Oh boy, 2011 has been a problematic year as far as choosing favourite albums was concerned. There seemed to be two themes to the year, for me. The first was that there was a lot of good music but very little great music. The traditional autumn surge of brilliant albums never really materialized and plenty were slightly disappointing, or impenetrable, or both (such as Björk
’s effort). The second theme was an increasing tendency for retro sounds. Apart from a handful of electronic albums that weren’t actually good enough to be in my favourites, there was little music that didn’t strongly reference a previous musical period. This is not a criticism; retro influences can produce brilliant music, and many of the albums in my top 10 did this, but it does make picking out the innovative a difficult task. M83
, in particular, took imitation to the limits and all three just managed to steer clear of pastiche.