Reviews and Suggestions

Matheson Kamin’s “Best Of” List for 2011

As amazing as it seems, we have reached the end of 2011. Now is the time to make our lists for the best releases from the last year. For me, this year’s list will be a little different than the previous years that I have created a list. This year’s list will have three parts:
Part One: Each year, there are those releases that catch your ear while taking hold and never letting go. The first 5 selections of this year’s list will make up the best 2011 albums that I wrote about throughout the year. These albums are the ones that found their way to my CD player and have yet to be put away because of how times I’ve gone back to listen to them.

Part Two: The second part of the list will include 5 additional releases. These particular selections will include explanations for their inclusion when they are mentioned.
Part Three: The third part of the list for this year will include the five best songs I have heard in 2011. These particular songs helped make 2011 what it was for me, musically.
The 2011 “Best Of” List
1 Little Tybee Humorous to Bees I love the Humorous to Bees release. The five people that make up Little Tybee combine to create one very strong release. The creativity in the writing and the playing of the members are what make this CD one of my favorite CDs for the year.
2 Mother Mother Eureka The Eureka release from Mother Mother is a personal favorite from 2011 because I just stumbled across it. And once I had the chance to hear the release, I have not been able to take it out of my CD player. I really wish there were more releases that were as well-written and strong from beginning to end as this release.
3 Bethesda Dreamtiger and Other Tails The first of two EPs from 2011 that made the list, Dreamtiger and Other Tails from Bethesda is probably the most unusual and creative release I had the chance to hear this year. From the strangely beautiful voice of Shanna Delaney to the unusual instruments included in the music of the band, there are many reasons to check out Bethesda and their 2011 release Dreamtiger and Other Tails.
4 Son of the Sun Almost Not There The second of two EPs to make their way onto my Best Of list for this year is Almost Not There from Son of the Sun. The six songs that make up this release work well to create one strong, though short, release. The variety in the songs is one of the reasons why I include this CD in this list. Son of the Sun offers up some of the best indie rock this year with their Almost Not There CD. This is one CD I wish was longer than it is.
5 Stacie Collins Sometimes Ya Gotta Sometimes Ya Gotta from Stacie Collins is the one CD on my 2011 Best Of list that is NOT from 2011. But since the album was released very late last year, I am including it in my list for this year as I was not able to review it until early this year. The Blues-based rock that Stacie Collins creates is very fun to listen to. And the fact that Collins recorded this release with The Scorchers makes this release all that much stronger.
Five Additional Releases for Your Consideration
The reason You Shouldn’t Have to Shout So Loud by True Nature appears in this category is because of two reasons: One, the release came out in 2010, not 2011. And two, the band already appeared in my “Best Of” list once. But since the band’s other release of Feels like Centuries was basically half an album and included in the “Best Of” list for 2009, and You Shouldn’t Have to Shout So Loud was the unofficial second half of that album, I felt I had to give the same honor to both the first and second parts of the release.
2 Ellery This Isn’t Over Yet This selection is another album released in 2010. And while the sound of the band is not quite as energetic as the selections in the main list, the music from Tasha and Justin Golden is beautiful and powerful. Each song written by Ellery is a song that needs to be heard. This Isn’t Over Yet is one of those releases that has many songs that could become hits if only given the chance.
3 Gods of Indie Guitar 2011 This release really deserves to be in the “Best Of” list for this year. But since there are already five selections in the Top 5 part of the list, I put this release in the second half to give more promotion to this very enjoyable release that features many talented acts.
4 Nexcyx Queen The Queen EP by Nexcyx is very good, but it really didn’t fit into The Rock And Roll Report, which is why it never appeared on the website. But I really think people should know about this release, which is why it appears here. Nexcyx is a band from Barbados that creates music that incorporates R&B, Rock and some island elements into their music, creating a style that today’s music fans should find very accessible. One of the best tracks of the year belongs to the band’s song “Bass”. That song alone makes the Queen EP one of the best releases from 2011.

5 Modern American Theatre We Could Make a House One main reason why I did not include this release in the “Best Of” list is because We Could Make a House from Modern American Theatre was actually released in 2010. And another reason for not including this release in my Best Of list for 2011 is because the band released other albums since then.

The Best Songs I’ve heard This Year:
1. Mother Mother “Simply Simple”
2. Nexcyx “Bass”
3. Little Tybee “Signal Below”
4. Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs “Alone in This Together”
5. Bethesda “Dreamtiger”