Guest / Limited Access /

When CT's music critics had narrowed down the list of candidates for the year's best albums, a trend seemed to be emerging, prompting one of our critics to say, "We seem to be kind of a country bunch, don't we?" Well, it's certainly a country/bluegrass flavored list, but standing alone at the top is indie veteran Josh Garrels, who spent 18 months working on what would become CT's Album of the Year—only to end up giving it away. Find out why by reading his story here.

Here are our top 12 albums of 2011, with links to our original reviews.

  1. Josh Garrels, Love & War & the Sea In Between (Small Voice Records)
  2. Gillian Welch, The Harrow & the Harvest (Acony)
  3. Over the Rhine, The Long Surrender (Great Speckled Dog)
  4. Burlap to Cashmere, Burlap to Cashmere (Jive Records)
  5. Joe Henry, Reverie (Anti)
  6. Paul Simon, So Beautiful or So What (Hear Music)
  7. Alison Krauss & Union Station, Paper Airplane (Rounder)
  8. Emmylou Harris, Hard Bargain (Nonesuch Records)
  9. Sara Groves, Invisible Empires (Fair Trade Services)
  10. Mutemath, Odd Soul (Teleprompt/Warner Bros.)
  11. Laura Marling, A Creature I Don't Know (Ribbon Records)
  12. Gungor, Ghosts upon the Earth (Brash Music)

Honorable Mention (listed in alphabetical order)

Blind Boys of Alabama, Take the High Road; The Civil Wars, Barton Hollow; Amos Lee, Mission Bell; Bill Mallonee, The Power & The Glory; Buddy Miller, The Majestic Silver Strings; Jill Phillips, In this Hour; Aaron Strumpel, Birds; Switchfoot, Vice Verses; Phil Wickham, Response.

Go to ChristianityToday.com/ct/music to read full reviews of these albums.

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Tags:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueWhen Modern Medicine Becomes a False God
Subscriber Access Only
When Modern Medicine Becomes a False God
A doctor reflects on what healthcare can—and can’t—accomplish.
Current IssueThe Cosmos Is Vaster than the Ancients Imagined
Subscriber Access Only
The Cosmos Is Vaster than the Ancients Imagined
Looking at the stars is always humbling. Wrong understandings of their movement are even more so.
Current IssueManga Mania
Subscriber Access Only
Manga Mania
The Japanese Bible series has sold more than the Jesus Storybook Bible. So why is it not taking off in Japan?
TrendingResearch Says: Young People Don't Want Hip Pastors
Research Says: Young People Don't Want Hip Pastors
A study of 250 congregations suggests that youth and young adults want substance rather than style.
Editor's PickRandy Alcorn: God Wants You to Find Your Happy Place
Randy Alcorn: God Wants You to Find Your Happy Place
Why happiness and holiness don’t have to be in conflict.
View this article in Reader Mode
Christianity Today
The 2011 CT Music Awards