Saturday, December 31, 2011

BEST OF 2011: best songs #1-25

#1-25 (the youtube player has all the videos above in a playlist, press >> for the next song)
1. Rihanna feat Calvin Harris – We Found Love
[there's no doubt that this is wholly a calvin harris production, but it's riri's melancholic vocals over his drowning beats that bring this club tune to the top of my 2011 list. i haven't felt so elated and yet kind of bummed out at the same time in ages...maybe cause it's a running theme of my year? screw it, lets dance!]

2. Ed Sheeran – Lego House / The A Team
[the storytelling abilities of young ed is made only more impressive with the fact that his knack for strong melodies and shaggy presentation crossed over into the UK mainstream in a BIG way this year. proof that there is still love for the singer/songwriter in this day and age. easily my favorite debut artist of the year!]

3. Beyonce – Countdown / Who Runs The World (Girls)
[none of her songs became zeitgeist hits this year. instead they filtered down slowly to where people kind of had to discover songs from '4' on their own (it didn't help that every week there was a new single released to crowd the market). but when they did discover the tunes, boy was it fun. some would probably highlight the more mid tempo/ballad aspects of the album, but for me, these two tracks were the ultimate zig zag messed up tunes that just kept on giving with each listen. genius!]

4. Nicki Minaj – Super Bass
[when a 5 year old can sing along to your music, you know you've hit the jackpot! like a boom ba doom boom superbass jackpot!]

5. Emeli Sande – Heaven / Daddy
[brit awards critics choice for 2012 deserves all the accolades she's been getting over the past few months as one of UK's most sought after songwriters AND a dynamic voice in the charts today. perhaps it's the heavily influenced massive attack soul structure that makes me love her so much, but whatever my reasons, she came up with two seriously strong songs for the year and i can't wait to hear a proper album from emeli in 2012!]  

6. Lana Del Rey – Video Games
[my personal issues with the lana del rey 'creation' aside, this haunting song is just brilliant on it's own merit.]

7. The Wanted – Glad You Came
[during birthday 2011 (yes i title my birthday's) this song easily became the theme song for the month long experience (yes i celebrate in month form). what would have been in my guilty pleasure list, got the wanted a hot slot in my top 10! oh and it helps that the song is so cheesy good!]

8. James Blake – Wilhelm Scream / A Case of You (Joni Mitchell cover)
[if you didn't discover james blake during 2011, then you certainly missed out on the james blake experience. if you don't know what that means, then plug your headphones in your player, press play for the above two tracks, close your eyes and let your heart break. sigh.]

9. Maverick Sabre – Let Me Go
[the UK is pumping out these amazing rapper/vocalists (or is it a vocalist/rappers) these days (thanks to success of plan b in 2010) and maverick was easily the one that got the most traction. with this awesome song, i feel like we've only hit the tip of his potential talents. more in 2012 yo!]

10. The Vaccines – If You Wanna / Wetsuit
[something about the vaccines that makes me love them so! maybe it's their self proclaimed love of "50's rock 'n' roll, 60's garage and girl groups, 70's punk, 80's american hardcore and good pop music". easily my fave indie band of the year!]

11. Adele – Rumor Has It / Set Fire To The Rain / Rolling In The Deep (Jamie XX shuffle)
[you're probably wondering how is it possible that adele didn't rank higher on the chart and the reason is that 'rolling in the deep' and 'someone like you' actually was my #5 of last years (unpublished) chart. so the above tracks were the only ones eligible for 2011... and boy were they dramatic ones! throw in the amazing jamie xx shuffle of 'rolling' and you've got adele representing very nicely at #11!]

12. Gotye feat Kimbra – Somebody That I Used To Know
[the most bitter breakup song of the year is also the most whimsical and most australian (their song of the year yo!)]

13. Ben Howard – The Fear / Keep Your Head Up / Old Pine
[my favorite folkie singer/songwriter of the year offered up the amazing 'every kingdom' album filled with sweet gentle tracks and uplifting lyrics that also offered images of dreamy escapism. if there is any soundtrack to fit your rural farm to table outdoors lifestyle, THIS is it! love this guy!]

14. SBTRKT feat Roses Gabor - Pharoahs
[though this isn't the track that got sbtrkt their critical props, it IS the track that got my dance loving, neck boppin head rolling. if there is such a thing of hipster house, then this would be their 2011 anthem!]

15. The Civil Wars – Barton Hallow / Poison & Wine
[joy williams and john paul white are harmonizing monsters! their brand of americana meets country meets AC balladry is a cross genre success story for the year. with a debut so phenomenal and assured, one can only imagine what the next 12 months will be like for this talented duo.]

16. Pistol Annies – Hell On Heels
[who'd have thought that miranda lambert and her two gal pals ashley monroe and angaleena presley would make one of the best down and dirty sassy country blues tracks of the year. when their three part harmonies collide, these gals are definitely dangerous in both feminine swagger and earthy confidence... and i LOVE that!]  

17. Little Dragon – Ritual Union
[there's something about the mellow intensity of these swedes that just draws you in and keeps you there. perhaps it's the cool demeanor of lead singer yukimi nagano or the intricate electronica playing in the background. whatever the reason it sure is hypnotic and brilliant!]

18. Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks
[how could you not love this massive pop crossover indie track?]

19. The Milk – (All I Wanted Was) Danger
[i have to admit that i discovered this essex band via the amazing record of the day website. at the time, i knew nothing of these guys except for the fact that they wrote killer retro soul tracks and the lead singer could surely belt. fast forward to this month and the band just announced their signage to a major label which means you'll be hearing ALOT more of these guys in 2012!]

20. Nicola Roberts – Lucky Day / Beat of My Drum
['the ginge one' from girls aloud stepped up to the plate and offered an album full of left of center pop gems. though the public didn't appreciate it as much, nicola roberts sure surprised and entertained the rest of us who did.]

21. Florence and the Machine – Shake It Off
[in 2011, flo reached a point in her career where she not only got the love of the fashion elite, but confirmed her standing as a tremendous live stage presence. unfortunately her 2nd album 'ceremonials' was kind of meh and the only track that matched her larger than life machine was this epic one. shame really...]

22. Cher Lloyd feat Mike Posner – With UR Love
[cutesy never sounded so good! x-factor UK alum cher lloyd offered one of the catchiest pop tracks of the year and still threw us some stank face in the process. i kind of love her!]

23. Azealia Banks - 212
[this gal is going to be HUGE in 2012! azealia manages to front nasty and yet still come off as a sassy gal with a twinkle in her eye. i can't get enough of this track and you shouldn't too!]

24. Michael Kiwanuka – I’m Getting Ready / Home Again
[there is something so simple and comforting from the very second you hear michael's vocals. with his acoustic soul made better with lush orchestrations, the kiwanuka effect is akin to curling up under your fave blanket and feeling wonderful. le sigh...]

25. Metronomy – The Bay
[this slice of chilled disco electronica was easily THE soundtrack for sunset getaways and lazy waterfront dreaming. if there's ever been an excuse to kick back and just soak it all up, it is now!]

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