by / December 15th, 2011 /

Top Story: State’s Albums of 2011: 50-41

After yesterday’s preliminary list, it’s down to the serious business of our top 50 albums of the year – as voted for by our writers and photographers. As you’ll see over the countdown, it’s as eclectic a list as ever and one that draws on albums from across the musical spectrum. Join us tomorrow for the second installment.


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


50. Anna CalviAnna Calvi

“Anna Calvi is the sound of a buzzing, pink neon sign on a sultry summers night, flickering outside your open window and casting candy-hued lines across your prone, murdered corpse. It’s the sounds of screeching tyres making a break for it through a blackened lane. The rumble of a tryst in an old lift, in an empty hotel. It’s the sounds of sex and death, perhaps happening simultaneously.”. Review


49. Adele21

“As a songwriter, Adele’s ability to convey matters of the heart is astounding – the passion and raw emotion which she evidently pours into her work is as brave as it is beautiful…” Review


48. Ed Sheeran+

“When he cuts loose, Ed Sheeran deserves all he has achieved and more.” Review


47. Nicolas JaarSpace Is Only Noise

With resounding samples, vocal trickery and considered drum patterns, Nicolas Jaar uses space and echoes to create atmosphere. There’s a submerged aquatic quality to this record, one that is too propulsive to be down-tempo yet too slo-mo to dance too. Playing off hip-hop, dubstep, deep-house and IDM, Space Is Only Noise is post all those things. Jaar is the future. (Alan Reilly)


46. The FieldLooping State Of Mind

“When scoring the soundtrack to The Remains Of The Day, composer Richard Robbins was inspired by the daily tasks of the staff in Darlington Hall and captured a beauty and comfort in repetition. As The Field, Alex Wilner’s inspiration is broader. Looping State of Mind expands beyond a tunnelled view of life and with that Wilner’s usual ambient techno stylings have formed textured organics and ultimately, real soul.” (Alan Reilly)


45. The HorrorsSkying

” Although it’s hard to imagine The Horrors ever selling out stadiums, these songs are built to fill massive venues and massive headphones – anthems for forlorn teenagers with fringes blurring their view.” Review


44. RadioheadThe King Of Limbs

“It deserves to be well loved. It’s a living, breathing, wholly organic record, abundantly complex and tenaciously committed to its blueprint. It will never be their most popular release, but when it comes to Radiohead, that’s not necessarily such a bad thing”. Review


43. Lady GagaBorn This Way

Born This Way is the battle of wills between the spirited Gaga who just wants to dance, fight and drink and the newly-formed Mother Monster who wishes to impart wisdom to the masses. It’s an odd mix that has its myriad of highs and horrendous lows”. Review


42. The Middle EastI Want That You Are Happy

“Bleak can be beautiful.” Review


41. EMAPast Life Martyred Saints

“The carnage is not without a sprig of comfort…one still has the feeling that one could be witnessing the emergence of a major artist”. Review