This summer, when All Songs Considered asked listeners to vote for their favorite albums of the year so far, there were a handful of shoo-ins. Instantly beloved releases by Bon Iver, Adele, Fleet Foxes, The Decemberists and others all made a predictably strong showing.
Six months later, many of those albums have held their ground — but our poll of listeners' 100 favorite records from all of 2011 still had its surprises. The Black Keys swooped into the No. 6 slot with El Camino, an album just a few days older than the poll itself. Ceremonials, the follow-up to Florence + The Machine's sleeper hit Lungs, followed close behind. And it wasn't just the dark horses that stunned us — two of our personal favorites, the strong spring releases from Wye Oak and The Antlers, each dropped a dozen spots.