The Greatest Albums of 2011 - from our fans
Another year is in the books, and 2011 saw a plethora of fantastic new albums. It’s always impossible to take a good listen to everything, but we at Koss are lucky to have a community of passionate and attentive listeners who are true believers in music just like we are.
Personally, we’re still listening to Tony Bennett’s “Duets II” and are psyched to see him nominated for a few Grammys. But we wanted to know what you’ve been rocking out to in 2011. So we asked and you delivered. Thanks to everyone who responded with their favorites! It’s nearly impossible to go through all the awesome albums of this year and you’ve given us a few suggestions to add to our playlist.
If you’re anything like us, you’re already busy looking forward to what 2012 has in store, but here’s one final look back at the year in music that was, as seen through the eyes of the Koss community.
“Mylo Xyloto” — Coldplay
Released in October, “Mylo Xyloto” is Coldplay’s fifth studio album. It leads off with the single, “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall.” Internationally, “Mylo Xyloto” charted at #1 in 17 countries. Coldplay took a more theatrical approach this time out, as “Mylo Xyloto” is a concept album, looking to tell a progressive story from beginning to end. According to bandleader Chris Martin, the album is “based on a love story with a happy ending, in which two protagonists living in an oppressive, dystopian, urban environment meet one another through a gang and fall in love.” Do you hear that storyline?
“El Camino” — The Black Keys
Released in early December, The Black Keys’ seventh full-length album was a surprise, co-written and co-produced by Danger Mouse. El Camino’s southern soul and modern hip-hop beats debuted the album at #2 on the Billboard 200. If you haven’t done so, check out the video for “Lonely Boy.” Shot in one take, the video shows actor Derrick T. Tuggle rocking out to the song. Maybe we could learn a move or two.
“I’m With You” — Red Hot Chili Peppers
The legendary L.A. band went with the equally legendary Rick Rubin to produce their 10th studio album, and the first to feature new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer. A Rolling Stone Reader’s Poll named “I’m With You” the eighth best album of 2011.
To celebrate its release, the Red Hot Chili Peppers hosted a global listening party online, where they streamed the entire album for free. We love it when bands give a little something back to their fans, and the fans obviously returned the love.
“Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming” — M83
The sixth album by French electronic band M83, “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming” debuted at #15 on the US Billboard 200, becoming the band’s highest-charting album to date. Founding member Anthony Gonzales set some high expectations for this record, comparing it to the likes of Smashing Pumpkins and the Beatles, but he was able to deliver, with 22 tracks of synth-rock greatness. Pitchfork’s Jayson Greene had nothing but praise: “If a sound has ever made you break out into a foolish, cheesed-out grin you couldn’t suppress, it’s probably here.”
“21” — Adele
We’ve pretty much had a full year to experience the glory that is Adele’s global chart-topper, “21”. Rolling Stone calls it this year’s most stunning pop success, transmuting the young Brit’s personal sorrow of a failed relationship into a 13-million-selling smash that was even able to hop the pond and unite an entire planet of listeners. With a touch of soul, a bit of Motown, and a little piano pop, what really stands out with this album is the larger-than-life vocals of Miss Adele Adkins, causing you to really get inside the music and feel what she feels. This is the kind of music we dig at Koss. The music penetrates your soul though any headphone we offer. You can feel the music deep, deep inside.
We know that this list touches on just a few of the greatest albums that came out last year. This is where you come in. What would you add? And what are you excited to hear in 2012?