my top 10 albums of 2011: limerick edition

On December 31st, 2011, I crafted these limericks in order to not only inform you, but also entertain you, as you read and learn about my favorite albums of the past year. I intend to follow this post up with another list: a collection of albums that I did not quite get around to or have enough time to fully appreciate before the end of 2011, and therefore were unable to make the cut. However, those will not be detailed in limerick format. Sorry.

Enjoy the list, forgive me if some lines don’t quite fit the meter, and I hope you discover some excellent tunes. Happy New Year!

10 – Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto

Mylo Xyloto

[album preview not available due to the band’s denial of streaming – more on that later]

Coldplay were stuck in a rut
But decided to go with their gut
Viva was majestic
So in order to best it
They called again Eno somewhat

Xyloto is not quite as seamless
Some ups, some downs, some between-ness
‘Twas a bit of a let down
Hence the low on the list frown
Hopeless against Viva’s esteemness

But MX is by no means a dud
“Hurts Like Heaven”’s incredibly good
“Paradise” has been spun
Ri’s “Princess” is fun
“Charlie Brown” is an absolute stud

Even though I’d been hoping for better
They can’t all be absolute winners
But the deluxe like a snail
Finally came through my mail
And guess what – it’s a frickin’ bar-setter

9 – Childish Gambino – CAMP


If you said Donald Glover’s been lazy
Then it’s best that you know that you’re crazy
Went from writing, to starring
To verse-refrain sparring
All at once, many think he’s amaze-y

Saw the tour before his debut
He told jokes, rapped some songs we all knew
And the hype kept on piling
For the album compiling
When we’d see if the talk was all true

“Outside” is an outstanding open
“Heartbeat”’s cheesy, but its synth is thumpin’
But the whining gets tired
Though his flow is admired
I look forward to more of his “dopeness”

So while CAMP blew my mind on first listen
Had me hooked, all the songs seemed to glisten
Its hold on me’s faded
On my list, it’s degraded
But if you haven’t spun it, you’re missin’

8 – TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light

Nine Types of Light

TV’s albums, I always get into
But by year’s end they usually fall through
But this album was different
And forget it I didn’t
Hence the following limerick review

I’d tell you the songs that stood out
But Nine Types seemed to flow all throughout
Energetic the horns
Hooks that catch you like thorns
Keyboard sections are gorgeous, no doubt

Sitek’s production is something to praise
Sounds he creates always amaze
And talk about groovy
The album’s got a WHOLE MOVIE
Something for you to watch with your FACE

If some night you’re just itching for funk
How about through this disc you spelunk
Yeah, Nine Types is fantastic
So go buy it on plastic
And support some dudes not making junk

7 – Death Cab for Cutie – Codes & Keys

Codes & Keys

Oh, Death Cab, you mess with my head
You were great, now you’re just “meh” instead
Could you please let me know
Where’d the imagery go?
To return, since the Gibb is unwed?

I hope I don’t give the wrong notion
Codes & Keys is chock full of emotion
But it’s not the right kind
With true love, Ben reclined
And his lyrics received a demotion

Though the album does frustrate a tad
It’s all pop songs, and nothing’s too sad
Because Ben was in love
And when push comes to shove
By and large, Codes & Keys ain’t half bad

But it wasn’t what I was expecting
So upon a deeper dissecting
Gibby was a bit sad
And I bet now he’s mad
And it’s hard to contain my prospecting

6 – St. Vincent – Strange Mercy

Strange Mercy

St. Vincent makes songs with a crunch
And her words pack a hell of a punch
When Strange Mercy came ‘round
I got lost in the sound
And it rocked, which before was my hunch

“Cruel”’s hook stuck like glue to my brain
“Surgeon”’s melody masked all the pain
“Northern Lights” has a groove
Title track sounds so smooth
Just a sample there, since I’m constrained

Searched for problems, I only found one
‘Fore you know it, the album is done
Whether it’s good or nay
It surprised me today
I expected more songs, there were none!

Lady vocals aren’t always my thing
Sometimes not quite the yang to my ying
Yes it’s true, I opine
It’s a problem of mine
But I love hearing Annie Clark sing

5 – Theophilus London – Timez Are Weird These Days

Timez Are Weird These Days

Theophilus is a weird name
Super funky – his music the same
He looks awkward and tall
Which is quite the curve ball
‘Cuz his beats on the tracks have got game

With some help from a few of his friends
Timez Are Weird is a blast – start to end
Got a hint of the 80s
And guest vocalist ladies
Tons of synth, which you know I commend

All the songs on the album are great
“Last Name London” – so highly I’d rate
Same with “I Stand Alone”
What a great way to close
More dessert after eating a cake

Others may not have loved it as much
But it’s fun, never needing a crutch
The production so smooth
Lets his funky beats soothe
And the reason I love it is such

4 – Bon Iver – Bon Iver, Bon Iver

Bon Iver, Bon Iver

With a title that’s called his name, twice
It’d be wrong if the album weren’t nice
And I promise you this:
You’d be nuts to dismiss
So please turn on your music device

Did he top the perfection of Emma?
Maybe not, but there is no dilemma
Just ask my night-light
What I’d play many nights
When I’d drift off to sleep in Septemba

His falsetto just never gets old
With his lower tones so thick and bold
As he croons through the album
Over layers of big drums
And closes with Hornsby-esque gold

Where For Emma was much more stripped down
Bon Iver, Bon Iver has thick sounds
Each style serves its purpose
And you know that I won’t fuss
When another new album comes ‘round

3 – Hooray For Earth – True Loves

True Loves

For this one I must thank my brother
Who turned me on to them in the summer
I was instantly hooked
Synths are big in my book
True Loves has those, and drums, and some others

The whole album’s a forty min. snack
And I always spin it front to back
If you’d ask me the song
I would prob’ly be wrong
‘Cause I don’t know the names of the tracks

When the guys came to play at my school
Got to meet ‘em – they’re pretty darn cool
Now their wares I possess
And I played them in chess
And of course, lost to them like a fool

So I promise, True Loves is fantastic
Did I mention – production is quite slick
So make haste, like I said
Before you are so dead
And go buy it – ain’t being sarcastic!

2 – Jonathan Coulton – Artificial Heart

Artificial Heart

Of this album I’m super obsessive
And I’d waited so long to possess it
After years in the making
And the same of my aching
It’s finally here – and impressive

Mr. Coulton is one of my faves
But you won’t find his tunes at your raves
No, the man plays guitar
Once without, now with pow’r
Songs sound happy, yet often are grave

Songs on Heart tend to sound much more grown-up
Less of monkeys, more family has shown up
While some fans are bummed out
I don’t get what about
‘Cause I like it when songs are a close-up

Half of Giants, the Flansburgh worked wonders
Giving Coulton’s tunes thickness, and thunder
Don’t take long for another
Like the last wait, oh brother!
So excited, my brain’s torn asunder

1 – The Lonely Forest – Arrows


Holy crap, we have come to the last
Yet the first, as the others we’ve passed
Yes, it’s all said and done
This gets my number one
A gold sticker, perhaps, if they ask!

Arrows I’ve very much overplayed
Yet its excellence never does fade
Every song is a gem
When you listen to them
You will get why I gave them this grade

John van Deusen sings through with such passion
So the songs are packed in the same fashion
Every theme, every verse
As the melodies burst
Full of life as drums keep on smashin’

If you don’t pick it up, you’re a goof
Even Walla was there in the booth
So just give it a shot
Think you’ll like it a lot
And like that, the list’s over now *poof*