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Impact’s Top Albums of 2011

Top Albums of 2011

5. The Smith Westerns – ‘Dye it Blonde’

In a quiet year for guitar music, this little gem shone brighter than most. Indebted to glam-rock greats like T. Rex and Suede, the album boasts catchy hooks, quality riffs and is practically bursting at the seams with wide-eyed romanticism and youthful exuberance.


4. Jay-Z & Kanye West – ‘Watch the Throne’

With two massive personalities at the helm, there was a danger of this album collapsing under the weight of their egos. However, the result was instantly likeable hip-hop, catchy floor fillers, and confirmation of Kanye and Jay as the kings of the hip-hop world.


3. Chase and Status – ‘No More Idols’

The biggest names in dub-step more than excelled themselves on this one, combining a plethora of influences from hip-hop to rock, but always falling back on huge drops and wobbles to provide us with an album that explodes with energy and excitement.


2. Bombay Bicycle Club – ‘A Different Kind of Fix’

This record from the now not-so-young things of the indie world is bursting with catchy and eclectic slices of song writing excellence. This album certainly has to be one of the soundtracks of the summer and must be recognised as one of the best of the year.


1. Bon Iver – ‘Bon Iver’

This hugely imaginative piece of music is centred around lead singer Justin Vernon’s connections with places around the world, and the record is nothing short of an escapist’s paradise.  Once more, the assortment of instrumental backing combines majestically with Vernon’s heart-wrenching voice to provide us with what must be regarded as a modern day classic.


Hotly Tipped For 2012

5. Dillon Francis

With questions about the longevity of dub-step firmly on the lips of the masses, the search for something new and fresh in the world of beats and bass may be answered by Dillon Francis. Indeed with the popularity of Moombahton steadily rising upwards, Francis is sure to be a big player in 2012.


4. Vondelpark

Straight out of the streets of Surrey, Vondelpark offer a concoction of hip-hop laced with smooth vocals and ingenious beats. Despite their very low profile on the self-promoting front, the sheer quality of their first two EPs means this trio are becoming more and more recognised as a band to watch out for, and an act who are tapping into a new and exciting sound.


3. Dom

The next big things on the East Coast indie front, Dom are sure to recreate their growing American fan base in the UK in the not-so-distant future. Just like MGMT and The Drums before them, they have managed to create accessible indie dance floor fillers, and 2012 promises to see their catchy riffs and choruses broken out up and down the country.


2. Azealia Banks

The new starlet of the hip-hop industry, Azealia Banks brings an insatiably addictive sound that is about to explode on the Internet. Shockingly, she is currently unsigned, but with tunes such as ‘212’ under her belt, Azealia is primed and ready to make huge waves in 2012.


1. Frank Ocean

Over the past few years, there have been few more exciting acts than Frank Ocean, and with his effortlessly sleek charisma and his dark and powerful voice he is on course for legendary levels of fame and glory in the coming twelve months. At times, he is the ultimate soundtrack to the dark hours of the early morning, while at others he is delivers the catchiest hip-hop hooks since the glory days of the 90s. Either way, Frank Ocean is set to take 2012 by storm.


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4 Comments on this post.
  • David
    16 February 2012 at 21:24
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    Two of my own albums of the year kinda disagree a bit with the ‘quiet year for guitar music’ statement to some extent:

    Joe Bonamassa – ‘Dust Bowl’, which sees another step forward for the blues guitarist, who somehow manages to both stick to his strengths and yet still be explorative in his playing at the same time.

    Terrorvision – ‘Super Delux’, a triumphant return for the 90s Britpop/Rock band. Just as fun as they always were, not counting the slight wobble before they originally called it a day.

    But my own top album of the year was…

    Steven Wilson – ‘Grace for Drowning’, which continues the ongoing excellence that he has found with his prior solo work, and that with the various bands he is involved with. Very moody and atmospheric, in the very best of ways.

  • Ben McCabe
    18 February 2012 at 08:36
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    @David – I’d agree, I think guitar music hasn’t died in the way most critics claim it has – just not sold as many records/received as much hype as most years. I’d also throw Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds into the mix for top album of the year – personally felt it was as good as much of Oasis’ best stuff.

  • SarahDawood
    20 February 2012 at 21:26
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    Pretty sterling list but what about Radiohead’s King of Limbs?! Also Florence’s Ceremonials…I feel that there were just too many good albums created in 2011.

  • Robert Smith
    8 April 2012 at 10:49
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    Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto
    Radiohead – King Of Limbs
    REM – Collapse Into Now

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