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Get Excited for 2011-- 25 Promising Albums + Speculation

Maybe what sets a true music lover apart from a casual listener is that to the serious listener-- each and every year seems to be the end all year of music. 2009 was owned by Animal Collective; I was worried that what followed in 2010 would simply be post Merriweather Post Pavillion, but that was before LCD Soundsystem dropped This Is Happening, before Gorillaz gifted us Plastic Beach. All of a sudden, 2010 became "the year in music". I won't claim to say that 2011 is shaping up to be an "end all" year, because frankly, good music will continue to be released perennially, but hey, 2011, you sure are looking hot from here. Here are 25 albums that I am most excited to hear and to share with you, ordered by day of release.

1)The Decemberists - The King Is Dead via Capitol, Jan. 11
2)The Modern Skirts- Gramahawk, Unsigned, Jan. 18th
3)Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde via Fat Possum, Jan. 18th
4)Tennis – Cape Dory via Fat Possum, Jan. 18th
5)Cold War Kids - Mine Is Yours via Downtown Music, Jan. 25th
6)Iron and Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean via Warner Bros. Records, Jan 25th
7)Destroyer – Kaputt via Merge Records, Jan. 25th
8)James Blake – James Blake via Atlas/A&M, Feb. 7th
9)Cut Copy - Zonoscope via Modular, February 8th
10)PJ Harvey – Let England Shake via Island, Feb. 15th
11)Bright Eyes - The People's Key via Saddle Creek, February 18th
12)Toro Y Moi – Underneath The Pine via Car Park, Feb. 22nd
13)Lupe Fiasco - Lasers via Atlantic, March 8th
14)R.E.M. - Collapse Into Now via Warner Bros., March 8th
15)The Strokes - Angles via RCA, March 22nd
16)The Mountain Goats - All Eternals Deck via Merge, March 29th
17)Panda Bear - Tomboy via Paw Tracks, April 19th
18)Lady Gaga - Born This Way via Interscope, May 23rd
19)Kanye West & Jay-Z – Watch The Throne via Def Jam, TBA
20)Death Cab for Cutie - Codes and Keys via Atlantic, TBA
21)Dr. Dre - Detox via Aftermath/Interscope, TBA
22)Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2 via Capitol, TBA
23)Paul Simon – So Beautiful Or So What, TBA
24)Fleet Foxes- LP2 via Sub Pop, TBA
25)The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Belong via Slumberland, TBA

Speculation-- Let's hope that we hear at least a few LP's from the artists below in 2011.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - TBA
Damon Albarn/Flea/Tony Allen Project - TBA
Gorillaz - TBA
Portishead - TBA
Radiohead - TBA
The White Stripes - TBA
The Shins - TBA
Wilco - TBA
My Morning Jacket - TBA
The Lonely Island - TBA
M83 - TBA
How to Destroy Angels - TBA
Neon Indian - TBA
Bon Iver - TBA
Beck - TBA
Tenacious D - TBA
Kanye West - TBA
Aphex Twin - TBA
The Cars - TBA
Mister Heavenly - TBA
The Ting Tings - TBA

Missing anything you think will make 2011 a better year for music? Let us know.