After doing my 10 Best Local Shows of 2011 and my 25 Best Red Carpet Looks of 2011 list, here’s the last of my three yearend lists for 2011. Believe me, I still have lots of lists prepared, but I have no time to do all of them. This list will now focus on the top and best songs that were released this year. This has been a tradition I did since 2004, and it has evolved since then. Here are the champions of the past seven years:
2004: Usher, Lil Jon, “Yeah”
2005: Mariah Carey, “We Belong Together”
2006: Nelly Furtado, Timbaland, “Promiscuous Girl”
2007: Rihanna, Jay Z, “Umbrella”
2008: Leona Lewis, “Bleeding Love”
2009: Lady GaGa, “Bad Romance”
2010: Florence + the Machine, “Dog Days Are Over”
Here are the 30 songs that made the list this year:
30: SURE THING (Miguel)
Album: All I Want is You
Despite the very underwhelming year for R&B this 2011, Miguel’s debut single “Sure Thing” stands out as it reminds ufsof the old R&B singles such as Usher’s “U Got it Bad” and TQ’s “Westside”.
29: WITHOUT YOU (David Guetta featuring Usher)
Album: Nothing But the Beat
David Guetta has gone very mainstream this 2011, and though he wasn’t able to recapture the magic of “When Love Takes Over”, his collaboration with Usher this year reminds us that he’s still not a lost cause.
28: REMIND ME (Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood)
Album: This is Country Music
Country acts collaborating is not a new idea, but they still hit it out of the ballpark when two of the biggest country stars collaborate and come up with a very remarkable song, as is the case of Remind Me by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.
27: THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY (Katy Perry)
Album: Teenage Dream
Two years after the release of her sophomore album, Katy still spawns out hit after hit after hit. Now her last single in 2011 talks about the one that could have been and bitter sweet memories from the past. With the wonderful Diego Luna in the music video, this can be Katy’s most important hit of her career.
26: LOVE ON TOP (Beyonce)
In order to avoid cases of judging the book by it’s cover, Beyonce’s album this era might have underperformed, but Love on Top is one of those perfect throwback R&B songs that you might miss if you altogether dismiss the album.
25: HOW TO LOVE (Lil Wayne)
Album: The Carter IV
While Lil Wayne is the one who asks listeners to li-li-li-lick his lollipop, he showed his softer side in this rare time event that he performs a ballad that teaches everyone just how to love.
24: WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU (Kelly Clarkson)
It’s easy to dismiss the notion that Kelly Clarkson just loves to sing about songs that talk about bitterness especially when you hear her croon songs such as What Doesn’t Kill You. This is the perfect revenge inspirational song, if you get what that means.
23: YOU & I (Lady Gaga)
Album: Born This Way
Gaga’s Born This Way era has a lot of expectations after that perfect Fame Monster period. And while she wasn’t able to recapture and dominate the year as what most people think she’ll do, she still was able to produce excellently written songs such as You & I.
22: FUCKIN PERFECT (Pink)
Album: Greatest Hits… So Far
Pink’s ballad about loving yourself might be cheesy enough for everyone’s taste, but she does give this song a raw and appealing touch that one can’t simply resist listening to it over and over again.
21: SO IN LOVE (Jill Scott and Anthony Hamilton)
Album: The Light of the Sun
Jill Scott spurned out of the best albums of the year by far, and songs such as this one with Anthony Hamilton prove why after all these years, Jill Scott remains to be one underrated R&B artist.
20: SHAKE IT OUT (Florence + the Machine)
Last year’s champ Florence + the Machine might not come up with an equally classic song such as Dog Days are Over, but Shake it Out from her ner album Ceremonials prove that she is in no way, a one hit wonder.
19: CALL YOUR GIRLFRIEND (Robyn)
Album: Body Talk Part III
It’s good to know that more and more people are developing a love and respect for Robyn; after all, she’s one of those the blue dance and electronica artists who can maintain both critical and commercial appeal. Call Your Girlfriend is a living proof of that.
18: WE FOUND LOVE (Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris)
Album: Talk the Talk
I know, I know. Rihanna does not stop releasing a new album every single year. And though that is already enough to call her as an overexposed artist, we can’t deny the fact that she still knows how to capture an audience such as this 8 time Billboard #1 hit, We Found Love.
17: GOOD LIFE (One Republic)
Album: Waking Up
They started bursting out into the scene in 2006 with Apologize; years later, Ryan Tedder and the rest of One Republic is still acing it with hit singles such as Good Life. Remember how it totally fits into the trailer of the Anne Hathaway movie One Day?
16: BODY AND SOUL (Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse)
Album: Duets II
One of 2011’s biggest loss in music is Amy Winehouse. It is a bit comforting to know, though, that she still left us with one last classic that will showcase her undeniable talent. This is through a collaboration with Tony Bennett called “Body and Soul” and is now a Grammy frontrunner for Best Pop Duo, Group or Collaboration.
15: MOVES LIKE JAGGER (Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera)
Album: Hands All Over
The biggest and most successful collaboration between two Grammy Best New Artists winners happened this year when Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera teamed up to produce one of the year’s most addictive track. You all know you’ve been hooked the moment you hear the whistle.
14: IN THE DARK (Dev)
Album: The Night the Sun Came Up
Indie artist Dev’s “In the Dark” is an underrated dance track that will make you move and party all night until the sun comes up.
13: SUPER BASS (Nicki Minaj)
Album: Pink Friday
Arguably the catchiest song of the year, Nicki Minaj did a solid 180 when people started to notice her and the industry took her seriously after she released this single. There’s no catchier line of the year than “Boom Ba-doom bom, boom ba-doom-doom bass, he got that super bass.”
12: LOTUS FLOWER (Radiohead)
Album: The King of Limbs
Radiohead will always be one of those legendary rock bands that will never ever go out of style. The good thing about them is that they’re not primarily after commercial success. In their Grammy nominated new album, King of Limbs, we get to hear one of the year’s best songs entitled Lotus Flower.
11: SOMEONE LIKE YOU (Adele)
The whole world already knows what Adele feels for the man who broke her heart, and everyone just feels for her once she started out singing the first few lines of the song. This is indeed, turning out to be, one of the most poignant songs in recent history, and we all know that when she first sang it on Live on Jools Holland of September last year, and as the final song ever heard on the finale of British sex series Secret Diary of a Call Girl.
10: HOWLIN FOR YOU (The Black Keys)
The Black Keys made their consecutive Top 10 appearance in my list. This time, it’s for the epic cool song entitled Howlin for You. You’ve probably heard this song accompanying a lot of TV shows the past season. Also, take note of the awesome music video of this.
09: PARADISE (Coldplay)
Album: Mylo Xyloto
Everyone wondered if Coldplay can live up to the greatness of their past album Viva La Vida. There’s only one word that answers that question: Paradise. With that, it is evident that Coldplay never lost any of its magic all these years.
08: LET ENGLAND SHAKE (PJ Harvey)
Album: Let England Shake
PJ Harvey’s music might be too European to a lot of people, but it is some of the best she has ever produced. The lead single “Let England Shake” of her latest album of the same name did not only shook England, but the rest of the world as well.
07: IF I DIE YOUNG (The Band Perry)
Album: The Band Perry
While this is a 2010 release, this song did start to smash up during the earlier part of the year. The Grammy Best New Artist nominee released one of the saddest yet most honest song of the year with If I Die Young. As a testament, it stayed for almost a year at the Billboard Hot 100.
06: NIGGAS IN PARIS (Kanye West and Jay Z)
Album: Watch the Thrones
When two of the biggest names in rap music collaborate, there’s nothing to expect but pure music brilliance. That is what both Kanye West and Kay Z did when they recorded Niggas in Paris this year.
05: STAY YOUNG, GO DANCING (Death Cab for Cutie)
Album: Codes and Keys
Now on their seventh album, Death Cab for Cutie still produces top notch alternative quality music in their latest album Codes and Keys. Major props is given to the second single “Stay Young, Go Dancing” which is probably like my wishlist now that I’m getting old. LELZ.
04: PUMPED UP KICKS (Foster the People)
One of the best written songs of the year, Foster the People’s launching single is a dark take on the importance of life. Pumped Up Kicks made people appreciate the band even more.
03: GROWN OCEAN (Fleet Foxes)
Album: Helplessness Blues
It’s probably better that Fleet Foxes remain as an under the radar act, as it gets to produce and showcase us raw and effective music to listen to. Probably one of the most relaxing and comforting albums of the year, Helplessness Blues features the third best song of the year: Grown Ocean.
02: HOLCOENE (Bon Iver)
Album: Bon Iver
Now this one finally gets the break he needed after all these years from obscurity. I’m still mixed bag about his sudden mainstream fame, but one thing I won’t question is the greatness of the Grammy Record of the Year and Song of the Year nominee Holocene.
01: ROLLING IN THE DEEP (Adele)
I used to have a one single per artist per song policy, but I can’t make a 2011 best of the best list without fearing multiple songs from artist of the year Adele. Rolling in the Deep is probably one of the most versatile songs ever, as it appeared on the most number of Billboard charts since its inception. Also, it received a lot of covers from John Legend to Linkin Park, from Nicole Scherzinger to the Glee cast, and American Idol and The Voice finalists. This is a true testament as to how Rolling in the Deep has made its mark to be one of the best and most memorable records ever.
Now I ask you, what are your picks for this year? How about the year of music in general? And what are you expecting this 2012? 🙂