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It’s been pretty quiet around here for awhile (so quiet that we’re pretty sure just our mom’s are checking this thing at this point) (hi moms!), but even though we haven’t been writing all that much, we promise we’ve still been listening to loads of good music. So putting this list together has been a good chance for us to finally put down how we feel about some of the great stuff we’ve heard this year. We just hope it’s as fun for you to browse through as it was for us to pull together!

Before reading on, just a quick note about a record that’s not on this list: The Head & The Heart’s debut record saw a major label release this year (on Sub Pop), and although we’ve probably listened to that absolute gem of a record more than just about any other this year, we didn’t include it on account of it being on our year-end list for 2010, since they self-released it that year. But just know this: under different circumstances, The Head & The Heart would most certainly top this list. So if you haven’t heard them yet, let that be your invitation! Because they are so great!

So with that out of the way, we’re ready to unveil our Top 21 Albums of 2011. Just remember that this list represents our favorite albums of the year, and not necessarily the best albums of the year. If we had to pick what we thought were the very best albums critically, this list might look a little different. But we’re not critics, so we’re not going to worry about who made the greatest artistic strides or whatever this year. These are simply our very favorite albums of the year: the ones that made us laugh, cry, dance, smile, press repeat, wet our pants, etc. Basically, this is what we’ll remember when we look back on 2011.

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ARTIST: Reptar

Reptar is a band you need to be listening to. That’s it. That’s all you need to know. They’re bouncy brand of synth-pop has been bringing the good summer vibes to my Blazer all month – and I don’t expect to be tiring of their big hooks and booty-shakin’ breakdowns anytime soon. They sound like some sort of cross between Talking Heads and Passion Pit, with a little Isaac Brock and MGMT thrown in, all delivered with a wink and a cockeyed grin. They’re debut EP, Oblangle Fizz Y’all, is out now, and should be listened to by everyone.

mp3: Reptar – Stuck in My Id
from the EP Oblangle Fizz Y’all (buy it here)