Skip to main content

Top 10 Songs of 2011


Well, folks, it's been....  a year. Music-wise, I can't say that 2011 has been a sterling effort, but it's been ok (certainly no 1993 or 1997, the two best years for music during the past 20 years). While I'm still trying to determine whether there are even five consistently solid albums for my 'Top 5 Albums' list, I do have a fair amount of songs that were in the running for 'Top 10 Songs of the Year.' And here they are:

10. Good Day Today / David Lynch --- An odd man came out with an odd music album this year (although not so odd if it's what you were expecting from someone like Lynch), and Good Day Today is the best track on it. A steady electronic beat helps drives Lynch's vocoderized vocals, at once optimistic and sad.

9. Burning Up / Nick Carter --- The underrated, sexiest member of The Backstreet Boys released another solo album this year (and is currently on tour), and while Justin Timberlake needn't lose any sleep, it was a solid effort. Carter managed to come up with a winner with Burning Up, a poppy club ditty that features his voice going down to a low crank at times, as well as a guest rap. Very seductive.



8. Girl Panic / Duran Duran --- While their latest album isn't all that great, Duran Duran has to get props for this song, for many reasons, not least of which is its sheer audacity (hopefully tongue-in-cheek) that they can still cause "mayhem" with girls. Simon LeBon (old enough to be my pappy) is probably not setting many young girls' hearts aflutter as he did during the 1980s, but it's cute to think that he thinks so. And the song ain't half-bad. Lively and with a good chorus.



7. Best Love / Steve Martin & Paul McCartney --- An unexpected pairing produces a simple, cute and beautiful song. Steve Martin on his banjo, with Sir Paul singing the lyrics that Martin wrote, about an appreciation of a person and a relationship, makes for a nice, melodic tune. I often catch myself singing bits of it from time to time. It should probably be higher on the list.

6. Over / Gus Gus --- Known for producing some great sex music, Gus Gus can also be counted upon to, every now and then, make a bit of music that appeals to something other than the libido. Over is such a song. While obstensibly a dance song, Over's lyrics betray the deflated emotions of a relationship that is ended, leaving those involved to question how it came to an end, and why they didn't try (this time) to fix things.



5. Black Out the Sun / Darren Hayes --- Just because I'm in a good relationship doesn't mean I can't enjoy a nice, old-fashioned, storming weeper of a song. And, lately, Darren Hayes (formerly one-half of Savage Garden) can deliver those quite well. With this, the second single off his new album, Hayes goes through the turbulent motions of crying out for his lover to no longer hurt him. It's one of those songs that you've gotta' hear to fully appreciate. It also features a great video to accompany it -- a rarity these days.



4. Ghost on the Canvas / Glen Campbell --- Recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's, the venerable singer decided to record one last album, and go on one last tour (he'll be in Bloomington, IL in early 2012). If this song is any indication, Glen's still got what it takes. Pretty much the only song of his I like (aside from Rhinestone Cowboy), Ghost on the Canvas is one of those treasures that features curious lyrics, heartfelt vocals, and a slight bit of pathos, given Mr. Campbell's situation (not unlike how Johnny Cash's cover of Hurt evoked many of the same bittersweet qualities).



3. Pumped-Up Kicks / Foster the People --- Probably a one-hit wonder, this group has nevertheless made one of those songs that serves as a fun, memorable summer ditty. A slam on hipsters (that hipsters haven't quite cottoned-on to yet, since they bop around to it in droves), Pumped-Up Kicks (a reference to shoes) has managed to appeal to all ages, and will always remind me of driving around campus during the early Autumn of 2011.

2. Scheiße / Lady Gaga --- Ok, I admit it. I don't "get" Lady Gaga. My gay brethren will likely dis-own me for it, but her schtick just doesn't appeal to me. Dressing up in all those outlandish outfits, talking fiercely about being her own person, and encouraging others to do the same. Yeah, yeah, ok. But, damn, if she can't write and put together some awesome music. I had Scheiße on repeat for a long time after I first heard it. No doubt the best track off of her current album, it's driving club rhythms, her strong vocals, and the "oh-oh-oh-oh-oh" combine to make for a killer song. You go, girl!

1. Hellbent / New Order --- For the second time since I've been doing year-end lists, the venerable synth-pop group from England (which rose from the ashes of Joy Division) comes in with the # 1 song of the year on ol' Matty-Matt's list. What can I say about this song to do it justice? It features a good blend of rock and electronic sounds, and Bernard Sumner's vocals are ever so longing. A tragic track about trying to repair an old friendship (and love?), the song speaks to the artistry of a band three decades old.



So, that's my official Top Ten list, but there were some other songs that I enjoyed this year that didn't make the list, either because they just weren't quite Top 10 material, or because they weren't released in 2011. Following is a list of those songs:

Daddy Fat Sax / Big Boi
Midnight City / M83
La Baie / Etienne Daho
Lucky / Lucky Twice
Lifelines / A-ha
Indestructible / Robyn
Listzomania / Phoenix
Cameras / Matt & Kim


Comments

  1. All video are really awesome but I most like "Girl Panic". And happy to see it here.
    Data Migration

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

3/4

Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....


1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night


It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

The Best Superhero Movies of All-Time, Revisited

We are just a few days away from the North American release of Avengers:Infinity War. While I am dutifully going to see it opening night, it's not a film I'm looking forward to. It is (spoiler) part one of two, which means we can expect plenty of plot threads left dangling when the credits roll. In other words, part two will probably be better, and provide some actual resolution. Also, Thanos looks like a CGI yawn-fest. Hopefully, I'll be proved wrong.
Nevertheless, this is a good opportunity to rank (again) the major superhero movies (Marvel and otherwise) that we've had so far. As you know, I love making a list, and this one is going to be a definitive one! If you don't see a film on here, it's because I haven't seen it (the first two Thors, Iron Man 2, some of the X-Men features, etc.).   Alright, here we go.

Walk and Chew Gum

Yesterday marked a touchstone moment in the U.S., as students across the country participated in "walkouts." This was an occasion for students to express an array of thoughts and emotions, ranging from a desire for stricter gun control, to simply sorrow over the loss of so many of their peers to school shootings. They were peaceful protests, but protests nonetheless. Where you're at on the spectrum of agreeing or disagreeing with what they did may vary, though not wanting to get shot in your school seems pretty reasonable to me.
Some folks have taken to sharing a meme on social media platforms this week -- in direct anticipation and response to the walkouts -- that encourages students to "walk up, not out." Following are suggestions provided for the walk ups:

Walk UP to the kid who sits ALONE and ask him to join your groupWalk UP to the kid who never has a voluntary partner and offer to be hersWalk UP to your teachers and thank them!Walk UP to someone and JUST …