Andrew Osborne’s Best of 2011: Music

As always, my finger is far from the pulse of modern music, but the following albums and songs made up much of my soundtrack this past year…

Bad As Me (Tom Waits) – A new Tom Waits album is always an event, and the hard-charging title track “Chicago” has been rampaging through my head ever since I first heard it.

50 Words For Snow (Kate Bush) – A new Kate Bush album?  Also a big deal (though, admittedly, less of a big deal than Aerial).  Still, a nice combination of eerie & tranquil to get me through the winter.

The King Is Dead (The Decemberists) – There aren’t too many bands I trust enough to buy whole albums from these days, but the folk-goth of Colin Meloy and company hasn’t failed me yet (heck, I even dug 2009’s much despised Hazards of Love)!

Ceremonials (Florence + The Machine) – Not as spooky or distinctive as Flo’s debut, but still…the popularity of her operatic neo-Siouxsie sound gives me hope for the future of music.

21 (Adele) – And speaking of big, booming voices…Adele’s album is a hair too adult contemporary for me to fully embrace in its entirety, but “Rolling in the Deep” and “Rumour Has It” are kick-ass songs by any standard, and it’s great to see pop fame conferred on someone who actually deserves it.

Photo of Eric Jacobson

I Remember (Eric Jacobson) – Another fine song collection from the lovely, talented and hook-tastic Mr. Jacobson (especially “Sheila”).

Divine Providence (Deer Tick) – I first heard this rowdy house party of a band blasting at Newbury Comics a few weeks ago, but it already feels like their drinking anthem “Let’s All Go To The Bar” has been one of my favorite songs since college.

“Video Games” & “Blue Jeans” (Lana Del Rey) – When Julee Cruise wraps up her set at the Twin Peaks Roadhouse, this whiskey voiced chanteuse takes over.  In other words, I’m very glad my friend Tim hepped me to Ms. Del Rey, and I can’t wait for her full album to come out!  Here’s to 2012…

…but first, a fond farewell to my two official 2011 theme songs…


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