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Dance & Electronic 2011: 20 Best Albums

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Dance & Electronic 2011: 20 Best Albums
2. Nicolas Jaar Space Is Only Noise (Circus Company)
Over the course of 2011 this album gained momentum despite being swamped upon release by the hype surrounding not-dissimilar James Blake's debut. Somewhat after the fact I like the directness of Jaar's songs as opposed to the less continuous grooves of Blake's album, though both are super creative in their own ways. This album has so much love to give. Revisiting Space Is Only Noise many months later reveals quite a few more layers to the delicate sonic constructions I so loved. Now, however, I'm drawn to out and out jams like the doomy title track and the electronically warped R&B of "Problems With the Sun." I'm no longer sure whether I'd classify this as a the perfect example of a downtempo album; songs have terrific momentum and don't hang on one rhythm when there's always someplace new to go. Jaar has continued on an upward trajectory this year, even receiving NPR's stamp of approval for his excellent new EP Don't Break My Love. I hope Jaar gets a larger proportion of year-end love than he did at the year's beginning.
David Dacks

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