So the year is almost done, and I don't think any prominent acts are going to release new material so I think it's safe to release a year end countdown review of my favourite songs.
BTW, if you were looking for songs more appropriate for the holidays, you can find my own personal Christmas playlist.
10. "The Years" by ††† (CROSSES)
I'm starting the list with a track from the surprisingly good Batman: Arkham City soundtrack. Apparently used as the Joker's theme, "The Years" by ††† starts with an ominous sounding slow burn but then suddenly explodes into a cacophony that oozes in sex-appeal. You can just picture all hell breaking loose when THE part in the song happens. ††† is the side band of Deftones front man Chino Moreno.
Mastodon's most monstrous track off their latest album The Hunter. More akin to their earlier work, with great ferocity the song starts right off the blocks and doesn't stop its mad dash.
Taking R&B back to the mid-1990's Drake's 'second interlude' on his second album Take Care has two good songs to double your pleasure like only Doublemint gum can. In 'Cameras,' Drake mumble-speaks over a sample of Jon B's Calling On You with hypnotizing results. In 'Good Ones Go,' Drake returns to clean vocals lamenting on girls that pass him by while striving for self-improvement. Heartbreaking I know... well, not really.
7. "Primetime" by JAY-Z & KANYE WEST
From the most anticipated hip hop album of the year, "Primetime" by Jay-Z & Kanye West appears on the deluxe edition of Watch the Throne (the deluxe edition has 4 excellent extra tracks so if you haven't went out and got it yet, go for this version). This is the best beat I've heard from No I.D., Kanye's production mentor, since his Common classics like Invocation and I Used to Love H.E.R.
6. "Pumped Up Kicks" by FOSTER THE PEOPLE
The indie rock anthem with the undeniable sing-a-long chorus, newcomers Foster The People scored a massive hit this year with "Pumped Up Kicks" from their debut album Torches. It's like Peter Bjorn & John's Young Folks all over again.
5. "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO
The funnest song of the year. Period. How could you not get up and dance when you hear the synths and claps? Once again, the very strong, sing-a-long-able chorus is what separates this track from all the other electro pop acts clogging up the clubs and dance floors around the world. The music video understands the song's infectious quality and gloriously plays to that.
4. "House of Balloons / Glass Table Girls" by THE WEEKND
What's with Canadians and double songs? Toronto's own The Weeknd released two mix tapes for free this year (can get them from his website HERE) that showcased that he'll be a force to reckon with in the contemporary R&B world. Sampling Siouxsie And The Banshees' Happy House, The Weeknd produced a double song that is dirty but sexy with a specific nocturnal quality. Full of interesting electronic sounds to pad out the simple beat, I've never heard anything like this is unique R&B masterpiece before.
3. "Midnight City" by M83
Since mentioning it on my blog in early November, this song has not left my playlist, and trust me that's a good thing since I change that thing practically everyday like underwear. An amazing electronic song with THE catchiest riff of the year (like I said before it was done with a heavily distorted voice) this song makes you feel like you're flying. The song ends with an epic sax solo, which seems to be the norm this year for some reason as Lady Gaga's The Edge of Glory and Katy Perry's Last Friday Night (TGIF) also ended with sax solos.
It was fascinating to see them perform the song live on Jimmy Fallon as seen HERE.
2011 was the year of Adele, there's no denying that. She was everywhere: on TV, radio, magazines, the Internet, all extolling her talent and rightfully so! Nothing more than a piano and her powerful but effortless voice was necessary to create a song that pierces you right into your heart and sends chills down your spine. In her heart filled ballad about heartbreak, we all can empathize with her pain with every tremble of her vocal cords. Can you believe she's a smoker?! Why Adele why?
1. "Rolling in the Deep" by ADELE
2011 really was her year. I remember hearing this song in January 2011 for the first time on the radio and I had to immediately find out what it was. Adele's gospel-infused track off her sophomore album 21 has universal appeal as it has already been covered by several artists including more traditional covers from Linkin Park and John Legend, to a more obscure screamo cover from Amyst, to a remix from Lil' Wayne. The song is nominated for three Grammys including Record of the Year and Song of the Year, Adele is sure to clean up this year with this juggernaut (especially since Kanye's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy got snubbed). So much passion in her voice, she certainly deserved owning 2011.
Honourable Mention: "Freak and Geeks" by CHILDISH GAMBINO
"Took the G out your waffle, all you got left is your ego"
"Real G's move in silence like lasagna"
Other honourable mentions: "Afterlife" by BUSH; "Awake" by TRASH TALK; "Bridge Burning" by FOO FIGHTERS; "Dirt" by WU LYF; "Feral" by RADIOHEAD; "Horsepower" by JUSTICE; "Somebody That I Used to Know" by GOTYE; "The Edge of Glory" by LADY GAGA