Just like the two giant snowstorms Fort Collins has been dealt this year, my list of 2011â€™s top 10 albums has arrived a little too early for my liking. It seems that, with the approaching breaks and my ever-growing pile of responsibilities, this will be my last chance of the semester to share my thoughts on what Iâ€™m listening to. And I love end-of-the-year lists. So here it is! The top 10 albums I danced, studied, slept and cried to in 2011.
1. Fleet Foxes- HELPLESSNESS BLUES: This sophomore album is just as beautiful as their first, but much darker lyrically. One of my friends said, â€œIf you listen to Fleet Foxes for fun, something is wrong with you.â€
2. Bon Iver- BON IVER: Even Kanye West has tapped into the brilliance of Justin Vernon, sampling one of his tunes on his latest album. But isnâ€™t that all Kanye does?
3. Wye Oak- CIVILIAN: This two-person act impressed the audience of â€œLate Night with Jimmy Fallonâ€ when the drummer showed his mad ambidextrous skills by simultaneously playing the keyboard for the band.
4. Foster The People- TORCHES: Their debut album blew up all over everything: commercials, MTV and television shows, creating so much hype that they sold out their tour.
5. The Decemberists- THE KING IS DEAD: This group returned to its roots of folk-infused storytelling, mixing it up just enough not to get old.
6. Feist- METALS: Feist took a leap with her newest album, straying from her upbeat poppy sound and dabbling in a slower mood.
7. TV on the Radio- NINE TYPES OF LIGHT: The death of bassist Gerard Smith led to canceled shows, but their funk-infused album still made it big.
8. Iron and Wine- KISS EACH OTHER CLEAN: As my favorite band, it is my obligation to add Iron and Wine to the list. As a whole it isnâ€™t as good as I had hoped, but a few songs have stuck with me.
9. Noah and the Whale- LAST NIGHT ON EARTH: After front man Charlie Fink and Laura Marlingâ€™s breakup, his music got depressing (and rightfully so). This album is him coming back to life.
10. You Me and Apollo- CARDS WITH CHEATS: I had to add at least one local band, although I had many favorites. It was difficult, but You Me and Apollo made an album that I couldnâ€™t help but love.
_Album reviewer Michael Elizabeth Sakas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. _