You might have had to search a little harder to find it, but for those with the resourcefulness to exercise their due diligence, there was plenty of great music out there to be had this year. As it turns out, those pesky 2011 rumors that music is dead were greatly exaggerated after all.
But locating it was key. With good record stores — the kind staffed with reliably knowledgeable music nerds — increasingly scarce these days, and the once healthy art of music journalism mostly on life support, finding that great new musical discovery in 2011 often meant clicking your way like a needle through the vast haystack of the internet.
Still, there was life out there beyond the Biebers, the Perrys and the Gagas, as the list you are about to read proves in spades. To compile BC Music's annual (well, mostly anyway) rundown of the year's best albums, we tasked ten of our music editors and writers with the simple assignment of naming their pick for album of the year, and explaining that choice in as few words as possible. While our music scribe's words were not always few, each of their picks are, without exception, all worthy contenders for the 2011 championship belt.
To that end, the following list is in no particular order, and there are no rankings. Rather, it is based on the individual perspectives of the contributors who participated. Which makes for a very eclectic and diverse sampling of some of the best that music had to offer in 2011.
Not that we ever expected anything less, of course...
Donald Gibson picks Adele's - 21
“Rolling in the Deep” changed the game. The first time you heard it you just knew that this song – that voice – was going to be a big deal. Adele is sirenic and sexy, her will-not-be-denied resolve striking a visceral blow to every self-absorbed, woe-is-me lament clogging up millions of iPods around the world.
As an album, 21 achieves much the same impact. Many of its songs have become so familiar now that they risk sounding cliché – a mere 12 months after entering the pop landscape. Yet it continues to sell like nothing else in contemporary pop, further illustrating the extent to which this music resonates with people. Popularity doesn’t equate to quality, of course; longevity will speak more to that. But it’d be churlish not to recognize that with this album Adele has tapped into the universality of heartbreak in ways that are at once intensely personal and timelessly profound.