Sweeping the Nation Complies the UK Blogger Albums Of 2011

So before I get cracking with posts for 2012 two final summation posts, this first one is a blogger poll of the albums of 2011 just like I started last year with, ran by Simon over at Sweeping The Nation. He asks UK music blogs (full list at the end of the post) for their favourite ten albums of the year and then compiles an aggregated list of the top 75 (you can see the full list at STN here). The top ten were:

10 EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints
9 ST VINCENT - Strange Mercy
8 NOAH AND THE WHALE - Last Night On Earth
7 JAMES BLAKE - James Blake
6 FLEET FOXES - Helplessness Blues
5 RADIOHEAD - The King Of Limbs
4 WILD BEASTS - Smother
3 tUnE-yArDs - w h o k i l l
2 BON IVER - Bon Iver
1 PJ HARVEY - Let England Shake

An altogether impressive list of 'definitive albums of 2011' from UK Music Bloggers (generally people doing what they are doing for nothing and for the love of music) and if we compare it with HMV's 'Poll of Polls' which draws together '35 media outlets surveyed, including ‘album of the year’ selections from the likes of NME, Mojo, Uncut, The Sunday Times and BBC music writers.' (i.e. those actually getting paid for it) you can see an incredible similarity:

10. Horrors / Skying (Number 15)
9. Tom Waits / Bad As Me (Number 46)
8. James Blake / James Blake (Number 7)
7. Kurt Vile / Smoke Ring For My Halo (Number 11)
6. Wild Beasts / Smother (Number 4)
5. tUnE-yArDs / Whokill (Number 3)
4. Radiohead / King of Limbs (Number 5)
3. Fleet Foxes / Helplessness Blues (Number 6)
2. Bon Iver / Bon Iver (Number 2)
1. PJ Harvey / Let England Shake (Number 1)

As you can see the top six were the same in both polls, albeit slightly different ordering and besides the 'qualified critics' favouring of Kurt Vile (edit: must still be suffering from NYE and missed Kurt at 11!) you could pretty much come to the conclusion that these albums are (critically at least) the best 2011 has to offer. As this blog is about my taste in music, here are my top ten albums again and their placing in the STN poll:

10. Esben and the Witch - Violet Cries (Did Not Chart)
9.Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes (Number 25)
8. Zola Jesus - Conatus (Did Not Chart)
7. Still Corners - Creatures of an Hour (Number 24)
6. Veronica Falls - Veronica Falls (Number 48)
5. Austra - Feel It Break (Number 18)
4. EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints (Number 10)
3. Lanterns on the Lake - Gracious Tide, Take Me Home (Number 44)
2. Josh T. Pearson - Last of the Country Gentlemen (Number 13)
1. The Joy Formidable - The Big Roar (Number 12)

So my personal list is pretty different at the business end of the poll but most of my top twenty five do feature in the list at some point. I don't think I can draw any conclusions from all of that other than the sheer volume of quality music we've got on offer currently. I hope you've found something somewhere in 2011 to fully lose yourself in, it not, then perhaps some of these lists are a good place. Here is a track from the universally excepted album of 2011:



The blogs that took part in the UK Blogger Albums Of 2011 Poll were:

17 Seconds, Alphabet Bands, And Everyone's A DJ, The Auditorium, Aye Tunes, Both Bars On, Bowlegs, Breaking More Waves, The Daily Growl, Dots & Dashes, Drunken Werewolf, Eaten By Monsters, Echoes And Dust, Flying With Anna, Folly Of Youth, Give Pop A Chance!, God Is In The TV, GoldFlakePaint, Hotcakes, I Prefer Their Older Stuff, In League With Paton, It's All Indie, Just Music That I Like, Just Played, Keep Pop Loud, The Metaphorical Boat, Monobrow, Mudkiss, Music Fans Mic, Music Liberation, Muso's Guide, Nu Rave Brain Wave, Parallax View, Peenko, Pinglewood, The Pigeon Post, Ragged Glories, The Recommender, Song By Toad, themilkfactory, The Pop Cop, The Sound Of The Overground, There Goes The Fear, This Music Wins, This Must Be Pop, Useless Chamber, The Von Pip Musical Express, Wait For The Click.