“Cool Album of the Day” Favorite Albums of 2011


One of the things that many music websites do this time of year is publish what they call “The Best Albums of year..blah blah blah.” All I have to say is, if you claim your list is a best of, then you better have heard every album that was released. I read a ton of these lists and I know for sure, these people are deciding on what is a best of and they haven’t come close to doing enough homework.

Yes, we’re putting out a list as well. But we’re calling it our “Favorite Albums of 2011. I know darn well that I didn’t hear nearly enough to think that I what I have to say is any type of best of listing. What I do know is the listing that I’ve put together were my favorite albums of the ones that I was lucky enough to hear in the last twelve months.

How do I chose my favorite ten? That’s easy, of all the albums I’ve heard this year, which ones consistently “begged me” to be heard again and again. The more I wanted to play them, the more I must have liked them. I think sometime people put together a listing trying to make themselves look cool. That wasn’t my goal. My heart told me what to place on this list.

They original plan was to get together with senior staff and compile our 10 favorites for the site, but for this year at least, we’re all announcing our own top 10. We even decided to extend the invitation to readers. We’ve added their entries as well. Did you not know we were doing that? No Worries!! For the next few days at least, feel free to submit them 1 thru 10, title and artist only to “CoolAlbumofTheDay@Gmail.com” and I’ll add them to the list. Enjoy!

Larry Carta

(Publisher – Cool Album of the Day)

  1. Garland Jeffreys – The King of In Between
  2. Mimi Betinis – All That Glitters
  3. John Hiatt – Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns
  4. EmmyLou Harris – Hard Bargain
  5. Glen Campbell – Ghost on the Canvas
  6. Foster and Lloyd – It’s Already Tomorrow
  7. Various Artists – Rave On Buddy Holly
  8. Dave Alvin – Eleven Eleven
  9. Jeff Beck – Rock N’ Roll Party (Honoring Les Paul)
  10. Daryl Hall – Laughing Down Crying

Walt Falconer

(Senior Staff Writer, Publisher The Falcon’s Nest)

  1. J.C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound – Want Some
  2. Wild Flag – Wild Flag
  3. Grouplove – Never Trust a Happy Song
  4. Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
  5. Deer Tick Divine Providence
  6. Rival Sons – Pressure and Time
  7. The Fleet Foxws – Helplessness Blues
  8. Dawes – Nothing is wrong
  9. Rachael Yamagata Chesapeake
  10. The Bellle Brigade – The Belle Brigade

Stephen Dalrymple

(Senior Staff Writer)
  1. Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean
  2. Decemberists – The King is Dead
  3. Ryan Adams- Ashes and Fire
  4. Robert Ellis- Photographs
  5. Drive By Truckers- Go Go Boots
  6. Ry Cooder – Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down
  7. Blitzen Trapper – American Goldwing
  8. The Waterboys- An Appointment With Mr. Yeats
  9. John Hiatt – Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns
  10. The Horrible Crowes – Elsie

Kristin Morrisson

(Staff Writer, Editorial Assistance)
  1. Glen Campbell–Ghost on the Canvas
  2. Eleanor Friedberger–Last Summer
  3. Foster the People–Torches
  4. Superheavy–Superheavy
  5. TV on the Radio–Nine Types of Light
  6. Various Artists – Johnny Boy Would Love This–A Tribute to John Martyn
  7. My Morning Jacket–Circuital
  8. Nick Lowe–The Old Magic
  9.  Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds–Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds
  10. Willie Nile–The Innocent Ones


(Cool Web Guy)

  1. Jon Anderson – “Survival And Other Stories”
  2. Rejyna – “Solo Sojourn Live”
  3. g.e.stinson – “masters of the abstract (an homage)”
  4. Stuart Duncan / Chris Thile / Edgar Meyer / Yo-Yo Ma – “The Goat Rodeo Sessions”
  5. Harry Manx – “Strictly Whatever”
  6. Tom Waits – “Bad As Me”
  7. Ry Cooder – “Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down”
  8. Gregg Allman – “Low Country Blues”
  9. Alexi Murdock – “Towards the Sun”
  10. Wilco – “The Whole Love”

Jeff “Weavil” Gauss

  1. Warren Haynes – Man In Motion 
  2. Black Country Communion – Black Country Communion 2
  3. Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare
  4. Glen Campbell – Ghost On The Canvas
  5. Chickenfoot – III
  6. Todd Rundgren’- Todd Rundgren’ s Johnson
  7. Red Hot Chili Peppers –  I’m with You
  8.  Steve Hackett – Beyond The Shrouded Horizon
  9. Daryl Hall – Laughing Down Crying
  10. Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks – Mirror Traffic

Cathy Brown Brown


  1. My Morning Jacket-Circuital
  2. Feist- Metals
  3. Fleet Foxes-Helplessness Blues
  4. St. Vincent-Strange Mercies
  5. Wilco-The Whole Love
  6. M83-Hurry Up We’re Dreaming
  7. Zola Jesus-Conatus
  8. The Head and the Heart-The Head and the Heart
  9. Bright Eyes-The People’s Key
  10. Okkervil River-I Am Very Far

Dennis Harris

  1. Lucinda Williams “Blessed”
  2. The Decemberists “The King is Dead”
  3. Fleet Foxes “Helplessness Blues”
  4. Kate Bush “50 Words for Snow”
  5. Gillian Welch The Harrow & The Harvest
  6. EmmyLou Harris “Hard Bargain”
  7. The Civil Wars “Barton Hollow”
  8. Bruce Cockburn “Small Source of Comfort”
  9. tUnE-yArDs “whokill”
  10. Laura Marling “A Creature I Don’t Know”

Eric Berman

(Publisher – Song of the Day)

  1. Wilco – The Whole Love
  2. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Mirror Traffic
  3. Tom Waits – Bad As Me
  4.  tUnE-yArDs – whokill
  5. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
  6. Paul Simon – So Beautiful Or So What
  7. Danger Mouse & Daniel Luppi – Rome
  8. Starfucker – Reptilians
  9. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes
  10. Deerhoof – Deerhoof vs. Evil

Vaughn Abbott

  1. The Black Keys – El Camino
  2. Jimbo Mathus – Confederate Buddha
  3. Lindsey Buckingham – Seed We Sow
  4. The Sheepdogs – Learn and Burn
  5. Tommy Keane – Behind the Parade (comeback of the decade(s))
  6. Tom Waits – Bad As Me
  7. St. Vincent – Mercy
  8. Todd Snider – Live The Storyteller
  9. Hayes Carll – KMAG YOYO
  10. TV On The Radio – Nine Types Of Light

David Fisk

  1. Paul Simon – ‘So Beautiful Or So What’
  2. P.J. Harvey – ‘Let England Shake’
  3. The Soulboy Collective – ‘Clique Tragedy’
  4. Atlas Sound – ‘Parallax’
  5. My Morning Jacket – ‘Circuital’
  6. Crystal Stilts – ‘In Love With Oblivion’
  7. Ivy – ‘All Hours’
  8. Kites With Lights – ‘Cosmonauts’
  9. Washed Out – ‘Within And Without’
  10. Lindsey Buckingham – ‘Seeds We Sow’

EDITORS NOTE: A few more albums that I’d like to spotlight. One is the fine debut album from Sugar Lime Blue titled “Far From The Tree. Very nice effort, we look for more from them.  Also, two of my favorite albums this year were newly released live CDs from concerts taped decades ago. I didn’t think they should qualify for the listing. They were Poco, Live at Columbia Studio 1971 and Rockpile, Live at Montreax 1980. E3 also wants to highlight Johnny Cash’s Live Around the World. Kristin also adds special mentions for Amy Winehouse – Lioness and Hidden Treasures and Kate Bush 50 Words for Snow.

Back to the Cool Album of the Day Home Page

See more albums released in 2011

As mentioned, we’re still taking your lists for a little while at least. These have arrived since we published the original listing, thanks so much!

Don Sebian

  1. Decemberists “ The King is Dead”
  2. Lykke Li “Wounded Rhymes”
  3. Middle Brother “Middle Brother”
  4. Steve Cropper “Dedicated”
  5. Girl in a Coma “Exits & All the Rest“
  6. Wild Flag “Wild Flag”
  7. Laura Marling “A Creature I Don’t Know”
  8. Todd Snider “Live: The Storyteller”
  9. Adele “21”
  10. Florence and the Machine “Ceremonials”

Paul van Dijke

(Cool Dude from the Netherlands)

  1. Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
  2. Fountains of Wayne – Sky Full Of Holes
  3. Miles Kane – Colour Of The Trap
  4. Selah Sue – Selah Sue
  5. REM – Collapse into Now
  6. Ryan Adams – Ashes and Fire
  7. Drive-by-Truckers – Go Go Boots
  8. Alamo Race Track – Unicorn loves Deer
  9. dEUS – Keep You Close
  10. Arctivc Monkeys – Suck it and See

Bubby Lewis

(The Dude)

  1. Glen Campbell–Ghost on the Canvas
  2. The Cars – Move Like This
  3. The Book of Mormon – Original Broadway Cast Recording
  4. Beastie Boys – Hot Sauce Committee Part Two
  5. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
  6. Lindsey Buckingham- Seeds We Sow
  7. Tom Waits – Bad As Me
  8. Black Label Society – “The Song Remains Not the Same”
  9. Steve Earle – I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive
  10. Jeff Bridges – Jeff Bridges
Posted by Larry Carta


  1. Mimi Betinis (31 Dec 2011, 15:29)

    Thank you Larry. I’m very honored and very humbled. I really can’t believe it! I beat Glen Campbell and Jeff Beck!
    How can that be!??!!?!?

  2. Larry Carta (31 Dec 2011, 18:56)

    Mimi, I actually should have listed you and Garland 1 and 1A. Your album was just that darn good. Here’s how I make my list. I think back on the year, and I ask my self which albums begged to be heard, for me, more than the others. I see many lists and I know these “critics” are just full of shit, they just want to look cool. But for me, for something to be a favorite, it meant that I wanted to play it, and a lot. I found myself listening to yours and Garland’s so much more than any others, that’s why they’re my two favorites. –Larry

  3. Paul van Dijke (31 Dec 2011, 19:58)


    Thanks for your great lists.. Enjoyed reading all.

    My list over 2011 is as follows:
    1. Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
    2. Fountains of Wayne – Sky Full Of Holes
    3. Miles Kane – Colour Of The Trap
    4. Selah Sue – Selah Sue
    5. REM – Collapse into Now
    6. Ryan Adams – Ashes and Fire
    7. Drive-by-Truckers – Go Go Boots
    8. Alamo Race Track – Unicorn loves Deer
    9. dEUS – Keep You Close
    10. Arctivc Monkeys – Suck it and See

    May sound very ‘european’ to you, but hey.. Tastes differ sometimes.

    All the best for 2012, and keep up the good work.. Love your site and facebook !

    Big cheers from The Netherlands

    Paul van Dijke

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