Sunday, January 01, 2012

Best (or Favorite) Music of 2011: A Roundup of the Critics' Picks

What was the best music to come out in 2011? Such lists are all over the Internet and print media this time of year, so I thought I'd present a look at some of the opinions from some major music critics and journalists, as well as music fans who I follow. (Note: I've never really done a list of top 10 or so best or favorite songs/albums/artists of the year, because it's always been too hard to narrow them down to such a small number, and to quantify what makes one album or band with a certain sound "better" than another with a different sound or approach.)

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:
Besides hearing songs from many of the artists at some of the links above, the hosts of Sound Opinion have put up their annual mixtape podcast, which features some of their favorite new songs from 2011. The podcast has excerpts of the songs, but you can stream full versions from the shownotes page.

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?

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