Poll — December 22, 2011 at 7:49 am

Readers Poll 2011: Best albums of the year

As 2011 quickly winds to an end, we’re happy to roll out our fourth and final days’ worth of results from our second-annual Slicing Up Eyeballs Readers Poll, in which nearly 500 of you cast ballots for your favorite new, reissued and freshly compiled music of the year over a four week period in late November and December.

Today we dig into your Top 10 albums of the year. All told, more than 75 different records received votes — plus, as always, a few that weren’t eligible (and to the person who was outraged that Let England Shake wasn’t on the list — go back and read the rules ).

So here’s the agenda for the week:

MONDAY: Best compilations, box sets, live albums of 2011
TUESDAY: Best reissues of 2011
WEDNESDAY: Best singles/tracks of 2011
TODAY: Best new albums of 2011



Best albums of 2011:


10. Skinny Puppy, handOver

BACKSTORY: The electro-industrial icons this year released their long-delayed 11th studio album and first in more than four years. The record originally was expected two years ago around its extensive fall 2009 tour of North America, but solvency issues with the band’s label prevented that.
COVERAGE: Skinny Puppy’s ‘Handover’ due in October
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CDdigital)


9. Jane’s Addiction, The Great Escape Artist

BACKSTORY: The alt-rock legends returned this year with their second post-reunion album, a 10-track set that was assisted on bass and production by TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek. The deluxe edition of the album came with a second disc bearing an 11-song live concert.
COVERAGE: Stream: Jane’s Addiction, ‘Irresistible Force’ — from ‘Great Escape Artist’
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CDdigital)


8. Erasure, Tomorrow’s World

BACKSTORY: The venerable synthpop duo this year released its 14th studio album, and its first in four years, before embarking on extensive tours of the U.S. and elsewhere. Initial copies came with an eight-track bonus disc featuring demo versions and remixes of tracks from the record.
COVERAGE: Erasure announces new album ‘Tomorrow’s World’
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital)


7. The Wild Swans, The Coldest Winter For a Hundred Years

BACKSTORY: Lead by former Teardrop Explodes keyboardist Paul Simpson, the Liverpool act this summer released its first album in 21 years and only its third overall, a 13-track collection that features veterans of Echo & The Bunnymen, Spiritualized and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.
COVERAGE: Free MP3: The Wild Swans, ‘In Secret’
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital)


6. Wire, Red Barked Tree

BACKSTORY: The classic postpunk act — featuring original members Colin Newman, Graham Lewis and Robert Grey — returned this year with its 12th studio album, and the first since 2008′s Object 47. The 11-track disc is produced by Newman, and is preceded by the 2-minute-long single “Two Minutes”
COVERAGE: Download: Wire’s ‘Two Minutes,’ first track off ‘Red Barked Tree’
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital)


5. The Cars, Move Like This

BACKSTORY: This year saw the release of the first new album in 24 years by the surviving members of the New Wave pop powerhouse: singer-keyboardist Ric Ocasek, guitarist Elliot Easton, long-retired drummer David Robinson and keyboardist Greg Hawkes, who also filled in on bass for the late Benjamin Orr.
COVERAGE: The Cars’ ‘Move Like This,’ first new album in 24 years, due May 10
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CDdigital)


4. Kate Bush, 50 Words For Snow

BACKSTORY: The singer this fall released her first new studio album in six years, a 65-minute collection featuring “seven brand new tracks set against a background of falling snow.” The collection is Bush’s first new material since 2005′s Aerial, and only her second new studio album in 18 years.
COVERAGE: Kate Bush to release ‘50 Words for Snow’ in November
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CDdigital)


3. R.E.M., Collapse Into Now

BACKSTORY: The college-rock kingpins this year released their 15th — and, we would learn months later, final — studio album, a 12-track follow-up to 2008’s Accelerate that features guest turns by the likes of Eddie Vedder, Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye andPeaches. It’s preceded, in the U.S., by single “Mine Smell Like Honey.”
COVERAGE: R.E.M. reveals ‘Collapse Into Now’ tracklist
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital)


2. Peter Murphy, Ninth

BACKSTORY: The former Bauhaus leader this week releases his first solo album in seven years and his ninth overall, an 11-track effort that’s been preceded by the first single “I Spit Roses” — a song written about the collapse of Bauhaus’ recent reunion.
COVERAGE: Peter Murphy to release ‘Ninth’ album in June, finalizes 29-date U.S. tour
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital)


1. Duran Duran, All You Need Is Now

BACKSTORY: Three months after an abbreviated digital release, the New Wave legends this spring released their new much-buzzed new studio album in several physical formats — CD, vinyl and a CD/DVD “Deluxe Edition” package — with up to six new songs added to the original nine-song tracklist, depending on which format you buy
COVERAGE: Duran Duran’s ‘All You Need Is Now’ out March 22 on CD, LP 
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital)






  1. yes Duran2 cd was the best this last year. Loved every track. Strongest cd since Rio if not better.

  2. Maybe even better. Hits every mark.

  3. I have to agree with Duran Duran getting the #1 spot.

  4. Totally agree with Duran Duran’s AYNIN @ #1. I can’t get enough of it. I might be one of the few who would have been happy with MORE AYNIN at the concerts. Love the classics too, but this album is fresh, unique and is true to all that I’ve always loved about the Duran Duran sound.

  5. As a fan or at least passive enjoyer of all above artists and albums, I’m glad AYNIN took it. Really just an all-around fantastic album, I can’t get over it no matter how many spins I give it. I am somewhat disappointed that The Human League’s “Credo” didn’t make it though. It really is a little unsung for how strong it is and I think it’s being a little overshadowed by the mind-bogglingly triumphant Duran…I hesitate to say comeback, let’s go with re-emergence.

  6. Duran rules!
    One of the best albums of the last 20 years!

  7. Sheila sampson

    While I adore Duran Duran, Peter Murphy will Always be Number One for me! <3

  8. Sandy Schriefer

    Wow, #1 for Duran Duran! A great addition to their accomplishments in this, their “comeback” year. Actually, they’ve never gone anywhere. They’ve been making good music and taking chances since the release of their self-titled CD in 1981. Saw them in concert for the first time in Chicago in October. Can’t wait until the next CD/tour. Keep on keeping on. You WILL get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame soon!

  9. I’m missing The Fall here!

  10. That new Erasure disc was utter CRAP. Sold the cd BACK the store same day I purchased it. Sad, I have loved Erasure for so long…I think I have finally lost interest.

  11. I’m so surprised that The Cult are not on any of these. Choice of Weapon is a tremendous album. Reminiscent of The Cult of the past but a whole new animal.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *