So we’re more than halfway through 2012, which is when I bring to you… my top ten songs of 2011…
Like the BRIT Awards post I did a sort of practice and trial run of doing a blog before deciding to go ahead with it, and this was something I wrote but never posted it at the time. There isn’t any particular reason I’m posting it now. The Kyla La Grange – ‘Walk Through Walls’ music video was only released a month ago is one excuse I could use, but the real reason is I thought it would be a shame to waste this review and I just felt like posting it.
Top Ten Songs of 2011
10) Avril Lavigne – What The Hell
Avril Lavigne’s comeback single, and one which she herself tried to distance from basically saying the record company made her do it so she could get an obvious hit. Essentially it’s ‘Girlfriend’ part two, with Avril Lavigne, perhaps having her arm twisted to go for chirpy bouncy pop rather than her usual acoustic emo pop-rock. There is also the accusation that it’s bit of a ‘mid-life crisis of a twenty-something’. So why is it in my top ten? Well… while ‘Girlfriend’was a little too wrapped up in annoying cheerleader spitefulness, this is just about enjoying yourself. So despite everything, what the hell, this song is too much fun!
9) Ms. Dynamite – Neva Soft
Another comeback, and one from much longer ago. Ms. Dynamite first burst onto the pop charts with her album A Little Deeper, eventually winning the Mercury Music Prize. Like many before she then disappeared, but reinvented herself as a bit of dance diva featuring on newer artists tracks. But it was her solo comeback that caught attention. ‘Neva Soft’ is an intriguing track, with a choppy style.
8) Lady Gaga – The Edge Of Glory
After the massive success of 2009-2010, Lady Gaga had a lot to live up to with her sophomore album, and, well, while the calls of her having the famed sophomore slump have died down from the beginning of the year, it’s fair to say her material hasn’t been as well received this time round. ‘The Edge Of Glory’ was an exception, becoming a long stayer in the UK top 40, with it’s amazing saxophone solo and Gaga belting her heart out, while ‘Born This Way’ caught the headlines, I think this track will be the most fondly remembered from this era of her career.
7) Jessie J featuring B.o.B – Price Tag
BRIT Award winner Jessie J has had a pretty good year, but this song was the biggest hit. A radio favourite with a catchy tune, this has a message of not caring so much money and just trying to be happy. Was the ongoing financial crisis the reason people responded to it or just the catchy tune? Who knows, but it was fine one.
6) Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris – We Found Love
Rihanna continues her run of being a hugely successful popstar churning out hits and new albums at an alarming rate. This clubby dance track though probably ranks as one of her very best.
5) Ed Sheeran – The A Team
Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran scored a hit which clearly struck a chord with people, amongst a chart filled with anthems of putting your hands up in the club, this stripped back acoustic guitar song was a more reflective affair, about a homeless drug addicted prostitute. Helped by a good video featuring a strong performance by Selina Macdonald, this became a long stayer in the top ten and the one of the biggest sellers of the year.
4) Claire Maguire – The Last Dance
A soaring vocal performance on this stormy, atmospheric track with shades of Annie Lennox, raven haired singer-songwriter Claire Maguire showed great potential. It sadly doesn’t look like it’s translated into sales, but it would be a shame if more isn’t heard of her.
3) Mona – Teenager
Tennessee alternative rock band Mona, who supported fellow Tennessee rockers Kings Of Leon, released a few singles this year from their self-titled debut album, but this is anthem is the one I played non-stop.
2) Kyla La Grange – Walk Through Walls
Like Claire Maguire, Kyla La Grange was another quirky female singer-songwriter with a soaring track. But this one was more of an uplifting indie disco stormer that had a polished Phil Spector-ish production.
1) The Naked And Famous – Young Blood
A fun, electro-indie track. The New Zealand band have been popular in their native country- this track was a number one hit over there, and have gained something a following in these shores too. This is a track I will always associate with summer 2011.