TME’s Favorite Albums of 2011: #9-5

9.  Three – The Ghost You Gave To Me

Adding pop touches to progressive rock is not usually the formula for getting an album on a top 10 list, but 3 did it with “The Ghost You Gave to Me.”  The most complete of 3’s six albums “The Ghost You Gave To Me” is also the most accessible album yet for 3.  Songs like “React” and “Pretty” can be enjoyed by music listeners outside of the progressive faith.  All of the past 3 styles are still present keeping old fans happy, but the added pop feel to a few of the songs stretches it past the sometimes monotonous progressive genre.

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8.  US Royalty   Mirrors

I found this band rooting through the bands that were at SXSW last year.  There are so many good bands that play SXSW that most people have never heard of.  Usually you can find a good SXSW sampler from sites like Spinner.  Put the playlist on random and find some new favorite bands.  When I first heard the song “Equestrian” from one of those lists I was completely hooked.  “Mirrors” is so diverse with sounds like the Beatles, Local Natives and Cream.  It will keep you guessing what you will hear next.  They will be back at SXSW again in 2012 and these guys are going to blow up soon.

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7.  White Denim – D

Lets take a ride back in time to the 70′s.  While on your road trip you won’t be able to catch a show by White Denim.  You can see a bunch of great bands that are similar, but this band has one difference that the others don’t have.  White Denim is actually a present day band that was formed in 2006 in Austin, TX.  Their classic rock sound is a kick back to the Greatful Dead and the Allman Brothers days.  They are bluesy, they are Southern proggy, they are jammy, and with all of those older influences they put a present day modern feel that just works so well.  It is a release that went under the radar this year and really should be checked out by everyone.

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6.  City and Colour – Little Hell

City and Colour is actually the side project of Dallas Green who is the lead singer for the heavy rock band Alexisonfire.  Because of Alexisonfire, Dallas has a following of not only indie rock fans, but also of the heavy genre.  This is City and Colour’s third full length album, and since I wasn’t a huge fan of the older releases I didn’t plan on giving this much of a chance.  The music sites of heavier genres kept raving about Dallas and this band and to check it out.  I am so glad I did.  City and Colour added a little something extra on “Little Hell.”  It is more than just Dallas Green and his guitar.  He moved away from the real slow down tempo sound and added in a little pep infusing more instruments and a little more emotion.  This tweak made one of the best albums of the year.

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5.  My Morning Jacket – Circuital

I did not like this album upon first hearing it.  I think I was looking for an album similar to “Evil Urges.”  The Prince influences from “Evil Urges” pushed that album into one of my all time favorites.  When I didn’t hear any of that I think I was disappointed.  Like many other albums in the past though as I started listening to it more it started to grow on me.  They have moved more and more away from the folky country sound of their first releases to more of a rocky jam out style.  My Morning Jacket has been perfecting their maturing formula that started around the making of “Z.”  The constant innovation of their sound from album to album has kept them the leaders of the indie rock genre.

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#10-14

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