Top 11 Albums
- Adele, 21
- Beirut, The Rip Tide
- Blind Pilot, We Are the Tide
- Bon Iver, Bon Iver
- The Black Keys, El Camino (sadly, it may have come out too late to make some of the early top 10 lists for the year, and was severely underrated by Pitchfork)
- Cut Copy, Zonoscope
- The Decemberists, The King is Dead
- Florence + the Machine, Ceremonials
- The Mountain Goats, All Eternals Deck
- PJ Harvey, Let England Shake
- TV on the Radio, Nine Types of Light
Others that really deserve a mention: St. Vincent, Strange Mercy; Foster the People, Torches; Tennis, Cape Dory; Feist, Metals; Laura Marling, A Creature I Don’t Know; M83, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming; Wye Oak, Civilian; Head and the Heart, Head and the Heart (really a 2010 release, but remastered and re-released on Sub Pop this year); Drake, Take Care; Destroyer, Kaputt.
Top 11 Movies
This has been a harder year for movies, with many of the best coming at the end.
- Margin Call
- Mission Impossible Judge if you will. This movie, perhaps more than any of the other MI movies, knew what it was, embraced it, and was slickly made – making it a lot of fun. When it was ridiculous, I laughed with, rather than laughing at or cringing. Solid brain candy movie.
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
- Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Honorable mentions: The Guard, Ides of March (very well made, but it doesn’t make the cut as it was rather depressing without adding anything), Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Midnight in Paris, The Adjustment Bureau (basically a running movie, not sure why I liked it as much as I did)
Movies I still want to see: Tintin, The Descendants.
11 other highlights
For reading this year, I really enjoyed Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together and Brian Christian’s The Most Human Human, and am looking forward to Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow. I was super-happy to start reading the Song of Ice and Fire series, and immensely enjoyed HBO’s Game of Thrones adaptation.
This year’s season of Breaking Bad was exceptionally good even for an overall exceptional series, as was the second season of Justified. Parks and Recreation continues to be perhaps the sweetest, funniest, consistent comedy on television. House continues to stay fresh, somehow. The BBC modern re-imagining of Sherlock is even better than House. Prime Suspect is the latest darker police procedural that I enjoy but will inevitably be canceled.