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Catchgroove’s Best of 2011 (20-11) Part One

December 30, 2011

I do not have a particularly adventurous music taste and my consumption is limited to what I can afford to buy.  I don’t have the time to do high quality crate digging – either physically or virtually.  So my 2011 acquisitions were formed by what I already know and what is widely hyped in the mainstream music press.

If there is a theme in my selections for the year it is artist doing what they do best – reworking their masterpieces with maturity and craftsmanship.  Most of my selections are not career defining, but rather career refining.


Bill Frisell – All We Are Saying…: The Beatles continue to provide inspiration to a variety of artists.  Frisell’s folk-jazz stylings are perfect for these meditations on The Bugs.


Decemberist – The King is Dead: Best R.E.M. album in a long time.


Rolling Stones – Some Girls: Normally I would not put a reissue on the list, but CD number 2 is a “new album.”  Like last year’s Exile reissue the Stones dredge up outtakes and buffed them up into a new “lost” album from the late 70s.  Why are the Stones special?  Because their floor scraps/throw-aways make it to my best of list. Their garbage would be another band’s gold.   See full review.


Radiohead – King of Limbs: It has taken me a while, but I am finally getting post OK Computer Radiohead.


Adele – 21:  The retro British soul divas have had quite run now. But Adele is the best of the bunch.  The album was hugely popular and it is amazingly good for something so popular.  This is tasteful music that appeals to young and old.  Not particularly original but impeccably executed with style and grace.  No one will be embarrassed to be an Adele fan.  This is not quite a masterpiece – some songs are hall of fame caliber and others are filler.  Adele needs to make a great album from end to end before she has a masterpiece.


Superheavy – Superheavy: This is a gimmick, but so what.  Diverse musicians mashing it up creating world pop.  Best thing Jagger has done outside of the Stones (I know that does not say much).  See full review.


Wheedle’s Groove – Seattle’s Finest In Funk & Soul 1965-79 (Limited Edition 45 Box Set): This is what motivated me on Black Friday.  The music is fun, it has a great back story (see full review) and it has great packaging for a vinyl junkie like me.  If you thought vinyl was engaging, well 45s really keep you engaged – you can barely take a leak before it is time to flip sides.


Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Part Two: Just a bunch of old hip-hop guys reminding us why they popularized the genre for the masses.


Yuck –Yuck: Didn’t get enough Pavement with the new Malkmus album?  Lost your Sonic Youth albums?  Listen to Yuck.  Hey someone has to play the sounds we miss.


Bon Iver – Bon Iver: – Can we still love Bon Iver now that he is a big star?  I think we can. This is “For Emma” with a budget.   Bon Iver takes his folky sounds and melds them modern hip-hop production values.  You can see why Kanye wanted to borrow this guy.  This is probably the most original sounding album on the list.

To be continued…


From → Best of (music)

  1. One of the reasons I popped in and stayed. Looking for good honest reviews.

    • Thanks so much for spending so much time on the site. Enjoy your work too.

      • Yeah my pleasure. I’m going to send a few people your way. It’s hard to get good reviews and stay current with the kind of music you review.. (I really like that you don’t slag, just concentrate on what sounds good to you). CB

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