Zeitgeist (n:)The Spirit of the Times

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – not necessarily because it’s Christmas because yes, this holiday season is filled with laughter and cheer – but also capitalism, greed and lying to children if your family practices the whole Santa tradition.

For those of you who have survived, December signifies the end of another year in which you’ve hopefully grown or learned something valuable. It’s also the time of year when we look retrospectively at the past 12 months and determine what we’ve accomplished, what we’ve learned and what we’ve liked.

Several music blogs have already compiled their best albums of 2011 lists, as if the ones released after Dec. 7 are somehow irrelevant. Check out the lists from Paste, Rolling Stone and Stereogum.

I always struggle with making a list of my own, especially after reviewing lists compiled by other critics. Somehow I feel inferior for disagreeing about King of Limbs making the top 10 or fail to grasp the fuss surrounding Adele. Ultimately, I wonder if my ears became defective or if I just have bad taste. I also merely forget what came out when so excellent albums from Q1 just slip my ever-waning memory.

However, Hype Machine made it super easy for you to create your own Zeitgeist this year. Here’s my top 10 (so far, after all it is only Dec. 7). I wouldn’t consider myself a critic or a musical expert by any means, but I do listen avidly and often. My top 10 is pretty diverse, but I thoroughly enjoyed each of them for a variety of reasons. If it means anything, M83, Washed Out and Bon Iver have peppered the Top 2011 lists of several blogs, so I don’t think my musical opinions are completely invalid. But if my fickle self can compile a list, you can too – and you should.


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