Albums of 2011: Another 5 nominations

2011 really was a great year for music. This time last year the choice was far more sparse. There were some great albums in 2010: Caitlin Rose ‘Own Side Now’ (A 2010 release in the UK), Mary Gaultier’s ‘The Foundling’, Laura Marling’s ‘I Speak Because I Can’, The Tallest Man On Earth ‘The Wild Hunt’ & Elizabeth Cook’s ‘Welder’. But that was the limit of a lean year.

Back to 2011 and the second 5 nominations for Album of the Year.

Adele – 21

It is hard to critically review an album that has become such a massive commercial success, but if you strip away the 12 million sales, the 6 Grammy nominations, and the wall to wall radio play, ’21’ is simply an excellent album. It demonstrates a clear progression since her debut ’19’ but manages to sustain the raw emotion of singing powerful heart-on-your-sleave songs of love, loss and regret. It is difficult to imagine that Adele is still only in her early 20’s and has a voice that will – hopefully – only getter better as it matures.


The Unthanks – Last

The Unthanks, who featured earlier this year in the Ironbath’s virtual English Folk festival, carry a purity in their folkness that echo’s the traditions. Often it is an uncompromising sound but with ‘Last’ the sisters have truly developed their own style. And it is a style that in time will be regarded as traditional by the future generations of folk singers.


Megan Henwood – Maving Waves

Another English Folk singer but one with an entirely different sound. ‘Making Waves’ is a delightfully easy listen. The folk-pop tunes are lyrically strong and are sung beautifully. The title track is a great modern protest song and has slowly been gaining some radio play. As a debut album it is a place-setter and the Ironbath is anticipating how she develops as a songwriter and musician. There is a touch of the KT Tunstall about Megan Henwood, and it looks like she is headed towards great things.


Bella Hardy – Songs Lost & Stolen

There have been a number of great folk albums released this year by singers similar to Bella Hardy. But this one stands out and it sounds as if Bella has found a beautiful place in the folk scene.

‘The Herring Girl’ has been nominated as the BBC Folk Awards best original song.


Over The Rhine – The Long Surrender

Over The Rhine have a phenomenal discography but have remained a niche band with a small but loyal following. ‘The Long Surrender’ their 11th studio album would have recruited a few more fans for Karin Bergqvist’s soaring vocals. It is one of the music world’s great injustices that Over The Rhine have not found a wider recognition.


About Ironbath

The Ironbath is a passionate music lover.
This entry was posted in Adele, Bella Hardy, Caitlin Rose, Elizabeth Cook, English Folk, Laura Marling, Mary Gauthier, Megan Henwood, Over The Rhine, The Tallest Man On Earth, The Unthanks, Top 5. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Albums of 2011: Another 5 nominations

  1. Steve Caple says:

    Saw Richard Shindell for the first time at the Roots on the Narrow Gauge kickoff concert – he and Mary Gauthier were billed below Over The Rhine. We’ve always liked Mary since Fire and Filth, but Shindell blew them all away, especially this one:

    • Ironbath says:

      Absolutely fantastic video! I had a ticket to see Richard Shindell at a concert and songwriter workshop in Shrewsbury, but on the day I was ill and couldn’t go. I was devastated.

  2. Pingback: The Golden Bath’s 2013: Album Of The Year – Part 3 of 3 | Ironbath

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