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Guitar World Staff Picks: Damian Fanelli's Top 10 Albums of 2011

As an editor at, I listen to tons of music -- all sorts of weird stuff. One day in the summer, I even found myself listening to an album recorded by a bunch of nuns chanting in Latin. I'm still not sure why that happened.

Anyway, my point is, amid the beatings my poor ear drums withstand on a daily basis, it's still pretty easy for me to choose my favorite albums of the year; they're the ones I found myself listening to over and over again in 2011.

A few of these choices sort of flew under the radar this year -- such as the long-awaited comeback album (reunion album, actually) by The Jayhawks (Hey, I sure as hell was waiting for it) and even the latest by the former Pavement frontman, Stephen Malkmus; it's probably his best solo album since his self-titled 2001 solo debut (which is freakin' awesome).

And then there's No. 10 on my list -- Le Tour Du Chapeau ("hat trick") by Les Dales Hawerchuk, a heavy, hockey lovin', French singin', French screamin' band from Quebec, Canada. What can I say? I'm seriously into the whole Keb rock scene -- and Montreal is a mere 6.7777777 hours away by car! Anyway, if you haven't heard it yet, it's worth checking out -- as are the other nine albums in the photo gallery below.

Thanks for reading, Happy Holidays, Joyeux Noël, etc. -- and here's to an awesome 2012! A new Jeff Beck studio album, please!

Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at Guitar World.

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Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.