose," from "Let England Shake."
Here are links to some opinions of the best (or favorite) music of 2011, many of which include streaming songs from the artists:
- Paste's 50 best albums of 2011 (#1: "Bon Iver" by Bon Iver)
- The Sound Opinions top picks of 2011, with separate lists from hosts Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis. (Kot's #1 album: Wild Flag's self-titled debut album; DeRogatis had "Sin Sin Sin" by Le Butcherettes in the top spot)
- NME's 50 best albums of the year (link is to top 10; #1: "Let England Shake: by PJ Harvey)
- Pitchfork's top 50 albums (link is to top 10; #1: "Bon Iver" by Bon Iver)
- NPR Music's top 50 albums (list presented in alphabetical order, for some reason. They also have an equally baffling version, two letters of the alphabet at a time, with audio clips)
- WFUV's best of 2011, staff picks and listener picks (listeners' #1 album: "The King is Dead" by The Decemberists)
- Ken Tucker (of Entertainment Weekly and NPR's "Fresh Air") top 9 albums (#1: "Hot Sauce Committee, Part Two" by the Beastie Boys)
- The No Depression community's 50 favorite albums (Americana/roots music) (#1: "The Harrow and the Harvest" by Gillian Welch)
- Fellow music blogger Ben at I Have 19 Voices: his best songs, albums, and gigs of 2011 (#1 album: "Go Tell Fire to the Mountain" by WU LYF)
- List by music blogger Will of We All Want Someone to Shout For, with 31 best albums of the year (#1: "The Year of Hibernation" by Youth Lagoon)
As usual, I love poring over these year-end lists not because I care about the scorekeeping of who made it onto the most lists, but because they're valuable for discovering new albums and artists that I may have overlooked.
OK, those are the opinions of some music critics, fans, and bloggers. What are your favorites?