3hree Things: My 12 Favorite Albums Of 2011, Vol. 4 of 4

Watch out for 3hree Things every Tuesday, in which Riley Breckenridge, drummer of Orange County's favorite local alt-rock band Thrice, gives his take on life in Southern California as an OC native.
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Are we still doing this?

We're still doing this.

The following are my three favorite records from a year that was so jam packed with great new music that this list could have easily been thirty albums long (and taken ten weeks for me to roll out). Thankfully, I didn't subject you guys (or myself) to that extended list. You're welcome.

Please add any albums you think I might have missed in the comments below, and let's hope 2012 is as good or better as 2011 was. Happy New Year, and thanks as always for reading.

3) Young Widows - In and Out of Youth and Lightness

Favorite Track: "Future Heart"

Old Wounds was one of my favorite records of 2008, and having to wait three years for its follow-up seemed like a freaking eternity. I spun the hell out of Old Wounds during those three years, and with every listen, I found myself getting more and more excited for what was next for Young Widows. I pictured something heavier, grittier, grimier and energetic. What I got was almost the complete opposite; something lighter, more atmospheric and more patient. You'd think I would have been disappointed. You know, the whole expectation v. reality thing. And I very well could have been, I've seen it happen to countless bands (my own included). "Bah. This isn't what I wanted it to be" as a disgruntled listener shoves a album deep into the dregs of his/her iTunes playlist.

I gave In and Out of Youth and Lightness a lot of time. It didn't click the first time. Or the second. Or the third. But something happened around the fourth or fifth listen that pushed aside my misguided expectations and made it my favorite thing Young Widows has ever done. There are few feelings as amazing as when a album just clicks, when you're sitting in your car or at your desk (or wherever you listen to music) and you just feel it wash over you, like "Fuuuuuu-this is incredible." And if there's a moral to this story, I guess it's that just because an album doesn't sound or feel just like you'd hoped it would, that doesn't mean it never will.

Buy it here.


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8 comments
Breedentc
Breedentc

Had the same deal with Young Widows. After getting into them and seeing them live back at a small show, I was hooked.

Envy on the Coast- Southern ComfortAloe Blacc- I Need A DollarEdion Glass- Let GoMutemath- ResetParkway Drive- SleepwalkerAugust Burns Red- Marianas TrenchExplosions in the Sky- Your Hand in MineDr. Dog- Heart it RacesPapadosio- All That I KnewThe Raconteurs- LevelEl Ten Eleven- My Only Swerving

This is a mix of some good songs by some bands that I have been getting into for the past year or so. I'm sure you've probably already heard some but if not you should check em out. Thanks for the Brontide post. I'm still learning tenbytwobyfour on the drums and it is ridiculous but fun as hell to play.

Thanks for posting your top ten. May 2012 be good to you and bring you good fortunes to your new project(s).

illusion of steve
illusion of steve

no Moving Mountains "Waves" huh? I would play that at least once a day at work when I needed to zone in and crank out projects. It's in my favorite albums of the year, along with Thrice, o'brother, and Foo.

Ashley Victoria Vinck
Ashley Victoria Vinck

Garden Window and Major/Minor are my albums of the year. Major/Minor has been the only CD in my car radio since September.  O'Brother, I can't stop listening to them.  I can't go one day without listening to GW, I bought it the minute it came out on a "prayer" that the album would be as good if not better than they were live on tour with you guys.  I hadn't been a fan of their stuff before, so I was really hoping.  Sure enough that album smacked me in the face and made me love it.  One of the best records I've ever heard.  "Machines, Pt. 2" is is incredible and "Cleanse Me"?  Wow one of the best song of the year, maybe of the decade.

Other ones that made my list were: Thursday 'No Devolucion', Manchester Orchestra's 'Simple Math', Touche Amore's 'Parting The Sea Between Brightness and Me', Adele's '21', Glassjaw's 'Coloring Book EP', etc.

I've only been getting into Radiohead recently (blowing it, I know) on a friend's recommendation along with your own, Riley.  I've been really hesitant with getting into them because for years I didn't "get it" with them.  I loved "Idioteque" and "Paranoid Android" but hated other songs.  So I listened to 'The Bends' which I enjoyed, and then' Ok Computer' which I still am having issues with getting into.  'Kid A' is a mixed bad of excitement and confusion, and then 'Hail To The Thief' came along and that record is just plain awesome.  Right now I have to listen to 'Pablo Honey' which seems like something more my speed.  Just a few nights ago I listened to 'In Rainbows' and 'The King Of Limbs'.  Now KOL I was hesitant to like because I heard the record a while ago quickly back when I wasn't into them and it seemed so boring to me.  But listening to it recently, from songs 5-8, I thought they were beautiful.  "Codex" and "Separator" especially, making me cry.  However the first half leaves me cold.  'In Rainbows' blew me away (minus "House Of Cards").  "All I Need" reminded me of how I feel about "In Circles" actually.  A perfectly pretty song for the majority of the time, but then explodes with emotion and both leave me sobbing.  I can say Radiohead is quickly becoming one of my go to bands at the moment, which makes me swallow my pride because I bagged on them for so long haha.I owe about half of my itunes catalog to your music post, Riley.  Thanks so much for sharing!  And please continue making music!  I love hearing your work on Bandcamp.  Happy New Year!

Lukas
Lukas

Good list indeed, stuff you might have missed in 2011:Doomtree - No KingsThe Maine - Pioneer (great album given that they were a pretty pop-punk band until a year ago...)Knife Party - 100% Modern TalkingFoster the people - TorchesJames Blake - James Blake (you might like this one)and all 3 of The Weeknd...

Old Man Nickel
Old Man Nickel

I'm going to have to go back and listen to that Young Widows album again. The couple of times I listened through it, it really didnt do much for me. I'm a little surprised Mastodon's "The Hunter" find its way onto your list, Riley.

Seangj
Seangj

Great list, but I would have liked to see TW Walsh's Songs of Pain and Leisure on there. Solid album from an extremely underrated artist.

Adam Metcalf
Adam Metcalf

There is certainly one record you forgot on the top of your list.... It's a little doozy called Major/Minor. Heard it? 

I couldn't agree more about Garden Window. It would land in the number 2 spot on my list, behind only Major/Minor. In fact, in the six disc CD player in my car for the past few months, Garden Window, and Major/Minor have not vacated their selected slots. 

I started listening to O'bro right before Thrice was going to tour with them the first time, and was very bummed when the tour was cancelled. I was lucky enough to see them a couple months after that tour would have happened. I was blown away. And I was beyond excited to see they were going to tour with Thrice again. Garden Window is phenomenal. Poison is one of my favorites. And I feel very lucky I was able to see them share the stage with my favorite band two times this past fall. 

Kevin
Kevin

Your tour, or rather the announcement of the tour, introduced me to O'Brother. I had their EP on loop every single day until I saw them two nights in a row at HOB Anaheim. The only other band I have had so quickly captivate me was Thrice, back in 2001. Garden Window is incredible, and "Poison!" live can only be described as epic. So glad to see this was your number 1 choice!

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