Timeout’s Top 30 Albums of 2011

The NZ Herald  has listed the top 30 albums of 2011. Here’s the music which mattered most in 2011 to TimeOut reviewers …

1. BLACK KEYS

El Camino

After narrowly missing out on TimeOut’s top spot last year with timeless breakthrough album Brothers, the Black Keys hit straight back with El Camino – their finest and most accessible work to date. The thing that made the Akron, Ohio duo’s seventh album so good is that it was a fun, straight-up and rockin’ record from start to finish. In contrast to Brothers, guitarist and singer Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney upped the pace and took off on a joyous, and sometimes hell-raising journey. What was also remarkable was that after seven albums they continued to improve and reinvent themselves, while still keeping that solid base of blues, soul, rock ‘n’ roll and swaggering hip-hop firmly intact. Opener Lonely Boy was a thumping blues boogie, songs like Run Right Back and Stop Stop had you doing the mash potato as you sang along, and the cooler, cockier groove of Sister was a standout. There was little let up, apart from the acoustic start to Little Black Submarine, which soon spiralled off beautifully into Led Zep land, and the catchy Dead and Gone had more than a little of Outkast’s Hey Ya to it. This was rock ‘n’ roll you can dance to – so shake it, baby, shake it.

Read the rest here.

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