by / December 16th, 2011 /

Top Story: State’s Albums of 2011: 40-31

Day two of the end of year countdown, as voted for by the great and the good of the State team. This next five bring you two hip-hop giants rubbing shoulders with a UK folk band, a couple of Irish names from opposite ends of the spectrum and a range of North American alternative sounds. Have a good weekend and we’ll return with the next installment on Monday.

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

40. Bombay Bicycle ClubA Different Kind Of Fix

“A bit of folk here, a touch of dreamy guitar there, some jaunty piano on single ‘Shuffle’. Crucially never does it sound forced or second guessed, Bombay Bicycle Club do genuinely seem to be this eclectic and inventive by nature. Having dabbled over the course of two albums, this sees them throw themselves into the approach with abandon. For a band of such tender years to even attempt it is remarkable, that they succeed so admirably is amazing.”. Review

39. And So I Watch You From AfarGangs

“Gangs contains all the elements which made their self-titled debut album such an enthralling listen. Every one of the eight songs is arranged in an incredibly compelling manner, fusing together numerous ideas and rhythm changes to create 44 minutes of unpredictable discord, but at no point does the album feel disjointed or patched together. The intricacies of the four musicians on the album ensure that it has an incredibly solid foundation from which to build –and build they do.” Review

38. Real EstateDays

“Glowing in an autumnal jangle, Days is a breezy guitar record drenched in a golden sun. In a record where simpler times and retrospect shine, Real Estate have crafted an album that may be indebted to the past but is also an essential soundtrack to now.”

37. New LookNew Look

“A nuptially bound synth pop pair from Hamilton, Canada, contrary to their high street namesake, there’s nothing cheap and disposable about this couple. They don’t follow trends but work with sophisticated stylistics and their debut LP is a pitch perfect testament.”

36. FeistMetals

“If you’re picking up this album and thinking “Wow, Feist. I loved that iTunes ad!” you might wanna reconsider your purchase.” Review

35. Jay Z & Kanye WestWatch The Throne

“If sweet brother Kanye and sweet brother Jay-Z can knock out an album like this in their spare time, clinking Cristal glasses and high-fiving each other, their hip-hop throne is safe for now.”Review

34. BattlesGloss Drop

“The sound of calm pulsating electronics is broken by interjecting blips guiding a melody to a crescendo of noise.” Review

33. Lisa HanniganPassenger

“It may not deviate drastically from the roots laid down by Sea Sew – but Passenger is bigger and braver than its predecessor, and an advance of Hannigan’s talents in every way – a triumph, which shows her now firmly removed from the shadow of Damien Rice, and basking in a dazzling spotlight all of her own.” Review

32. The Unthanks Last

“Their approach to contemporary music can take almost any song they choose and extract the sad beauty.” Review

31. Twin SisterIn Heaven

In Heaven leaves an impression of a Tarantino’s indie-band wet dream with a nod to the John Hughes-esque energy of youth. These songs could soundtrack many an indie high school drama and still leave when the bell rings looking cool. ”