My top of 2011

Let’s go quickly. My top 10 (and 2/3) of the year are the following:

  1. Dum Dum Girls - Only In Dreams
  2. The Fresh & Onlys - Play It Strange (released in 2010, but y’know... whatever... this link links to english content by the way)
  3. Real Estate - Days
  4. The Black Keys - El Camino
  5. Acid House Kings - Music Sounds Better with You
  6. Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
  7. Veronica Falls - Veronica Falls
  8. Hanni El Khatib - Will The Guns Come Out
  9. British Sea Power - Valhalla Dancehall
  10. Atlas Sound - Parallax
  11. Maison Neuve - Joan

Special Mentions :

- The "Soledad Brothers" Prize for Best Concert: Pulp (Primavera Sound)
- The "Fredo Corleone" Prize for Biggest Let Down: She & Him
- The "Badly Drawn Boy" Prize for Biggest Let Down In Concert: The La’s
- The "Sheetah & les Weissmuller" Prize for Best Name: Paul Simon
- The "Sonic Youth" Prize for That Group That Everyone Loves But I Don’t Really Get It: Frànçois and the Atlas Moutain
- The "Andrea c’est toi" Prize for Humor in a Song: The Black Keys for their Lonely Boy video
- The "Jean Rochefort" Prize for Veterans that Never Let Down: The Black Keys

The Big Picture

As we did in 2010, here we go for 2011: an integrated analysis of "top 2011 lists" from our favorite music sites of the year!
- Pitchfork: The Bible of American music websites, at the same time covering mainstream and eclectic and unknown, you can find as much new music as you can articles about Bruce Springsteen and Weezer
- Stereogum: Also an American source, a bit more alternative in spirit, but pretty similar to Pitchfork
- I Guess I’m Floating: My favorite US “pre-hype” blog, they have their small network and they often discover really interesting treats
- Les Inrocks: The essential French source
- Magic: An alternative French source that I like more and more
- Bon Pour les Oreilles : A Swiss blog
- Rolling Stone Magazine : Covering mainstream US
- NME : UK site covering mainstream music
- Ground Zero : French record shop
- Gimme Indie Rock : A comic blog from Les Inrocks

I created a point system, attributing points to the groups cited by each site - based on a) the "credibility" of the website (based on my personal judgement, which I realize is completely biased and perhaps, unfair), and b) the ranking of the group.

The verdict

  1. Bon Iver
  2. M83
  3. Girls
  4. Jay-Z & Kanye West
  5. Destroyer
  6. Drake
  7. Real Estate
  8. PJ Harvey
  9. St. Vincent
  10. Fleet Foxes

The analysis

The ranking is much closer than last year, and Bon Iver seemed to be the only clear winner across the various sites. And the victory is merited. I am not a huge fan, but the album is ambitious - and succeeds.

The ranking for Girls was also well-deserved. Real Estate and Fleet Foxes too. PJ Harvey’s presence is probably due to the mass of 40-somethings writing for these music sites. Eh.

For the rest, let’s give a shoutout for M83 (a French band). We would’ve preferred something a bit more rock’n’roll - we’re going to come off again as French-Touchers, but for once, we’re at the top, so I won’t complain. Kanye and Drake are not really my cup of tea, so I won’t dell. As for St. Vincent, I’ve already said what I thought here.

The pleasant surprise comes perhaps from Destroyer, a potential candidate for the 2011 "Deerhunter" prize (re. a band I didn’t know and only discovered in doing this top 2011 analysis).

I’m very disappointed by the Black Keys’ absence from the top 10 list (coming in at #24) and I would like to mention that Metronomy got excellent reviews on the "old continent" (Inrocks, NME, and Magic all ranked Metronomy in their top 3), but the group was completely ignored on the other side of the atlantic. Bizarre...

The complete list

The complete rankings are shared in this Google Doc.

Also, here’s a tag cloud of all the artists evaluated during the analysis. Feel free to play around:

  • A$ap Rocky
  • Action Bronson
  • Adele
  • Air Drops
  • Akron/Family
  • Alabama Shakes
  • Alex Turner
  • Alexi Murdoch
  • Ambassadeurs
  • Anna Aaron
  • Anna Calvi
  • Anthony Joseph & the Spasm Band
  • araabMUZIK
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Atlas Sound
  • Auditorium
  • Austra
  • Azealia Banks
  • Battles
  • Baxter Dury
  • Beastie Boys
  • Beirut
  • Beyonce
  • Bibio
  • Big K.R.I.T.
  • Big Talk
  • Bill Callahan
  • Björk
  • Black Lips
  • Blawan
  • Bombay Bicyle Club
  • Bon Iver
  • Bonnie Prince Billy
  • Britney Spears
  • Burial
  • Cage That Elephant
  • Cass McCombs
  • Cat’s Eyes
  • Caveman
  • Chad vanGaalen
  • Charles Bradley
  • Charli XCX
  • Cities Aviv
  • Clams Casino
  • Cold Cave
  • Coldplay
  • Colin Stetson
  • Connan Mockasin
  • CSLSX
  • Cults
  • Cut Copy
  • Daniel Darc
  • Danny Brown
  • Darkside
  • Das Racist
  • Dawes
  • Death Grips
  • Delaney Davidson
  • Delicate Steve
  • Destroyer
  • dEUS
  • Dirty Beaches
  • DJ Khaled
  • DJ Quik
  • Dodos
  • Drake
  • Dreamers of the Ghetto
  • Ducktails
  • Dum Dum Girls
  • Earth
  • Elbow
  • Eleanor Friedberger
  • EMA
  • Eric Church
  • Esmerine
  • Fauve
  • Feist
  • Fever Ray
  • Fleet Foxes
  • Florence and the Machine
  • Foo Fighters
  • Foster The People
  • Franck Ocean
  • Francois and Atlas Mountain
  • Friendly Fires
  • Fucked Up
  • Gang Gang Dance
  • Gary Clark Jr
  • Generationals
  • Girls
  • Grimes
  • Gruff Rhys
  • Hands
  • Hanni El Khatib
  • Hayes Carll
  • Holy Ghost!
  • Honey For Petzi
  • Iceage
  • Ill Blu
  • Iron & Wine
  • J Mascis
  • Jacques Green
  • Jai Paul
  • James Blake
  • James Vincent McMorrow
  • Jamie XX
  • Jamie XX / Gil Scott Heron
  • Jape
  • Jay-Z & Kanye West
  • Jean-Louis Murat
  • John Maus
  • Jonathan Wilson
  • Jono McCleery
  • Josh T. Pearson
  • Julianna Barwick
  • Junior Boys
  • Justice
  • Kasabian
  • Kate Bush
  • Katerine, Francis et ses peintres
  • Katy B
  • Kelly Rowland
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Killer Mike
  • King Creosote & Jon Hopkins
  • Kreayshawn
  • Kurt Vile
  • Lady Gaga
  • Lana Del Rey
  • Laura Marling
  • League
  • Les frères Souchet
  • Light Vibes
  • Lil Wayne
  • Little Dragon
  • Liturgy
  • Lloyd
  • Low
  • Lucinda Williams
  • Lykke Li
  • M83
  • Maison Neuve
  • Mansfield.TYA
  • Mastodon
  • Mazes
  • Metronomy
  • Michel Cloup (duo)
  • Middle Brother
  • Miles Kane
  • Miossec
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Mogwai
  • Monogold
  • Mood Rings
  • Moon Bounce
  • Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire
  • My Morning Jacket
  • Nas
  • Neon Indian
  • New Animal
  • Nicki Minaj
  • Nicolas Jaar
  • Noah and the Whale
  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
  • Oddisee
  • Okkervil River
  • Oneohtrix Point Never
  • Orelsan
  • Other Lives
  • Otis Heat
  • Panda Bear
  • Patrick Wolf
  • Paul Simon
  • Peaking Lights
  • Pepper Rabbit
  • Peter Björn and John
  • Peter Kernel
  • Pictureplane
  • Piers Faccini
  • Pistol Annies
  • PJ Harvey
  • Planningtorock
  • Purity Ring
  • R.E.M.
  • Radiohead
  • Raphael Saadiq
  • Real Estate
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Rihanna
  • Robbie Robertson
  • Ryan Adams
  • S.C.U.M.
  • Salem
  • Sandro Perri
  • Saskatchewan
  • SBTRKT
  • Sea Pinks
  • Seasick Steve
  • Sepalcure
  • Shabazz Palaces
  • Skeletons
  • Sleeper Agent
  • Slow Club
  • Smith Westerns
  • Soft Moon
  • Soulja Boy
  • Spanish Prisoners
  • St. Vincent
  • Starfucker
  • Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
  • SuperHeavy
  • Suuns
  • Tedeschi Trucks Band
  • The Antlers
  • The Black Keys
  • The Caretaker
  • The Decemberists
  • The Do
  • The Drums
  • The Feelies
  • The Field
  • The Go! Team
  • The Horrors
  • The Joy Formidable
  • The Kills
  • The Lonely Island
  • The Men
  • The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
  • The Rapture
  • The Shoes
  • The Vaccines
  • The War On Drugs
  • The Weeknd
  • Thee Oh Sees
  • Theophilus London
  • Thundercat
  • Thurston Moore
  • Tiger & Woods
  • Tim Hecker
  • Timber Timbre
  • Times New Viking
  • Tinariwen
  • Todd Terje
  • Tom Morello
  • Tom Waits
  • Toro y Moi
  • tUnE-yArDs
  • TV Girl
  • TV On The Radio
  • Twin Sister
  • Ty Segall
  • Tyler, the Creator
  • Unknown Mortel Orchestra
  • unouomedude
  • Veronica Falls
  • Warm Weather
  • Washed Out
  • Wavves
  • White Denim
  • Wilco
  • Wild Beasts
  • Wild Flag
  • Wu Lyf
  • Yann Tiersen
  • Yelle
  • Young Man
  • Youth Lagoon
  • Yuck
  • Zola Jesus
  • Zoo Kid

The 2011 mixtape will be arriving shortly.