In No Particular Order, 18 More Great Albums From 2011:

By Taylor K. Long

9 Types of Light consists of love songs and apocalyptic spaz-outs–so are we more free to love when the end is near, or are we in love with the end itself? TV on the Radio, “You” (download)

I grew up listening to country, but have found myself dismayed at its current state for a few years now. That is, until I heard Hayes Carll with his swaggerly drawl. Hayes Carll, “Hard Out Here” (download)

A severely underrated fourth album from the Dodos, with help on backing vocals from Neko Case. The Dodos, “Good” (download)

Seven Days isn’t sleeping on this band, so why are you? Giant Travel Avant Garde, “Population” (download)

No major pop jams akin to “1-2-3-4” or “Mushaboom,” but Feist’s darker side makes for a more intriguing effort and earns her a reputation for high-quality consistency. Feist, “The Bad In Each Other” (download)

A major break-out at this year’s Pacific Northwest folk-fest, Doe Bay. If you don’t know him yet, you will soon. Bryan John Appleby, “The Words of the Revelator” (download)

Remember this guy who made all those boring albums? He’s back and this time he’s not going quietly into the night. Iron and Wine, “Me And Lazarus” (download)

I was ready to call these guys the hometown vote, but after revisiting this album for the past week, I can say it’s so much more than that. The Head and the Heart, “Cats and Dogs” (download)

Wild Beasts continue to live up to their name, narrating our most base urges with lucid operatics and undulating melodies. Wild Beasts, “Lion’s Share” (download)

It seems weird that it took this long for the sultriness of R&B to meet the moodiness of instrumental hip-hop. Maybe it just took this long for it to be this good. The Weeknd, “What You Need” (download)

I felt pretty bummed about the state of gritty, ballsy rock and roll after the White Stripes broke up, but then I remembered we’ve still got The Kills, and everything was ok. The Kills, “Future Starts Slow” (download)

In completely unsurprisingly awesome super groups, Sleater-Kinney plus Helium/Mary Timony didn’t disappoint. Wild Flag, “Future Crimes” (download)

In my time, Kurt Vile has yet to put out a less than great album. Kurt Vile, “In My Time” (download)

Joint rap albums always seem to end up lacklusterly. It was high time one paid off. Kanye West & Jay-Z (Feat. Beyonce), “Life Off” (download)

Glad to know there are other people who miss the ’90s as much as I do. Yuck, “Georgia” (download)

I keep wanting to call her a modern Stevie Nicks, but it’s probably just be the whole flair for capes, big hair, dramatic gothiness thing. And in that department, she’s probably got more in common with PJ Harvey. Lykke Li, “Love Out Of Lust” (download)

Right now they’re known for being Kurt Vile’s old band, but I have a feeling that won’t be the case for long. War On Drugs, “Baby Missiles” (download)

Not the year’s most immensely listenable album, but definitely one of its most diverse. Girls, “Honey Bunny” (download)

In No Particular Order, A Few Great Singles And Great EPs From 2011:

This effervescent, sugar-coated mega-hit almost makes up for how mediocre the rest of Pink Friday was — but its not being included in the original tracklist begs the question of what else was mistakenly canned. Nicki Minaj, “Super Bass” (download)

For me, 2011 will go down in history as the year I fully embraced how much I love Rihanna. It’s a lot. Rihanna (Feat. Calvin Harris), “We Found Love” (download)

“Love On Top” because it’s classic B, “Countdown” because it’s an entirely new side of B. Beyonce, “Love On Top (download) + Beyonce, “Countdown” (download)

Ties with Frank Ocean for my “Rookie Of The Year” award. King Krule, “Portrait In Black And Blue” (download)

The honest lament of the American male meets the frenzy of world-class rock ‘n’ roll. The Pilgrims, “American Eyes” (download)

It says something about Yeasayer that even the scrapped tracks from their albums are this good. Yeasayer, “Phoenix Wind” (download)