Hey Moose heads, Rich Ledoux here with my top 5 albums of 2011. It was tough to narrow it down to just five once again but I let the facts decide. These are the five that have gotten the most airplay from my speakers and headphones over the past year. Don't be shy, let me know what album I was crazy to leave out.

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    Ben Harper

    Give Till It's Gone

    Ben Harper is one of the hardest working dudes in the business, which was made evident by his recent simultanous side projects. I absolutely loved the album he made in 2009 with Relentless 7 (White Lies for Dark Times) but to be honest, wasn't that keen on his debut album last year with Fistful of Mercy. Although they're a supergroup of talented, respected musicians, the final product was a little too sleepy for me. It's no surpise that I love this album so much, Harper's latest solo project, Give Till It's Gone. Harper reassembled the old Relentless 7 bandmates to record it! I think it could be his best work yet.

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    The Whole Love

    I also think this album could be Wilco's best one yet. That may seem like a bold statement but I just hear more a free sound from the band here. They experiment with different sounds, there's more diversity (they aren't pigeonholed to the same Wilco sound we've come to know and love). I get the feeling they truly made the record they wanted to. Thumbs up!

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    The Foo Fighters

    Wasting Light

    Talk about making the record you (the artist) want to! The Foo Fighters are obviously at that happy place, but if you need proof here it is. Wasting Light was recorded in Dave Grohl's garage on analogue master tape. It's truly old school garage band rock n' roll. The album was produced by Butch Vig, the first time Vig worked with Grohl since producing Nirvana's Nevermind.

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    My Morning Jacket


    I was never a big My Morning Jacket fan but this album totally changed that. A lot of different sounds going on in this album too. If I had to describe it I would say it's a mixture of pop, folk, alt-rock and reverb. This album just puts me in a zone!

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    Bitter Blood

    I love this band. I got a chance to meet them and can tell you that they're really cool, down-to-earth dudes. With that aside, their debut album would still be in my top 5 for 2011. What a new, refreshing sound. I love that the Moose was the first radio station to interview them (that's gonna be even cooler to say in a couple years, I know it). They came into the studio the day after they opened for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals at the Emerson in January 2011. They're also from Vermont and they've been described as "the best band from Vermont that nobody knows". (again, I have a feeling that's gonna change soon).

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