Live4ever’s Essential Listening 2011 – The Albums

And so to the third and final part of Live4ever’s 2011 retrospective. A year packed with some genuinely outstanding releases, 2011 has enjoyed some of the most unanimously acclaimed records of recent years; PJ Harvey has won seemingly every award up for grabs thanks to ‘Let England Shake’, Kate Bush has wowed everyone with her first record of the decade, while the likes of The Boxer Rebellion, FIGO and The Minutes have come to the party with equally impressive, under-the-radar efforts just as deserving of your precious time and attention.

To celebrate another year of great music, the Live4ever Ezine is offering two readers the opportunity to win a pair of Boom earphones; a prize packed with both style and sound quality. So to be in with a chance of winning, when you’ve been through the pick of the LPs which have been taking up our space throughout the year, leave a comment below telling us your own Top 5 Albums of 2011 to be automatically entered into our giveaway. Good luck!


simple math25: Manchester Orchestra ‘Simple Math’

“If you’re expecting a happy ending you won’t get one…An insight into a period in someone’s life and an appreciation of the importance of balance and thematic consistency.”

Full Review

lastnightoneearth24: Noah & The Whale‘Last Night On Earth’

“This record’s worst moments are mere pitfalls; some not-entirely-thought-out tributes to their heroes…At its best though this music is nothing short of breathtaking.”

Full Review

mileskane123: Miles Kane‘Colour Of The Trap’

“There are flashes of brilliance and a mellow direction that compliments his voice. Less an outstanding success and more a preview of greater things to come.”

Full Review

Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds22: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds‘…High Flying Birds’

“Satisfying, and at times unbelievably good, it’s the kind of album that doesn’t tell the full story the first time round, but it’s a journey that warrants the repeat button again and again.”

Full Review

lifeline21: The Answering Machine‘Lifeline’

“The range is incredible; from the pared down power of ‘Rules’ to ‘Video 8′s anthemic retro charm, this album is all about surprises and dimensions..”

Full Review

What Did You Expect From The Vaccines 300x30020: The Vaccines‘What Did You Expect From…’

“Throughout the album…lies a certain hint of gloominess that gives you a peek into the knowledge that even The Vaccines have had their human trials and troubles.”

Full Review

the raveonettes raven in the grave19: The Raveonettes‘Raven In The Grave’

“If there is anything that the dim tone of the new record indicates, it’s that while the raven may indeed be in the grave, The Raveonettes are still soaring high above it.”

Full Review

600px Arabia Mountain Cover18: Black Lips‘Arabia Mountain’

“The songs all seem to fit together as whole, not in the 70’s concept album sort of approach, but more so in the way in which the old garage compilations of the late-60’s.”

Full Review

paulsimon17: Paul Simon‘So Beautiful Or So What’

“Compact, concentrated, and as flavourful as a delicious gumbo that you can’t get enough of. Impressive, lyrically sublime, and as fragile as glass in some instances.”

Full Review

Bon iver16: Bon Iver – ‘Bon Iver’

“Admirable and completely the right track…The future, with jetpacks and hover cars and a truly great Bon Iver album, is coming. Just not yet, that’s all.”

Full Review

wildflag15: Wild Flag ‘Wild Flag’

“Wild Flag have got the charm of four people out there to do it, no hang-ups, no prisoners. Their unfussy sense of self-confidence says it all really – you’ve just got to be there to listen.”

Full Review

thekills14: The Kills‘Blood Pressures’

“A distinct turning point…not in terms of mainstream recognition or even enriched musicianship, but in solidifying their slot in today’s ever-changing popular culture landscape.”

Full Review

ArcticMonkeysSuckItAndSee600Gb200411113: Arctic Monkeys‘Suck It and See’

“Shows off the ongoing development in Turner’s songwriting craft…A celebration of everything they’ve achieved to date as well as a glimpse of what they could still become.”

Full Review

thehorros12: The Horrors ‘Skying’

“…content, experimental, luridly romantic and postmodern – a sonic journey into 80s post-punk dynamism from a group of musicians who never cease to surprise.”

Full Review

figo11: FIGO ‘Put It All On Black’

“FIGO can rest assured that in this instance quality, not to mention originality, significantly outweighs quantity in every sense of the phrase.”

Full Review

Twin Atlantic Free Artwork10: Twin Atlantic‘Free’

“Fans will certainly find much to like in the record, while there are enough hooks to grab the attention of new listeners…We’ll be hearing a lot of great music from them for years to come.”

Full Review

letenglandshake9: PJ Harvey‘Let England Shake’

“To close with a line from ‘England’ which…summates Harvey’s mindset …“I live and I die through England,” align your mind for the listen; and then may you Let England Shake.”

Full Review

fleetfoxes18: Fleet Foxes‘Helplessness Blues’

“Listening to the last murmurs of ‘Grown Ocean’s close harmony coda, the distinct and lasting impression is that of having heard sounds that will outlive generations.”

Full Review

zolajesus17: Zola Jesus ‘Conatus’

“‘Conatus’ is strong enough and deep enough to stand up on its own two jewel-case-shaped feet. It’s every inch worth your time, your intelligence and your attention.”

Full Review

otherlives6: Other Lives ‘Tamer Animals’

“Words, lines, verses, entire songs are left open to interpretation. Nothing is set in stone, which suits roaming, restless music like this just fine.”

Full Review

Laura Marling a creature i dont know album artwork5: Laura Marling ‘A Creature I Don’t Know’

“Like all the best bits of Paul McCartney’s career, this album celebrates wit and wisdom and an uncanny ear for tunes which will stick in your head.”

Full Review

marcata4: The Minutes – ‘Marcata’

“A complete work, a real start-to-finish album as a homage to the rock’n’roll greats, but totally their own at the same time. An underground classic debut from one of Ireland’s loudest.”

Full Review

50wordsforsnow3: Kate Bush’50 Words For Snow’

“With every listen, this album will reveal another layer, another part of the story you’d never heard before. There’s a lifetime’s worth of listening here. Best get started.”

Full Review

thecoldstill2: The Boxer Rebellion‘The Cold Still’

“The feeling that this is a band with the world at their feet is inescapable. Now go forth and tell that world your story, it is crying out to hear it.”

Full Review

weareaugustines1: We Are Augustines‘Rise Ye Sunken Ships’

“Like trying to get your girlfriend to watch The Godfather for the first time, recommending ‘Rise Ye Sunken Ships’ is a tough prospect. It’s deeply beautiful and emotionally cathartic.”

Full Review

Essential Listening 2011 series:

Live4ever’s Essential Listening 2011 – The Gigs
Live4ever’s Essential Listening 2011 – The Tracks
Live4ever’s Essential Listening 2011 – The Albums

Live4ever’s Essential Albums of 2011 is included on the Most Wanted Top 10 Lists, which is combining Best Of lists from a variety of sources to provide readers with the top choices in music, gaming, sports and more from 2011. Check out the Most Wanted blog here.

Learn More


  1. eva 21 December, 2011
  2. Maria 21 December, 2011
  3. Thomas 21 December, 2011
  4. Songbirdsally 21 December, 2011
  5. Roger D Almond 21 December, 2011
  6. mimmihopps 21 December, 2011
  7. Shane C 21 December, 2011
  8. Ellis Peacey 21 December, 2011
  9. The Rocket 21 December, 2011
  10. Oscar R 21 December, 2011
    • Matt 21 December, 2011
  11. caroline 21 December, 2011
  12. supersonic26 21 December, 2011
  13. Georgina Mt 21 December, 2011
    • Matt 21 December, 2011
  14. oasisbraves 21 December, 2011
  15. Manuel Martinez 21 December, 2011
  16. Bryan Munich 22 December, 2011
  17. Alex 22 December, 2011
  18. Maria 22 December, 2011
  19. Jonny 22 December, 2011
  20. Dave 23 December, 2011
  21. Cody 23 December, 2011
  22. Fernando Macedo 26 December, 2011
  23. Daniel Graversen 28 December, 2011
  24. Tom Wells 29 December, 2011
  25. theclock 3 January, 2012
  26. Bittersweet Split 2 March, 2012

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