I strongly feel that classic albums are not exclusively the product of past generations. It saddens me when I hear people complaining about the state of music today as if there is lack of amazing artists and music being created at this very moment. I agree that we have much more crap nowadays but that is probably because it no longer takes big budgets and major record labels to create an album. Overall, this is a great thing. However, because of the democratization of music-making, we have a lot more to plow through to get to the golden nuggets. But they exist!

Here is a list compiled by CAS attendees of the Best Albums of 2011. Now I have a new listening list to get through over the holidays. I hope you will join me.

Sound of Rum – Balance

My Morning Jacket – Circuital

King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine

P J Harvey – Let England Shake

Zodiac Free Arts Club – Floating

Two Fingers of Firewater – Songs to Listen To

Alison Krauss & Union Station – Paper Airplane

The Horrors – Skying

Paul Simon – So Beautiful or So What

James Blake – James Blake

The Field – Looping State of Mind

Paul White – Rapping With Paul White

Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972

Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

Seahawks – Vision Quest One: Spaceships Over Topanga Canyon

Hatchback – Zeus & Apollo

Read More: Forgotten Classic: Refused ‘The Shape of Punk to Come’
Read More: Modern Classic: The Avalanches ‘Since I Left You’