And last/least, we have my list – Grizzly. You know me well, because I’m the one who didn’t have a real job for most of the year and spent time blogging, reviewing and bullshitting on/with/near weworemasks. And now that I have a job, I’ll be doing the same, like a boss. Regardless, I’m sure many of you are quite familiar with the shit that I post, but I’ve compiled lists for my favorite albums, EPs, mixtapes and TV shows (and the honorable mentions for each). Everything else can be found in this bulk of awesome mess below. Love all yall. Looking forward to 2012.
[ Previous Year-End Lists: Panda's Year-End Lists | Sunbear's Year-End Lists | Top Memes of 2011 | The LOST Songs of 2011 | 2011 weworemasks.com Reader's Poll | Top Sports Moments of 2011 | Best Music Videos of 2011 | Top 10 Live Shows of 2011 | Top 10 Disappointing Albums | Top 10 Worst Lil Wayne Lyrics ]
30. Charles Bradley – No Time for Dreaming
29. MuteMath - Odd Soul
28. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
27. Bayside - Killing Time
26. Black Keys, The – El Camino
25. Phonte - Charity Starts at Home
24. Big Sean – Finally Famous
23. Weeknd, The – Thursday
22. Dan Andriano and the Emergency Room – Hurricane Season
21. Dangerous Summer, The – War Paint
20. Mayer Hawthorne – How Do You Do
19. Raphael Saadiq – Stone Rollin’
18. Roots, The – undun.
17. Childish Gambino – Camp
16. Thrice - Major/Minor
15. Theophilus London – Timez Are Weird These Days
14. Big K.R.I.T. – Returnof4eva
13. I Am The Avalanche – Avalanche United
12. Terius Nash – 1977
11. Dustin Cavazos – Be.Leave.Me.
10. City and Colour – Little Hell
Dallas Green came back with an even heartier band than he had on Bring Me Your Love and keeps the songwriting finesse and competence in tact. This guy’s got one of the most comforting voices around, and I sure as hell needed it this year.
9. Throne, The – Watch the Throne
I’m gonna go with Panda’s reason: “Because fuck you, that’s why.” HUNH.
8. Common - The Dreamer, The Believer
I know this album came out late, but since its leak, I’ve barely listened to much else. Since the more soulful leanings of Be and Finding Forever are among my personal favorites from Common, I’m thankful for No I.D. production and the cohesiveness of this whole project. There aren’t many rappers putting out albums that are cohesive in sound and influence. And this would probably be a bit higher had I had more time with it.
7. Moving Mountains – Waves
They had my AOTY in 2007, EPOTY in 2008 and are back in my top ten in 2011. Sure, they trimmed the “fat” and signed to a label that eventually led them to write more concise songs without the usage of the Appleseed Cast-esque instrumentals, but they managed to put out an emotionally potent album in Waves, and one of the year’s best.
6. Kendrick Lamar – Section.80
Kendrick Lamar isn’t destined for any sort of mainstream success – so I’ll be quite surprised if he starts selling out Amphitheaters anytime soon. Word of mouth and huge tours helped propel this verbose emcee into the hearts of many, but a meticulous, fluid, unique and impressive record in Section.80 helped put him in my Top Ten.
5. Weeknd, The – House of Balloons
The only reason Echoes of Silence didn’t show up on my list is because it dropped so late. It’s hard to grasp the fact that a single artist dropped THREE quality albums for free within a year’s span. House of Balloons is favored due to the initial impact this album left on a good portion of the internet that reads a music blog. And the fact that it’s an excellent album.
4. J. Cole – Cole World: The Sideline Story
While I was off trying to make my life work for me, this album really helped me with the “on the rise” mentality. I know it sounds ultra-sentimental and lame, but outside of all of that, Jermaine dropped a fantastic debut album – perhaps the best of all of his peers. How? Nearly full creative control. Most of the production was done by himself, minimal features and a lot of emotionally invested rapping.
3. Horrible Crowes, The – Elsie
Brian Fallon did what all of us wanted him to do. Strip down the rock and roll and use his voice for more soulful pop numbers. Elsie found him and Ian Perkins crafting a sound that’s suitable for all seasons, much like Gaslight Anthem, just to the tune of a different guitar that’s just as tattooed, sad and awesome.
2. letlive. – Fake History [Reissue]
I know this album technically came out last year, but as a reissue that came out in April with three extra songs, it counts. I mean, I liked this album last year, but it really clicked for me this year and one day, I just couldn’t stop listening. These guys have written about everything I’ve had personal battles with. Love, religion, friendship, politics, so on and so forth. This record is incredibly raw and passionate, and Fake History is the first heavy record I’ve loved from top to bottom in years.
1. Drake - Take Care
Please don’t stop reading weworemasks because of this! And while it’s not that surprising, Take Care found Drake in his stride. He’s soft – but it works. He makes songs for everyone and it’s quite timeless as far as hip-hop is concerned. To be honest, I feel like I’d really have to defend my decision here, but I’ll gladly ride with Jimmy Brooks while he lives out his career, as long as he’s putting out a caliber of music like some of the songs found on Take Care.
10. Glassjaw - Our Color Green
9. hasHBrown - Relationshit [DOWNLOAD]
8. Tanya Morgan – You and What Army [DOWNLOAD]
7. Air Dubai - Day Escape [STREAM]
6. Jesse Boykins III – Way of a Wayfarer [STREAM]
5. Crosses - Crosses [DOWNLOAD]
4. Childish Gambino – EP [DOWNLOAD]
3. Dustin Cavazos – Stay Gold [DOWNLOAD]
2. Theophilus London – Lover’s Holiday
1. Glassjaw - Coloring Book
10. Jazz Cartier – Losing Elizabeth [DOWNLOAD]
9. Freddie Gibbs – Cold Day in Hell [DOWNLOAD]
8. Lewis - HOMME [DOWNLOAD]
7. Currensy - Covert Coup [DOWNLOAD]
6. Hollywood Floss – One Fan at a Time [DOWNLOAD]
5. Trebles and Blues – The Blue Note [DOWNLOAD]
4. Stuyvesants, The – The Finer Things Vol. I & II [DOWNLOAD]
3. A$AP Rocky – LiveLoveA$AP [DOWNLOAD]
2. Pusha T – The Fear of God [DOWNLOAD]
1. Frank Ocean – nostalgia, ultra. [DOWNLOAD]
15. Perfect Couples
I’m sorry this is on my list – a huge guilty pleasure with a great ensemble cast of D-listers. Shame it got canceled, but I’m not surprised.
14. Modern Family
It hasn’t been the most exciting season, nor has it been living up to the Emmy Awards, but it’s still pretty awesome.
13. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
A few too many sloppy episodes this season keeps it lower than expected. Fat Mac was pivotal in keeping it afloat…
Idris Elba as the lead on an hour-long BBC drama? Sold.
11. Bored to Death
Ted Dansen/George is easily one of my favorite characters on TV. I’m fairly upset there won’t be more episodes, but I’m hoping for a George Christopher spin-off.
10. How to Make it in America
A promising series at worst – but we’ll never know what could’ve been. The music was great, the girls were hot and the show was stylish, and that’s that.
9. The League
I can’t thank this show enough for its quotables, namely from Ruxin and his brolo cuñado, Rafi.
8. How I Met Your Mother
This show’s pulled one too many heart strings of mine. And after a terrible season five, this show’s rebounded in a fantastic way and hasn’t turned back. I’m not even in a rush to find out who the Mother is now.
Definitely a huge sleeper this year. Hopefully by it getting renewed, more people will latch on to the greatness that was Wilfred. Seeing Elijah Wood shine in a more introspective, darker role again was good.
6. Happy Endings
Speaking of sleepers, I am guilty for sleeping on Happy Endings. Good thing I have a lot of downtime that allowed me to catch up to this show. Definitely a bright spot in a shitty, endless lineup of ABC comedies.
Louie C.K. is the most versatile comedian out there, and this black-humored series is a good representation of all the great things about him. It took the successful run of the first season and made it even better. I mean, he went to Afghanistan!
4. Parks & Recreation
My vote for best comedic trifecta on a TV show goes to Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari and Chris Pratt. And hell, the rest of the cast are not far behind.
The main reason I have this ranked higher than Parks & Rec (contrary to everyone else’s lists) is because of how blackballed it is. The network is pulling the show in January in lieu of 30 Rock and bringing it back as the bridge between the spring/summer seasons, which sucks. Do your part and watch the damn show so we can get the fourth season, as Harmon planned.
Homeland was recommended to me by several and I didn’t finish the thriller disappointed in the least. In fact, it’s filled the void of neo-conservative political action shows that 24 has left, with more violence, nudity and language to satisfy any premium network appetite. So many Emmys are to be won here.
1. Breaking Bad
If you haven’t watched Breaking Bad, I totally understand. However, if you have seen it and have it ranked anywhere outside of #1, you’re emphatically dead to me and shouldn’t be allowed to watch television. Gus Fring – greatest villain ever? A resounding yes from me.
Adele - 21
Bon Iver – Bon Iver
Chuck Ragan – Covering Ground
Dangerous Summer, The – An Acoustic Performance of Reach for the Sun
Jack Freeman – Lynnie’s World
James Blake – James Blake
Kevin Devine – Between The Concrete and Clouds
Knux, The – Eraser
Lonely Island, The – Turtleneck & Chain
Manchester Orchesta – Simple Math
Nikki Jean - Pennies in a Jar
O Brother – Garden Window
Panic! at the Disco – Vices & Virtues
Portugal. The Man – In the Mountain in the Cloud
Pusha T – The Fear of God II: Let Us Pray
Saves the Day – Daybreak
Shabazz Palaces – Black Up
Taking Back Sunday – Taking Back Sunday
Tidal Arms – The Sun Exploding
Wale - Ambition
Danny Brown - XXX
Elzhi - Elmatic
Mateo - Love & Stadiums
Cocaine 80s – Ghost Lady
Lee-Lonn – I Am the Pre-Lonn
Roy English – FearLove
Top TV Shows:
Worst TV Shows:
The Walking Dead
That’s all for the 2011 lists, folks. Hope you liked em. Questions? Comments? Hate? Love? Hit the comments for that, and in the meantime, lurk me all day: