Looking back at 2011, my Spotify music player was definitely on overdrive. There were far too many addictive songs and albums released last year, that narrowing it down to a Top 10 List would be like the Octomom having to pick her favorite 10 out of her brood of 16 children. Translation: making this list was difficult!
Below is a listing of my favorite released singles of 2011. Otherwise, non-released tracks like “I Would Do Anything For You” by Foster The People and the entire Love Child EP by Ella Riot would have dominated this list.
10. Patrick Stump with Lupe Fiasco – “This City“
The former lead singer of Fall Out Boy’s debut single barely flaunted the Prince-esque funk of his debut Soul Punk album. But what this single lacked in pomp, it made up with an anthemic hook for anyone with hometown city pride. If this single were the Billboard Top 10 hit it should’ve been, perhaps we would be seeing the newly svelte Patrick Stump starring in his own weight loss commercial rotated in between Jennifer Hudson, Mariah Carey and Janet Jackson’s.
9. Young The Giant – “My Body“
The boys of California captured the charm of their self-titled debut with this song that they had the honor to perform at the 2011 MTV VMA’s. Whatever the true meaning of the song: the constant battle with a drug addiction or resisting the urges of going back to an unhealthy relationship, “My Body” left me “wanting more.” FYI: Check out remixes by Tokyo Police Club and Two Door Cinema on the band’s Remixes EP.
8. Angus and Julia Stone – “Hold On“
The fragility in Julia’s voice. That haunting melody. The hypnotic allure of it all. The Australian brother & sister duo released a ballad as depressing yet beautiful as any of the ‘you don’t love me’ song classics before it. Listen with a glass of wine and a Kleenex handy.
7. Clare Maguire – “The Shield And The Sword“
What if you paired the flash & pizzazz of Lady Gaga with the vocals of Annie Lennox, and added a splash of Cher? Clare Maguire has been described as just that since hitting the scene in the UK. “The Shield And The Sword” is just one of the many standout tracks on the songstress’ Light After Dark album.
6. M83 – “Midnight City“
Every time that I went out to The Castle nightclub in Ybor City, I would hope and pray that I would hear this song. The opening sequence of this song sounds like a Battle Cry, begging to be danced to. Those times I was lucky enough to hear it while on a dancefloor, the experience was as if a Call To Arms was indeed issued out and everyone who just wanted to dance was summoned.
5. Benny Benassi with Gary GO – “Cinema (Skrillex Remix)”
“Cinema” is the song that made me rethink and change my stance on the entire dubstep movement. So perfectly crafted in its intricacies and hook, I became a fan of not only dubstep music, but an admirer of the current reigning dubstep God, 24-year-old Sonny Moore a.k.a Skrillex. Even Kanye West tweeted how the Skrillex remix of “Cinema” is “one of the greatest works of art ever made.”
4. Lloyd featuring Andre 3000 – “Dedication To My Ex (Miss That)“
Profane. Vulgar. Brilliant. R&B artist Lloyd certainly does not hold back on expressing himself in this insanely catchy thumper about how an ex-lover’s “p*ssy” is now a stranger. Disregard the censored version that replaces the word “p*ssy” with “lovin” and revel in the original version in all of its dirty glory.
3. Britney Spears – “Till The World Ends“
The early part of 2011 saw much-hyped new singles from pop divas Lady Gaga and Beyonce, but it was Miss Spears who stole the show with this dance anthem from her seventh studio album, Femme Fatale. What Prince’s “1999” was to the Y2K generation on the evening of December 31, 1999, “Till The World Ends” will be the same on the night of December 21, 2012 and beyond.
2. Lana Del Rey – “Video Games“
Since they ceased playing music videos to make room for their infiltration of reality shows, I haven’t watched MTV in what seems like forever. So imagine my surprise when I was flipping through channels on my TV and stumbled upon this music video on MTV of all places. I was completely taken aback. Everything about this song was a breath of fresh air amid today’s pop landscape. Okay, so Miss Del Rey’s most recent musical performance on SNL was a big, fat dud? This song still remains undeniable in its beauty and mystery.
1. Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris – “We Found Love“
This may seem like an obvious choice given its vast mainstream appeal, but RiRi truly delivered a timeless dancefloor classic that echoed the 1990’s Euro-dance pop of Black Box while harmoniously blending with the modern nu-disco, dance sound of the song’s writer & producer Calvin Harris. I have been a Calvin Harris fan since his triumphant 2007 I Created Disco album, so it was exciting to see his name atop of the Billboard charts even if it was second billing to the Barbadian princess of radio. “We Found Love” is as a song of the times. When many accused mainstream pop music as being too boring, “We Found Love” glared brightly as the pop music gem on the charts and radio amid what others perceived as a hopeless place.
Check out the Top 10 Songs of 2011 from our friends over at GLOGANDVLOG here.