I didn’t download a whole lot of new music in 2011. Most of what I bought was recorded and released before that snow storm of which I was a product. But I did download some really, really great albums. The following are my favorites regardless of when they were actually released. Feel free to list any surprising favorites in the comments.

1. Adele – 21. The first time I sat down and listened to this one I knew it would be the album of 2011. No question about it being my favorite album of the year. We’ve listened to this one so much, the whole family knows it by heart. Highlight? Every freaking note.

2. Take It Satch! – Louis Armstrong. I bought it for about 4 bucks at a used bookstore and I’ve listened to it constantly. I cannot get enough of Basin Street Blues. Not listening to Louis Armstrong should get you a fine from the awesome police.

3. Billie Holiday with Lester Young. There is no voice greater than Lady Day’s. Pair it with the epic skills of the Prez and you have so much goodness.

4. The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow. It’s weird I cannot listen to this album over and over. But I go through periods where I need to hear it. Two voices. Two instruments. Gorgeously Zen. Highlight? Poison and Wine.

5. The Decemberists – The King is Dead. This is my one hipster album to keep all you cool kids reading. Singular lyrics full of poetry in the truest sense of the word. Highlight? All Arise.

6. Paul McCartney – Band on the Run. I already knew a good bit of the tunage on this one but I never bought the album. Just great pop music from the greatest melody maker ever.

7. The Wailin’ Jennys – Firecracker. All their albums were downloaded by your favorite blogger. But this is my favorite. Sometimes you need to listen to beautiful music. This is about as beautiful as it gets. Highlight? Glory Bound.

8. Miles Davis – Kind of Blue. I actually have owned this album for years. But I lost it in a hard drive crash. So I did buy it again this year. Is that cheating?

9. Alison Krauss and Union Station – Live. I’ve wanted this one for a long time but just never pulled the trigger. After watching the DVD version, I had to have it. The only thing I don’t like about this album is how long I waited to purchase it.

10. Taylor Swift – Speak Now. (handing over man-card) I’m going to really get made fun of for this one. But I have to tell the truth, I love her music. We don’t even have all the songs of the album but I think she’s crazy talented enough and this album has enough singles to list it. Highlight? Back to December.

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