by / December 19th, 2011 /

Top Story: State’s Albums of 2011: 30-21

Welcome back to our countdown of 2011’s best albums, voted for by various State writers and photographers. Today we have a couple of debuts, a couple of legends stretching their wings and a couple of the year’s most impressive Irish releases. More tomorrow.

Albums of 2011: 75-51 | 50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1

30. GrouploveNever Trust A Happy Song

“Grouplove concentrate on making happy music for happy people. It’s certainly not rocket science but an approach that many try but few pull off so spectacularly well as this. Faultless so far, this is one band you can put your trust in.” Review

29. White DenimD

“Pin a genre on White Denim at your peril. Even from their heavy, blues-based garage rock beginnings they were on a level above a lot of heavy three chord lo-fi music. They hide astounding musicianship in simple sounding songs and have developed this to a point of genius.” Review

28. The Joy FormidableThe Big Roar

“Enormous, celebratory tunes without the cold, generally dull, precision of Muse.” Review

27. BeirutRip Tide

The Rip Tide will certainly widen Beirut’s audience. As is often the case with broadening appeal, there’s an element of dilution – in this case, a more restrained approach to orchestration but this measured approach is easily afforded coming from such a rich heritage, resulting in august and distinguished arrangements.” Review

26. The AntlersBurst Apart

“Like a sugar sculpture on a meringue.” Review

25. JapeOcean Of Frequency

“It’s an album which remains loyal to Jape’s core values, striking the perfect balance by firmly holding on tightly to the old, but embracing the new with evident conviction.”Review

24. We Cut CornersToday I Realised I Could Walk Home Backwards

“A marvelously noisy, melodic statement of intent.” Album stream

23. BjorkBiophila

“More than just a music-box biology lesson, Biophilia successfully marries technology and nature. Like her subject matter, Björk is perpetually evolving with audacious innovation.” Review

22. Gil Scott Heron & Jamie xx We’re New Here

“The entire album is somewhat summed up in final track ‘I’ll Take Care Of You’. Combining the power and soul of Scott-Heron’s vocals with the rhythmic ingenuity of his young collaborator, its hand claps and keys give way to a distinctly-XX guitar line. It has everything going for it, bringing together all the aspects of its creators into one beautiful four-and-a-half-minute package.” Review

21. Lykke LiWounded Rhymes

“If your life doesn’t feel immeasurably better after the first minute you might want to seek a defibrillator.” Review