Was it another classic year in music in 2011? Does it matter? We still got to hear so much great music. Irish bands are coming on in leaps and bounds, and are mostly exceedingly generous with their music, with much of it available for free. Further afield, 2011 saw the return of a lot of blog buzz bands from a few years back, including Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver. Putting together this list of my favourite albums of the year, what struck me was how quickly music turnover is taking place.

James Blake’s self-titled debut in particular seems to have been loved and lost quite quickly by many. The splicing of genres have also come to the fore in 2011. Yes, there was Korn and Skrillex teaming up, but there was also the Weeknd, who released two ‘mixtapes’ this year, both available for free download. It’s difficult to place anything on House of Balloons or Thursday in one particular basket. Girls, another former buzz band who made the step up this year, created an album which delved into so many genres that it was more like a compilation of a number of bands than just a bunch of Californians. Closer to home, both Padraig McCauley and the P Affection and Jape, to name but two who released albums this year, did not confine themselves to one particular genre. tUnE-YarDs released their second album and blew fans away with their jitter pop. Nicolas Jaar, meanwhile, was previously unknown to me, but in the form of Space Is Only Noise he created something which really blew boundaries. But the delving into numerous directions can also have its drawbacks. Bon Iver’s second album and Arctic Monkeys’ fourth, both of which I enjoyed immensely, contained one song each that was the worst thing thay’ve done to date: ‘Beth/Rest’ and ‘Brick By Brick’, respectively. So what makes a ‘classic year in music’? I don’t know, I just enjoyed the songs I got to hear on the way.

Below, there’s a handy copy and paste list and after the jump you can listen to every single album on the list bar one. For the top 10, I’ve written a little piece on why those choices are at the top. The artwork above was created by Brid O’Donovan, who is also on Twitter.

The Point of Everything’s 30 Favourite Albums of 2011:
30. Padraig McCauley and the P Affection – Padraig McAuley and the P Affection
29. tUnE-YarDs – w h o k i l l
28. The Horrors – Skying
27. Tieranniesaur – Tieranniesaur
26. Those Dancing Days – Daydreams and Nightmares
25. Destroyer – Kaputt
24. The Weeknd – House Of Balloons
23. Jerome’s Law – Not Today
22. Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
21. Elbow – Build A Rocket Boys
20. We Cut Corners – Today I Realised I Could Go Home Backwards
19. Los Campesinos! – Hello Sadness
18. Land lovers – Confidants
17. Ambience Affair – Burials
16. Nicolas Jaar – Space Is Only Noise
15. And So I Watch You From Afar – Gangs
14. Feist – Metals
13. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
12. Tom Vek – Leisure Seizure
11. Arctic Monkeys – Suck It And See
10. Cashier No 9 – To The Death of Fun
9. Jape – Ocean of Frequency
8. Bombay Bicycle Club – A Different Kind Of Fix
7. Squarehead – Yeah, Nothing
6. Bon Iver – Bon Iver, Bon Iver
5. Lisa Hannigan – Passenger
4. St Vincent – Strange Mercy
3. James Blake – James Blake
2. Antlers – Burst Apart
1. Wild Beasts – Smother


30. Padraig McAuley and the P Affection – Padraig McAuley and the P Affection

29. tUnE-YarDs – w h o k i l l
Tune-Yards – Whokill by Eoghan O’ Sullivan on Grooveshark

28. The Horrors – Skying
The Horrors – Skying by Eoghan O’ Sullivan on Grooveshark

27. Tieranniesaur – Tieranniesaur

26. Those Dancing Days – Daydreams and Nightmares
Those Dancing Days – Daydreams and Nightmares by Eoghan O’ Sullivan on Grooveshark

25. Destroyer – Kaputt
Destroyer – Kaputt by Eoghan O’ Sullivan on Grooveshark

24. The Weeknd – House Of Balloons
The Weeknd – House of Balloons by Eoghan O’ Sullivan on Grooveshark

23. Jerome’s Law – Not Today

22. Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost by Eoghan O’ Sullivan on Grooveshark

21. Elbow – Build A Rocket Boys
Elbow – Build A Rocket Boys by Eoghan O’ Sullivan on Grooveshark