Best of Phoenix

Top 15 Albums of 2011: Jason P. Woodbury

Welcome to another installment of Up on the Sun's 2011 Review. Over the next week, we'll be counting down our favorite songs, shows, national and local releases of 2011. Enjoy!

Is it just me, or was 2011 weird? Like, really weird?

Lou Reed and Metallica made an album together. It was weird. Odd Future brought to the surface nagging questions about homophobia, race, and pop music ethics. That was weird, too. Lots of people hated on or loved Lana Del Ray and Kreashawn, but stranger still was the way the two vastly different sounding artists became symbols for some larger, weird trend. (Let's turn to the experts on that one -- Poptimist and the Village Voice).

So it was weird, and that's great. Thinking out loud about music has never been so easy -- type the name of any album you're curious about and you'll find thousands of thoughts for your perusal. You can listen to most stuff on Spotify for free, and not have to feel bad about ripping off the artists too much (they are still getting ripped off, but you don't have to feel as bad knowing that a fraction of a penny is doing something for someone).

The constant dearth of music presented makes lists like these feel impossible -- there are no doubt amazing, mind-blowing albums that I haven't heard (and potentially won't ever hear), but that's really part of the fun, isn't it? It's why we dig through these year-end lists, it's why we make them. Because weird is good, and weird is everywhere.

Enjoy.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.