as much as i have thought it to be a cop out in the past…i’m not sure the concept of the whole album or cd release really worked in 2011. not for me anyway. yeah there were a few nice things released & among those some truly great moments. a couple tracks on the new Mattson2 were absolute knockouts & there was a lovely ep by Emilie Proulx. i liked the Kurt Vile quite alot. mostly i scoured the new stuff for tracks here & there that i could sink my teeth into. many of the most satisfying cuts came from the New Afro, Jazz, Funk, Soul, camp… The Expressions, Adrian Younge, Les Freres Smith, Karl Hector, Heliocentrics, Echocentrics, Ikebe Shakedown, Menahan Street Band, Imperial Tiger Orchestra, etc. (& naysayers can’t dismiss this stuff as Sun Ra rehash this time). there was even one great cut on the Black Keys cd…“Sister”. i couldn’t really pick out entire cds that thrilled but some of the coolest music yet was found in here.
in the end i don’t really know half of the crap i do love. i download it, i listen to it, i decide whether or not to keep it, i put it on a compilation, & i dig it. & that’s just the new stuff. as cool as the new music can be i find it very gratifying to stumble upon killer tracks like “Night of the Long Grass” by The Troggs or “On The Horizon” by The Syndicats & then “Like it Is” by Yusef Lateef comes along & for seven & a half minutes nothing else matters. sure downloads have drawbacks & purists will poo poop this approach. i never would find these gems without spending countless hours pouring over all this information though. granted it would be more fun in a record store but that is a thing of the past (if ever) where i live. all in all i can’t really say if 2011 was a good year in music or not. i’m thinking it’s irrelevant. i have a lot of cool shit to listen to anyway.