Favourite Soul & World Albums of 2011
Published Feb 03, 2012To wrap up 2011, we published our picks for the best Soul & World albums of the year, featuring releases from the Weeknd, tUnE-yArDs and Raphael Saadiq, before turning the vote over to you, the fans, with our year-end Readers Poll.
After receiving our most entries ever, the results are finally in, including a local lad who makes you "want to dance or fuck," another high entry for the "strong and impassioned" Adele, and the album you say "captures every genre, every mood, every feeling known to man."
Check out the full Soul & World results below and read why they topped your playlists in 2011.
Exclaim! Readers Poll: Top 8 Soul & World Records of 2011:
1. The Weeknd
House of Balloons (OVO)
"The self loathing vibe is good for self pity listening, but it's not as depressing as listening to Bright Eyes or Elliot Smith. Makes me want to dance or fuck rather than slit my wrists."
Karla Mummery, Vancouver, BC
"Slow, sexy and amazing."
Daniel Okorn, Toronto, ON
"What a year for Canadian hip-hop with The Weeknd coming out with two incredible albums. Drake excluded, good things are happening."
Brian Cauley, Toronto, ON
"The Weeknd exploded onto the Toronto music scene with a fresh new take on R&B. Could we be witnesses to his ascent into worldwide popularity?"
Alex Khotsiphom, Scarborough, ON
"I tend not to listen to a lot of hip-hop or soul or whatever The Weeknd is, but something about this album caught me. Maybe the beats, or the effortless delivery or the casual cool - whatever it is, I play this album a lot."
Darryl Brant, Oshawa, ON
"Very heartfelt and personal, I felt her emotions behind every song."
Maddie Everson, Scarborough, ON
"Finally, an artist who writes their own music and isn't a cookie-cutter image of what a women is portrayed to look like. A true heartfelt album."
Tanya Buksa, Thornhill, ON
"Soulful, rich sound with hints of the sultry."
Grace Foli, Surrey, BC
"Every single person that hears the song 'Someone Like You' immediately feels the need to sing it. It is seriously catchy, albeit super sad. Go Adele! You make the songs that all of us can relate to."
Brittany Ashie, Toronto, ON
"I worship her voice!"
Amanda Harper, Red Deer, AB
3. Charles Bradley
No Time For Dreaming (Dunham)
"I couldn't believe that this guy just started a few years back. He's got such a soulful tone and way about making music, you would swear he was hanging out with James Brown, Bill Withers… plus his band the Menahan Street Band is incredible."
Stephen Byrne, Sackville, NB
w H o K i L l (4AD)
"I'm not even sure what category this fits into but I think it's pretty experimental and pretty groundbreaking. I think this album captures every genre, every mood, every feeling known to man. Possibly the album of the year, at least in my book."
Steve Fox, Windsor, ON
"This album is full of layers in every sense of the word."
Josee Lacroix, Gatineau, QC
"Another album that straddles a whole bunch of genres. Probably the most distinct album of the year."
Sean Moore, Camrose, AB
"This band needs to tour for as long as possible to as many places as possible so that everyone has the chance to bask in their off-kilter beauty."
Kristen Rutherford, Edmonton, AB
"Merrill Garbus offers melodic, abrasive, noise-pop which injects jazz, folk, R&B and hip-hop into the mix. This collision of sounds and ideas provides a new definition for the word 'eclectic.'"
Wayne Yuzik, Saskatoon, SK
5. Mayer Hawthorne
How Do You Do (Universal Republic)
"Heart shaped ten-inch vinyl single? Loved it! The entire record is just pure bliss!"
Brittany Verrall, Puslinch, ON
"Mayer's best work yet. The music sounds straight out of the '70s, even Snoop Dogg makes an appearance and makes it work!"
Warren Bray, Toronto, ON
"While not nearly as well thought out as his first album, How Do You Do continues his sound well."
Jared Asser, Oshawa, ON
Talk That Talk (Def Jam)
"This is definitely one of her better efforts. She knows how to bring it!"
Tricia Douglas, Toronto, ON
"RiRi is consistently putting out dance track after dance track to keep the masses moving. It makes me want to move my feet!"
Brittany Ashie, Toronto, ON
"Rihanna has been doing great music for years but THIS album is definitely her best yet."
Chantal Chiasson, Dieppe, NB
"Awesome singer and songwriter. Her collaborations with other artists are great."
Jeff Quon, Ottawa, ON
"Love her songs!"
Joanne Thompson, Kingston, ON
7. Seun Kuti
From Africa With Fury: Rise (Knitting Factory)
"Seun Kuti is without a doubt the heir apparent to his fathers legacy."
Chris Austin, Victoria, BC
"Legacy of Fela... = The best."
Kirby Hill, Montreal, QC
8. Amy Winehouse
Lioness: Hidden Treasures (Universal Republic)
"Jaw dropping and awesome! Just listen to it. If you need a reason then you should just die."
Steve Shon, Toronto, ON
"A great final tribute to this great artist."
Mark Belanger, Quebec City, QC
"What can be said about the most unique soul vocalist to come along in years that hasn't been said already? A masterpiece!"
Grimm Culhane, Vancouver, BC