Starting today, and culminating with REVERBERATIONS number one album of the year on December 31st (if my math is right), we’ll be counting down the top twenty-five records of 2011. I’m referring to this countdown as Twenty-five Faves because I have no pretenses about telling you what’s “best.” Sure, I think my taste is better than yours. But nobody died and made me Lester Bangs. And Lester could be arrogant, but I kind of think he would come down on the favorite side of the fave/best dichotomy. His criticism was nothing if not personal.
I've reviewed the majority of these selections. In the event that I have I'll simply recycle the original reviews, sometimes with a little new commentary. If it's a selection I haven't reviewed previously, I will dash off a new, brief, introductory review just for perspective.
My introduction to Kurt Vile was as Adam Granduciel’s chief cohort on Wagonwheel Blues a quietly mesmerizing album by Granduciel’s band War on Drugs. With lush guitar atmospheres that straddled genres and generations, Wagonwheel Blues had vocals that sounded like a mixture of Neil Young and Jason Pierce (Spaceman 3). The songs were good enough to emerge from the fog of the music, but sometimes you didn’t care if they did.