Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 Countdown - #15

There are only a few weeks left of the year before that magical (let’s act like it’s magical and not always a large fail of a night) evening when we dress up, toast to the last twelve months and count down to midnight while shimmering confetti flies through the air and our fresh slate is at our fingertips.

Therefore, I figured it’s only natural that we take this time to celebrate the fabulous year of music behind us. Now, of course the next few weeks will tick through what I considered to be exemplary 2011 tunes and may not reflect every critic's opinion – but if you’re reading, I can only hope you are a little curious what my choices are. By all means, leave comments telling me what albums really stood out to you – I’m excited to hear!

Shall we get moving? The sooner we get  moving, the sooner we get down to the final hours! Here are two goodies to start the two week count:

Gary Clarke Jr. – The Bright Lights EP: Coined the “Best Young Gun” in rock by Rolling Stone in April 2011, this scorching bluesman absolutely deserves the title as the newest kid on the block – taking the spot of other guitar-savvy soulsters like Lenny Kravitz and John Mayer. This old school sounding EP, as well as the fact he’s been compared to Stevie Ray Vaughan and has a day named after him in Austin, Texas, are all items that prove he’s an artist to watch blossom. Highlight songs: "Bright Lights" and "Don’t Owe You A Thing".

The Decemberists – The King is Dead: The band’s most folk-laden whack at Americana turned out sublimely listenable, more so than I ever would have expected after some of their quirkier indie albums that featured rambling 8 minute anthems and goofy narrative. Lead Colin Meloy’s rustic twang, fluttering guitar strings and countryside instrument experimentation give this organic sound a Fleet Foxes or Neil Young picturesque perfection. Highlight songs: "Don’t Carry It All", "June Hymns", and "Down By The Water".

...More to come!

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