50. Youth Lagoon The Year of Hibernation [Fat Possum/Lefse]
Reason: Accidental initial 8.4 rating was elephant in the room.  As Marisa Tomei is allowed to hold on to her "My Cousin Vinny" Oscar, so too must we include Youth Lagoon in the 2011 top 50.

49. Wild Flag Wild Flag [Merge]
Reason: We had to include it, but where?  Someplace controversial, that’s where.  Guess what, shitheads.  We liked 48 albums more than Wild Flag in 2011.  That should put the kibosh on any pandering claims right here and now.  Wild Flag.  America’s own Wild Flag.  Clocking in at number 49.  Barely made the list.  Why?  Because we’re badasses, that’s why.  And also there was some ad revenue conflict this year with a banner that Merge backed out of.  But mostly we’re badasses.

48. Toro Y Moi Underneath the Pine [Carpark]
Reason: We used the term "chillwave" too many times this year not to use it again.

47. Sepalcure Sepalcure [Hotflush]
Reason: Our techno guy told us to, and we’ll do anything just to shut him up.

46. Cults Cults [In the Name Of/Columbia]
Reason: Ad sales kickback.

45. Kendrick Lamar Section.80 [Top Dawg]
Reason: Just wanted to remind you guys, we know about hip hop.  Not a single one of us could ever win a fist fight, but we do collectively know about hip hop.

44. Colin Stetson New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges [Constellation]
Reason: Including a popular session saxophone player’s experimental electro-jazz album in our list allows us to reference LCD Soundsystem, Bon Iver, and Arcade Fire in an entry that’s not even about any of those acts.  We get paid by the mention on those guys, plus we get brownie points for being experimental, so it’s ideal.

43. Lykke Li Wounded Rhymes [Atlantic/LL]
Reason: For the ladies.  Real talk.

42. SBTRKT SBTRKT [Young Turks]
Reason: Look.  We DJ on the side.  All of us.  You know how much money that can pay if you just give up and play some butt-moving techno shit like this from a laptop?  Some.  Some money.

41. Liturgy Aesthethica [Thrill Jockey]
Reason: Contrary to popular belief, we do a comprehensive scientific analysis on our ratings systems, and it turns out this is the exact 41st best album of 2011.

Colin Stetson recorded with Arcade Fire. Arcade Fire. Arcade Fire.

40. AraabMuzik Electronic Dream [Duke]
Reason: The more we tell you to like techno, the funnier it’s gonna be when we go "ha ha, just kidding" in 2015.  We’ve been buying up limited-release punk/psych/garage stuff for like the last 5 years, and we are all gonna make a KILLING on eBay when we start telling the world it’s good.  Watch.  The best thing is: by then we’ll be wrong.  HA HA HA.

39. The War on Drugs Slave Ambient [Secretly Canadian]
Reason: Ad sales kickback.

38. Sandro Perri Impossible Spaces [Constellation]
Reason: Did Dirty Projectors come out with a record this year?  NO?!  Shit!  Find me an approximation.  NOW.  This slot is already published, you guys.

37. Iceage New Brigade [What’s Your Rupture?]
Reason: These guys are teenagers from Denmark.  Did we mention that?  Teenagers from Denmark.  Remember that.  Tell it to other people.  And if you want to put icing on that cake, say "I dunno, some people say it sounds like a mess, but people said the same thing about Land Speed Record."  That’ll REALLY make it sound like you’re getting in on the ground floor.  Oh, and if somebody tells you "Land Speed Record IS a fucking mess."  Just say "I KNOW" like you agree with that and also you think messes are great.  That person will accept you as somebody who has opinions about music AND probably also stop talking to you about music.  So it’s win-win.  Lil’ tip from your buddies over at good old P-Fork.  You’re welcome.

36. Kate Bush 50 Words For Snow [Anti-/Fish People]
Reason: You’re not allowed to be older than 30 and like rock music and not also be somewhat of a Kate Bush fan.  Them’s the rules.  We made ’em.  We follow ’em.  Kate Bush.  Kate Bush, you guys.

35. Frank Ocean Nostalgia, Ultra. [self-released]
Reason: You know what?  Sometimes it’s just FUN to hype up something that doesn’t really deserve it.  You remember how much FUN Odd Future was at first?  Sure, they’re basically the second coming of Onyx, but "Slam" was fun then and yelling "Wolf Gang" for no reason is also fun.  What the fuck, we’re not allowed to get drunk and be idiots?  No?  Why, because we’re too busy overanalyzing everything with a pseudo-academic air, even if it’s completely mediocre?  Oh shit, you have a point.  Guys!  They’re onto us.  Smoke bomb of words!  Hmmmrr, actually we like this stuff.  It’s a part of a "movement" of "something something."  RUN!  …We lost ’em.  That was close.  Man, did you see that one guy with the Squirtle t-shirt and the AK-47?  HA HA HA.  WOLF GANG!  Oh man I’m going to vomit.  I should not have had those 7 lavender-infused vodka tonics that were provided free of charge by the fine people at Hyundai.  Remind me to never stop telling people how good that music was even though that was fucking horrible.

34. Katy B On a Mission [Columbia/Rinse]
Reason: We just want you to give us credit for REALLY sticking with the whole "pop is music too" anti-snob-backlash-cum-neu-snob-frontlash thing.  I mean it was kind of fun for a while there in 2003 to blast Billy Joel "Uptown Girl" at a party, but we took that ball and just fucking RAN with it.  All the WAY, even.  Look at us.  Still.  You know?  I mean, wow, right?

33. Fucked Up David Comes to Life [Matador]
Reason: Ad sales kickback.

32. Panda Bear Tomboy [Paw Tracks]
Reason: Do we have to come right out and say it?  We painted ourselves into a corner with all the Animal Collective fawning, ok?

31. Ty Segall Goodbye Bread [Drag City]
Reason: We can’t really vouch for anybody who’s actually good unless it’s their least good album.  Sorry, our hands are tied.  What can we say?  We’re shitty.  We want things to be shitty.  And we take special pride in making unshitty things a little shittier.  That’s just what we do.

30. Tim Hecker Ravedeath, 1972 [Kranky]
Reason: Will this help you take us seriously?  It’s not all pop with us, people.  Sometimes it’s groaning ambient anti-pop "important" music.  See?  We pander from both sides.

29. DJ Quik The Book of David [Mad Science]
Reason: Ok, so we like writing descriptions about 42 year old hip hop producers that make us sound like old friends.  So sue us.

28. Cut Copy Zonoscope [Modular]
Reason: Ad sales kickback.

27. Beyoncé 4 [Columbia]
Reason: We were going to mention the Kelly Rowland album here, but a bunch of thugs shoved our Editor in Chief into the back of a van.  One of the goons showed him a Kelly Rowland album and a picture of his family with a knife through it, and another guy held up a Beyoncé album, and a gym bag full of cash.  They said "the choice is yours" and dropped him in the middle of the Dan Ryan.  We would have just taken the cash without all the theatrics, as usual, but message received.

26. The Field Looping State of Mind [Kompakt]
Reason: When Duster came out, we were like, "Great medium-good band, guys.  How about exactly this but 15 years later and techno?"  So this is just kind of a "told you so."

25. Gang Gang Dance Eye Contact [4AD]
Reason: Did you know there’s a black market stock market?  There is, and we are up to our nuts in cocaine futures.  Like scary-level committed.  Way overextended.  All we have to do is promote shitty party music in order to artificially drive demand for like 2 more years, and then we’ll get out.

24. Julianna Barwick The Magic Place [Asthmatic Kitty]
Reason: You ever watch a movie that’s gunning super hard for an Academy Award but just falls totally flat?  Like "Cold Mountain."  "Cold Mountain" is fucking hilarious.  Well, that’s kind of the music we’re into.  Anything that aims to convey a sense of profound meaning without ever actually communicating anything, so much so that you have no idea what you’re even supposed to be so emotional about, and then you’re momentarily confused enough to forget that you’re out $12?  That’s what this is, except you can totally download it for free so it’s just more like a lighthearted goof.

23. Bill Callahan Apocalypse [Drag City]
Reason: "Whatever Bill Callahan just shat out at the 23 slot" is a good old fashioned "no bones to pick" choice.  Not even Ben Johnson can come up with a reason why this is a dopey move.

22. The Caretaker An Empty Bliss Beyond This World [History Always Favours the Winners]
Reason: When Pitchfork first started it was back when "Glitch" was kind of the big pretentious thing de jour.  God, we miss it.  It was so easy to write about as if the people doing it were actually accomplishing something.  Old habits die hard.

21. Jay-Z/Kanye West Watch the Throne [Def Jam/Roc-a-Fella/Roc Nation]
Reason: Okay fine, you got us.  We’re starfuckers.

20. Nicolas Jaar
Space Is Only Noise [Circus Company]
Reason: Not even we like what we’re doing.  We’re trying to make it plain to you people how much we suck with little messages in the bottle like this, but it’s not easy.  Apparently there’s no limit to how gullible you are.

19. Danny Brown XXX [Fool’s Gold]
Reason: Our favorite subgenre of Hip-Hop is and always has been Nyah Nyah Nyah Rap, and it’s been a while since the heyday of Aesop Rock so we’re biding our time with this.

Gang Gang Dance’s Biggest and Only Fan

18. Atlas Sound Parallax [4AD]
Reason: Ad sales kickback.

17. Clams Casino Instrumentals [self-released]
Reason: It’s a self-released "mixtape."  You can just see the stinkwaves of cred seeping out of this like one of those old time cartoons where the smell from the pie on the window sill grows hands and slaps Bugs Bunny in the face, then grabs him by the nostrils and floats him over.  Check out that word, "mixtape."  It’s like we got it on an actual cassette tape!  Right?!  Like instead of multitracking some sample-based watery downtempo house on Garageband and then instantly sending it everywhere on the internet, we got a TAPE in the REAL LIFE MAIL?!  Man, that would be CRAZY.  THE MAIL?  Yeah RIGHT.  And a TAPE?!  They don’t even MAKE those things anymore.  We’re pretty sure they don’t even make those things anymore.  Ho ho man.  Check out this underground self-released MIXTAPE we have.  We get things like this all the time because we’re pretty cool dudes, and we liked this one more than all but 16 of everything this year that we heard this year.  No biggie.  Wink.  (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!)

16. Kurt Vile Smoke Ring For My Halo [Matador]
Reason: We’re allowed to like Kurt Vile now that he’s Neil Younged out all his earlier rocking.

15. Fleet Foxes
Helplessness Blues [Sub Pop]
Reason: Ad sales kickback.

14. Shabazz Palaces Black Up [Sub Pop]
Reason: It’s good.

13. EMA Past Life Martyred Saints [Souterrian Transmissions]
Reason: We love 90’s movies about virtual reality that display a complete lack of knowledge about what computers are and what they do.  The only thing better is the music in the one scene where they try to convince you that the youngsters that know about how to do this stuff are, like, dangerous and cool.  That music always really spoke to us, because we always knew a lot about computers, and we were nerdy as shit at the time.  So when nerds make kind of nerdy Depeche Mode electro-industrial-guitar music that could conceivably be made to look, through the magic of hiring extras on the set of the movie "Hackers," like it’s some sort of edgy hedonistic sex rave, it awakens deep memories of pretending the reason we’re alone at our lunch table in middle school is we’re too tough and edgy.

12. James Blake James Blake [A&M/Atlas]
Reason: Ad sales kickback.

11. St. Vincent Strange Mercy [4AD]
Reason: Ad sales kickback.

10. The Weeknd House of Balloons [self-released]
Reason: Drug sales kickback.

09. Real Estate Days [Domino]
Reason: Ad sales kickback.

08. Drake Take Care [Cash Money/Young Money/Universal Republic]
Reason: This is just our way of saying that we approve of the idea of turning on the radio.

07. tUnE-yArDs w h o k i l l [4AD]
Reason: Ad sales kickback.

06. Oneohtrix Point Never Replica [Mexican Summer/Software]
Reason: We don’t want to totally ignore the "underground," so we decided to include a randomly selected album on Mexican Summer, a smaller label that we like for a number of reasons, chief among them the fact that they’re shameless.

05. Girls Father, Son, Holy Ghost [True Panther]
Reason: Comedy.

04. PJ Harvey Let England Shake [Vagrant/Island Def Jam]
Reason: Just to prove that we know who she is, really.

03. M83 Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming [Mute]
Reason: Ad sales kickback.

02. Destroyer Kaputt [Merge]
Reason: Ad sales kickback

01. Bon Iver Bon Iver [Jagjaguwar]
Reason: Ad sales kickback.

Can you IMAGINE?! LOL.