James Valentine's Top 5 Favorite Albums of 2011
1. "The English Riviera" - Metronomy
"Just found out about this band this year," Valentine says. "Can't stop listening. Has the best harmonic aspects of seventies style Steely Dan with a contemporary Daft Punk/Phoenix dance music sort of production. Favorite track: 'The Bay.'"
2. "The Harrow & The Harvest" - Gillian Welch
"These songs were definitely worth the wait. Sounds so good. Dave Rawlings continues to be one of my favorite guitar players. Favorite track: 'The Way It Goes.'"
3. "Strange Mercy" - St. Vincent
"Annie Clark is another one of my favorite guitar players with one of my favorite voices with one of my favorite brains because this shit is sick. Favorite track: "Cruel.'"
4. "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy"- Kanye West [a 2010 release]
"We listened to this for the first time backstage somewhere in Sweden I believe, and our minds were blown. Favorite Track: 'Monster.'"
5. "Goblin" - Tyler, The Creator
"Tyler's conversations with himself on this record are amazing. I wish more musicians would allow themselves to go this far outside. Favorite Track: 'Window.'"