Rolling Stone- The Best Under-the-Radar Albums of 2011

Willie Nile – The Innocent Ones and Garland Jeffreys – The King of In Between
These longtime kings of New York both issued peak-time records this year. Nile's opening trio on The Innocent Ones – "Singin' Bell," "One Guitar" and the title track – is Righteous-Anthem City, a fight on behalf of "the outcast, dead last" (as he sings in the second) waged with classic-rock ardor. Jeffreys' album was a true comeback; his last U.S. release came out in the previous century. But the local geography and defiant vocal poise in "Coney Island Winter," "I'm Alive" and "Roller Coaster Town" came with a funky jangle and martial stride that seemed barely a New York minute away from the pavement pride and candor of his 1977 classic, Ghost Writer. And that was Jeffreys' Syracuse University pal, Lou Reed, deep in the doot-doots of "The Contortionist" – a nice bit of reunion to go with the return.

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