Another year, another dwindling list. This year I only bought 1 CD that was “released” in 2011, and it was a disc of 1980s tracks! But, there are always some great singles every year and here’s my (short and not because I want to find a winner) list for 2011:
- Coldplay – Every Teardrop is a Waterfall
I ignored the Coldplay album release this year, in truth I forgot about it for awhile; and they aren’t played on the radio very often (are they even played at all anymore?). But earlier this month, I was going through some music and listened to this song again. It is absolutely amazing! One of those songs that capture you on first listen. Somehow, Coldplay is able to create music that feels different and futuristic, without being techno or overtly electronic. It’s a song like this that makes me get interested in them as a band again. I haven’t bought their album yet, but I probably will soon.
- Adele – Someone Like You
I originally dismissed this song when I heard it on the radio, but it captured my attention as I tried to play it. It is simple, haunting, but beautiful meloncholy . In fact, this song has launched me on an Adele trip lately (well only a couple of her singles, I haven’t heard her albums yet). At least it is different than all the other pop that’s on this list this year.
- Katy Perry – Last Friday Night
Jumping on the fame of Rebecca Black and her Friday fame (well at least she is in the video) notwithstanding, this is a absolutely great pop song. The beat is catchy, the hook is awesome, and it’s a party song. And if that’s not enough, it’s a throwback to the 80s; (uncle) Kenny G and his sax show up! The big drawback is that it can get dated very quickly with its cultural references (as with the other Katy Perry song on this list).
- David Guetta ft Rihanna – Who’s That Chick?
I don’t normally like songs by David Guetta, but this one is an exception. When I first heard it, I thought it was pretty lame, but it has grown on me and I like the hook.
- Selena Gomez & The Scene – Love You Like A Love Song
I don’t remember how I cam across this song but somehow I did. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t paying attention to Justin Beiber or Disney stuff. Anyways, I have pretty low expectations for this because it is targeted towards teens. In fact, it sounds like some of the earlier Miley Cyrus songs (in terms of her voice and complexity of the song)! Still, it’s a great pop song that I want to put on repeat-peat-peat-peat-peat.
- Rihanna – S&M
Rihanna is everywhere this year with lots of collaborations and cameos. I actually like this solo single by her. It’s almost as repetitive and plain as Love You Like A Love Song, but I guess it targets a crowd that is three years older so it’s a bit more complex! Still a solid song and great pop music. (Ha, the video is rated 18+ on Youtube)
- Lady Gaga – Edge Of Glory
Lady Gaga IS the best pop of 2011. Whether you like her or you hate her, she has the most backing (producing etc) and has the best songs. Edge of Glory is a simple song but for some reason, the sum of all of its simple parts equals a great song. I’m going to blame producing for this one. If Last Firday Night didn’t convince you, then this song should. Another sax in this song, 80s retro is back in and George Michael must be preparing a comeback album!
- Lady Gaga – Born This Way
I don’t know if this song is on this list because I like 80s/early 90s Madonna or whether it truly is a good song. The comparisons with Madonna’s Express Yourself have been plenty, and it does sound like it! I guess if Lady Gaga did a 10’s cover of Express Yourself, it would be just as good to listen to.
- Jennifer Lopez & Pitbull – On The Floor
J-Lo’s comeback song with a great pop hook that reminds me of a mid 90s dance beat (hello formative years) with a recognizable sample. If you ever get tired of that melody then I’m afraid the song doesn’t have much else for you; Pitbull’s Donkey Kong rap and some short “singing” by J-Lo doesn’t carry the song very far.
- Adele – Set Fire To The Rain
I may have paid attention to this song because liking Someone Like You. It’s not as strong of a song, but Adele’s driven singing is powerful.
- Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks
Every time I hear this song, I think – did Peter, Bjorn and John write this? It feels like the spiritual successor to Young Folks. I don’t think it’s simply the whistling, I think the laidback attitude and weed/high feel of the song is the same for both songs.
- Britney Spears – Hold It Against Me
Catchy hook, but generic dance music. I don’t think Britney Spears is relevant anymore. Lady Gaga is better.
- Katy Perry – The One That Got Away
If it weren’t for Lady Gaga, Katy Perry would be the Pop Queen. Which is rather sad because I think she has zero personality. Yes, I think even Britney Spears/Christina Aguilera/etc had more personality than Katy Perry. I just don’t understand why is she a celebrity! She does have a recognizable voice, and the first couple of times I heard this song, I suspected it is by her. The verses are catchy, because they have pop references (like Radiohead). Perhaps that is what makes me take notice of this song. The rest of the song is decent, but not that great.
- Kristina Maria – Let’s Play
This song is one of those that you would only hear on Canadian radio stations (because Kristina Maria is, not surprisingly Canadian). It’s not as good as some of the other songs higher up, but still a solid pop song. Her other single, Co-Pilot is not bad either.
- Nicki Minaj – Super Bass
Even though Nicki Minaj has had a lot of hype, I hadn’t heard her until her amazing rap in Kanye’s Monster. She raps really fast and has some interesting vocal effects. Super Bass is the her first solo song that I’ve heard on the radio and while it’s not as cool (or scary) as her Monster rap, it’s still a neat song. I’m sure if I heard it too much that I would get tired of it though.