Best Albums of 2011: #1

M83 - Midnight City

If there's one thing I've noticed about my listening habits in the past couple years it's that I don't have the same musical endurance I used to have. It might be that I listen to a lot more music than I used to or it might be that we all have a certain degree of ADD from using the internet too much. Either way, I've found that I often spend huge amounts of time with the first half of albums and tend to neglect the latter half. As sort of a resolution to that, I've really begun to love the shorter length of EPs -- four or five tracks that I can really get a good grip on and know inside and out.

It was strange then when I realized that the massive double-album Hurry Up, We're Dreaming was, without a doubt, my favorite album of 2011.

However, I found a sense of freedom in the epic scale of the album. Instead of a tightly-knit album of songs, I discovered a lot of space to get lost in the music. Instrumental tracks wandered and grew, only to fade out in the end, while songs like "Midnight City" and "OK Pal" burst with life and celebration. Unlike so many other indie releases these days, it's gestures were grand and majestic, not subtle in any way. While I've found that I enjoy listening to smaller amounts of music in repeated listening times in my day-to-day life, albums like Hurry Up, We're Dreaming and my favorite album from 2010, Sufjan Steven's Age of Adz prove to me that big concepts and ambitious expressions still move me most.

To read more of what I've written on the album, click here and here.

Best Tracks: "Intro (feat. Zola Jesus)", "Midnight City"

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