Top 5 Albums of 2011:
I’m back again this year with my Top 5 Albums of 2011. This year for me has been awesome with two of my favorite bands releasing new albums. I also found a new favorite band in Black Stone Cherry, and Alter Bridge has released a solid album as well. Just to note for you the readers I based this list on albums I bought in 2011. This top list is not to say that these are the best albums of 2011, moreso my best albums of the year. So before we get to the Top 5 I have to make a few mentions. One reason why I’m editing this post is to reflect my choices in The GCRN 2011 Year In Review Podcast. These albums would have made my list a top 6 or 7 list, but seeing as I just found out about one, and forgot about the other, they go in the metions category:
First up is two albums from late 2010:
Alter Bridge- AB III
Granted this album came out November 2010, but I didn’t hear it until January 2011. And it was not on last years countdown so this counts damnit! Ahh yes Creed with a different singer! That is what a lot of people say about Alter Bridge. While yes the band is made up of three former members of Creed, and they have a different lead singer I have always liked these guys. AB III their third album is by far my favorite. I first found out about this new album by listening to the interview the band did on Rockline Radio. This album is much darker in tone and rock sound. I really like that about it. They do have a few radio friendly tracks like Ghosts Of Days Gone By. AB III is arranged very well, and it’s an album I can listen to front to back. Other tracks I like are All Hope Is Gone, Make It right, Fallout, and Breathe Again. So check Alter Bridge‘s third album out!!!
Sully Erna – Avalon
I’ve loved Godsmack over the years, and not just because they are from my home state of Massachusetts. They are an amazing rock band, and Sully has such vocal range. Avalon is not your average rock record. I don’t even think it can be classified as a rock record. It has more native american and tribal sounds than anything else. It does retain a few rock sounding songs, but I like that it is so different from anything Sully Erna has ever done. A few favorite tracks of mine are: Avalon the title track, Sinner’s Prayer, My Light, The Rise, The Departed, and 7 Years. If you are a fan of Godsmack, you will like this simply for the fact that it’s nothing like a Godsmack album.
Now to get to the album in 2011 that I didn’t even know about until almost New Years Eve.
Bush – The Sea Of Memories
Ahh yes Bush! The band that gave us Sixteen Stone. I must admit with being a Bush fan I’m a cherry picker. Or at least I was back in the day. I don’t think I’ve ever listened to a Bush album cover to cover until 2011. I love all their “make me famous” songs. Stuff like Comedown, Machine Head, Glycerine, Mouth, Swallowed, and The Chemicals Between Us. I knew that the band had broke up after Golden State was released back in 2001, and I knew about the few “Greatest Hits” albums they released between 2002-2011.
However I was truly surprised that on September 13, 2011 The Sea Of Memories was released. Again I hadn’t found out about this until a week after Christmas 2011. Granted the band lineup has changed with the departure of Nigel Pulsford and Dave Parsons, but the addition of Chris Traynor and Corey Britz are welcome. I’ve always said a band can change any aspect of its lineup except the lead singer. At least that’s the way I feel. Bush’s 2011 return is very welcomed, and The Sea Of Memories is an awesome catchy album. Some tracks I’m locing off this are: The Sound Of Winter (which will be featured in NHL ’12), The Afterlife, Baby Come Home, Stand Up, All My Life, and All Night Doctors. The Sea Of Memories is an album I can listen to back to front. There’s just something about this new Busah that has captivated me. Check them out on their website.
So here we go we are gonna start the countdown with a soundtrack!
#5. Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across The 1st and 2nd Dimensions
The Phineas and Ferb phenomenon has hit the world by storm. On August 2, 2011 three days before the DCOM premiered the soundtrack was released. This soundtrack is comprised of both songs from the film and the TV Series. Ban Povenmire, Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, and Danny Jacobs have outdone themselves here. Along with having Slash make an appearance, and all the other performers! My only real complaint is that the exclusive/elusive bonus track version can only be found at wal-mart. I would have preferred if it was an iTunes Bonus Edition. I actually bought this thing twice! Just to get the extra ten tracks! You can see the track listing of the soundtrack here. They really kicked it up a notch on this one!
#4. Daryl Hall – Laughing Down Crying
I’ve been a fan of Hall and Oates my entire life. They are the bestselling duo of all time in my book. Even in their solo projects they succeed and exceed all my expectations. Laughing Down Crying is Daryl’s first solo album in 14 years. Of course when I say that I’m not counting the live albums, and things of that nature. I rediscovered Daryl Hall in 2006 when his webcast Live From Daryl’s House had started. I love watching these monthly webcasts, and that’s where I got a preview of what Laughing Down Crying is all about. Songs I like off this are: Lifetime Of Love, Message To Ya, Problem With You, Talking to You (Is Like Talking to Myself), Eyes For You, and Wrong Side Of History. The entire album is awesome, and I love listening to it. Everyone should check it out and check out Live From Daryl’s House!
#3. Black Stone Cherry- Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Black Stone Cherry is the one band that was brand new to me. I’d heard their name in rock before, but never heard any of their songs until this album. Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea starts off with the rockin song White Trash Millionaire. This song is also the first single from the album. Really what drew me to this band was their second single that I’d heard on Rockline Radio. Blame It On The Boom Boom. This is a very catchy song, and a great rock song as well. Like Alter Bridge’s AB III, this album is another cover to cover listen for me. Other songs I like on the album are In My Blood, Like I Roll, Let Me See You Shake, Can’t You See (A Cover of the same song title by The Marshall Tucker Band), and All I’m Dreamin Of Be sure To check out Black Stone Cherry!!!!!
#2. Theory Of A Deadman- The Truth Is…
I’ve been a fan of these guys since first hearing Invisible Man on The Spider-Man soundtrack in 2002! Theory’s 4th album comes off the heels of the wildly popular and successful Scars & Souvenirs from 2008. The Truth Is… has a lot of “he-man woman haters songs”. Well that’s what most people will say, what most people don’t know is that Tyler Connolly was going through a divorce at the time of writing and recording The Truth Is… Theory Of A Deadman is sometimes a very tongue in cheek rock band. They have great songs and funny ones as well. The Truth Is… kicks off with the rockin tongue in cheek song Lowlife, it’s an awesome story of how we all just wanna be lowlifes sometimes. After that we get Bitch Came Back, yes another tongue in cheek “fun” song. However any rock band that can make the xylophone sound awesome in a rock song has my vote! Other awesome songs on The Truth Is… are Villain, Careless, and Better Or Worse. These are the three bonus tracks on the Special Edition version of the album. A Few months ago I did the Interviews – Theory Of A Deadman’s – Dave Brenner When talking with Dave he told me the song We Were Men was planned for Scars and Souvenirs, but didn’t make the cut. So they worked on the song some more and felt that The Truth Is… was a great place to add it. All in all Theory Of A Deadman’s The Truth Is… is an amazing album, and everyone should check it out. Here’s the bands website.
And now… are you ready? ….. drumroll please………..
#1. Nickelback- Here and Now
Most of the albums I’ve listed this year I’ve stated that they are cover to cover listens for me. Here and now the new Nickelback album is no different. It starts with the heart pounding, all out rock track This Means War. A Very awesome song, the riffs in it are great. The next two songs are Bottoms Up and When We Stand Together. These are the first two singles from the album. While Bottoms Up will surely be a song bartenders will have on repeat, When We Stand Together is a awesome melodic song about bringing people together. I actually do like every song off this new album. There isn’t one that I can’t listen to. Some other favorites are Lullaby, Midnight Queen, Trying Not To Love You, and so many more. I know there are a lot of Nickelback haters out there, but I have been listening to them since 2000. I really enjoy the music that they produce. So check out their website, and give Here and Now a listen.
Well there ya have it! That’s my top 5 albums of 2011. This has been an awesome year for me and enjoying music. A lot of my favorite bands came out with new material, and I love it all. Here’s hoping 2012 will be even more awesome. I do know that the new 12 Stones album Only Human will be released next year. So that is something I’m looking forward to. Keep on Rockin!!!!!!!