Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Favourite 20 singles (sort of) of 2011

Ok, so now it's time for the top 20 singles of 2011. Except some won't be "singles" in the traditional sense of getting a release and getting into the charts in the UK and all that but I have tried to make sure that these are 2011 songs that in some logical form or another could be counted as "singles" even if they weren't strictly adherent to the usual sense of the word. Hell, it's my list; I can put what I want in it.

20) MAMA'S BROKEN HEART (Miranda Lambert)
Everything that is great about Country Music can be found in here; this mixes the old sensibilities and the modern arrangements to come up with something totally intoxicating.

19) SHAKE IT OUT (Florence & The Machine)
I wasn't convinced by the album, which was all the more of a shame after this corking single. Truth be told, I've never been convinced by the Florence, ahem, hype machine (but that's a rant for another time). This is just dreamy and gorgeous, but with that hint of darkness.

It's not my favourite song on the Experments EP but it was the only that got the (kind of) official single treatment in that sense so I will sneak it on here just for the fact that Florrie was the pop find of 2011 for me.

17) VIDEO GAMES (Lana Del Ray)
Well given the hype I couldn't well leave it out. That said, I've put it in at a low position on this chart so that whilst I can say I noticed it and was beguiled by it, I can both annoy people who love it and have people who don't like it thinking I'm just trying to be cool by including it on my list at all.

16) BOO SHUFFLE (The Pipettes)
A great song and although they're plainly not "The Pipettes" of old given all the Sugababes style moving on of singers, this was a wonderful little ditty that harked back to their debut album and it's impossible to listen to it without smiling.

15) LOVE YOU LIKE A LOVE SONG (Selena Gomez & The Scene)
Not since JoJo's (Get Out) has there been a better throwaway pop song lyrical deconstruction as there is in this one. And it irritates people when I tell them what a great song this is. And it is, I stand by that.

14) SEX RULES (Sky Ferreria)
This was 2011's version of Annie's Chewing Gum. In that it has absolutely everything to be a monster pop smash...but it wasn't. Still, it's a bloody fantastic pop tune with the kind of catchy but inappropriate chorus that schoolkids should be singing to horrify their parents and teachers. She's got loads more like this as well.

13) DEDICATION TO MY EX (Lloyd feat. Lil Wayne & Andre 3000)
Ok so it's a bit rude. And misogynistic. But it is one hell of a tune. It's good enough to fit on that double Outkast album whose name I have momentarily forgotten. It's THAT good.

12) OURS (Taylor Swift)
Whilst Nashville made it almost impossible for me to get anywhere near her during my holiday there (and that was with an EIGHTEEN HOUR signing session) I genuinely think Taylor Swift is a "proper" talent. This was a new one and whilst it's pretty much the same as most slow(ish) songs that she does why would you mess too much with a winning formula?

11) ROPE (Foo Fighters)
It was a long wait, but Dave and the boys finally hit back on the old form in 2011 and this single was a very good example of what they do best!

10) BEAT OF MY DRUM (Nicola Roberts)
On the quiet she was always my favourite Girls Aloud member (at least since Nadine became so annoying and then did an absolutely AWFUL album) and this debut single was a masterpiece.

9) WOLVES (The Good Natured)
I have no real idea how I got onto this one, but it is a bloody fantastic tune. (And ok, it wasn't technically the "lead" on the EP but as I've said, it's my bloody list!) 

8) THROUGH THE NIGHT (Ren Harvieu)
Luckily I can say that I'd "heard" Ren Harvieu before she got on the BBC Sounds List. She won't win it, no doubt, but she is the best thing on there and this is one reason why. It almost sounds like something Burt Baccarach would give us. Yes, it's that good.

7) DON'T SIT DOWN... (Arctic Monkeys)
I'm still not entirely sure whether or not the lyrics of this are supposed to be a micky-take or not, but it's an instant grunge/garage classic which showed that even now the hype has died down, the Arctic Monkeys remain on the top of their game.

I'll probably be accused of only liking this one because it's sung by a cute, blonde haired Scandinavian. Ah well, I know better...

5) HOUSE (Ben Folds Five)
Even if it had been rubbish the mere fact that Ben Folds Five were recording again would have been awesome. Luckily this was very far from rubbish. Worth forking out on the Ben Folds compilation for this alone!

4) SHAKE (Little Boots)
After a long absence Little Boots returned with an absolute stomper. Another one of those that went on repeat for an hour after I first listened to it. This was good enough as a slightly hidden away part of one of her mixtapes but in it's own right it's just an infectious pop-dance tune that was the best of it's kind in 2011.

I don't like Adele as an artist/musician/singer but I cannot deny that this is an absolute belter. And it's not even the best song on the album (that honour goes to Rumour Has It - although admittedly they are the only two great songs on the album). I'm not the target audience for the "other" song that everyone else likes (and I'm miserable like that anyway) but for me this was always the winner. It's stunning.

2) FOREVER IN BLUE (Ren Harvieu)
Ok so I don't know whether this strictly counts as a single, but it's not on an album and got "released" into the internet on it's own, so I'm having it. A strange mix of a song that could be in a David Lynch movie, a western, or even a slightly mellow Bond theme this was one of those songs this year that I listened to for the first time and then spent the next hour with it on repeat.

1) PUT YOUR HANDS UP (Nerina Pallot)
I don't think it's exactly a secret that I love Nerina Pallot but even with my inbuilt bias, this was undoubtedly my favourite single of 2011. And it's not even my favourite song on the Year Of The Wolf album. It's catchy, it's uplifting, it's got a great sing-a-long hook....what more could you ask for?

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