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
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.