The Dean's List: Christgau's Best of 2011

To read Robert Christgau's essay on this year's Dean's List picks, click here.

Das Racist, Relax1. Das Racist: Relax (Greedhead)
2. Wussy: Funeral Dress II (Shake It)
3. Paul Simon: So Beautiful or So What (Hear Music)
4. Frank Ocean: Nostalgia, Ultra (free download)
5. tUnE-yArDs: w h o k i l l (4AD)
6. Kate & Anna McGarrigle: Tell My Sister (Nonesuch)
7. Blaqstarr: The Divine EP (N.E.E.T.)
8. Wussy: Strawberry (Shake It)
9. Teddybears: Devil's Music (Big Beat)
10. Pistol Annies: Hell on Heels (Columbia)
11. Jens Lekman: An Argument with Myself (Secretly Canadian)
12. The Plastic People of the Universe: Magical Nights (Munster '10)
13. Carolina Chocolate Drops/Luminescent Orchestrii: Carolina Chocolate Drops/Luminescent Orchestrii (Nonesuch)
14. Withered Hand: Good News (Absolutely Kosher)
15. Rave On Buddy Holly (Fantasy)
The Mekons, Ancient and Modern16. Mekons: Ancient & Modern: 1911-2011 (Sin)
17. Jay Z Kanye West: Watch the Throne (Roc-A-Fella)
18. Pietra Montecorvino: Napoli Mediterranea (Taranta Power/Rai Trade)
19. Oneohtrix Point Never: Replica (Software)
20. Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx: We're New Here (XL)
21. The Baseball Project: Volume 2: High and Inside (Yep Roc)
22. Fountains of Wayne: Sky Full of Holes (Yep Roc)
23. Miranda Lambert: Four the Record (RCA)
24. Todd Snider: Todd Snider Live‑-The Storyteller (Thirty Tigers/Aimless)
25. Merle Haggard: Working in Tennessee (Vanguard)
26. Afro Latin Via Dakar (Syllart Productions/Discograph)
27. Afro Latin Via Kinshasa (Syllart Productions/Discograph)
28. Aaron Neville: I Know I've Been Changed (EMI Gospel/Tell It '10)
29. Wild Flag: Wild Flag (Merge)
30. Street Sweeper Social Club: The Ghetto Blaster EP (SSSC '10)
31. Lady Gaga: Born This Way (Streamline/Interscope/KonLive)
32. TV on the Radio: Nine Types of Light (Interscope)
33. Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton: Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues: Live from Jazz at Lincoln Center (Reprise Jazz)
34. Poly Styrene: Generation Indigo (Future Noise Music)
35. Low Cut Connie: Get Out the Lotion (
36. Mates of State: Mountaintops (Barsuk)
37. Ry Cooder: Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down (Nonesuch)
38. Raphael Saadiq: Stone Rollin' (Columbia)Lady Gaga, Born this Way
39. Those Darlins: Screws Get Loose (Oh Wow Dang)
40. SebastiAn: Total (Big Beat/Atlantic/Because/Ed Banger)
41. Emperor X: Western Teleport (Bar/None)
42. Shabazz Palaces: Black Up (Sub Pop)
43. Generation Bass Presents: Transnational Dubstep (Six Degrees)
44. Steve Cropper: Dedicated: A Salute to the 5 Royales (429)
45. Bachata Roja: Amor y Amargue (iASO)
46. The Extra Lens: Undercard (Merge '10)
47. Eric Bachata Roja, Amor y AmargueChurch: Chief (EMI)
48. Deer Tick: Divine Providence (Partisan)
49. Let's Wrestle: Nursing Home (Merge)
50. Superchunk: Majesty Shredding (Merge '10)
51. Lobi Traore: Bwati Kono "In the Club" (Kanaga System Krush)
52. Brad Paisley: This Is Country Music (Arista Nashville)
53. Garland Jeffreys: The King of In Between (Luna Park)
54. Note of Hope (429)
55. Group Doueh: Zayna Jumma (Sublime Frequencies)
56. Saigon: The Greatest Story Never Told (Suburban Noize)
57. The Russian Futurists: The Weight's on the Wheels (Upper Class '10)
58. Gurf Morlix: Blaze Foley's 113th Wet Dream (Rootball)
59. Vieux Farka Touré: The Secret (Six Degrees)
60. Gang of Four: Content (Yep Roc)
61. Bombino: Agadez (Cumbancha)
62. Battles: Gloss Drop (Warp)
63. Buck 65: 20 Odd Years (WEA)
64. Terakaft: Aratan N Azawad (World Village)
65. Fruit Bats: Tripper (Sub Pop)
66. Drive-By Truckers: The Fine Print (A Collection of Oddities and  Rarities) 2003-2008 (New West '09)
67. Kate & Anna McGarrigle: Odditties (Querbeservice '10)
68. The B-52's: With the Wild Crowd! (Eagle)
69. Peter Stampfel and Jeffrey Lewis: Come on Board (no label)
70. Drive-By Truckers: Go-Go Boots (New West)
71. Childish Gambino: Culdesac (free download '10)Drive By Truckers, Fine Print
72. Serengeti: Family & Friends (Anticon)
73. Dave Alvin: Eleven Eleven (Yep Roc)
74. Stephin Merritt: Obscurities (Merge)
75. David Bowie: Station to Station (Special Edition) (EMI '10)
76. Nigeria 70: Sweet Times: Afro-Funk, Highlife & Juju From 1970s Lagos (Strut)
77. Ravid Kahalani: Yemen Blues (GlobaLev)
78. Mayer Hawthorne: How Do You Do (Universal Republic)
79. Tom Waits: Bad as Me (Anti-)
80. Beastie Boys: Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (Capitol)
81. Rihanna: Talk That Talk (Deluxe Edition) (Def Jam)
82. 19 Classic Blues Songs From the 1920's: Vol. 9 (Blues Images)
83. Wire: 14 September 2002, Metro, Chicago ( '10)
84. Lykke Li: Wounded Rhymes (Atlantic)
85. Middle Brother: Middle Brother (Partisan)
86. Sofrito: Tropical Discotheque (Strut)
87. Jill Scott: The Light of the Sun (Blues Babe/Warner Bros.)
88. Shabazz Palaces: Of Light (Switchblade Music/Templar '09)
89. Thurston Moore: Demolished Thoughts (Matador)
90. M.I.A.: Vicki Leekx Mixtape ( download '10)
91. The Lonely Island: Turtleneck & Chain (Universal Republic)
92. Sorry Bamba: Volume One 1970-1979 (Thrill Jockey)
93. Childish Gambino: Camp (Glassnote)
94. Nine 11 Thesaurus: Ground Zero Generals (The Social Registry)
95. Yuck: Yuck (Fat Possum)
96. Jeffrey Lewis: A Turn in the Dream-Songs (Rough Trade)
97. Pusha T: Fear of God II (GOOD/Decon/Re-Up Gang)
98. Shabazz Palaces: Shabazz Palaces (Switchblade Music/Templar '09)  
99. The Klezmatics: Live at Town Hall (Klezmatics Disc)
100. Tinariwen: Tassili (Anti-)
101. Scott Miller: Christmas Gift (FAW)
102: Nils Petter Molvaer: Baboon Moon (Thirsty Ear)The Klezmatics, Live at Town Hall
103. Neil Young International Harvesters: A Treasure (Reprise)
104. BLNRB: Welcome to the Madhouse (Out Here)
105. Rainbow Arabia: Boys and Diamonds (Kompakt)
106. Jazmine Sullivan: Love Me Back (J '10)
107. Gold Panda: Lucky Shiner (Ghostly International '10)

Robert Christgau's reviews of these records can be found at Microsoft Networks, which publishes his Expert Witness blog, and at

About the Columnist
Robert Christgau is a critic at All Things Considered, writes for the National Arts Journalism Program's ARTicles blog, teaches in NYU's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, and has published five books. His highly searchable website is

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