Guitar World Staff Picks: Josh Hart's Top 10 Albums of 2011

Is it just me, or is an album's release date becoming less and less relevant?

I'm not just talking about piracy or over-saturation of the market leading to release dates that just don't feel as special -- though even at my relatively young age, I can fondly remember waiting in line at FYE to buy a new album. I'm saying that the way we consume music is changing in such a way that makes when an album came out nearly irrelevant.

Maybe it's the fact that the Internet has made terms like "obscure" obsolete, or how "old" no longer means "out of print," but I kind of dig how all music seems to sort of exist in this weird, atemporal ether of "now." Maybe 2011 is the time David Kusek wrote about in The Future of Music, in which he envisioned "a future in which music will be like water: ubiquitous and free-flowing."

Or maybe I'm just lazy and all that is just an excuse for why I tried to cheat in my choice for No. 1 ...

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Josh Hart is a former web producer and staff writer for Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado magazines (2010–2012). He has since pursued writing fiction under various pseudonyms while exploring the technical underpinnings of journalism, now serving as a senior software engineer for The Seattle Times.