Here at Hidden Track, compiling our end of the year list of the 25 best albums has been eerily similar to the process of devising another top 25 list – the college football top 25. When we started four years ago, we attempted to devise a quantitative methodology that systematized the rankings and took the individual biases out of the equation, while still incorporating the collective views of everyone involved at HT. Well, that was sort of our BCS. This year we’re going back to the old school and running it AP Top 25 style. In other words, every writer on staff submitted their own personal top 25, and then we compiled the final list based on a simple tally of votes.
Who knows, there may still be a few kinks to work through in future editions, but you can rest assured of one thing that will always make our list a cut above the rest: we consider everything. Our submissions include all styles of music from bluegrass to jazz, jam to indie, electronica to rap, as well as everything in between (but sorry Nefertiti’s Fjord it just wasn’t the year for lesbian-Afro-Norwegian-funk music). At the end of the day, we’re a music blog. Everyone is encouraged to write about what they like with no motives, no editorial biases, and no strings attached. We hope that comes across in our picks.
We’ve hit the mid-point of our week-long countdown of the 25 best albums of 2011, let’s check out numbers 15 through 11…
Key Tracks: Midnight City, Reunion
Sounds Like: Dreamy trip to the ’80s led by a modern spirit-guide
The Skinny: When Anthony Gonzalez moved to Los Angeles this year, he was feeling lonely and nostalgic for his cherished childhood and wanted to make a record that paid homage to those emotions and memories. The result is a 23 track masterpiece that ranges from arena-sized ’80s synth rock to deep ethereal sound scapes. The ambient pieces tie the monster vocal tracks together and combine to tell a heart-felt and vivid story from one of the world’s most underrated producers. Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is the perfect marriage of sparse and gigantic, much like the heart of its protagonist child subject.
- Wade Wilby